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.
Recently I have the privilege of welcoming Russell into the teaching body of the school. Day to day, week to week over the last 5 years I have watched and walked alongside him. Yoga as pilgrimage is the phrase that comes to mind. When we go in search of new or expanded meaning about ourselves, or a higher good - through experience - the journey is called a pilgrimage. When we learn the practice of yoga as pilgrimage it is a journey of encountering powerlessness and at the same time inner strength, confidence and great clarity and purpose.
“As soon as there is stopping, there is happiness. There is peace. When we stop like that, it looks as if nothing is happening, but in fact everything is happening. You are deeply established in the present moment, and you touch your cosmic body. You touch eternity. There is no more restlessness, no more seeking.” Thich Nhat Hanh