From my first class at The Hervey Bay School of Yoga, I fell in love with the method taught. It takes the attention directly into the body and provides a practical way to respond to stiffness and limitation. For years I used to push hard at physical exercise to shut my mind off. Here I was in a yoga room feeling immediate reprieve from the mental stresses. I didn’t necessarily understand why the method was so powerful, but from my very first class I felt the benefits.
I had done a little yoga previously but had struggled with the physical aspect as my body in simple terms is “stiff and inflexible”. I was curious about this “School of Yoga” and somewhat drawn towards it so I mustered the courage and showed up for a casual class.
Walking into the studio I was a little taken back, by the ropes on the wall and other props. As the class progressed, I was grateful to have this equipment. Previously in a pose like downward dog my hamstrings would be screaming; my shoulders would be shaking and my brow sweating. And for me the worst was that my mind, within seconds, was agitated and my ego bruised. In my very first class at the school I was given a very simple fix for my dog pose. I was given a chair to put my hands on. I could open my shoulders, extend my spine and start to work my legs. My mind was steady; my emotions were calm and I tasted the freedom and peace that I had thought Yoga offered. Until you experience it, you can’t believe that pressing into your feet in dog pose can affect your mind – in a calming way! And, I remember feeling it was a bit of a miracle of sorts, that extending the muscles at the side of my trunk in that dog pose on a chair, gave my shoulders some space and my old football injury didn’t have to burr up to remind me that I should have got that surgery done years ago.
My first class was now over five years ago. I have a home practice; I have attended an 8-day yoga retreat in Bali and I am 2 years into my training to become an Iyengar Yoga Teacher. I feel a strong sense of duty and excitement about sharing the gift I have received. I am authorized to teach introductory/beginner students; however, my teacher training continues until I am assessed by an independent panel of senior teachers in about a year from now. In Iyengar yoga we have to be students for 3 years before we can commence teacher training, and then it takes at least 3 years before a trainee is nominated to sit formal assessment. All teachers and trainee teachers of our school are registered within a national association that rigorously upholds standards of practice and ethics in teaching. You are in safe hands, as well as a beautiful studio, when you come to the Hervey Bay School of Yoga.
Yoga has given me so much. The Hervey Bay School of Yoga is a place of safety and peace for me. I have a life practice - a method of working with myself that enables me to be present and make great decisions. The fact that I use my body as my instrument of practice, for me is even better. My body has taken on a lot of stress over the years and the stiffness in my legs and shoulders has started to cause a lot of pain and trouble as I age. The body loves the feeling of stretching and working to counter the forces of gravity. The potency of poses like head stand and shoulder stand is incredible and it still surprises me that the body chemistry can be shifted so easily from stress to calmness.
I ask you would you like some more space in your life? Taste freedom from all the external pressures that this modern world has? Enrol in an introductory course there will never be a better time.
Yoga provides a context in which teens, living in a sea of peer pressure, performance stress and emotional change, learn restraint and self reflective awareness. This course for teenagers aged between 12 and 15 years of age, will both challenge and nourish them.
Facing the Gestapo at his door, the man spoke with confidence and authority, “No Jews here”. The man was of course lying. A family of Jews had been living in the basement for many months. An exploration of why internal clarity and inner authority is necessary to navigate life.
Due to poor balance I had never consider yoga was for me as the images most often seen in posters and magazines show perfect bodies with amazing balance. October 2014 a few weeks before my 71st birthday I walked into my first yoga class. I have been asked “is it worth all the effort at your age?" My answer is “YES” yoga is even more important as we age. Seniors have experienced a life time of stress, raising a family, paying the mortgage, working at our chosen careers as well as balancing a family household. We have all experience grief, loosing grand parents, parents, aunts and uncles now at age 76 I am loosing cousins and life long friends. Our bodies have endured a life time of wear and tear from injuries, poor posture due to sitting and working at desks and repetitive actions such as housework and gardening.Yoga is ideal for all seniors even those with physical limitations, in our classes it can be quite normal to have several variations of a pose to suit individual needs. Learning to work with your body not against it is the same challenge regardless of age. Nursing several old injuries I do not want to add to them, I am very grateful to have well qualified teachers who are attentive to my needs and dedicated to keeping all students safe whilst practising. Yoga is not a quick fix for all ailments, I still experience some back and ankle discomfort but now rarely need to take pain medication. Today I am sleeping more soundly but occasionally still have a restless night. My time management has improved although at times I still talk to myself and loose focus. The big difference is I feel I am in control of my afflictions they are not controlling me. I am coping better and with my regular yoga practise I hope to prevent my health concerns from becoming chronic. Hopefully I can reach savasana with less suffering and with more dignity than my mother. Joan