Mount Abrupt- The Grampians

Griffins Hill Retreat yoga and food blog

A blog about Iyengar yoga, organic food, and cooking.

Join the Being Well Expo in Hamilton this September 25

Join the Being Well Expo in Hamilton this September 25

Good health is vital for a good life. Being Well Expo Hamilton is a free event that brings your local health practitioners under one roof where you can get the answers you need for better health. 

Our own doctor and yogi, Greta Prozesky, is on the organising committee. “When you have your health, you can live out the many desires you have for your life, but when you lose your health, it can be a fight to get it back,” she says.

Greta’s been the local GP in the Coleraine-Casterton area for 16 years and a partner in the Coleraine-Casterton Medical Clinic for seven. She went through her own radical health transformation eight years ago. Greta lost 20kg and reprioritised her wellbeing. 

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The Doctor’s Iyengar Yoga prescription: Move for a healthy life

The Doctor’s Iyengar Yoga prescription: Move for a healthy life

By Bridie Walsh

“Yoga is my drug of choice,” says Doctor Greta Prozesky. “It’s much healthier than a glass of wine.”

Greta is a faithful regular at Griffins Hill Retreat yoga classes on Wednesdays and Thursdays. She’s made yoga a priority as a way to tackle stress and strengthen her body with movement.

“The worry and anxiety of modern world is a huge burden and it comes out physically and mentally,” she says. It’s something she observes in many of her patients.

Trained in medicine in her home country of South Africa, Greta spent time in the Middle East before arriving in Australia. She lived in a compound in Bahrain working for an oil refinery with a hospital alongside several specialists.

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Yoga master, T.K.V Desikachar, dies at 78

Yoga master, T.K.V Desikachar, dies at 78

“However powerful and disturbing something may appear to be, it is our reaction to it that determines its effects.”

T.K.V Desikachar

Tirumalai Krishnamacharya Venkata Desikachar, a revered yoga teacher and son of the “Father of Modern Yoga”, Sri Krishnamacharya, died Monday on August 8th, in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.

As a boy, Desikichar, who was born in 1938 in Mysore, was not enthusiastic about following in his father’s footsteps. Legend has it that his father once chased Desikachar up a tree because he refused to do his daily practice. As a young man, he was determined to pursue a career as an engineer. However, in 1961 at the age of 23, he relented and became one of his father’s most devoted followers. 

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Why this doctor practices yoga for 20 minutes every day (and how you can too)

Why this doctor practices yoga for 20 minutes every day (and how you can too)

By Bridie Walsh

Do you follow your own good advice? If you don’t, you’re not alone. General practitioner and psychotherapist, Dr Cathy Fraser, recommended yoga to her patients and yet never found a time to do it herself. Everything changed 18 years ago after a life-changing event. Now she can boast about strong bones and a calm and focused mind.

“It was a particularly stressful time,” says Dr Fraser. “I left my marriage and was living alone when I started regular yoga classes and I haven’t stopped since.”

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Asana: A seat for our minds

Asana: A seat for our minds

By Frank Jesse

 Last year, the net was abuzz with the news: sitting too much is as bad for our health as smoking. A study conducted at Queen’s University Belfast and published last year found prolonged sitting is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and an early death. 

The news went viral last year, which isn’t surprising; it’s an extraordinary idea when you think about it. 

It caught my attention because there is strong relationship between yoga and sitting. The Sanskrit word, asana, means seat, for example.  

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Iyengar’s daughter Geeta will build a new yoga institute in Bellur, India

Iyengar’s daughter Geeta will build a new yoga institute in Bellur, India

 

Via Pune Mirror

On the recent anniversary of Guruji Mr BKS Iyengar’s death his daughter Geeta announced a new school would be opened in his home town and birthplace in Bellur in Bangalore, India.

Iyengar’s first institute is in Pune, India. Mayuri Phadnis in the Pune Mirror reports: “The foundation stone of the building had already been laid in the yoga guru's presence in May last year. The institute in Bellur will be completed by the end of this year.”

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Standing up for Tadasana

Standing up for Tadasana


"Asana is perfect firmness of body, steadiness of intelligence and benevolence of spirit," wrote B.K.S Iyengar in his interpretation of the yoga sutras (Sthiram sukham asanam—Yoga Sutras II:46)  Tadasana is a posture that encourages us to be steady, and to learn and experience these qualities.  The value of neutral Our society values speed – we are engaged, in the fast lane, in gear.  In Tadasana our body brought into a neutral position, not moving, not overdoing but engaged and lifted to its full height.  Remarkably, however, I have found few students can perceive their own misalignment in Tadasana. Until they use a wall to build their awareness of standing straight, they slump, tilt or bend backwards when they assume this basic posture.  Tadasana reveals to us the value of understanding neutrality.  Can a mountain balance on a pinhead?  A mountain has a strong, solid base. We would never climb a...
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Hello Happy Hips

Hello Happy Hips


  By Frank Jesse Let me start with an upfront declaration – you are not about to read “ 9 Poses Your Hips Need Now ” or “ The 5 best  poses to open up tight hips ”. In fact, when my students suggest to me that I need to teach “a whole class on hips”, I am completely perplexed. Why? Because every class I teach is a whole class on hips! Hips are right there in the middle of our bodies; every pose, from Tadasana (Mountain Pose) to Trikonasana (Triangle Pose), is a hip pose. Of course, I understand what people mean when they ask me for a class dedicated to hips – they are thinking of leg stretches, cross legs, Padmasama (Lotus), Supta Padangustasana (reclining big toe pose),Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I) and Virabhadrasana II (Warrior Pose II). Many people believe that they have stiff hips and that their...
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Yogis take on The Grampians’ biggest event: The Serra Terror 80km team challenge

Yogis take on The Grampians’ biggest event: The Serra Terror 80km team challenge

By Bridie Walsh

Senior Iyengar Yoga instructor Frank Jesse will tackle the 80km Serra Terror endurance event in The Grampians this June long weekend.

