I've always shared the philosophy that yoga should be accessible to all people and where there is structural or physical limitations, that we as yoga teachers should work to modify yoga poses so that these students still receive the benefit of a yoga practice.
Today I'd like to highlight our Tuesday evening yoga class run by Tess. Whilst it is suitable for all yoga levels, you will find Tess provides options for various ability levels from beginner, to prenatal, to advanced practitioner. Her yoga style is both general and gentle, focusing on Hatha Yoga. Linking movement with the breath, Tess can empower you to take your body to places you may not have thought possible, while teaching emotional wellbeing through mindfulness and the wisdom of the yoga sutras.
Tess brings to her class, her knowledge as an occupational therapist working in various areas including pain management and stroke rehabilitation, as well as being remedial massage therapist. These modalities complement her yoga teaching and enables her to assist people with injuries or limitations to participate in an open yoga class.
It is this background knowledge that makes this class much more that 'just a yoga class'. One student who has been coming to HappyBeing for many years recounted to me that through the breath and body awareness she has learnt through yoga, it was highlighting to her that issues surrounding a ongoing hip injury were not getting better. She asked her doctor to order x-rays and it became apparent that there were structural issues she was most likely born with causing the underlying problem. As a regular in my classes, I suggested she to move into Tess' class, temporarily to expand her awareness and to review any modifications in her yoga practice, working with her breath and body withing their limitations, utilising the additional knowledge Tess could bring to her practice.
In following up with my student last week I asked her how her practice was coming along with Tess. She answered, "I feel like I'm re-learning yoga. What I can and can't do with my body and it's wonderful. It feels playful and new.
It reminds me of the T.S. Eliot quote "We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.""
This my friends is living yoga. Working with your body in tune with what it can do and being open to what yoga can bring to your life.
Tess teaches at HappyBeing Yoga on Tuesday nights at 7pm in the Heathmont Uniting Church. Private sessions are also available if you would like to discuss and work through your individual circumstances prior to joining a group class.
Spring is trying hard to spring. The daffodils, magnolias and cherry blossom are blooming.
It is the beginning of the season of the wood element, which means it is time for our liver's and gallbladders to wake up. This can create imbalances within the body that may compromise our immune systems.
Your HappyBeing yoga program for the next 3 months will focus on supporting the bodies natural desire to cleanse and detox whilst incorporating mudra, nidra, pranayama and asana designed and selected to synergise with the natural flow of the seasons. This will help us to harmonise with the earth and bounce into summer.
These wonderful essential oils will be blended into several yummy variations as a healthful and relaxing complement to your yoga practice.
Properties: analgesic, anti-depressant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, digestive, expectorant, nervine and sudorific.
Properties: antidepressant, sedative, digestive and lymphatic stimulant, stomachic and tonic.
Properties: analgesic, anticonvulsive, antirheumatic, antiviral, bactericide, decongestant, deoderant, diuretic, hypotensive and sedative.
Properties :analgesic, antidepressant, astrringent, hepatic, hypertensive, nervine, sudorific and tonic
Properties: all of the above, plus vaso constrictor and expectorant.
Herbs recommended during this season: Nettle tea, milk thistle.
A liver detox supplement before bed is helpful if you tend to experience headaches
or gastric upsets.
*The information provided is general in nature. Remember to inform your teacher if you are
pregnant as caution should be taken with some oils.
Image courtesy of www.123rf.com
School holidays are upon us and as I discussed with all our HappyBeing students in the lead up to the winter break, your practice is as important at home as it is in class. With that in mind, I've devised a lesson plan for our students to complete at home to keep your practice fresh.
As you lay out your mat and prepare for your home practice be sure to create your yogic space. Maybe light a candle to enhance your practice environment. Be sure to let others in the house know not to disturb you. I know it can be difficult if you have little children (been there, done that!) I had always a clock set and told my boys not to disturb me until the clock hands were at a certain time. Do what works for you.
Aim to practice as often as you can. The lesson plan can be followed exactly, or depending on your time available and how you are feeling you may choose to do page one, on one day and page two the next. It’s your practice – it is what you make it! Just remember, all yoga is good yoga, and any yoga is better than none!
