Griffins Hill Retreat yoga and food blog

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

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.

Continue reading
6661 Hits
0 Comments

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

Continue reading
Tags:
6343 Hits
2 Comments

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.

Continue reading
8359 Hits
4 Comments

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. 

Continue reading
7664 Hits
0 Comments

Taking yoga on the journey of life

Taking yoga on the journey of life

Jenny Green, 71, is just weeks away from embarking on a 270km walk along the hills of Massif Central in southern France – named the Robert Louis Stephenson trail after the author who walked it in 1878.

A daily practice of yoga asana and strength-building exercises is part of Green’ preparation for her big walk. “I am going to the gym to build strength, and I tend to finish my gym session with yoga,” Green says. “I think flexibility is a really important part of the walking process.

Continue reading
5781 Hits
0 Comments

Two little-known veggies I love, and why I buy Quinoa from Tasmania

Two little-known veggies I love, and why I buy Quinoa from Tasmania

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 incised leaves similar to Italian parsley and thick green stems that are somewhat thinner that those of the supermarket varieties

Continue reading
6523 Hits
0 Comments

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.

Continue reading
10731 Hits
0 Comments

Yoga therapist Father Joe Pereira workshop and talk at Clifton Hill Yoga Studio

Yoga therapist Father Joe Pereira workshop and talk at Clifton Hill Yoga Studio

 

 

Yoga therapist Father Joe Pereira workshop and talk at Clifton Hill Yoga Studio

On April 4-6th, the renowned yoga therapist and addiction recovery specialist, Father Joe Pereira, will give a talk and hold a weekend workshop.

Father Joe, the founder of the Kripa Centres, is a senior Iyengar Yoga Teacher and Catholic Archdiocesan Priest of Mumbai, India. Ordained in 1967, Father Joe started Iyengar Yoga in 1968, and became a certified Iyengar yoga teacher in 1975. He returns to Pune for intensive studies in yoga therapy with BKS Iyengar every year.

Friday evening talk: April 4

Father Joe will give a talk on Friday evening, 4 April between 7:30 – 9:30pm. There’s no need to book for this event.

Yoga workshops: April 5-6

Nothing can replace the presence, the voice, the assurance of one who has walked the path and can show us the way. In this workshop Father Joe will encourage you to develop your own wisdom and practice.

Booking are essential for the yoga weekend – which is $150 for both Saturday and Sunday and $100 for one day only. The timetable is as follows: 

  • Saturday & Sunday 9 – 12noon Asana
  • Saturday & Sunday 1 – 3pm Pranayama

All proceeds raised from the yoga workshop and the evening lecture goes to the Kripa Foundation

Continue reading
6724 Hits
0 Comments

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.

Continue reading
8545 Hits
1 Comment

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).

Continue reading
7186 Hits
0 Comments

Adho Mukha Svanasana – downward facing dog pose

Adho Mukha Svanasana – downward facing dog pose

By Frank Jesse Adho Mukha Svanasana is an incredibly versatile asana. Not only is it an important pose in its own right, it can be used throughout a sequence to link poses or as a preparatory pose. Adho means down, Mukha is face and Svana is dog. The name Adho Mukha Svanasana arises from the pose’s similarity to a dog stretching to wake itself up after a nap. We generally do downward facing dog before inversions because the pose helps prepare the shoulders and arms. As a semi - inversion, the pose also prepares the mind and nervous system for full inversions like Adho Mukha Vrksasana (handstand), Pinca Mayurasana (forearm balance) and Salamba Sirsasana (headstand). Downward facing dog pose provides some of the benefits of a full inversion. Because the head is lower than the heart the brain is flushed with fresh oxygenated blood, reducing mental fatigue. Adho Mukha Svanasana also releases...

Continue reading
19870 Hits
1 Comment

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...

Continue reading
527 Hits
0 Comments

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...

Continue reading
8705 Hits
2 Comments

How I tricked myself into daily practice

How I tricked myself into daily practice

By Kimina Lyall What is it about home-alone yoga? I’m a grown-up, right? There are lots of things I can do every day, all by myself. I can eat. Shower. Brush my teeth. Check my emails. Even cuddle the friendly next door cat. These little daily tasks come easily, effortlessly almost, and I achieve them no matter what else is distracting me. But get on my yoga mat? Now there’s a tall order. It seems to be not an unusual one. Lots of my friends, who have been regularly attending yoga classes for many years, admit they still fail in their aim for daily practice. For me, there’s been the usual excuses: I’m so busy, I’m so tired, I wouldn’t know what to practice (after all, there’s so many asanas to choose from!), I don’t have all the props … Every now and then I have managed to get myself into...

Continue reading
9049 Hits
3 Comments

How to choose a yoga teacher and avoid injury (or worse)

How to choose a yoga teacher and avoid injury (or worse)

With the founder of hot yoga, Brikram Choudhury facing six lawsuits for alleged rape and sexual assault and the American peak yoga body, the Yoga Alliance, fending off accusations of lax standards, yoga is at a reputational turning point. Should yoga students trust the claims that yoga teachers make about themselves? If not, what are the right questions to ask to make the necessary checks? In years gone by, when there were fewer types of yoga and fewer teachers, imposters were quickly ousted by accredited and long-term yoga teachers. Today, there are 75 different types of yoga represented among the peak body Yoga Australia’s 2,500 members. In addition to the traditions of Iyengar yoga (taught at Griffins Hill) and Hatha yoga, many new arms of yoga have emerged in recent years including Dru, Bikram, anti-gravity, shadow, Gita, Ashtanga, vinyasa, pre-natal yoga, Kundalini, Anusara to name just a few. One of the latest entries, Power Living, offers an online yoga option, capitalising on a...

Continue reading
8105 Hits
1 Comment