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Utthan Pristhasana Lizard Pose P77

Breathe for So, you want to be a



Lara Z on


inner calm Trust in the power of practice HO W TO R U N A






How to move from Gomukhasana to Purna Matsyendrasana

the season o be indulgent 0 9



classic poses with a new twist

Power Living chooses to regularly host its yoga retreats at Komune. The staff are polite and offer exceptional, swift and friendly service. Komune is the ultimate choice for us. - National Programs Team, Power Living

BOOK A YOGA RETREAT for your yoga tribe with ten or more twin rooms and receive one luxurious suite room FREE for the duration of your retreat*

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Hotel Komune Bali: suns

Lara Z: Cover

On her zest for life and lo

Christmas gif From happy tops, to pea

Power Yoga’s

And his mission to make

Finding your

Inspirations for teachers

Meditative br

Reduce anxiety, foster ca

Hot ayurvedic

Keeping your cool from

Day job vs. yo

To teach or not to teach?


Truth and tra Michael Daly on trusting

Silly season su Embrace a wholesome,

Mantra magi

MindBody control

An online system for a smoothly run studio.


PARENTING Gifts that can’t be bought ...


INTERVIEW: JOHN OGILVIE On Purna Yoga and the meaning of life.

76 80 84 94


Business tips for teachers

How to get started and grow as a yoga teacher.

Feast and be merry

Recipes so you can prepare a banquet fit for a yogi.

Incredible India

january 2017



Soaking up the delights of yoga’s motherland.

Kundalini meditation

Overcome negative patterns with a 40-day plan.

OM 21

44 70

22 24

44 62

50 32 BRAIN BOOSTERS Mindfully keeping your brain in top shape. HAPPY EATS Festive food for all your family and friends. DAY IN THE LIFE... The highs and lows of being a yoga teacher.

8 10

ON THE COVER Photography by Lisa Sherrett



88 70

12 14




Well connected

Integrate your practice into life beyond your mat.


Giving you good vibratio

editor’s letter

I S S U E N O 5 6 . J A N U A RY 2 017


Contact Media PTY LIMITED ABN 20 097 242 807 PO Box 582 Robina Town Centre Qld 4220 Tel: (07) 5508 2787 EDITOR

Jessica Humphries SUB-EDITOR


IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN. You’re probably pinching yourself and wondering where the time has gone. I know I am! Christmas is an interesting time of year. For some, it brings beautiful chaos – a time for connecting with those we love and reflecting on the fortune of our abundance. For others it can be a deeply sad or lonely time; a reminder of things lost or the strangeness of our sometimes over-indulgence. For me, it’s a hodgepodge of this and more. I feel incredibly lucky for the people and blessings in my life. And, at the same, time I grapple with all the usual stuff, and feel sadness for those who aren’t so fortunate. If we are to use our yoga at this time of year, perhaps the best way to direct the philosophy is to reflect on how we can serve; how we can give. How can we be the truest, most authentic version of ourselves and take that out into the world to create some magic? There’s no better time than the season that brings so much celebratory energy and festivities. Maybe you can create magic through connecting to the true purpose of yoga and finding ways to integrate your practice into everyday life (p.62), by finding fun and mindful ways to Be our friend on Facebook:


Angela Reeves

celebrate the festive season with the kids (p.36) or by simply being present (p.42). As you journey along this path of delving a little deeper into yogic philosophy, perhaps you’re even considering taking your yoga to the next level by learning to share your passion through teaching. And with so much advice on offer and courses to choose from, you’re not even sure where to begin, let alone if teaching could be a career option for you. So for those curious yogis and yoginis, and for those who are already teaching, we’ve called in some serious experts to help you navigate the path. To help you see whether it’s possible to turn your passion into a career (p.48), to understand the ins and outs of the business (p.66), to truly connect with authenticity when you do teach (p.58), and so much more – including juicy interviews with those who are living their dream (like our creative and inspiring cover model Lara Z, p.32). And that’s really just the beginning of this love-filled edition. I hope it inspires you in some way, and acts as a companion during the tumultuously joyful silly season. I look forward to continuing the journey with you in 2017! JESSICA HUMPHRIES Editor Want to subscribe? Head to

Both the paper manufacturer and our printer meet the international standard ISO 14001 for environmental management. The paper comes from sources certified under the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification scheme (PEFC). Please recycle this magazine – or give it to a friend.