A little fun exercise that I would also like you to take on is to create your own standing sequence as part of your practice. Use a minimum 3 standing postures to create your sequence eg. Warriors: 1, 2, 3, dancing warrior; Trikonasana (triangle pose); Parsvokasana (extended side angle pose) etc. These are suggestions, there are others you can incorporate. Choose your own adventure!
Click here to download your holiday lesson plan.
Enjoy your home practice, and I will see you back on the mat in class in mid-July.
Hallelujah! Finally, a study coming out of the US, backing what yogis have known for centuries…That yoga improves memory and brain function.
Researchers from the University of Illinois, conducted tests of working memory and inhibitory control, two measures of brain function associated with the ability to focus, retain, and use new information.
Subjects who took a single, 20-minute yoga session were significantly faster and more accurate on their tests than subjects who walked or jogged on a treadmill for 20 minutes.
You can read the article which featured in the New York Daily News about the findings. I'm loving that mainstream press have picked up on this article. For those of us who practice yoga regularly this is wonderful validation from a scientific perspective that 'yoga' which means union of body, mind and breath, is - as we always knew - good for us on all levels.
For corporations it is a fabulous opportunity to grab onto. Imagine having your workforce, department or team practicing yoga before work - oh the productivity you'd be harnessing! I've got goose bumps just thinking about it. Studies such as this one provide strong backup for anyone looking to build a business case to management for the benefits of a corporate yoga class.
General bookings for Term 3 at HappyBeing are now open.
Astrologically speaking, we're in the new moon of Aries - the first sign of the zodiac. Think of it as the chance to renew those new year's intentions.
I'm interested to hear if you've continued to keep your New Year's resolutions from the beginning of the year? All is not lost if you have fallen off the bandwagon. Be kind to yourself, remember your intentions and you can always start today fresh and resolve to make better choices in this moment. What does your tomorrow look like? Do you want to exercise more, eat better, go to bed earlier or more generally develop better lifestyle habits?
Yoga complements your positive lifestyle choices by supporting your intentions to be your best self. Yoga in essence, means 'union' of body, breath and mind.
I'm so proud of our Term 1 students. Our move to a term based booking system has been validated, in that I've seen students cultivate a regular weekly practice and have seen real progression in their strength, flexibility and relaxation that is inevitably the result of dedication and commitment to a regular weekly practice. Our aim at HappyBeing is to provide you with a true yoga experience, leaving class feeling more connected within.
This Sunday, 14 April we are offering a special introduction to yoga class. Join us at the Ringwood Central Community Centre at 11am-12.30pm to find out what yoga is. Only $9 for this special class. Bookings are being taken online.
Term 2 is also starting next week, so if you're thinking of starting a yoga class, you can book online. Spaces in the evening classes are filling fast so be sure to get your name down.
See you on the mat xx
Hello my lovelies!
We have officially held our first week of HappyBeing Yoga at Ringwood Central Community Centre (RCCC). It has been so great to have you all back after a long break. I'd also like to welcome our new members that have joined us. We are thrilled to have you join our community.
I must say that our move to a shared space has not been without some hiccups to begin with, but we do hope that these have been ironed out. The admin staff at RCCC have been so helpful in relocating us to rooms that will accommodate us a little better. These are listed on the timetable. On that note, I do feel that I need to state the obvious. HappyBeing is now being run out of a shared space, and I know some are missing that cozy feeling that they would get from a dedicated studio. I'd like you to think of these new rooms as an opportunity to explore your attachment to things that were and to accept what 'is'. Take this opportunity to practice detachment and accept the unfamiliar and allow it to 'be'. There is so much energy wasted when we resist what 'is'. It is much healthier and more peaceful to go with the flow of whatever your life has in store for you. When things do not go as we want or expect often disappointment and frustration follow as the ego seeks to control. The true self watches and knows the external is always transient but the spirit is eternal.
Thank goodness for the practice of yoga that brings us all to to this awareness when practiced with diligence, commitment, regularity and enthusiasm.
See you on the mat xx
These are the musings of Jannin. How I see the interconnectedness of the world through yoga, aromatherapy and nature...