Griffins Hill Retreat yoga and food blog

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

Five ways to wake up your winter garden

Five ways to wake up your winter garden

 

By Jane Gibb

 

With the excitement that spring has arrived and the garden is beginning to bloom, it’s easy to forget to stop and take a look at what’s really going on. 

Yet, that’s just what you should be doing to make the most of the early warmth and to wake up your garden. I have five tips to show you how.

  1. 1. Remove spent leaves 

Take a closer look at the plants that die back over winter. Remove any dead leaves that may still be attached. Strawberries in particular need attention. Clean dead foliage from the base of the strawberry plant because this is the hiding place for snails and slugs and with warm weather on the way they’ll soon be feasting on the new growth.

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The mystery of yoga and the spirit of cooking

The mystery of yoga and the spirit of cooking

By Jane Gibb

We began our most recent five-day retreat just as we heard the news that Mr Iyengar had passed away.

As we gathered to commence, it occurred to me that people from all over the world were doing the same thing: practicing yoga and reflecting on the life and legacy of Mr Iyengar.

Iyengar yoga keeps me going on so many levels. All the extremes of my emotions and cravings are levelled out and my body is free of aches and pains. I have the energy and spirit to work long days. And, despite my age, I can still garden all day and do strong physical work. 

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My thoughts on the passing of BKS Iyengar, founder of the Iyengar School of yoga

My thoughts on the passing of BKS Iyengar, founder of the Iyengar School of yoga

By Frank Jesse

When someone we feel very close to passes away it is often very hard to accept, no matter how well we are prepared.

When Guruji* left his body at the age of 95 I think all in the Iyengar community were in shock. We had hoped and expected that he would live on a few more years and still impart more wisdom for us tob2ap3_thumbnail_BKS-Iyengar-1.jpg absorb and ponder on. We had, almost unwittingly, elevated him to an almost godlike status, but what we loved most about Guruji were his real human qualities.

Guruji totally disdained the idea of being thought of anything but an ordinary man. He was that, but one with an extraordinary insight into our human nature and a thorough understanding of the body and mind gained through his dedicated and uninterrupted daily practice of yoga. 

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In my darker moments, Mr Iyengar's light still shines

In my darker moments, Mr Iyengar's light still shines

By Kath Walters

I had a few dark moments last week but, strangely, when I heard that Mr BKS Iyengar had died, I viewed my own difficulties differently all of a sudden.

Of course, I was sad at the loss of such a soul. However, he’s a soul who has left an incredible legacy of change. Mr Iyengar inspired a tidal wave of interest and practice of yoga across the world. He changed millions of people, from those like me, who have gone a short way along to yoga path, to people like Frank Jesse and Jane Gibb who have applied yoga deeply in their lives and shared the practice of Iyengar yoga with thousands of others.

How Iyengar achieve all this? By simply doing the best that he could in his chosen endeavour, and communicating the insights he gained in the process with anyone who would listen. His commitment and perseverance and willingness to teach made him a leader. But he was simply one person, doing his own thing.

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Millet porridge SUPER super-food

Millet porridge SUPER super-food

By Jane Gibb

Millet is an ancient grain that is often overlooked today – we feed it to birds! But this gluten free and ancient grain is creamy and delicious, and available all year around.

It also contains some essential nutrients including copper, phosphorus, manganese and magnesium that are so important for the health of our bones, skin and blood.

So many people have enjoyed sharing my millet porridge at Griffins Hill. The original recipe comes from Tony Chiodo’s book Feel Good Food, which is full of healthy, easy-to-follow recipes.

Here is my version of millet porridge, slightly adapted from Tony’s.

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Wednesday night yoga class

Wednesday night yoga class

By Colin Agar

So how is everyone…..everybody well?

(haven’t started yet so pretty hard to tell)

 

Standing poses, forward bends then hand stands for tonight,

(thankfully no backbends, the abs are really tight)

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Still busy

Still busy

By Kimina Lyall

I once heard a saying by a Buddhist teacher. It may have been the Dalai Lama, or another wise person. Asked how long one should meditate for each day, he replied: “Thirty minutes. Unless you are very busy. In which case, one hour.”

