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Griffins Hill Retreat yoga and food blog

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

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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Can yoga make you look younger?

Can yoga make you look younger?

Via Huffington Post

Yoga could be the next new ‘antioxidant’ says Marylin Wei, founder of yogahealthtoday.com. Antioxidants on the skin play a role in reducing the appearance of wrinkles.

The July 2015 Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine study found 12 weeks of yoga raises the level of natural antioxidants in the body. The research showed evidence the immune system is strengthened too.

Antioxidants help the body eliminate free radicals. Free radicals are pollutants in the body that can be linked to heart disease and cancer.

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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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Discover the body, mind, union of yoga: Cinnamon Evans’ story

Discover the body, mind, union of yoga: Cinnamon Evans’ story

By Bridie Walsh

After 20 years of Iyengar practice, Cinnamon Evans finds yoga stills a ‘mindy noise’ – the mental chatter you have before you get to class.

Luck brought her to Maghie Mills Iyengar School in Brunswick . (Mills had studied alongside Griffins Hill’s Frank Jesse.) She was working at Melbourne’s environmental park CERES, in Brunswick East, where she’s been for 23 years. She’s now CEO.

She still laughs about the first time she twisted her words when speaking with her partner. Mindy noise became their inside joke. But the mental emotional wellbeing, stress management, and meditation have uncovered another treasure: the idea of union.

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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.

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Beat the winter chill with my spicy chickpea soup

Beat the winter chill with my spicy chickpea soup

By Jane Gibb

Nothing beats a hearty soup in winter for dinner or lunch.  My spicy chickpea is very simple to cook and it will keep you deliciously full.

You might be surprised to learn that Australia is the second largest producer of chickpeas in the world. So you are guaranteed to find local Aussie produce for this dish.

Chickpeas are good for us and tasty as well. They are a great source of protein and dietary fibre. They are a good source of manganese and iron – both essential for healthy bodies. Plus they have low GI – great for stabilising blood sugar levels. Chickpeas get the healthy heart tick as they lower bad cholesterol.

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Celebrate International Yoga Day Sunday 21 June

Celebrate International Yoga Day Sunday 21 June

By Bridie Walsh

Roll out your mat to join thousands around the world to celebrate International Yoga Day on Sunday 21 June 2015.

Geeta Iyengar, Mr BKS Iyengar’s daughter and director of Ramamani Iyengar Yoga Institute in India recommends a series of Asana and Pranayama sequences. She says that the special day, inaugurated by the United Nations (UN), will create awareness and improve people’s wellbeing.

The 32 recommended poses can be practiced as a single program or merged with your own.

India’s Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi who appointed a minister of yoga also advocated for international recognition of yoga. He says, “Official recognition by the UN will further spread the benefit of yoga to the entire world”.

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Yoga helps you sleep

Yoga helps you sleep
Via Psychology Today An eight-week evaluation of 20 people’s sleep habits showed that yoga can improve aspects of sleep. It’s good news for people who suffer chronic insomnia. Clinical psychologist and sleep specialist Michael Breus reported on the research by Harvard Medical School that investigated how daily yoga affects the quality and quantity of sleep. The preliminary study results showed improvements in sleep efficiency, total sleep time, total wake time, the amount of time it takes to get to sleep and the wake time after sleep onset. Insomnia is not only a symptom of other illnesses (cancer, chronic pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, depression) it can be a related cause. “Insomnia is associated with high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems,” reports Breus. “Insomnia is also associated with inflammation in the body, which is itself a risk factor for heart problems and other serious illnesses.” The analysis evaluated participant’s sleep diaries to
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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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Is Yoga Evil

Is Yoga Evil

A landmark court ruling in California USA is set to reignite debate among Christian communities about whether yoga is leading Christians down the path of evil, according to a report in India news site, Matters India.

The Californian appeals court ruled that yoga is secular, and can be taught in schools, much to the consternation of Christian parents of a coastal beach city of Encinitas, in San Diego County,who brought the case that their kids’ yoga classes were promoting Hinduism and Buddhism.

Wading into the debate, Iyengar yoga teacher and Catholic priest, Father Joe Pereira, says the furore is the work of a small group of extreme fundamentalists, whom he describes as “God addicts”.

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Shifting balance

Shifting balance

By Kimina Lyall

I think “work-life balance” is a strange term. For starters, it implies we are not living at work. Secondly, it suggests that balance is an ultimate goal (of what – life or work?). Thirdly, it implies that one requires an equal amount of work and life in order to get that balance. Presumably under this formula one must “work” half the time? Does that include sleep? Or is sleep outside of life, too? How much time must one spend calculating if the balance is right?

I’m being silly, I know. It’s just a term. It means different things to different people. But I do know that for me, balance is far from restful. In fact, as most of my yoga practice has taught me, balance is bloody hard work. In all its yoga forms – be it on arms, legs, or pelvis – balance is ever-elusive and often momentary.

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New research proves yoga reduces the perception of pain

New research proves yoga reduces the perception of pain

 

Via gizmag.com

People who practice yoga have stronger and sturdier brain networks according to new research by Maastricht University in the Netherlands. This contributes to better managing the sensation of pain, says PhD student Tim Gard.

“Yoga and meditation can positively influence our brains and our psyches, and thus can lead to increased wellbeing,” he says.

An fMRI scan was used to measure the test and control groups who were administered an electric shock on the forearm to cause pain. The pain perception of mindfulness and yoga practitioners was reduced by 22 percent and their anticipatory anxiety was reduced by 29 percent during a mindful state compared to the control group, who were equally healthy but did not practice yoga or meditation.

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What the carrot crisis taught us: How to preserve an oversupply of vegetables

What the carrot crisis taught us: How to preserve an oversupply of vegetables

By Jane Gibb

There was a carrot crisis earlier this year at Griffins Hill Yoga Retreat. Clara, our resident Cardigan corgi, joined us for an overnight holiday in Melbourne, which meant she was absent from her vegetable garden minding duties.

Of course the wallabies, as smart as they are, took full advantage of the unguarded garden. In just one night they ate all the greens from the carrots. By this stage the carrots were almost fully developed so we had no choice but to harvest them. Bucket loads of carrotsClara goes on holiday were gathered and washed by Mayuka the diligent WWOOFer (willing worker on an organic farm).

The question was: what do we do with all these carrots?

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