What is Yoga?


Yoga means ‘union’, ‘connection’ or ‘to yoke’ and also 'seat'.  Yoga is a science and practice that unifies duality, or more accurately, brings about the dissolution of the illusion of duality in it’s myriad of infinite forms through a practice of bringing close attention to body, mind and soul.  In time, this close attention reveals to us the interconnectedness of all things within the timeless nature of existence and the ocean of pure potential from which all forms arise.  The truth that 'all is one' becomes an experience rather than an intellectual concept.  Through the practice of Yoga we open our body to greater physical and energetic motion.  This brings stillness to the ever whirling mind giving freedom for our Soul to express through us.  The experience of that which is beyond the limitations of 'self' can then be felt to be fully present in our lives, leading to a state of bliss and ecstasy.

Ultimately, the practice of Yoga leads to complete liberation from the self.  A state commonly known as 'enlightenment' or the 'awareness of Self' may arise.  Thought this is not a goal or destination to strive for; it is simply a natural flowering of yogic practice and discipline.  As identification with an egoic time-bound 'self' falls away so the egoless timeless 'Self' is revealed.  The egoic conditioned self gives way to our our innate nature; the expression of an unconditioned Self, that many call Divine.  In daily life any level of awareness or practice of Yoga will promote the good health of the body, mind and soul of an individual and thus the world around them in many diverse & positive ways.  

Techniques include: meditation, posture control, stretching, emotional release & relaxation.  These all promote a deeper awareness of our peaceful, compassionate nature thus transforming action we take within ourselves and with the world around us.



Where does Yoga come from?


The origins of Yoga are vague and uncertain, but it probably first emerged from the Indus Valley Civilisation 3300-1900 BCE.  It is believed to be a development of the Tantra tradition, which itself probably has its roots in Shamanistic origins. 

Yoga is deeply interwoven into the Jain, Buddhist and Hindu religions, yet remains a separate science of both physical and spiritual practice, rather than a religion.  Today it is believed to be practiced by 30 - 40 million people world wide from all cultures and backgrounds be they agnostic, atheist or from any and every religious faith. 

Most modern yoga traditions owe their inspiration and philosophical guidance from 'Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras' (sutra = aphorism/rule/thread).  The Sutras are a series of 195 statements believed to have been compiled around 400AD by the great Kashmiri sage Patanjali.  Often sited as the "Father of Yoga", Patanjali was certainly one of the first to write about Yoga, a teaching, like so many spiritual traditions, previously handed down from master to disciple as a purely oral tradition.


 What do I teach?


Although rooted in Yoga tradition and based in one or more of the many branches of Yogic lineage, each teacher gifts their own unique expression, understanding and flowering of their Yogic experience.  Therefore, I offer a teaching and practice that is my own, yet influenced by and most closely alined to the Hindu Hatha Yoga tradition.  Though I also bring in Buddhist, Tantric and Shamanistic elements.  Mine is a slow meditative style that incorporates asana (posture) practice, breath control, mantra, meditation and music.  Although a structure is followed, no two classes are the same and are influenced by the energy and focus of the individuals present.  I also integrate awareness of the Chakra system and subtle energy dynamics within the practice flow, as well as reverence of and connection to Grand Mother Earth and Grand Father Sky: the Manifest and Un-manifest energies that make up our Universe.


What should you expect in a Yoga Class?


During my Yoga classes I will lead you in meditation techniques, posture alinement, breath control and relaxation to help open your body both physically and energetically and to aid in calming your mind.  This is done on a yoga mat and possibly with the help of foam blocks to help stabilise you.  With your permission, I may gently touch you to help guide your body into correct alinement.  

I usually begin classes with seated meditation, followed by a warm up to open your body & bring greater awareness of it's needs in the moment.  Then standing asanas are practiced, followed by Sun Salutation flows to take you to asanas on the ground with ample time left for deep relaxation at the end.

There may be accompanying music or silence and incense may be burned to deepen your relaxation.  All postures, know as asanas, are carefully illustrated & explained and you are encouraged to take your time & find your own pace.  You are free to stop or relax at anytime and to ask questions as the class progresses.  I may also share Yogic philosophy and understanding during the class.

Towards the end of class you will lie or sit in a state of deep relaxation called Savasana.  I may then adjust you further to help deepen your relaxation & healing and/or lead you in a guided meditation.

 Physical strength or flexibility is not a prerequisite for attending a Yoga class.  You may have seen pictures of Yoga practitioners in all manner of weird and wonderful contortions.  However this is not the aim of Yoga.  Yoga fully supports those in peak health & fitness and those with minor or major challenges to their physical or mental health.

Yoga is about discovering yourself where you are right now in this moment.  Meeting your edges and, if you desire, giving yourself permission to go beyond them.  Every body is unique in how it moves, bends and twists.  Every mind thinks differently.  Every soul expresses uniquely.  Yoga helps you to discover a new, vibrant relationship with your body, mind and soul that is your own unique journey taken at your own pace.  As a teacher I am merely pointing the way and holding a sacred space for you to safely go on that magical journey of self-discovery.

I trust that I can safely hold space for you to go on that journey deep within, so that your life may become filled with good health, grace, blessing and bliss.