Griffins Hill Retreat yoga and food blog

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

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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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 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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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...
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Yogis take on The Grampians’ biggest event: The Serra Terror 80km team challenge

Yogis take on The Grampians’ biggest event: The Serra Terror 80km team challenge

By Bridie Walsh

Senior Iyengar Yoga instructor Frank Jesse will tackle the 80km Serra Terror endurance event in The Grampians this June long weekend.

Frank joins a team of eight named Dutch Courage. They are one of 46 teams including The Blister Sisters, Chasing the Dream, and No Man’s Feet who will take on the tough mountainous terrain. The event has attracted 300 people from around Australia.

“Applications closed early because we reached our cap,” says event organiser Keri Ross. The Serra Terror committee fielded enquiries from overseas, she says. The two-day event, now in its sixth year, is a fundraiser for the Dunkeld Community Centre.

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New research proves yoga reduces the perception of pain

New research proves yoga reduces the perception of pain

 

Via gizmag.com

People who practice yoga have stronger and sturdier brain networks according to new research by Maastricht University in the Netherlands. This contributes to better managing the sensation of pain, says PhD student Tim Gard.

“Yoga and meditation can positively influence our brains and our psyches, and thus can lead to increased wellbeing,” he says.

An fMRI scan was used to measure the test and control groups who were administered an electric shock on the forearm to cause pain. The pain perception of mindfulness and yoga practitioners was reduced by 22 percent and their anticipatory anxiety was reduced by 29 percent during a mindful state compared to the control group, who were equally healthy but did not practice yoga or meditation.

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Three essential yoga texts (and two really handy ones)

Three essential yoga texts (and two really handy ones)

By Kath Walters

1. Light on Yoga by BKS Iyengar

BKS Iyengar’s first book, Light on Yoga, was published in 1966, but it was on being reprinted in 1977 that it caused a big sensation. 

By then, the West has begun its fascination with yoga (due to a large degree to Guruji’s visits to Europe) and had caught up with Guruji’s wisdom and insights.

Light on Yoga has been translated into 17 languages and sold three million copies. It is without doubt one of the most inspiring and profound books on yoga ever written. I regularly return to its pages. 

Frank Jesse followed the book’s 300-week program to develop and deepen his practice. 

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Yoga props an Iyengar yoga inovation

Backbends-in-the-ropes

By Frank Jesse

It’s not surprising that Iyengar yoga is known for its use of props such as blankets, block and bolsters. Using such props was one of many innovations Mr Iyengar bought to yoga practice. Using props is intrinsic to this system of yoga. However, the reasons for their use are often misunderstood.

Some students, especially those used to flowing styles of yoga, believe that props are hindrance to their practices. However Mr Iyengar developed their use to help students Yoga-props-blocks-chair-blankets-foam-pad-sandbags-benches-and-ropes move more carefully into the pose without undue risk.

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Guest
I have the opportunity to use props in my practice and in my classes. What a wonderful way to be supported on the journey to self ... Read More
Thursday, 26 February 2015 16:15
Guest
Thought I better turn Ustrasana photo right way up - till I realised ! Going to the studio to practice it now
Thursday, 14 May 2015 21:47
Guest
Thought I better turn Ustrasana photo right way up - till I realised ! Going to the studio to practice it now
Thursday, 14 May 2015 21:47
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Does yoga keep you fit?

Does yoga keep you fit?

 

By Alisa Bauman

When it came to the fitness benefits yoga can or can’t provide, yoga teacher John Schumacher had heard it all. A student of B. K. S. Iyengar for 20 years and founder of the Unity Woods studios in the Washington, D.C. area, Schumacher was convinced yoga provides a complete fitness regime. But many people, even some of his own students, disagreed. Yoga might be good for flexibility or relaxation, they’d say, but to be truly fit, you had to combine it with an activity like running or weight lifting.

Schumacher just didn’t buy it.

He knew three decades of yoga practice—and only yoga practice—had kept him fit. He didn’t need to power walk. He didn’t need to lift weights. His fitness formula consisted of daily asanas (poses) and pranayama (breath work). That’s all he needed.

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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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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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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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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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How yoga helps leaders stay on top

How yoga helps leaders stay on top

By Kath Walters

When Chloe Munro walks into the Canberra headquarters of the Clean Energy Regulator she wants to fill its floors with positive energy.

As chief executive, she believes part of her role is to set a high level of energy for her 350 staff to follow – and keep it there.

For the past year, however, that’s been a big ask. Last year, Munro was diagnosed with breast cancer and her treatment involved surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Remarkably, however, Munro managed to keep performing in her full-time leadership role throughout most of the treatment. “I powered through surgery and eight rounds of chemo and it was only right at the very end that the cumulative effects caught up with me,” she says.

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Not a beginner by a long chalk, Frank but still with tight hamstrings, I'm interested in your direction to hold ahdo mukha svanasa... Read More
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 18:05
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Lift your heart up

Lift your heart up

 By Kimina Lyall 

I hate backbends. They make me anxious. I feel like I can’t breathe, and that something bad is going to happen while I am completely vulnerable and unable to quickly move out of the way. So for many years I have done what any sensible person would do faced with that scenario: grimaced through them in class and avoided them altogether in private practice.

Forward bends, on the other hand, are my friend. I love stretching my body out along my legs, and feel completely at peace and ease in any of the standing poses that involve hanging over my hips.

My favouring can be traced back to my pre-teen life as an aspiring ballerina. In ballet, forward bends are prized, almost as much (but not quite) as turnouts (rotating the leg from the hips to make the knee and foot turn outward).

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