Griffins Hill Retreat yoga and food blog

A blog about Iyengar yoga, organic food, and cooking.
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How to spend less time getting your 10 serves of veggies every day

How to spend less time getting your 10 serves of veggies every day

By Jane Gibb

 

Ten serves, you ask? Yes, the rule of thumb on vegetables is changing. According to recent research by the Harvard School of Public Health, the indicators now suggest that we need to consume around nine serves (we just rounded it up for convenience) of fruit and veggies a day, with more veggies than fruit. (There’s a growing body of research to suggest that one piece of fruit a day is better for us than more). All up, that’s about five cups of veggies.

Of course, the question is how? 

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The Dunkeld bakery gets so Frenchy, so chic

The Dunkeld bakery gets so Frenchy, so chic

By Bridie Lee Walsh

 

A taste of France has arrived at Dunkeld Old Bakery thanks to new managers, Romain Cabrol and Sauvanne Bosson. Their French breads and pastries, such as baguette and chocolate croissants, are a hit with locals and visitors alike.b2ap3_thumbnail_10672063_833401270043334_6903166762983535002_n.jpg“Everything is handmade and baked every morning,” says Bosson, who is from the small village of Magescq near the Basque region in Southern France. “That’s what makes the difference.”

The French couple, who backpacked around Australia together three years ago, took over the bakery in March 2014 and have established a small, tasty menu of traditional French fare, plus some Aussie favourites like sour dough bread.

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Friends of “Off The Rails” get it back on track

Friends of “Off The Rails” get it back on track

By Kath Walters

Dunkeld’s Railway Station will once again become a meeting place, but this time in a whole new guise. 

The lovely old building, neglected for years after trains to Dunkeld stopped running, was revived in 2007 by a group of local artists and used for studios and a gallery called Off The Rails. 

When the building was declared uninhabitable in 2011, this energetic community project came to an end. 

But Dunkeld sculptor, Trevor Flinn, is working with a bunch of local artists and community members to revive the much-loved artists’ space.

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Yoga helps war veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder

Yoga helps war veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder

By Flora Lisica, The Conversation

It’s no secret that yoga can aid mental wellbeing. What is more, it can help soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, according to new research.

Some of the most damaging consequences of seeing combat can happen in the mind. Of the 2.3m American veterans who returned from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, up to 20% go on to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at some point. In a report published by the US Department of Veterans Affairs at least 22 American veterans take their lives every day.

The effects of PTSD can include intrusive memories, heightened anxiety and personality changes. Individuals can also experience hyper-arousal, where they are easily startled, feel “jumpy” and constantly on guard. Standard current treatment for PTSD generally involves prescriptions for antidepressants and psychotherapy, with mixed results.

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The laziest lunch takes (luxurious) time and preparation

The laziest lunch takes (luxurious) time and preparation

By Jane Gibb

There’s no better way to celebrate the awakening of spring and the beginning of the alfresco dining season than a lazy lunch. 

My morning ritual of sun salutations welcomes the day ahead. Following my asana practice is when I think about preparing my lazy lunch. 

Spring is truly a captivating time of the year at Griffins Hill. Brilliant sunshine and clear blue sky, sparkling trees and our grand mountains promise to smile on our dining table. This is what draws me outside into the garden.

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2014 Iyengar National Convention rocks it

2014 Iyengar National Convention rocks it

 

The sell-out National Iyengar Convention this September attracted 250 participants, plus teachers, including thirteen senior teachers attended who lead the event.

The convention started on Friday afternoon with classes, followed in the evening by an asana demonstration by seven junior intermediate teachers. 

On Saturday, after a day of pranayama (breathing practice) and asana (postures), the senior teacher paid tribute to the founder of Iyengar Yoga, BKS Iyengar, who recently died at the age of 96. Remarkably, Mr Iyengar continued his practice until close to his death.

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Five ways to wake up your winter garden

Five ways to wake up your winter garden

 

By Jane Gibb

 

With the excitement that spring has arrived and the garden is beginning to bloom, it’s easy to forget to stop and take a look at what’s really going on. 

Yet, that’s just what you should be doing to make the most of the early warmth and to wake up your garden. I have five tips to show you how.

  1. 1. Remove spent leaves 

Take a closer look at the plants that die back over winter. Remove any dead leaves that may still be attached. Strawberries in particular need attention. Clean dead foliage from the base of the strawberry plant because this is the hiding place for snails and slugs and with warm weather on the way they’ll soon be feasting on the new growth.

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How yoga makes me forget I have fibromyalgia

How yoga makes me forget I have fibromyalgia

By Bridie Walsh

Most of us opt into yoga for fun and general health; for Vicki Gordon it’s a lifeline. Yoga is helping her beat the unbearable pain of fibromyalgia. 

