Griffins Hill Retreat yoga and food blog

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

Discovering our true nature 
through mindful yoga practice

Padmasana---Mount-Abrupt-min

We all have our favourite yoga poses, don't we? But how many of us make a favourite of a particularly challenging posture, one that makes us feel uncomfortable, uncertain and, well, not very good at yoga?Making friends with the postures that are difficult for us to do is an integral part of yoga because it delivers us straight to the heart of the r...

Continue reading
4109 Hits
0 Comments

Yoga asanas -- Starting a home practice -- a step along your Yoga Sadhana (yoga path)

Adho-Mukha-Svanasana

By Frank Jesse Over 1700 years ago, the ancient Indian sage, Patanjali, listed the obstacles or impediments to developing a regular yoga practice in the yoga sutras, sutra 1.28: "disease, inertia, doubt, heedlessness, laziness, indiscipline of the senses, erroneous views, lack of perseverance and backsliding." Not much has changed. For a beginner s...

Continue reading
2708 Hits
0 Comments

Why every yogi must take care of the environment By Frank Jesse

19-01-03_GH_314_HR

Like most people, I became a yoga teacher because I love the practice. I love its impact on my physical and mental health and the way it benefits my students. I still love that. However, I have become more and more aware of the need to include care of the environment in the way we manage our retreat here at Griffins Hill. We have always done that, ...

Continue reading
7366 Hits
1 Comment

Exploring the other side of yourself with backbends By Frank Jesse

Frank-Jesse-Backbend

As a group of poses, backbends seem to stir strong emotions. Some people absolutely love them. For others, a class focusing on backbends triggers fear and uncertainty. With preparation and guidance, backbends are uplifting and energising. They give us back the energy we put into them, leaving us feeling invigorated and happy. " ….. emotionally ther...

Continue reading
8942 Hits
1 Comment

A hidden problem: Men’s pelvic floor

180418_GHretreat_94_20180904-022946_1

Women often report pelvic floor problems after childbirth. But men have a pelvic floor too (of course) and sometimes it needs special attention in yoga.   My friend John, a regular guest at Griffins Hill, was diagnosed with prostate cancer shortly after his Easter holidays a year or two ago. John's a private person, but he kindly agreed for me...

Continue reading
14501 Hits
1 Comment

Meet Tiger Lily, an Eastern Grey Kangaroo, who made Griffins Hill Yoga Retreat her home

Meert-Tiger-Lilly-at-Griffins-Hill-Retreat-1

It's time for morning oats. Our resident kangaroo, who we call Tiger Lily, is waiting on the lawn outside the yoga studio for her breakfast treat.

It's a peaceful scene to wake up to–this relaxed little kangaroo lounging on the lawn with the mountains behind her. I say 'little' because Tiger Lily is a small Eastern Grey Kangaroo, who has lived at our home here at Griffins Hill Yoga Retreat since she was about eight months old.

Continue reading
5769 Hits
0 Comments

The tricky question of the shoulder blades

Shoulder-blades

A question that regularly comes up in class regards where to position the shoulder blades when the arms are raised over the head. Students are often unclear what to do with their shoulder blades and mistakenly believe that they should pull them down to free up the neck. As a teacher, I observe that the common instruction to pull the shoulder blades...

Continue reading
16031 Hits
0 Comments

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
6634 Hits
0 Comments

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.”

Continue reading
8776 Hits
0 Comments

Asana: A seat for our minds

Frank-Jesse-in-Padmasan_20160815-004125_1

In 2015, 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 early death. 

Continue reading
9465 Hits
0 Comments

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.”

Continue reading
7316 Hits
0 Comments

Standing up for Tadasana

Tadasana Mountain pose

"Asana is perfect firmness of body, steadiness of intelligence and benevolence of spirit," wrote B.K.S Iyengar in his interpretation of the yoga sutras (Sthiram sukham asanam—Yoga Sutras II:46)  Tadasana is a posture that encourages us to be steady, and to learn and experience these qualities.  The value of neutral Our society values speed – we are engaged, in the fast lane, in gear.  In Tadasana our body brought into a neutral position, not moving, not overdoing but engaged and lifted to its full height.  Remarkably, however, I have found few students can perceive their own misalignment in Tadasana. Until they use a wall to build their awareness of standing straight, they slump, tilt or bend backwards when they assume this basic posture.  Tadasana reveals to us the value of understanding neutrality.  Can a mountain balance on a pinhead?  A mountain has a strong, solid base. We would never climb a mountain...

Continue reading
11630 Hits
0 Comments

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.

Continue reading
9245 Hits
0 Comments

Hello Happy Hips

Hello Happy Hips

By Frank Jesse Let me start with an upfront declaration – you are not about to read “9 Poses Your Hips Need Now” or “The 5 best  poses to open up tight hips”. In fact, when my students suggest to me that I need to teach “a whole class on hips”, I am completely perplexed. Why? Because every class I teach is a whole class on hips! Hips are right there in the middle of our bodies; every pose, from Tadasana (Mountain Pose) to Trikonasana (Triangle Pose), is a hip pose. Of course, I understand what people mean when they ask me for a class dedicated to hips – they are thinking of leg stretches, cross legs, Padmasama (Lotus), Supta Padangustasana (reclining big toe pose),Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I) and Virabhadrasana II (Warrior Pose II). Many people believe that they have stiff hips and that their hips restrict them from making progress...

Continue reading
9410 Hits
0 Comments

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 find...

Continue reading
6130 Hits
0 Comments