Iyengar Yoga Retreats and Food
Our retreat is designed to immerse you in yoga, nutritious food, nature, beauty and a community of like-minded people.
Griffins Hill Retreat is beautifully designed (by a gifted architect) to make the most of the spectacular surroundings: the mountains of the Southern Grampians, the six-acres of landscaped and edible garden, and the birds and animals that visit us every day.
Griffins Hill provides a distraction-free escape from your day to day pressures. Here, you can relax and mix with others in casual comfort.
Between exquisite meals and wonderful yoga workshops, we invite you to explore the beautiful bushland walks around us, and visit the delightful cafes and shops nearby.
About Frank Jesse
Frank teaches all the classes at Griffins Hill Yoga Retreat. He is one of the very few Iyengar teachers in Australia to attain Senior Teacher status, which is the highest designation awarded by the accreditation body, Iyengar Yoga Australia.
Frank has spent more than 40,000 hours teaching and practising yoga for the past 27 years and has attended classes run by the founding master of Iyengar yoga, Mr BKS Iyengar, at his school in Pune, India.
Frank began yoga to recover from injuring his back while building a mud-brick house for his parents in the Yarra Valley. He immediately fell in love with the practice that held such power for health and happiness and began training as a teacher.
In 1995, Frank started Clifton Hill Yoga Studio, building it into the highly successful Iyengar yoga school that it remains today. Many Iyengar teachers practising today learned from Frank at his Clifton Hill studio, which helped to spread Iyengar yoga across Melbourne and interstate.
In 2009, Frank moved to Dunkeld to start Griffins Hill Yoga Retreat. His dream, now realised, was to provide a full program of yoga and delicious organic vegetarian fare, mostly homegrown, and to share the spectacular local bushland and surroundings with guests.
Frank is renowned for his warm and humorous teaching style and his ability to cater to the differing needs of individual students, who range widely in age (up to 80) and experience with yoga.
A story from Frank
"Building a mud brick house changed my life. My parents purchased a bush block in the Yarra Valley back in the '70s. I was a teenager, and my brothers, sisters Mum and Dad all set about building this massive three-story house out of mud bricks all individually made. I didn’t realise at the time, but this experience shaped my attitude to life. Later, when I first started to practice yoga, I realised that becoming a yoga teacher was the same sort of journey. We built that house one brick at a time. I built my yoga practice one pose, one muscle at a time. I learned to love big projects–like starting Griffins Hill Yoga Retreat–and to enjoy working slowly over a long period of time, little by little, to create something really worthwhile."
CONNECTING FOOD AND SPIRIT ...
At Griffin Hill, we are invited to eat naturally. Both body and spirit are nourished and enlivened by nature's gifts and the respectful work of the hands that prepared them for us.
David Green, a retired academic who is a regular guest at Griffins Hill Yoga Retreat.
Read more testimonials here
Griffins Hill Yoga Retreat in the media
The Age Traveller: Om to a good thing
The Age: Class Action
The Australian: Good Food Hunting
Australian Yoga Journal: Bush Beauty
Yoga is one of the world’s oldest systems of personal development. Evolved over thousands of years, yoga teaches us how to live in harmony with ourselves and our environment. Iyengar yoga is a safe and systematic method that guides individuals according to their capacity. It was developed from the lifelong practice and study by its founder, Its founder, Yogacharya BKS Iyengar. Born in India, BKS Iyenga became internationally acclaimed over many decades of practice, teaching and writing about yoga.
In Iyengar yoga, we use props–such as blocks, belts and bolsters–to achieve correct alignment. This makes it suitable for all ages. In Iyengar yoga, we use props in several ways: to make the posture more accessible, to improve our understanding of yoga, and sometimes to add another level of challenge.
In Iyengar yoga, the asanas (postures) and pranayama (breath control) are not mere exercises to develop our physical body and lung capacity. They are taught and practised with precision and awareness to evolve every level of our being and considered of utmost importance in the development of our yoga sadhana (path).
The high standards demanded of Iyengar yoga teachers is what distinguishes this school of yoga. Iyengar Yoga Australia accredits Australian Iyengar yoga teachers. They must have at least three years of yoga practice to be accepted to start training. To qualify as a teacher, they must attend a minimum of 400 hours of training and maintain a regular personal practice. This qualifies Iyengar teachers to train people of all ages and abilities in the art and practice of yoga.
“When your body, mind and soul are healthy and harmonious, you will bring health and harmony to those around you and health and harmony to the world not by withdrawing from the world but by being a healthy living organ of the body of humanity”. ~ BKS Iyengar