Griffins Hill Retreat yoga and food blog

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

Yoga retreat Dunkeld; a poem for you

Yoga retreat Dunkeld; a poem for you

By Cecilia Morris

Yoga Retreat Dunkeld

sky cups bare and pointed mountains

sun sups on earth

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Are you ready to do a handstand?

Are you ready to do a handstand?

 

By Frank Jesse

The handstand, or Adho Mukha Vrksasana (downward-facing tree pose), can be quite a scary and challenging pose for an inexperienced student. But this pose is also exhilarating and has many health benefits if approached and learnt with thorough preparation and attention. Among the many benefits are improved circulation, respiration, concentration and mental clarity. Through weight bearing, it helps to strengthen the bones of the wrists, fingers, elbows, arms and shoulders.

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Orient to the journey

Orient to the journey

Orient to the journey ...

The other day I found myself you-tubing instructions for learning how to free handstand. On the one hand, it was astounding that I was even thinking a free handstand would be within reach for me. On closer inspection, it demonstrated that I had lost the yoga plot.

Let me rewind for a bit. When I first started practicing yoga, I had little ambition for my own physicality, preferring to reside almost exclusively in my busy mind. It was a little over ten years ago, I was living a crazy life as a foreign correspondent based in Bangkok, driven by deadlines, competition and sheer determination to succeed. 

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Taking yoga on the journey of life

Taking yoga on the journey of life

Jenny Green, 71, is just weeks away from embarking on a 270km walk along the hills of Massif Central in southern France – named the Robert Louis Stephenson trail after the author who walked it in 1878.

A daily practice of yoga asana and strength-building exercises is part of Green’ preparation for her big walk. “I am going to the gym to build strength, and I tend to finish my gym session with yoga,” Green says. “I think flexibility is a really important part of the walking process.

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Two little-known veggies I love, and why I buy Quinoa from Tasmania

Two little-known veggies I love, and why I buy Quinoa from Tasmania

One of my favourite herbs is the celery plant (Apium Graveolens).

Celery plant is a flowering biennial plant that pre-dates the commonly available cultivated stringless celery varieties.

It makes my life happier in two ways: firstly, I avoid buying commercially produced vegetable stock, which I hate; and secondly I do not have to buy plastic-wrapped celery from the supermarket! In Griffins Hill garden, our celery is a striking plant growing about one metre high with large incised leaves similar to Italian parsley and thick green stems that are somewhat thinner that those of the supermarket varieties

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How long is the ideal yoga retreat

How long is the ideal yoga retreat

How long is the ideal yoga retreat: Two days, five days or seven days?

 

By Frank Jesse 

 

A yoga retreat is a very different experience to yoga classes – even regular ones – both for students and for me as a teacher. 

 

On retreat, students are freed from the distractions of their daily lives. They forget about home, and work. They miss their families, of course, but they can simply focus on themselves while they are here, sharing meals and conversation with the other people on retreat and enjoying the Southern Grampians and organic gardens that surround us.

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Yoga therapist Father Joe Pereira workshop and talk at Clifton Hill Yoga Studio

Yoga therapist Father Joe Pereira workshop and talk at Clifton Hill Yoga Studio

 

Yoga therapist Father Joe Pereira workshop and talk at Clifton Hill Yoga Studio

On April 4-6th, the renowned yoga therapist and addiction recovery specialist, Father Joe Pereira, will give a talk and hold a weekend workshop.

Father Joe, the founder of the Kripa Centres, is a senior Iyengar Yoga Teacher and Catholic Archdiocesan Priest of Mumbai, India. Ordained in 1967, Father Joe started Iyengar Yoga in 1968, and became a certified Iyengar yoga teacher in 1975. He returns to Pune for intensive studies in yoga therapy with BKS Iyengar every year.

Friday evening talk: April 4

Father Joe will give a talk on Friday evening, 4 April between 7:30 – 9:30pm. There’s no need to book for this event.

Yoga workshops: April 5-6

Nothing can replace the presence, the voice, the assurance of one who has walked the path and can show us the way. In this workshop Father Joe will encourage you to develop your own wisdom and practice.

Booking are essential for the yoga weekend – which is $150 for both Saturday and Sunday and $100 for one day only. The timetable is as follows: 

  • Saturday & Sunday 9 – 12noon Asana
  • Saturday & Sunday 1 – 3pm Pranayama

All proceeds raised from the yoga workshop and the evening lecture goes to the Kripa Foundation

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How yoga helps leaders stay on top

How yoga helps leaders stay on top

By Kath Walters

When Chloe Munro walks into the Canberra headquarters of the Clean Energy Regulator she wants to fill its floors with positive energy.

As chief executive, she believes part of her role is to set a high level of energy for her 350 staff to follow – and keep it there.

For the past year, however, that’s been a big ask. Last year, Munro was diagnosed with breast cancer and her treatment involved surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Remarkably, however, Munro managed to keep performing in her full-time leadership role throughout most of the treatment. “I powered through surgery and eight rounds of chemo and it was only right at the very end that the cumulative effects caught up with me,” she says.

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Lift your heart up

Lift your heart up

 By Kimina Lyall 

I hate backbends. They make me anxious. I feel like I can’t breathe, and that something bad is going to happen while I am completely vulnerable and unable to quickly move out of the way. So for many years I have done what any sensible person would do faced with that scenario: grimaced through them in class and avoided them altogether in private practice.

