THE BEST UP AND COMING YOGA TEACHERS OF AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

THE BEST UP AND COMING YOGA TEACHERS OF AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

Thank you…thank you…thank you…to those who nominated me and also to The Yoga Lunchbox for creating such an opportunity, not only for recognition, but more importantly to shine the light of Yoga. Yoga has held me in its embrace since my first encounter when my mum took me with her to her class with Swami Sarasvati. I was young, 14 years old I think, but mum thinks I may have been younger. It was an awesome initiation: with huge timber stairs to climb on the way up to the studio, incense filling the air, chanting, weird poses to do, and some vigorous breathing (which later I would learn to be Pranayama). I was hooked! My interest in Yoga has never ceased, however, over the years my dedication to practice has waxed and waned, and seen me explore many different styles. I am happy to say that over the last 8 years my practice has been consistent, and daily in the many expressions of practice that Yoga itself is –  the simple practice of mindfulness, the application of Yama and Niyamas (Yoga’s ethical codes of conduct), Asana (posture) practice, Pranayama (energy control via breath control exercises), meditation, cleansing practices, and, most importantly for me, self-reflection (Svadhyaya). I practice Yoga because I feel better when I practice. It eases my body, mind and spirit. Yoga is truly a journey of the self, through the self, to the Self. I hope that reading this article, put together by the inspirational Kara-Leah Grant and the team at The Yoga Lunchbox, moves you deeper into your Yoga practice…or begins you on a journey through your self to...
THE ART OF EXPECTATION

THE ART OF EXPECTATION

THE ART OF EXPECTATION With the explosion of social media and the boom of one of the biggest growth industries – personal development, in the guise of coaching, counselling, mentoring and more – has come the wildfire spread of easy to throw around sayings and quotes. Many of these come acknowledged with the original author or speaker’s name and others are requoted as if owned by the quote-ee rather than giving kudos to the quote-or. I love quotes, and I especially like it when the originator is given due acknowledgement. I like the inspired thoughts contained within many quotes and I love the attached inspiring imagery. I connect with many quotes, appreciate them coming my way and like the gentle reminder that many bring. There are two general themes of quotes that, over the past few years, have inspired me in a very different way.  In fact, these particular themes have for me been part of a reassessment of my long involvement in the personal development industry and human behaviour field. These underlying themes are part of a belief set that has managed to pervade the field of personal development and, it seems to me, have managed to escape any real question or discussion in regards to their validity. So what are they? I bet you’ve heard them over and over again, written and spoken in varying different creative ways. In fact, you probably, like me have “liked” many quotes containing these themes, attended many seminars, workshops based on these beliefs and even partaken of conversations where you have vehemently (or perhaps even, blindly) agreed and further added weight...
International Day of Yoga 2016

International Day of Yoga 2016

LET’S PRACTICE! Here in the beautiful Mid North Coast and all around the world! Today is the INTERNATIONAL DAY OF YOGA 2016. In everything we do today let us be mindful, be aware, be present. This mindfulness is Yoga. Let’s roll out our mats and practice Asana (physical postures). Let’s practice Pranayama (breathing – energy control). Let’s get quiet…by letting go of our attraction to all the external and internal distractions, and focusing on one thing. Let’s focus on our breath, a Mantra, or a single point to stare at. Let’s feel a connection to our Self, others and the planet. Let’s experience internal peace. Yoga is a practice for living well. Living well in all areas of our life. From what we eat and drink, to what we think – Yoga guides us to be mindful of all our choices. Yoga is not just about the poses and the physical benefits, in fact the practice of Yoga is really all about letting go of the ‘fluctuations of our mind’. Yoga is a way to create harmonious living by practicing awareness and living according to some basic guidelines that support ourselves, others and the planet. Compassion, truthfulness, taking only what is our own, abstaining from overindulging, and living simply so others may simply live…are some Yogic principles. Taking care of ourselves, learning to be content and accepting of what is, studying ancient texts and observing ourselves, being motivated to take correct action, and connecting to something greater are also practices that Yoga teaches. I practice Yoga because it makes me feel good – body, mind and spirit. For me,...
Look Deeply…

Look Deeply…

I love the sound of divinely inspired music and angelic voices…especially when chanting my favourite mantras. One such mantra I love is OM ASATOMA. This mantra, to me, sums up the why of Yoga. I practice Yoga to learn to recognize the truth in myself and all things. I practice Yoga in order to understand myself and others. I practice Yoga to be able to deal better with ‘life’ – its ups and downs. Yoga has taught me to see things more clearly, hear things correctly and feel honestly. Yoga is something for everyone; however, not everyone will explore the depths of their own being…which is indeed the real practice of Yoga. There is a quote that was popularised back in the late 1600’s-early 1700’s by a minister by the name of Matthew Henry. This quote has some original ties to the Book of Jeremiah in the Bible, and even farther reaching ties to the Om Asatoma mantra of the Upanishads (700BCE). Yoga asks us to look and to listen. It encourages us to look deeply and clearly, and to listen acutely to what is. Yoga is the process of excavating our Soul – digging deep, removing layers, filters and shifting our perception so that we can see into our own blind spots. Facing how we have shown up in life in the face of our own imperfect behaviour can be confronting, especially if our fall from grace has been far. Many people refuse to take account of their actions and words. Instead, they remain comfortable in their own narcissistic bubble and continue to only ever look out and...
COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS

COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS

COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS It’s better than counting your troubles! We don’t have to literally keep a score card, although a Gratitude Journal is certainly one popular way to get into the habit of looking for the things in our lives that we are grateful for. Studies are showing that having an outlook of gratitude has emotional and interpersonal benefits. A study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology co-authored by Robert Emmons confirmed that ‘counting blessings heightens wellbeing’. Having a thankful appreciation and acknowledging things that come into our lives is an act of graciousness. Being grateful is a virtue. A real, heartfelt “Thank you” can go a long way. The impact of your gratefulness towards someone who serves you or works with you or shows you their love should not be underestimated. In the practice of Yoga we have a simple Eight Limb (Ashtanga) Path to follow. One of the Limbs gives us guidelines for living well with others (Yamas). Aparigraha – is the Yama that speaks to us to have gratitude for that which we already have. It translates as non-grasping or non-greed and reminds us to ‘live simply so that others may simply live’, as my teacher, John Ogilvie of Byron Yoga, is fond of saying. We can ask ourselves “Do I really need this?” If not, let it go. When we appreciate the tangible and intangible things in life we are practicing gratitude and the consistent practice of gratitude has benefits, such as; stronger immune systems, lower blood pressure, more joy, optimism and happiness, and a feeling of greater connection. In short, according to...