Mount Abrupt- The Grampians

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.

Continue reading
2056 Hits
0 Comments
Featured

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.  

Continue reading
2530 Hits
0 Comments

Clifton Hill Yoga Studio celebrates 20 years of Iyengar

Clifton Hill Yoga Studio celebrates 20 years of Iyengar

By Bridie Walsh

If you’ve “downward dogged” in the light and airy Clifton Hill Yoga Studio, you will be surprised to hear that it had pink walls, chocolate brown trim, blacked-out windows and a stained red carpet before its metamorphosis.

Melbourne’s Iyengar yoga legacy has roots in the formidable Queens Parade building that Frank Jesse and Jane Gibb transformed into a studio in 1995. The studio brought Iyengar yoga to the forefront of practice in Melbourne, establishing teacher training, prenatal classes, yoga therapy and a focus on intermediate and advanced levels.

Alan and Archer Talbot purchased the studio in 2007, when Frank and Jane purchased Griffins Hill Yoga Retreat in Dunkeld, at the foot of The Grampians. The Clifton Hill studio, now celebrating its 20th year, remains at the forefront of Iyengar yoga in Australia.

Continue reading
6275 Hits
0 Comments
Featured

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.

Continue reading
5174 Hits
0 Comments
Featured

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.

Continue reading
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
9180 Hits
3 Comments

Why Christina McCallum takes her family on a yoga retreat

Why Christina McCallum takes her family on a yoga retreat

By Bridie Walsh

The Blackwood-tree-lined driveway of Griffins Hill is a welcome sight for published poet and avid photographer, Christina McCallum, who visits the retreat at least twice a year. “It’s a place that allows all sorts of space. Creating space is something Frank talks about a lot,” she says.

Hidden scars, new starts

The rocky outcrop on Mt Sturgeon particularly fascinates Christina. It’s the subject of a poem she is working on. 

“It has an abruptly rising escarpment,” she says. “I can see it from the bedroom I stay in. It’s like a scar.”

Some years ago, after heavy rain there was a landslide at Mt Sturgeon. “I was shocked that such a solid mountain lost a part of itself.”

The incident parallels her life. 

Continue reading
10439 Hits
0 Comments
Featured

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.

Continue reading
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
6550 Hits
2 Comments
Featured

Viparita Dandasana: inverted staff pose

Viparita Dandasana: inverted staff pose

By frank Jesse

Some poses, such as Viparita Dandasana (inverted staff pose), can seem very hard to achieve. This week, Franks shows you how to take it step by step, starting with a supported version until you have the strength and flexibility to achieve the full pose.

The goal of yoga is not beyond anyone’s reach.

Continue reading
4103 Hits
0 Comments

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.

Continue reading
2512 Hits
0 Comments
Featured

Strength and flexibility: Are Pilates and Yoga comparable

Strength and flexibility: Are Pilates and Yoga comparable

By Frank Jesse

Many people ask me about the practice of Pilates, whether it is compatible or comparable with Iyengar yoga, and does yoga build core strength, a buzz word that now seems to pervade the fitness industry.

Pilates is a physical fitness system, developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates. He created it to help soldiers injured in the First World War to regain their health by strengthening, stretching, and stabilising key muscles.

Pilates has a focus on ‘the core’, which the Pilates Fitness Institute describes as the ‘powerhouse’ of your body. They describe the core as the area between your shoulders and your pelvis (without your arms and legs), encompassing all the muscles within this area. Specifically, Pilates exercises focus on the transverse abdominis (front and side stomach muscles), pelvic floor (controlling bladder and bowel) and multifidus muscles (back muscles).  

Continue reading
Recent Comments
paul_ais
Convinced me, Frank. The physical stuff arises out of the shutdown of mind chatter when poses arre done correctly.
Monday, 29 September 2014 07:43
paul_ais
How did you conclude Pilates is more concerned with appearance? have you ever seen the cover of any yoga magazine???
Saturday, 14 March 2015 09:01
6998 Hits
2 Comments
Featured

Savasana: a much misunderstood yoga pose

Savasana: a much misunderstood yoga pose

By Frank Jesse

 

Savasana (corpse pose) is a much misunderstood yoga pose. It is usually the last pose in our Iyengar yoga practice or class and, while many students look forward to lying down and relaxing their muscles in Savasana, especially after a demanding asana session, others don’t understand its purpose. Some prefer to skip Savasana, or make it as short as possible. 

While Savasana requires no physical effort it can be one of the most difficult yoga poses to master. Students will find that they either fall asleep, go into a dreamy state or otherwise find their mind thinking and planning for such mundane things as the grocery shopping, or worrying about work.

Continue reading
Recent comment in this post
paul_ais
Hi Frank I have some students that regularly skip savasana and sometimes it is easy to say "I don't have time", but I agree with y... Read More
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 06:43
21039 Hits
1 Comment
Featured

The philosophy and practice of working from the base in Iyengar yoga

The philosophy and practice of working from the base in Iyengar yoga

By Frank Jesse

Iyengar yoga is a practice that will help “ground”you, physically, emotionally and mentally. One of the ways that we achieve that sense of being grounded -- slowing down, being more focused, and becoming more aware of what is most important to us on a day-to-day level –is to return constantly to working from the base of our pose.

The base of a yoga asana changes according to the pose. In Tadasana (mountain pose), the base is your feet. In Sirsasana (headstand), it is the head, forearms and wrists. In Savasana (corpse pose), it’s a bit less clear because the whole body is on the ground, but we can focus on the parts that are touching our mat to align ourselves correctly.

Continue reading
20732 Hits
0 Comments

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.

Continue reading
4827 Hits
0 Comments

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...
Continue reading
Recent comment in this post
paul_ais
Downward facing dog and spatchcocked dog!
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 10:55
8596 Hits
1 Comment

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...
Continue reading
4335 Hits
0 Comments

Online Booking

 

Book Here

We will contact you with further information.

Contact Us

mail icon   info(at)griffinshill.com.au

phone icon  or telephone Griffins Hill on
  6 13 55772499 | 0414 382 753

 

Receive Our News

Receive monthly news including yoga articles, information about up coming Yoga retreats, workshops and courses

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWLETTER

Newsletter Subscription