Christmas is almost here…
In the busyness of this time of the year it is wonderful to see so many students embracing the challenge of the early morning yoga intensive. There are many ways of progressing the practice of yoga and in this month’s newsletter we explore the aspect of self-practice.
The Yoga Room will be open during the break; however there will be limited classes between Christmas and New Year. See our timetable for details.
Thanks to everyone for your support throughout this year and the Yoga Room wishes everyone a peaceful Christmas and happy and prosperous new year.
Video of the Month – BKS Iyengar Teaching Yoga asana class London 1985
Article of the Month – Yoga Asana Self-practice
Upcoming Events; 2016 Beginner Courses, Bali Yoga Retreat
Yoga Students “off the mat” – Carla Bierhuizen
Patanjali Yoga Sutra of the month
Quote of the Month
A great video linking Iyengar’s descriptions of a deeper practice of yoga asana with a class he taught in London in 1985.
by Gail Tagarro
Self-practice means practising yoga on our own, without a teacher’s instruction. While we all need the discipline and instruction of classes to ensure we are practising the asanas correctly and to help with motivation to continue our yoga practice, self-practice is beneficial physically and mentally, and our practice of yoga improves more quickly.
Even practising only 15 minutes a day yields benefits. It’s more important to practise regularly than to practise for a long time: regularity is more important than duration.
1. Faster improvement in the asanas
2. Feelings of well-being and joy
3. A feeling of achievement
4. A more peaceful mind
5. Obvious benefits like improved health and flexibility
6. Increasing familiarity with the Sanskrit names of asanas
7. …and last but not least, we are incorporating yoga into our life, with all the benefits that flow from this.
If you’re not used to practising on your own, the best way is to get hold of a quality Iyengar yoga book with photographs demonstrating the asanas. Then you can plan your sequence before you go to the practice.
While ‘Light on Yoga’ by BKS Iyengar is the classic text, it may be too challenging for when you first begin a self-practice.
You might like to start with a 28-week course by Geeta Iyengar in Chapter X of ‘Yoga in Action – Preliminary Course’, or the 10 sequences in chapter V ‘Basic Guidelines for Teachers of Yoga’ by BKS & Geeta Iyengar.
Two other very good texts are ‘Yoga: the Iyengar Way’ and ‘How to Use Yoga: A Step-by-Step Guide to the Iyengar Method of Yoga for Relaxation, Health and Well-Being’, by Mira Mehta.
It’s preferable to follow the Iyengar gurus’ suggestions, as their sequences are specifically designed and consist of asanas from all the basic groups, including standing, sitting, forward bends and backbends, inversions, and twists.
As you become more confident with your practice, you’ll probably want to add one or two days of self-practice at home, and maybe gradually build up to more.
Additionally, the Yoga Room is available three mornings a week and at no additional charge to any current Yoga Room student who wishes to do their own yoga practice in the studio. The days are Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, from 6 am to 7.30 am. They show as ‘Group Practice’ in the timetable.
You can use any of the props, just as you can in yoga classes, but the asanas you practise are your choice, and you practise at your own pace. This is a great resource, and you are encouraged to take advantage of it.
Whether you practice at the Yoga Room or at home a self practice is the “next step” on the journey.
It’s easier if you have some basic props, like one or two blocks, a strap, a bolster, and perhaps a yoga blanket. You can add further props later. What props you need will depend on your particular requirements, your level, and any injuries you may have. When in doubt, check with your teacher. Don’t let an absence of props stop you from commencing a self-practice though; your yoga mat is usually enough to begin with.
When practising at home, always change into your yoga clothes and use a yoga mat. By starting the same way you would start a yoga class, you are getting into a familiar mindset.
Iygengar once said that the most difficult asana was unfolding the mat!
When: Starting Wednesday 13th January
6 week course
Where: Yoga Room, Burleigh Heads
For anyone who has never done yoga before or is new to the Iyengar method.
Book now! Places are limited. Call 0438 837 244, or email
When: 13th to 25th June 2016
Retreat practice gives you the time to rest and to let go of your normal day to day routine. It gives you an opportunity to nurture yourself, restore a sense of balance and well-being.
In this new section of the newsletter we introduce Yoga Room students showcasing some of the amazing things they do off-the-mat and encourage you, where possible, to support their endeavours.
Carla started yoga about 15 years ago through a friend. Originally from Toowoomba, Carla settled on the GC with husband Richard about 17 years ago. She and her friend had just had children and wanted to try something new, get back into shape and have a bit of time to themselves. Later, back injuries forced her to give yoga up for a few years until her friend Tracey, another Yoga Room student, kept telling her about Maurice’s class at the Yoga Room and saying it was “the best”.
Carla has now been attending Iyengar yoga at the Yoga Room for about 18 months. “I didn’t think I’d ever be able to do what I can do now because of my back issues,” she says. “Iyengar yoga is the best for strengthening and I’ve experienced increasing improvement.” Carla currently attends two classes a week. “I’m totally hooked. Maurice is the best teacher I’ve ever had. He doesn’t miss anything. He’s very thorough. The props have really helped with my confidence and improvement.”
Because it has helped her back issues so much, Carla is passionate about her yoga, saying, “I never feel bored with Maurice’s classes, they are different every time. I can’t sell it enough to people, I could rave on and on about it!”
She occasionally does a practice at home, especially if she’s been sitting down all day at the desk or driving. Carla and her husband Richard run a business called Footlogics Australia Pty Ltd. They design and sell premade medical grade orthotics, selling their product online as well as to pharmacies, physios, chiropractors, and podiatrists both in Australia and internationally.
Their business has operated for 10 years now, with Carla joining Richard around seven years ago to do the administration as well as some sales and marketing. She spends a couple of days a week on the road meeting with pharmacy clients. They employ another staff member on the Gold Coast and have various distributors in Australia and overseas.
Carla would love to offer any interested Yoga Room students a 20% discount on orthotics. Details can be found on their website Click here.
Chapter 2 Verse 28
“By dedicated practice of the various aspects of yoga impurities are destroyed: the crown of wisdom radiates in glory.”
BKS Iyengar. Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali Pg 132.
“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.”
Yoga Room Burleigh Heads
+61 438 837 244