Griffins Hill Retreat yoga and food blog

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

Are you ready to do a handstand?

Frank-Jesse-the-foundation-of-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 learned 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 Asanas (yoga poses)

Between Asanas (yoga poses)
By Frank Jesse Asanas (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 reflection,...
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The flexible farmer

The flexible farmer
By Kath Walters Three years ago, sheep farmer Colin Agar started coming to yoga classes. The family has owned a property near Penshurst, about 30 kms from Dunkeld, for 150 years, which Colin runs with his two brothers, his daughter, his niece and her husband Colin was starting to feel the tough, physical work of sheep farming more and more.   The Agar’s run between 15,000 and 18,000 head of sheep. “The work fluctuates through the year from heavy to very light,” Colin says. “The heavy work is during the shearing, crutching and lamb “marking” times. By end of the day, you feel like you have been hit by a semi-trailer.” He felt so stiff and sore in the mornings, he was struggling to get dressed. “When you were 30 you didn’t notice the work,” he says. “But I was feeling stiff and my joints were starting to ache. I couldn’t...
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Guest
What a great read. Thank you. And good on you Colin.
Thursday, 13 February 2014 20:00
Guest
An encouraging story. Good on you, Colin! The more flexible farmers we have the better!
Saturday, 05 April 2014 11:27
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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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Home Practice: The benefits of not doing

Frank-Jesse-demonstrating-a-backbend-using-blocks.-

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 are a lot of benefits 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 primary purpose of yoga.

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Guest
Rest, restore & receive...This sequence is an instant energy tonic...OM OM OM...
Wednesday, 15 January 2014 22:46
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How Yoga Saved One Woman's Life

How Yoga Saved One Woman's Life
0 0 1 501 2859 Griffins Hill Retreat 23 6 3354 14.0 Normal 0 false false false EN-IN JA X-NONE During her home yoga practice, a Warrnambool woman made an observation that turned out to be life-saving. By Kath Walters Senior Iyengar Yoga teacher, Frank Jesse, would never claim that yoga is a cure for serious diseases, but in the case of one of his clients, his yoga teachings did help save her life. Jesse is a very precise teacher, as Carol McInerney discovered when she began attending his classes in 2011. McInerny has a recurring neck problem, and her physiotherapist, Karen Wild, had often suggested that she join in Jesse’s yoga classes, held in Warrnambool each week. But McInerney, a mother of three adult sons and grandmother to 10 children, struggled to find the time. After a family tragedy, McInerney agreed that her physio was right.  In a class that included both...
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Guest
Brilliant story - thanks for sharing it...
Tuesday, 03 December 2013 10:36
Guest
Such a great story and one that so many people can relate to. I am very interested in the therapeutic side of yoga and would love... Read More
Tuesday, 03 December 2013 16:08
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