Griffins Hill Retreat yoga and food blog

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

Why every yogi must take care of the environment By Frank Jesse

Early morning view of Mount Abrupt

Like most people, I became a yoga teacher because I love the practice. I love its impact on my physical and mental health and the way it benefits my students. I still love that.

However, I have become more and more aware of the need to include care of the environment in the way we manage our retreat here at Griffins Hill. We have always done that, but it feels more urgent than ever before. And all the guidance we need to take is contained in the Yoga Sutra, written by the sage Patanjali at least 1700 years ago.

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What is Iyengar Yoga? by Kimina Lyall

Iyengar Yoga Props

What is Iyengar Yoga?

You know you are in an Iyengar Yoga studio by the blankets. There is a pile of them. They are stacked in the studio on a shelf that is the precise size the shelf needs to be to hold the stack of blankets. Each blanket is folded the same way, neat side out. Usually, there is a small sign or notice near the stack explaining the right way to fold the blankets and politely asking you to comply. 

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The return of the dancing brolgas to our Western plains wetlands By Jane Gibb

Brolgas

Brolgas once danced on the wetlands of Western Victoria. But agriculturalists drained the swamps to open land for farming decades ago. As the wetlands were lost, so were the enormous flocks of brolgas and other migratory and local birds that once graced our western plains.

Now, a community-driven project is underway to remediate Walker Swamp, seven kilometres north of Dunkeld on the Wannon River. It's a remarkable story of our community's determination to rebuild the wetlands, for so long a lost and misunderstood local treasure.

A big task gets community support

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Kookaburras nest in our old gum tree By Jane Gibb

P819195_20181224-050501_1 Classic kookaburra sitting

Down in the lower northern end of our retreat is a very old gum tree, probably 400 years old, according to local environmentalists! It's rare to see such an old gum tree away from the banks of the rivers, so she's a tough old girl.

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Exploring the other side of yourself with backbends By Frank Jesse

Frank-Jesse- King Pigeon Pose Frank Jesse : Eka Pada Rajakapotasana

As a group of poses, backbends seem to stir strong emotions. Some people absolutely love them. For others, a class focusing on backbends triggers fear and uncertainty.

With preparation and guidance, backbends are uplifting and energising. They give us back the energy we put into them, leaving us feeling invigorated and happy. 

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Big Changes at Griffins Hill Yoga Retreat

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We are excited to announce three big changes here at Griffins Hill.
First, is our beautiful new website (click here to check it out). We love the fact our website is now faster, super easy to find and book your retreat (book now, why don't you) and, of course, very beautiful with a brand new yoga, lots of pics, and plenty of stories about our Corgi, Clara and resident kangaroos, Tiger Lily and her joey, Winter Lily.

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Meet Tiger Lily, an Eastern Grey Kangaroo, who made Griffins Hill Yoga Retreat her home

Meert-Tiger-Lilly-at-Griffins-Hill-Retreat-1

It's time for morning oats. Our resident kangaroo, who we call Tiger Lily, is waiting on the lawn outside the yoga studio for her breakfast treat.

It's a peaceful scene to wake up to–this relaxed little kangaroo lounging on the lawn with the mountains behind her. I say 'little' because Tiger Lily is a small Eastern Grey Kangaroo, who has lived at our home here at Griffins Hill Yoga Retreat since she was about eight months old.

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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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Why this doctor practices yoga for 20 minutes every day (and how you can too)

Why this doctor practices yoga for 20 minutes every day (and how you can too)

By Bridie Walsh

Do you follow your own good advice? If you don’t, you’re not alone. General practitioner and psychotherapist, Dr Cathy Fraser, recommended yoga to her patients and yet never found a time to do it herself. Everything changed 18 years ago after a life-changing event. Now she can boast about strong bones and a calm and focused mind.

“It was a particularly stressful time,” says Dr Fraser. “I left my marriage and was living alone when I started regular yoga classes and I haven’t stopped since.”

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Can yoga make you look younger?

Can yoga make you look younger?

Via Huffington Post

Yoga could be the next new ‘antioxidant’ says Marylin Wei, founder of yogahealthtoday.com. Antioxidants on the skin play a role in reducing the appearance of wrinkles.

The July 2015 Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine study found 12 weeks of yoga raises the level of natural antioxidants in the body. The research showed evidence the immune system is strengthened too.

Antioxidants help the body eliminate free radicals. Free radicals are pollutants in the body that can be linked to heart disease and cancer.

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Iyengar’s daughter Geeta will build a new yoga institute in Bellur, India

Iyengar’s daughter Geeta will build a new yoga institute in Bellur, India

 

Via Pune Mirror

On the recent anniversary of Guruji Mr BKS Iyengar’s death his daughter Geeta announced a new school would be opened in his home town and birthplace in Bellur in Bangalore, India.

Iyengar’s first institute is in Pune, India. Mayuri Phadnis in the Pune Mirror reports: “The foundation stone of the building had already been laid in the yoga guru's presence in May last year. The institute in Bellur will be completed by the end of this year.”

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Discover the body, mind, union of yoga: Cinnamon Evans’ story

Discover the body, mind, union of yoga: Cinnamon Evans’ story

By Bridie Walsh

After 20 years of Iyengar practice, Cinnamon Evans finds yoga stills a ‘mindy noise’ – the mental chatter you have before you get to class.

Luck brought her to Maghie Mills Iyengar School in Brunswick . (Mills had studied alongside Griffins Hill’s Frank Jesse.) She was working at Melbourne’s environmental park CERES, in Brunswick East, where she’s been for 23 years. She’s now CEO.

She still laughs about the first time she twisted her words when speaking with her partner. Mindy noise became their inside joke. But the mental emotional wellbeing, stress management, and meditation have uncovered another treasure: the idea of union.

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Clifton Hill Yoga Studio celebrates 20 years of Iyengar

Clifton Hill Yoga Studio celebrates 20 years of Iyengar

By Bridie Walsh

If you’ve “downward dogged” in the light and airy Clifton Hill Yoga Studio, you will be surprised to hear that it had pink walls, chocolate brown trim, blacked-out windows and a stained red carpet before its metamorphosis.

Melbourne’s Iyengar yoga legacy has roots in the formidable Queens Parade building that Frank Jesse and Jane Gibb transformed into a studio in 1995. The studio brought Iyengar yoga to the forefront of practice in Melbourne, establishing teacher training, prenatal classes, yoga therapy and a focus on intermediate and advanced levels.

Alan and Archer Talbot purchased the studio in 2007, when Frank and Jane purchased Griffins Hill Yoga Retreat in Dunkeld, at the foot of The Grampians. The Clifton Hill studio, now celebrating its 20th year, remains at the forefront of Iyengar yoga in Australia.

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Beat the winter chill with my spicy chickpea soup

Beat the winter chill with my spicy chickpea soup

By Jane Gibb

Nothing beats a hearty soup in winter for dinner or lunch.  My spicy chickpea is very simple to cook and it will keep you deliciously full.

You might be surprised to learn that Australia is the second largest producer of chickpeas in the world. So you are guaranteed to find local Aussie produce for this dish.

Chickpeas are good for us and tasty as well. They are a great source of protein and dietary fibre. They are a good source of manganese and iron – both essential for healthy bodies. Plus they have low GI – great for stabilising blood sugar levels. Chickpeas get the healthy heart tick as they lower bad cholesterol.

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