I wish I could say I followed that advice, in meditation or yoga or any other form of self-care. But I don’t. For me, busy begets busy. Right now I have rather a lot on, what with commitments to work, study, friendship, volunteering … and the list goes on. I’ve shaken up my life over the past couple of years, and the pieces as still falling back into place. I tend to bounce from deadline to deadline, scrambling to find time to squeeze everything I want to do in.

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Why I live in The Grampians: my afternoon walk

Why I live in The Grampians: my afternoon walk

By Jane Gibb 

My walk begins by climbing over a fence. Having grown up in mountain country near Mansfield, I graduated in climbing over fences at a young age; with honours! I choose a point where the ground is elevated. On tiptoes, my feet can touch the ground on both sides of the fence. With a stretch, I step over the fence.

Crossing a field, keeping the steep fall of the escarpment on my left, I pass a mob of kangaroos grazing on the hillside. This mob has begun to recognise me on my regular ramblings, so instead of fleeing they lazily stand tall to watch me.

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How I rescued this morning from my To-do list

How I rescued this morning from my To-do list

By Kath Walters

This morning, I rescued my first two hours from my relentless To-do list, kept them for myself and cherished them.

That’s a big change for me.

I’ve spent most of my adult life springing out of bed, slamming down some coffee, and launching into the To-do list.

Work is not the only thing on that list. There’s exercise, yoga, spiritual practices, relationships, reading newspapers and blogs, get-togethers, catch-ups, help-outs, chill-outs, films, reading and even TV.

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Nourish your body and spirit with a bowl of "Recovery Soup"

Nourish your body and spirit with a bowl of "Recovery Soup"

By Jane Gibb

Every so often, life really takes it out of you. There’s nothing that restores my spirits and my body as quickly as a bowl of soup.

This easy and aromatic lentil soup will warm and calm you, while giving you a shot of restoring protein and energy.

The secret to getting the most from this soup lies in how you make it.

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Let go, Let in

Let go, Let in

By Kimina Lyall

Have you ever noticed when you hold your breath it is always with the air in? Have you ever “held your breath” after your out breath? It is possible to do for a few seconds, but not without conscious awareness and focus. Inevitably, the body fights for life. Yet holding your breath in is as easy as … well, breathing. For me, the practice is almost automatic. I especially do it when I am stressed, anxious, or stepping out of my comfort zone—in almost every difficult asana (and life situation), in other words.

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Sold out: 2014 BKS Iyengar Yoga Convention

Sold out: 2014 BKS Iyengar Yoga Convention

The 2014 National BKS Iyengar Yoga Convention, from 5 – 7 September in Melbourne, is sold out!

With 13 of Australia’s 27 Senior Iyengar Teachers offering classes as part of the program – including Griffins Hill’s Frank Jesse – convention tickets got snapped up months ahead of the event.

The convention is put on by the BKS Iyengar Yoga Association of Australia, the official accreditation body for Iyengar yoga teachers.

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The Piccaninny Mountain devastated by out-of-control burn-off: It’s time the community had a say

The Piccaninny Mountain devastated by out-of-control burn-off: It’s time the community had a say

 

By Jane Gibb

I had a terrible day recently that turned into a terrible week. A so-called “fuel reduction burn” got out of control right next to our retreat here at Griffins Hill, devastating the bush – and me, for a while.

My frustration with this totally ineffective, disproven strategy to protect the nearby town of Dunkeld from bush fire left me completely depleted at first. (It might have also been the smoke that choked our home for several days!)

But I’m not going to lie down and take it.

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Yoga retreat Dunkeld; a poem for you

Yoga retreat Dunkeld; a poem for you

By Cecilia Morris

Yoga Retreat Dunkeld

sky cups bare and pointed mountains

sun sups on earth

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Orient to the journey

Orient to the journey

Orient to the journey ...

The other day I found myself you-tubing instructions for learning how to free handstand. On the one hand, it was astounding that I was even thinking a free handstand would be within reach for me. On closer inspection, it demonstrated that I had lost the yoga plot.

Let me rewind for a bit. When I first started practicing yoga, I had little ambition for my own physicality, preferring to reside almost exclusively in my busy mind. It was a little over ten years ago, I was living a crazy life as a foreign correspondent based in Bangkok, driven by deadlines, competition and sheer determination to succeed. 

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