Alison Cole 0411 623 425 PUBLISHER


Loraine Rushton, Diana Timmins, Caitlin Nowland, Lorien Waldron, Brieann Boal, Chris Dixon PRINTER

Printed by Webstar Print Australian Yoga Journal is published and distributed eight times a year by Contact Media Pty Limited, under license from Active Interest Media, 2520 55th Street, Suite 210, Boulder, Colorado 80301, United States of America. Copyright © 2016 Active Interest Media. The trademark YOGA JOURNAL is a registered trademark of Active Interest Media. All rights reserved. Vegetarian Times content, which appears in this magazine, is copyrighted © Cruz Bay publishing Inc. All Rights reserved, reprinted with permission. Subject to national and international intellectual property laws and treaties. Vegetarian Times is a registered US trademark of Cruz Bay Publishing. This publication may not be reproduced in whole or part without the written permission of the publisher. Copyright of all images and text sent to Australian Yoga Journal (whether solicited or not) is assigned to Contact Media upon receipt. Articles express the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Publisher, Editor or Contact Media Pty Limited. Distributed by Gordon & Gotch. ISSN 1837 2406. ACTIVE INTEREST MEDIA CHAIRMAN & CEO Efram Zimbalist III PRESIDENT & COO Andrew W. Clurman EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT & CFO Brian Sellstrom EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, OPERATIONS Patricia B. Fox DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL LICENSING Dayna Macy @ CRUZ BAY PUBLISHING, INC. PHOTO: FRANCKREPORTER/ISTOCKPHOTO.COM

january 2017

Happy holidays

Louise Shannon

The exercise instructions and advice in this magazine are designed for people who are in good health and physically fit. They are not intended to substitute for medical counselling. The creators, producers, participants and distributors of Australian Yoga Journal disclaim any liability for loss or injury in connection with the exercises shown or instruction and advice expressed herein.

"The teacher-student relationship is very special to me – it's the traditional way that yoga has been passed down. I've had the honour to study with amazing teachers including Maty Ezraty, Shiva Rea, Simon Park and Joan Hyman. I'm honoured to share the wisdom I've gained from them with my students." – Noelle Connolly, Head of Yoga at BodyMindLife

BODYMINDLIFE YOGA TEACHER TRAINING Are you ready to strengthen your physical, mental and emotional yoga practice, and build your teaching skills, with a carefully curated path of specialised training? BodyMindLife offers unique and accessible programs certified by Yoga Australia and Yoga Alliance at the 200, 350 and 500 hour levels. Led by Kat Clayton and Wanderlust headliner Noelle Connolly, with the knowledge and wisdom of our expert teaching team, our trainings are designed to give you the opportunity to thrive. You'll receive personal feedback and coaching, continued guidance through teachers’ practices and assisting programs, and the support of the friendly and diverse studio community. All training takes places in our world-class, dedicated facilities, and group sizes are strictly limited, so you have the space to connect and grow as a confident and empowered teacher.

Applications are now open for full and part-time 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training starting early 2017. For information go to or email Continuing your teaching journey? Explore our carefully curated courses at

Level 1, 84 Mary Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010 T. +61 2 9211 0178 |


Connect with us on email or social media!

