Griffins Hill Retreat yoga and food blog

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

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 student, and even some more experienced students, starting a home practice can be a challenge -- not knowing where or how to begin.

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What is Iyengar Yoga? by Kimina Lyall

Iyengar Yoga Props

What is Iyengar Yoga?

You know you are in an Iyengar Yoga studio by the blankets. There is a pile of them. They are stacked in the studio on a shelf that is the precise size the shelf needs to be to hold the stack of blankets. Each blanket is folded the same way, neat side out. Usually, there is a small sign or notice near the stack explaining the right way to fold the blankets and politely asking you to comply. 

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

Early morning view of Mount Abrupt

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, but it feels more urgent than ever before. And all the guidance we need to take is contained in the Yoga Sutra, written by the sage Patanjali at least 1700 years ago.

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Guest — Jan watson
Beautifully written. I have lived on organic fruit farm for 17 years, have solar power and love how you have related the sutras to... Read More
Wednesday, 28 August 2019 08:56
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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 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 real purpose of yoga: awareness or mindfulness. When we favour a particular pose of type of asana, we create an imbalance in our bodies and minds.
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Kookaburras nest in our old gum tree By Jane Gibb

P819195_20181224-050501_1 Classic kookaburra sitting

Down in the lower northern end of our retreat is a very old gum tree, probably 400 years old, according to local environmentalists! It's rare to see such an old gum tree away from the banks of the rivers, so she's a tough old girl.

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Exploring the other side of yourself with backbends By Frank Jesse

Frank-Jesse- King Pigeon Pose Frank Jesse : Eka Pada Rajakapotasana

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. 

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Guest — Jenny
A very good sequence
Tuesday, 13 August 2019 05:26
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Big Changes at Griffins Hill Yoga Retreat

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We are excited to announce three big changes here at Griffins Hill.
First, is our beautiful new website (click here to check it out). We love the fact our website is now faster, super easy to find and book your retreat (book now, why don't you) and, of course, very beautiful with a brand new yoga, lots of pics, and plenty of stories about our Corgi, Clara and resident kangaroos, Tiger Lily and her joey, Winter Lily.

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A hidden problem: Men’s pelvic floor

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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 to write about his experience so he could help other men who might be suffering in silence and might be inspired by his recovery.

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Guest — Sergey
Thank you for sharing Best regards from Ukraine
Wednesday, 31 October 2018 17:21
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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.

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Awesome Tofu Burgers

Tofu-Burgers-with-chutney

One of the great things about this recipe is that you get to feel the texture by hand shaping the burgers. Over time I seem to have developed a little ritual when forming the burgers. Place a large tablespoon of the mix into your hands and press gently between cupped hands, slowly pass from hand to hand taking a moment to pause and reflect. 

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The tricky question of the shoulder blades

Shoulder-blades

The tricky question of the shoulder blades By Frank Jesse

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. 

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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.

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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 Padmasana

By Frank Jesse

 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 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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