Frank joins a team of eight named Dutch Courage. They are one of 46 teams including The Blister Sisters, Chasing the Dream, and No Man’s Feet who will take on the tough mountainous terrain. The event has attracted 300 people from around Australia.

“Applications closed early because we reached our cap,” says event organiser Keri Ross. The Serra Terror committee fielded enquiries from overseas, she says. The two-day event, now in its sixth year, is a fundraiser for the Dunkeld Community Centre.

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Practicing yoga through the blues

Practicing yoga through the blues

By Frank Jesse

It’s when the chips are down – emotionally or physically – that we can truly start to understand all that Iyengar yoga has to offer.

Practicing yoga when we feel exhilarated, relaxed and on top of life’s demands is a great feeling. It enhances all that is good in our lives.

But what about when life strikes a blow? When we get an injury or an illness, we are beset by sorrow or turbulence, or sheer exhaustion, then getting ourselves onto our mat can seem like a very big step.

It’s in these moments, however, that I have found yoga provides a bridge back to balance.

Just the act of practicing postures, even for a short time, can provide a sense of self-nurture and self-esteem.

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The healing power of nature: Dunkeld’s award-winning Bush Kinder program

The healing power of nature: Dunkeld’s award-winning Bush Kinder program

By Bridie Walsh

Once a fortnight, Dunkeld kindergarten teacher, Debbi Millard, and the other kinder staff take 20 four-year-olds to a location in the nearby Grampian ranges for a “bush experience”. 

“Nature is known to create a sense of calm,” says Millard, who is also a member of The Grampians Advisory Board, and an advocate of the Bush Kinder program. 

The three-hour session looks like child’s play, but it offers so much more. Starting at the base of Mount Piccaninny in the Southern Grampians, just a kilometre from Griffins Hill yoga retreat, the children climb trees, engage in dramatic play, discover nature and go on bush walks. 

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Yoga props an Iyengar yoga inovation

Yoga props an Iyengar yoga inovation

By Frank Jesse

It’s not surprising that Iyengar yoga is known for its use of props such as blankets, block and bolsters. Using such props was one of many innovations Mr Iyengar bought to yoga practice. Using props is intrinsic to this system of yoga. However, the reasons for their use are often misunderstood.

Some students, especially those used to flowing styles of yoga, believe that props are hindrance to their practices. However Mr Iyengar developed their use to help studentsb2ap3_thumbnail_Yoga-props-blocks-chair-blankets-foam-pad-sandbags-benches-and-ropes.jpg move more carefully into the pose without undue risk.

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Recent Comments
paul_ais
I have the opportunity to use props in my practice and in my classes. What a wonderful way to be supported on the journey to self ... Read More
Thursday, 26 February 2015 05:15
paul_ais
Thought I better turn Ustrasana photo right way up - till I realised ! Going to the studio to practice it now
Thursday, 14 May 2015 11:47
paul_ais
Thought I better turn Ustrasana photo right way up - till I realised ! Going to the studio to practice it now
Thursday, 14 May 2015 11:47
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Family of four make Dunkeld tree-change to run The General Store

Family of four make Dunkeld tree-change to run The General Store

By Bridie Walsh

New owners of the Dunkeld General Store, Melissa and Adrian Field, opted for a tree-change when they moved from seaside Jan Juc to Dunkeld in January this year. Locally sourced produce and your everyday grocery needs are available for purchase with the addition of brewed coffeeon the new coffee machine. 

“We wanted to give the community and tourists a little hub where they can find almost anything and everything they need,” says Melissa Field, who stocks Schultz organic milk and yoghurt (Timboon), Istra Meats (Daylesford) and Melbourne-based Philippa’s bakery produce. 

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Yoga minister appointed in India

Yoga minister appointed in India

India now has a yoga minister, thanks to Narendra Modi the countries’ Prime Minister.

The Hindu nationalist, vegetarian and long-time yoga practitioner, Modi has appointed the new minister to promote Ayurveda, yoga, naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and homeopathy in his portfolio. He has also asked the United Nations to consider creating an international yoga day reports ABC News.

EU President Herman Von Rompuy supports Modi’s initiative for a Yoga Day. There are 50 countries, including China, Canada and the United States, who have signed a draft resolution for Yoga Day pencilled in for June 21.

In September, during a Prime Ministerial visit to India, Modi presented Tony Abbot with a book on yoga.

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Iyengar Yoga: Beyond the physical

Iyengar Yoga: Beyond the physical

By Frank Jesse

Iyengar yoga is very much a physical practice, and Mr Iyengar was sometimes accused of his approach to yoga being “only physical”. Critics of Mr Iyengar wanted him to include more meditation.

I believe it is important to address this question, as did Mr Iyengar, and to look more deeply into the possibilities and limitations, if any, of the practice of Iyengar yoga.

Mr Iyengar was very clear that in his view: yoga is meditation, he says, if we apply ourselves correctly. In other words, the spiritual side of yoga is inseparable from the physical postures.

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Recent Comments
paul_ais
A great informative article about yoga Frank and great photos of you and Jane in the caves, thank you.
Thursday, 06 November 2014 21:50
paul_ais
Hi Frank, Jane and readers, Just wondering if you seen this documentary? https://www.theconnection.tv/ It talks about the mind-bo... Read More
Sunday, 09 November 2014 10:18
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