Yoga Foundations

As many of my readers know we are renovating our family home by adding a second storey. This may not in any way seem relevant to my yoga practice or teaching but through yoga tinted glasses everything is relevant to yoga.

 

We have been undergoing these renovations for years now and are at the exciting part of the journey where we can see our destination on the horizon, we haven’t yet moved upstairs but we do now have stairs and a roof and walls! I still very clearly remember the early days when we were putting in foundations and trying to imagine what it would end up like, since then the plans have evolved and a few changes have been made for various reasons.

It was very challenging in those early days, we were working so hard, digging huge holes, (often in very inconvenient places like in the main entrance to our home and besides the kitchen doorway), deconstructing in order to rebuild and improve it often seemed like we were going backwards. All of that was important though, to lay the strong foundations  needed to extend our house and reach the exciting stage we are now at.

In much the same way beginners to yoga can find it challenging, hard to imagine the postures and practices coming easily or smoothly, yoga can feel strange and unfamiliar as I very clearly remember from my own days as a beginner.  As with building a home, building a solid foundation to your yoga practice is important to allow you to fully explore and experience all that yoga has to offer. Even those with more experience can struggle with some postures or practices, for no obvious reason some things just don’t come as easily as others.

One of the many beautiful vistas from Clearview retreat.

One of the many beautiful vistas from Clearview retreat.

My upcoming Yoga Foundation retreat at Clearview Retreat on the 9th-11th of October is designed to delve into to the foundations of yoga, for beginners and experienced students alike. We will share some information about this thing called yoga, where and how and why it evolved, a breakdown of the thousands of postures and practices into some basic tools and methods which can be applied to all of them. Establishing a strong foundation not only of knowledge but also of awareness which can then allow your yoga practice to grow and extend.

The retreat runs from 7pm Friday evening until 3pm Sunday, price includes delicious home cooked vegetarian food, accommodation, yoga and guided walks. $375-$415 depending on accommodation chosen. Numbers are strictly limited so book early by contacting Jocelyn on 5797 0229 or via email diversity@diversity.org.au.

I am looking forward to returning to Clearview in the Springtime, one of my favorite times of the year. I’d love to see you there!

Love and light,

Belinda

xxx

 

 

New day, new opportunities

Sun rising over mountains

Clearview Sunrise February 15

Lately I have been feeling rather busy. Busy in a good way that is, not overwhelmed but rather an active and productive type of busyness. I put this down to a few things one being the yoga retreat I taught a couple of weeks ago which always involves a lot of planning and preparation in the lead up and a long period of teaching classes without a break due to the full time teaching at the retreat falling on my usual days off. Another is a sudden increase in bookings for infant massage appointments which fit in around my existing beginners, prenatal and kids yoga classes. Then there is always our ongoing home renovations and slow but steady progress towards the completion of the stage we are working on.

I find the secret to managing busyness so I feel productive rather than overwhelmed is to break everything down, think about today and what I need to do today and just start at the beginning. I know there is no chance of my completing every task on my mental to-do list so I begin with the must -do items and work through them in order of priority. Tomorrow will be another new day with another chance to get the rest of the things done.

Today I have completed several of my tasks and writing this post is next on my list, to share where I am and to show you these lovely photos from my recent Clearview retreat.

Curious Kangaroos

The Kangaroo sillouettes are my favorite. When I teach at Clearview I always go for a morning walk to take in the sunrise and hopefully see some wildlife. Kangaroos never disappoint as there are always at least a few around at tha time of the day. I got the feeling these two were as curious about me as I was about them.

Love and light,

Belinda

xxx

 

Back in the swing of things

Oh how sweet and restful was my end of year break. Reminding me of the importance of slowing down, resting and recuperating from the busyness that is always present in life. Now I am back on the swing after hopping off for a while, ready for the rise and fall, the ups and downs, the constant, ever changing yet always there, flow of life.

I very clearly remember the pleasure I felt swinging as a child and I still love to hop on a swing at playgrounds though now my kids are older I don’t get the opportunity as often. The rushing forwards, wind in your hair, rising above gravity, legs stretched and reaching for the sky. The apex of your swing, the high point which lasts for less than a second but seems like longer, gazing up at the heavens above. The return, knees bent, wind behind you now, freefalling then rising backwards to find the opposite apex where you are looking down at the earth below.

I love to swing with my eyes closed, just feeling the sensations of gravity changing as I move with, then against, then with it again. I love the earth and sky swapping their relationship to me yet always present. I like to take the idea of swinging through life, knowing that things are ever changing, there are highs and lows but neither last forever and the more energy I put into making things happen the further I will go.

I find myself now feeling energised and enthused, inspired and motivated and oh so ready to swing into the year to come.

My teaching has resumed gradually rather than all at once which feels like a wonderful way to ease myself back into it. Harvest Yoga classes including beginners, prenatal and kids classes are back in full swing, my workplace class will be beginning again shortly and my Thursday night class venue will hopefully be up and running in a brand new venue by the end of this month.

My first yoga retreat for the year, Celebrating Womens Wisdom, at Clearview is only a couple of weekends away from the 20th-22nd February and I am thoroughly enjoying putting the final touches on my planning.

The break has not been all lounging and leisure, we have made steady progress on our home renovations including the monumental, life changing, addition of our staircase (Yay, no more ladders!). I’ve also had lots of family fun hosting our extended family Christmas celebration and spending time out and about and just hanging around at home with Richard and the kids.

May your 2015 swing take you higher than ever before!

