Mount Abrupt- The Grampians

Griffins Hill Retreat yoga and food blog

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

Dunkeld Memorial Hall: new life

Dunkeld Memorial Hall: new life

By Bridie Walsh

Dunkeld Memorial Hall has been brought back to life as a community centre. Six years in the making, with a sub-committee under the Public Lands Council forming in 2008 for the crown-held property redevelopment, just opened Sunday, 2 November 2014 to celebrate the building completion.

Originally built in the late 1800s, the hall served as a library and a mechanics’ institute. In the ’50s and ’60s the centre had a stage, kitchen and supper room added. When the historic façade was replaced by a typical ’60s brick wall, many in the community were horrified.“That’s how it remained for the next 40-plus years,” says Mary-Ann Brown, chairperson of the Dunkeld Community Centre Committee. “About 10 years ago an off-and-on-again discussion about a multi-purpose facility in Dunkeld began.”

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paul_ais
Thank you very much for the information about the terrific New Community Hall and a good photo of the three locals: Heather McInty... Read More
Friday, 07 November 2014 08:31
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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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paul_ais
A great informative article about yoga Frank and great photos of you and Jane in the caves, thank you.
Friday, 07 November 2014 08:50
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 21:18
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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.

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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).  

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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 17:43
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 20:01
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My thoughts on the passing of BKS Iyengar, founder of the Iyengar School of yoga

My thoughts on the passing of BKS Iyengar, founder of the Iyengar School of yoga

By Frank Jesse

When someone we feel very close to passes away it is often very hard to accept, no matter how well we are prepared.

When Guruji* left his body at the age of 95 I think all in the Iyengar community were in shock. We had hoped and expected that he would live on a few more years and still impart more wisdom for us tob2ap3_thumbnail_BKS-Iyengar-1.jpg absorb and ponder on. We had, almost unwittingly, elevated him to an almost godlike status, but what we loved most about Guruji were his real human qualities.

Guruji totally disdained the idea of being thought of anything but an ordinary man. He was that, but one with an extraordinary insight into our human nature and a thorough understanding of the body and mind gained through his dedicated and uninterrupted daily practice of yoga. 

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paul_ais
Hi Frank I was at CHYS on the weekend and remembering the very first time is stepped in there for a class with you. I think it wa... Read More
Monday, 01 September 2014 13:01
paul_ais
Dear Frank, what a lovely piece. I am always impressed by the generosity with which you share in your articles in terms of insight... Read More
Monday, 01 September 2014 21:15
paul_ais
Thanks, Frank for this personal and practical tribute.
Monday, 01 September 2014 22:20
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Song of the soul : I am neither ego nor reason

Song of the soul : I am neither ego nor reason

Song of the Soul, by Shankaracharya

I am neither ego nor reason, I am neither mind nor thought,
I cannot be heard nor cast into words, nor by smell nor sight ever
caught:
In light and wind I am not found, nor yet in earth and sky -
Consciousness and joy incarnate, Bliss of the Blissful am I.

I have no name, I have no life, I breathe no vital air,
No elements have molded me, no bodily sheath is my lair:
I have no speech, no hands and feet, nor means of evolution -
Consciousness and joy am I, and Bliss in dissolution.

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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.

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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 16:43
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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.

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Sold out: 2014 BKS Iyengar Yoga Convention

Sold out: 2014 BKS Iyengar Yoga Convention

The 2014 National BKS Iyengar Yoga Convention, from 5 – 7 September in Melbourne, is sold out!

With 13 of Australia’s 27 Senior Iyengar Teachers offering classes as part of the program – including Griffins Hill’s Frank Jesse – convention tickets got snapped up months ahead of the event.

The convention is put on by the BKS Iyengar Yoga Association of Australia, the official accreditation body for Iyengar yoga teachers.

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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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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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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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Home Practice: The benefits of not doing

Home Practice: The benefits of not doing
Supta Baddha Konasana
Setu Bandha Sravangasana
Viparita Karani
Savasana
Supta Baddha Konasana
Supta Virasana
Adho Mukha Svanasana
rope Sirsasana
Chair Sirsasana
Ardha Halasana
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Viparita Karani
Savasana
Savasana
0 0 1 234 1335 Griffins Hill Retreat 11 3 1566 14.0 544x376 Normal 0 false false false EN-AU 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";}   By Frank Jesse A lot of people tell me they dislike pranayama (breathing) and restorative classes. They’d rather be doing active classes full of dynamic poses. But there is a lot of benefit to not doing, and just being.  We do so much in our busy lives! I’m not quite sure why people want their yoga classes to be always actively challenging as well. Of course, when we are doing poses actively, it can be easier to focus and to still the mind – which is the main purpose of yoga. However  when we are asked watch our breath or do poses with a lot of...
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paul_ais
Rest, restore & receive...This sequence is an instant energy tonic...OM OM OM...
Wednesday, 15 January 2014 22:46
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