Forward bends, on the other hand, are my friend. I love stretching my body out along my legs, and feel completely at peace and ease in any of the standing poses that involve hanging over my hips.

My favouring can be traced back to my pre-teen life as an aspiring ballerina. In ballet, forward bends are prized, almost as much (but not quite) as turnouts (rotating the leg from the hips to make the knee and foot turn outward).

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Adho Mukha Svanasana – downward facing dog pose

Adho Mukha Svanasana – downward facing dog pose




By Frank Jesse Adho Mukha Svanasana is an incredibly versatile asana. Not only is it an important pose in its own right, it can be used throughout a sequence to link poses or as a preparatory pose. Adho means down, Mukha is face and Svana is dog. The name Adho Mukha Svanasana arises from the pose’s similarity to a dog stretching to wake itself up after a nap. We generally do downward facing dog before inversions because the pose helps prepare the shoulders and arms. As a semi - inversion, the pose also prepares the mind and nervous system for full inversions like Adho Mukha Vrksasana (handstand), Pinca Mayurasana (forearm balance) and Salamba Sirsasana (headstand). Downward facing dog pose provides some of the benefits of a full inversion. Because the head is lower  than the heart the brain is flushed with fresh oxygenated blood, reducing mental fatigue. Adho Mukha Svanasana...
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Between yoga poses

Between yoga poses

  By Frank Jesse Yoga poses began centuries ago as a practice to prepare the mind and body for meditation. Keeping this in mind can help yoga students to overcome a common problem in the early years of their practice – maintaining focus during the transition in and out of yoga asanas. When we start yoga, many of us are unused to focusing on anything for a long period of time – we face many distractions in our day-to-day lives.  Even keeping ourselves focused during a yoga pose can be difficult. However, the teacher’s instructions and the challenge of aligning the body in unfamiliar ways help keep us in the present moment. The instant the teacher says ‘release’, however, students tend to collapse both physically and mentally – the action is over, and so we slump back into our usual distracted state! But yoga is both action and reflection; without...
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BKS Iyengar presented with high award by President of India

BKS Iyengar presented with high award by President of India
BKS Iyengar was recently honoured with the Padma Vibhushan award, the second highest civilian award given by the Republic of India. The award, which was presented by the Indian President, Pranab Kumar Mukherjee, is awarded to recognize exceptional and distinguished service to the nation in any field, including government service. Mr Iyengar, who is 95, founded the Iyengar school of yoga that has millions of followers across the globe. He was once named by TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential persons in the world. Mr Iyengar has received 20 awards, honours and titles over the decades, the first in 1948.   Join over 2,000 of your peers and get fortnightly articles delivered to your in box . Subscribe Here    
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How I tricked myself into daily practice

How I tricked myself into daily practice

By Kimina Lyall What is it about home-alone yoga? I’m a grown-up, right? There are lots of things I can do every day, all by myself. I can eat. Shower. Brush my teeth. Check my emails. Even cuddle the friendly next door cat. These little daily tasks come easily, effortlessly almost, and I achieve them no matter what else is distracting me. But get on my yoga mat? Now there’s a tall order. It seems to be not an unusual one. Lots of my friends, who have been regularly attending yoga classes for many years, admit they still fail in their aim for daily practice. For me, there’s been the usual excuses: I’m so busy, I’m so tired, I wouldn’t know what to practice (after all, there’s so many asanas to choose from!), I don’t have all the props … Every now and then I have managed to get myself...
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How to choose a yoga teacher and avoid injury (or worse)

How to choose a yoga teacher and avoid injury (or worse)

With the founder of hot yoga, Brikram Choudhury facing  six lawsuits  for alleged rape and sexual assault and the American peak yoga body, the Yoga Alliance, fending off  accusations of lax standards , yoga is at a reputational turning point. Should yoga students trust the claims that yoga teachers make about themselves? If not, what are the right questions to ask to make the necessary checks? In years gone by, when there were fewer types of yoga and fewer teachers, imposters were quickly ousted by accredited and long-term yoga teachers. Today, there are 75 different types of yoga represented among the peak body Yoga Australia’s 2,500 members. In addition to the traditions of Iyengar yoga (taught at Griffins Hill) and Hatha yoga, many new arms of yoga have emerged in recent years including Dru, Bikram, anti-gravity, shadow, Gita, Ashtanga, vinyasa, pre-natal yoga, Kundalini, Anusara to name just a few. One of the latest entries,  Power...
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The flexible farmer

The flexible farmer

0 0 1 532 3039 Griffins Hill Retreat 25 7 3564 14.0 Normal 0 false false false EN-IN JA X-NONE /* Style Definitions */table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:EN-IN;} 0 0 1 523 2987 Griffins Hill Retreat 24 7 3503 14.0 By Kath Walters Three years ago, sheep farmer Colin Agar started coming to yoga classes. The family has owned a property near Penshurst, about 30 kms from Dunkeld, for 150 years, which Colin runs with his two brothers, his daughter, his niece and her husband Colin was starting to feel the tough, physical work of sheep farming more and more.   The Agar’s run between 15,000 and 18,000 head of sheep. “The work fluctuates through the year from heavy to very light,” Colin says. “The heavy work is during the shearing, crutching and lamb “marking”...
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