Love and light,

Belinda

xxx

A Merry and Restful Break for us all…

As things begin to wind up and other things become busier and busier I am giving myself a little break from my weekly/fortnightly blog posts over the next few weeks. That doesn’t mean you won’t hear from me at all, more that my posts will be less regular, a little surprise in your inbox when they arrive randomly!

We all need to rest and restore and with the busyness of the festive season upon us and the lull and quiet break that follows we receive a perfect opportunity to do just that. Some of my favorite holiday activities are below:

1. Just hanging out at home all day with my family – baking, playing board games, gardening, creating things. Catching up on all the stuff we like to do but find hard to fit in during school terms. My kids call these days pajama days as you don’t even have to get dressed if you don’t want to.

2. Spontaneous outings, to the zoo or a bushwalk or the city or the museum, wherever takes our fancy. The freedom to just wake up in the morning and go because there is nothing else on that day.

3. Trying something new, be it a craft project, new recipe, new activity, visiting a new place.

Maybe there is something there you enjoy, or maybe you have your own ways of chilling at holiday time. Even if you have to work all through the festive season I hope you find some time to look after yourself and do what you love the most.

I’m going to need a good rest as the New Year is looking busy at Yoga to Grow, some of what is happening below and as details are confirmed on other classes and events they will be posted on the relevant pages. Of course if you have any questions you can contact me via email belinda@yogatogrow.com.au or phone 0414 702 854.

 

Kids Yoga School Holiday Workshops

Wednesdays 14th & 21st January 3-5pm

In these two hour classes we will explore a range of fun yoga practices including asana, breathwork, meditation, relaxation, free movement and group work.

Suitable for ages 5-10 years.

CASUAL $28 casual / 2nd child (sibling discount) $20. Both classes $50 / 2nd child (sibling discount) $40.
Harvest Yoga, 76 McCracken St Kensington
For further information please see my Retreats and Workshops page or Harvest Yoga
Kids Yoga classes will commence in term 1, details will be confirmed soon and will be on my Yoga Classes page as soon as they are locked in.
Prenatal Yoga Classes
I am so pleased to be teaching prenatal classes once more, they will commence for 2015 on Wednesday 14th January, 5:45pm.
More info can be found on my Yoga Classes page or Harvest Yoga
Monday Night Beginners Courses
These will also run at Harvest Yoga in 2015, dates soon to be confirmed, details will be placed on my Yoga Classes page as soon as they are locked in.
Thursday Night Yoga in Braybrook
These classes will commence as soon as our new venue is ready, every time I pass it looks a little bit better, more complete so it shouldn’t be too far away.
Celebrating Womens Wisdom Yoga Retreat

20th-22nd February

I am very much looking forward to returning to Clearview Retreat to share this new retreat theme with a small group of wonderful women!

Further details on my Retreats and Workshops page or at Clearview Retreat.

 

Wow, there’s so much coming up that I’m almost exhausted before I begin 2015! It is looking to be a great year and I look forwards to sharing everything that it brings here at Yoga Tinted Glasses.

A restful and love filled break to all of my readers.

Love and light,

Belinda

xxx

Post retreat unwinding

IMG_1720

 

It is always a busy time for me before and after I teach a retreat. Organising myself, my families activities and transport to and from them while I’m away, my class plans, my packing beforehand and then afterwards allowing myself time to rest after the intensive teaching requirements, unpacking, catching up on what didn’t get done while I was away. All in the midst of busy life anyway of course, my regular classes, activities, renovations, housework and so on.

It is worth it all though, I love teaching retreats at Clearview for several reasons.

1. I get to focus on a particular theme and visit it through many different yogic practices, asana, pranayama, relaxation, meditation, chanting, philosophy, discussion. This uninterrupted focus over a whole weekend allows very deep understanding and exploration of the theme.

2. I get to work with a small group of students and our hosts, Jocelyn and Paul, take such great care of myself and the students that all we need to think about is yoga. Without any interruptions and distractions of cooking, cleaning or organising anything we are able to really immerse ourselves in our practice.

3. I love getting back to nature, it is so healing and invigorating. As a teacher on retreats I need to keep myself inspired and energised and my favorite way of doing this is to go for a quiet walk by myself when the opportunity arises. A short walk Friday afternoon, a longer one each morning before the first class begins and another long one during the free time on Saturday afternoon.

4. Mouna, or silence is something we practice at retreats and the results are always interesting. Though not speaking to anyone for hours at a time seems like a strange thing to do it is in fact very liberating. It allows students to focus on themselves and their needs, to let go of the distraction of obligations, small talk, interaction with others. To listen inwardly rather than externally. Often the students who are the most nervous and unsure about it at the beginning become its biggest fans by the end of the weekend.

5. A feast for the senses. The food at Clearview is delicious, home cooked, nourishing and catering to everyone, special diets included. As well as great tastes there is the opposite of silence, the sounds of the bush. Wind through trees, branches rubbing against each other, birds of all shapes and sizes making all sorts of sounds, the pounding of kangaroos hopping through the bush in the early morning light, the buzzing of bees, the rustling of grasses. The view is astounding and draws the eyes over rolling hills to distant horizons, eagles soaring in skies above as wombats and wallabies move about below. It is well worth closing your eyes to take in the beautiful smellscape, inhale deeply and take in the scent of eucalypts, tea tree, flowers and fresh air.

Hills and mountains rolling into the distance

View from Clearview retreat

I’m looking forward to returning to Clearview in February to teach my next retreat, Celebrating Women’s Wisdom. More details can be found on my Retreats and Workshops page.

Love and light,

Belinda

xxx