Griffins Hill Retreat yoga and food blog

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

Why I love these under-rated vegetables.

By Jane Gibb One of my favourite herbs is the celery plant (Apium Graveolens). Celery plant is a flowering biennial plant that pre-dates the commonly available cultivated stringless celery varieties.  It makes my life happier in two ways: firstly, I avoid buying commercially produced vegetable stock, which I hate; and secondly I do not have to buy plastic-wrapped celery from the supermarket! In Griffins Hill garden, our celery is a striking plant growing about one metre high with large pinnate leaves (feather-like) similar to Italian parsley and thick green stems that are somewhat thinner that those of the supermarket varieties.  The outer stems can be continuously harvested providing a year-round supply of fresh healthy celery. Because the celery plant is biennial it forms a seed head and dies every two years, but in my garden a new plant grows from the base of the old plant. All I need to do...

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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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BKS Iyengar presented with high award by President of India

BKS Iyengar presented with high award by President of India

BKS Iyengar was recently honoured with the Padma Vibhushan award, the second highest civilian award given by the Republic of India. The award, which was presented by the Indian President, Pranab Kumar Mukherjee, is awarded to recognize exceptional and distinguished service to the nation in any field, including government service. Mr Iyengar, who is 95, founded the Iyengar school of yoga that has millions of followers across the globe. He was once named by TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential persons in the world. Mr Iyengar has received 20 awards, honours and titles over the decades, the first in 1948.   Join over 2,000 of your peers and get fortnightly articles delivered to your in box. Subscribe Here    

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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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The silver bullet: Taking ownership of your health

The silver bullet: Taking ownership of your health

0 0 1 487 2778 Griffins Hill Retreat 23 6 3259 14.0 Normal 0 false false false EN-IN 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"; mso-ansi-language:EN-IN;} Dr Greta Prozesky Even after 15 years as a general medical practitioner, it still amazes me that people seem so ready to give up “ownership” of their health. Patients are all too ready to believe and do whatever their doctor says, without question. Or, alternatively these days, they are too ready to demand that their doctor prescribe a pill and to believe that is all that is needed make them feel well. I have practiced medicine in several different countries, and this attitude seems to be very widespread and getting worse, rather than improving. My recipe for health is to breathe, smile, quieten your mind and move your...

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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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The power of patience : How a yoga retreat proved the sceptics wrong

0 0 1 544 3107 Griffins Hill Retreat 25 7 3644 14.0 Normal 0 false false false EN-IN 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-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-ansi-language:EN-IN;} Many people expressed their doubts when Frank Jesse and Jane Gibb started their yoga retreat in Dunkeld, at the base of the Grampian mountain range in western Victoria. Dunkeld is over three hours’ drive from Melbourne – too far the sceptics told the Jesse and Gibb for a retreat to succeed. Five successful years later, Griffins Hill yoga retreat is flourishing. Business leaders and content marketers – those publishing e-newsletters and writing blogs, for example -- could learn a lot from the patient, steady approach to business building that characterises Jesse and Gibb. Both have built successful businesses before. Gibb ran a plant...

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Eating and sharing with like-minded people: Why I love Griffins Hill

Eating and sharing with like-minded people: Why I love Griffins Hill

  0 0 1 405 2315 Griffins Hill Retreat 19 5 2715 14.0 Ok, we know this customer review below is kinda glowing and we are chuffed (mwah, Cecelia). But we think Cecelia Morris is well qualified to give us compliments. She and her husband, Ian Choppock, treat themselves to an annual yoga retreat, travelling far and wide in their goal to nail the ideal experience. Griffins Hill was among the first they tried, and now they are regulars. Here's why. By Cecilia Morris Sometimes, in our search for a retreat that combines yoga, beautiful setting and wonderful food, we come away disappointed.  But there is one place that my husband, Ian, and I have continued to return to over the past several years.   This is the wonderful restorative retreat that Frank Jesse, a senior yoga teacher, and Jane Gibb, chef and landscape gardener, provide in the setting of their...

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Immune boost: New research on the protective power of yoga

Immune boost: New research on the protective power of yoga

New research from the University of Oslo, Norway, has found that yoga is better for your immune system than simply walking or listening to relaxing music, both of which are powerfully beneficial. Three researchers, who published their findings on the international peer-reviewed science site, Plos One, noted that although the health benefits of yoga and mediation are quite well established scientifically, the reasons for them are largely unknown. This study found that yoga and related practices have an improved anti-oxidant status, and defense again the kinds of stress at a cellular level that lead to conditions such as cancer and heart disease. Astonishingly, although the 14 participants practiced yoga and breathing for just two hours a day for four consecutive days, that was enough to produce measurably better results compared to a control group who did a 60-minute walk, and then listened to relaxing music for an hour. You can read...

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