Yogavation

I am still renovating, it seems to have been a permanent state as long as I can remember. We sometimes talk about before we started this major project. “Remember when we could use the heating because the house was all sealed and it wouldn’t just float out into the universe?” or “Remember when we had room for most of our stuff and it wasn’t constantly being shuffled from room to room to accommodate the latest thing we are working on?”.

The wonderful thing about it is that all of our hard work and dedication are paying off and we are starting to see, feel and live in improved and much appreciated progress. An example is our front door. One of the first things we had to do was dig footings, one of which was located right by the front door. This meant ripping up the existing concrete porch to dig a metre deep hole which then needed to be filled with concrete. Not exactly the greatest entrance to your home, particularly when the hole was empty, when you stood in the doorway there was a big chasm beneath you – quite scary really!

Boy standing in a deep hole

Front doorway

This photo taken in January 2011 shows my youngest son in the hole, you can see the open door above him. Further work was done in the area, moving the front door forward once the footing was in place and then we got busy with building other stuff. Our “front porch” was made up of bricks laid roughly over the dirt to allow us to walk in and out and prevent the area from becoming waterlogged ( we lay the bricks down after it did indeed become waterlogged and we had a lake in front of our door!).

After three years of this “temporary” measure we have finally replaced this with our new front deck and boy do we appreciate it! Now we can say “Remember when we had those loose bricks on the ground at the front door?”

Older boy standing on a deck

Big changes over time

An older Rhys enjoying the new deck. Though it looks completely different this is the same location as the previous photo.l

Each little bit of progress we make now moves us further toward our finished house. What was a huge, overwhelming job has become a step by step journey which is now more than half way done.

Yoga works in much the same way as this. Often we become so accustomed to how things are that we really have trouble imagining life in a different way. It might be a physical condition causing pain or discomfort or a mental condition such as anxiety or stress. When these things first occur it can come as a shock but after they’ve been there a while we can become accustomed to them and accept them as just how things are. We might look back fondly to a time before they occurred but not be able to look ahead to a time when they will not be a part of our lives any more.

Yoga can often help, very slowly, to improve the conditions or sometimes to improve our coping mechanisms to allow greater happiness despite these conditions. Often the changes are so gradual and subtle that we don’t notice what is happening until one day we look back,  “Remember when I used to have back pain every day? ” or “Remember when I used to feel anxious all of the time?”

So yoga is like our renovations, a long journey which can sometimes be a little overwhelming and which we sometimes may not be able to imagine getting to the end off. (I suspect our renovation journey will linger endlessly even once the main workload is complete there will always be something left to do). However, along the way we have changes, little steps forward, progress being made whether it is by pulling apart the existing framework or rebuilding a new improved model.

Enjoy the process and take pride in each little step forward you make on your journey.

Love and light,

Belinda

xxx

Yoga Styles

I am asked very often what style of yoga I teach. This is such a hard question to answer so I thought I would share the reasons why in this weeks post.

Some teachers train in a particular lineage of yoga which would make it easier to answer this question. However even within particular yoga styles it is important to remember that there is variation as each teacher has their own special energy which they bring to their teaching.

My training in the Advanced Diploma of Yoga Teaching was at the Centre for Adult Education in Melbourne. What I loved about this course was that the faculty was made up of teachers from different lineages and backgrounds, giving me the opportunity to access the wisdom and practices from all of them, which in turn meant that my own teaching was inspired by all of them.

Since completing my training I have done workshops, attended conferences and classes with many other teachers and styles of yoga, all of which affect my own constantly evolving style of yoga teaching. The other influence is my own practice, my life, the seasons and importantly my students and the energy they bring into the room.

Many teachers use the term Hatha Yoga which is pretty generic and has been translated in a few different ways, one translation is Sun and Moon yoga, which means it balances these energies within the body, another is with direction or force, as in moving towards a goal. The most common understanding of the term Hatha is a gentle style of physical yoga exercises, so it does apply to my teaching but in no way covers all of the practices I teach as it does not include meditation or relaxation or philosophy or many other aspects of my teaching style.

That is the long answer to the seemingly simple question of “What style of Yoga do you teach?”.

I usually just say, my own style, not that I am about to name it or copyright it which has happened in the yoga industry quite a bit. No one else could teach my style of yoga any more than I could teach like another yoga teacher. What matters most is that as a student, you find a teacher whose style resonates with you.

Love and light,

Belinda

xxx

Beat those Winter Blues…

Less than two weeks now until my Beat those Winter Blues workshop and spaces are filling up fast.

This was one of those ideas that came up in my mind one day, seemingly out of the blue, and just kept reappearing. This happens to me occasionally (it was what made me decide to train as a yoga teacher in fact!) and when it does there is no point ignoring it. I trust that little voice and go along with what it says.

So I organized a venue, the lovely Harvest Yoga in Kensington where I have taught a few classes and began to plan…

I love planning for a longer event such as a workshop or retreat even more than I love planning my classes. The opportunity not only to practice yoga in all of its forms, asana, pranayama (breathwork), meditation, sadhana (discussion) and relaxation but to share further information on why we are doing these particular practices and how they can be helpful in our day to day lives is a blessing. We will have  three and a half hours to really explore the depth of our practice, to feel each asana and how it affects us all individually, to learn about how to use your breath to warm up or energise or let go and wind down, to talk about how winter affects us in our bodies, minds and hearts and what we can do to work with it and, at the end, to indulge in a long hibernation relaxation.

Can you tell I’m a little excited about this one? That same little voice keeps popping up with “Oh, we should do this…” or “What about that” so I am writing down these little inspirations as they appear and putting it all together.

One very simple thing we will be talking about is getting out in the sun. Winters short days often find us leaving for work in darkness, staying inside under artificial light all day, then leaving work in darkness again. No exposure to sunlight affects our health in many ways – physical, mental and emotional. A simple yet very effective method of Beating those Winter Blues is to get out in the sun at every opportunity. If it is too cold outside find a spot by a sunny window or rug up warm and take a brisk walk in the sun while it shines.

Spaces are filling up you’d like to attend my Beat those Winter Blues workshop please reserve your spot by emailing me Belinda@yogatogrow.com.au

Stay warm and sunny!

Love and light,

Belinda

xxx