200/350hr Teacher Training Program Perth, 2017

Connect with us on Instagram to be featured! Keep those hash tags coming #AYJinspo @maschac finds some stillness

@wisemumma enjoys our latest issue with a mug of matcha enjoys a delicious morning practice


Email Hi Jess, I’ve just opened my first ever copy of AYJ, (issue 55) read your column and was moved to email you. As a passionate vegan, I am embarrassingly ignorant of the yogic values of which you speak. I’ve always just looked at yoga as a zen sort of fitness regime for body and a little bit for the mind and spirit. It really sounds like a whole lot more than that and something I’m keen to learn more about.  You can smile in the knowledge that you have opened someone’s eyes today:) 

Training includes:

Thank you.

• tĞĞŬĞŶĚ ŝŶƚĞŶƐŝǀĞƐ • ϳ ĚĂLJ Ăůŝ ŝŵŵĞƌƐŝŽŶ • WƌĂĐƟĐƵŵƐ • ůů ŵĂŶƵĂůƐ • hŶůŝŵŝƚĞĚ ĂĐĐĞƐƐ ƚŽ zŽŐĂ sŝŶĞ ĐůĂƐƐĞƐ


200hr March 2017 - July 2017 350hr March 2017 - March 2018

Visit: teacher-training/

Thanks Simon. It always makes my day to get positive feedback like this! I hope we can keep inspiring you and opening your eyes to the deeper philosophies of yoga. – Ed


Congrats Simon for winning a one-year subscription. Email us to claim your prize!

Connect and win

Your contribution to our community is so valuable. Email us or connect on social media with your ideas on how we can make the magazine even better. Your feedback doesn’t have to be positive — just constructive. Send us an email to, join our Facebook community australianyogajournal or follow us on Instagram @yogajournalaustralia


Training Dates 2017 Fitzroy

starts 9 Feb


starts 3 May


starts 23 Feb

Bondi Beach

starts 11 May


starts 23 Feb

Wellington, NZ

starts 11 May

conscious yoga athletica


What’s On Your essential guide to what’s on in the yoga world

Panacea Festival

Benalla Victoria March 3-5, 2017 A hippie yoga festival with a twist. This event is a space for bringing together the yoga community for awesome tunes, fresh air, yoga, meditation, art, colour and happy vibes.

Moving into meditation

Starlight Festival Bangalow

Melbourne December 11, 2016 Be guided into stillness by Good Vibes teacher Lucienne Shanti in this two-hour Mellow Flow and meditation class. This is the perfect antidote to busy city life, exploring the concept of stillness while developing a stronger connection with self.

Flow Festival

January 5-8, 2017 This cute and quirky annual event in the Byron Bay shire brings the community together for workshops on health, wellbeing, sustainability, healing, lifestyle and enlightenment. It’s the perfect opportunity to ignite your spirit and nourish your soul among like-minded individuals.

Ayurveda retreat in India Southern India January 16-30, 2017 Experience yoga and Ayurveda at its source on this 14-night immersion that dives deeply into the ancient sister science of yoga in Kerala. A unique blend of culture experiencing ancient vedic rituals and yogic philosophy.

Knoff Yoga teacher training Serpentine WA

january 2017

December 16-18, 2016 Celebrate summer solstice at WA’s annual yoga and music festival. Enjoy three days of yoga, dance, healing arts, world-class live music and more, all in a pristine natural setting.


InTouch Yoga intensive teacher training

Melbourne January 2-6 (Discovery) and 8-27 (Foundation), 2017 Master yoga teacher Nicky Knoff is coming to the Ashtanga Yoga Centre of Melbourne to offer two levels of teacher training. The transformational courses are registered with Yoga Alliance.

Bliss Baby prenatal yoga teacher training Byron Bay

Byron Bay January 2-27, 2017 This full-time one-month teacher training with Flo Fenton allows students to be immersed in and inspired by a yogic lifestyle by the ocean. The small groups are perfect for soaking up Flo’s immense knowledge and experience.

February 17-19, 2017 This weekend intensive is fun, practical and packed with information to guide teachers in the growing field of pregnancy yoga. The 22-hour course will provide teachers with a comprehensive tool kit of appropriate and safe postures for women during all stages of pregnancy, and to prepare for birth.