“Fibromyalgia is an inflammatory disease in the body where the joints [can be] inflamed,” Gordon explains. “It can be very painful. It disturbs sleep, waking many times a night. Then you’re fatigued.”

It’s been 13 years since Gordon was diagnosed with the central nervous system disorder and, to combat its effects, Gordon has implemented a daily yoga practice.

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The mystery of yoga and the spirit of cooking

The mystery of yoga and the spirit of cooking

By Jane Gibb

We began our most recent five-day retreat just as we heard the news that Mr Iyengar had passed away.

As we gathered to commence, it occurred to me that people from all over the world were doing the same thing: practicing yoga and reflecting on the life and legacy of Mr Iyengar.

Iyengar yoga keeps me going on so many levels. All the extremes of my emotions and cravings are levelled out and my body is free of aches and pains. I have the energy and spirit to work long days. And, despite my age, I can still garden all day and do strong physical work. 

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In my darker moments, Mr Iyengar's light still shines

In my darker moments, Mr Iyengar's light still shines

By Kath Walters

I had a few dark moments last week but, strangely, when I heard that Mr BKS Iyengar had died, I viewed my own difficulties differently all of a sudden.

Of course, I was sad at the loss of such a soul. However, he’s a soul who has left an incredible legacy of change. Mr Iyengar inspired a tidal wave of interest and practice of yoga across the world. He changed millions of people, from those like me, who have gone a short way along to yoga path, to people like Frank Jesse and Jane Gibb who have applied yoga deeply in their lives and shared the practice of Iyengar yoga with thousands of others.

How Iyengar achieve all this? By simply doing the best that he could in his chosen endeavour, and communicating the insights he gained in the process with anyone who would listen. His commitment and perseverance and willingness to teach made him a leader. But he was simply one person, doing his own thing.

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Millet porridge SUPER super-food

Millet porridge SUPER super-food

By Jane Gibb

Millet is an ancient grain that is often overlooked today – we feed it to birds! But this gluten free and ancient grain is creamy and delicious, and available all year around.

It also contains some essential nutrients including copper, phosphorus, manganese and magnesium that are so important for the health of our bones, skin and blood.

So many people have enjoyed sharing my millet porridge at Griffins Hill. The original recipe comes from Tony Chiodo’s book Feel Good Food, which is full of healthy, easy-to-follow recipes.

Here is my version of millet porridge, slightly adapted from Tony’s.

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Wednesday night yoga class

Wednesday night yoga class

By Colin Agar

So how is everyone…..everybody well?

(haven’t started yet so pretty hard to tell)

 

Standing poses, forward bends then hand stands for tonight,

(thankfully no backbends, the abs are really tight)

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Still busy

Still busy

By Kimina Lyall

I once heard a saying by a Buddhist teacher. It may have been the Dalai Lama, or another wise person. Asked how long one should meditate for each day, he replied: “Thirty minutes. Unless you are very busy. In which case, one hour.”

I wish I could say I followed that advice, in meditation or yoga or any other form of self-care. But I don’t. For me, busy begets busy. Right now I have rather a lot on, what with commitments to work, study, friendship, volunteering … and the list goes on. I’ve shaken up my life over the past couple of years, and the pieces as still falling back into place. I tend to bounce from deadline to deadline, scrambling to find time to squeeze everything I want to do in.

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The art of relaxation (and why we have lost it)

The art of relaxation (and why we have lost it)

By Kath Walters

Somewhere along the journey to the fast-paced world we now live in, we started to associate using time wisely with just being busy.

However, researchers are starting to discover that all work and no play is worse for “Jack” than making him “a dull boy” (as the old saying goes); it makes Jack despressed, forgetful and prone to getting ill!

According to research at the University of Washington: “Rest is an important part of a healthy lifestyle for all ages. It rejuvenates your body and mind, regulates your mood, and is linked to learning and memory function. On the other hand, not getting enough rest can negatively affect your mood, immune system, memory, and stress level.”

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Why I live in The Grampians: my afternoon walk

Why I live in The Grampians: my afternoon walk

By Jane Gibb 

My walk begins by climbing over a fence. Having grown up in mountain country near Mansfield, I graduated in climbing over fences at a young age; with honours! I choose a point where the ground is elevated. On tiptoes, my feet can touch the ground on both sides of the fence. With a stretch, I step over the fence.

Crossing a field, keeping the steep fall of the escarpment on my left, I pass a mob of kangaroos grazing on the hillside. This mob has begun to recognise me on my regular ramblings, so instead of fleeing they lazily stand tall to watch me.

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