Visionary Gateway into 2017 with HarJiwan

Byron Bay December 31 Filled with Kundalini yoga, meditation, journalling, dancing, laughing, crying, releasing, gong, relaxation and more, this course runs during the day, leaving you free to spend NYE night celebrating in any way you feel. The intention is to release 2016 consciously, taking the lessons, expanding what worked, learning from what didn’t and opening up to opportunity and possibility in 2017.

Byron Yoga Centre’s new year retreat

Byron Bay December 27-January 3 Release the old and embrace the new with a special eight-day retreat which is held over the new year. Designed especially for this auspicious time of year, the retreat offers an opportunity to reconnect with body, mind and spirit to reignite your inner spark for 2017! Got an event on? Send your event details to along with a high-resolution image.

Byron Bay Shop 3B, 1 Byron St 02 6685 7595

Bali Jalan Raya Basangkasa No.1200B, Seminyak +61 361 730 498

th l t t IN THE NOW


AYURVEDIC BLISS IN CANGGU, BALI Situated 15 minutes from Canggu in idyllic rainforest surrounds, Sukhavati is the ultimate luxurious destination for Ayurvedic healing. For not much more than a weekend away in Sydney, you can indulge in a personalised program and be treated like royalty. You can opt for a villa with your own private pool and majestic outdoor bathroom set amid lush outdoor gardens. Wake up early for a morning yoga class with a Balinese instructor and enjoy a delicious healthy breakfast delivered to your private balcony lounge. After a consultation with an Ayurvedic doctor, a program is tailored to suit your needs, including traditional Ayurvedic treatments, healthy meals and advice about how to continue living an Ayurvedic lifestyle. The treatments are phenomenal and the pace of the schedule at the secluded rainforest retreat is ideal for relaxation.

january 2017



The Diploma of Ayurveda Yoga Teaching has been granted national recognition as an accredited teacher training within Australia. The course provides students with the knowledge and skills to teach yoga through the philosophy and practices of Ayurveda – yoga’s sister science. This traditional medicinal practice dates back to 5000 BCE using the modalities of yoga, bodywork, diet and herbs along with lifestyle. “Yoga was traditionally taught one-on-one giving the students greater insight into their practice. Our course shows how to work with groups and still give individuals the attention they require to grow their practice. Some of our teachers use Ayurvedic body therapies like self-massage, lifestyle advice and cooking tips to help students make deeper connections,” says Sarah, course owner and principal of 10579NAT Diploma of Ayurveda Yoga Teaching. Developing a style of yoga training to meet national standards has not been an easy journey. The owners of Aligning Health, Sarah and Zelko, lived in a caravan for two years with their three young children on their 20 acre property on the outskirts on Bendigo, waiting for their dream retreat and training centre to be built. They’re delighted their dream has come to fruition and can’t wait to share the yogic and Ayurvedic teachings.

the latest IN THE NOW

In the community Regardless of your beliefs or traditions, this time of year brings not only a few extra kilos (if you’re lucky) and a diminishing bank balance, but a gentle reminder to contemplate what really matters. How fortunate we are to indulge in holiday celebrations and connect with family and friends. The joy of giving gently hums in our psyche as we spoil the ones we love with goodness. And, as yogis, we’re always aiming to find ways to take our practice off the mat and give back. There seems no better time to acknowledge some of the beautiful happenings in the Australian yoga community. We salute the beautiful teachers putting their hearts into sharing the benefits of yoga with those who need it most.


Jessica Dewar

We love seeing the rising popularity of donation-based studios around the globe and, now, also in Australia. It’s awesome to see the yoga community acknowledging that not all students can access this essential practice, and providing a means to make yoga available to everybody, irrespective of social or financial status. Melbourne dwellers are embracing the city’s first 100% donati studio, Jessica Dewar Yoga, based in Camberwell. The studio has up to 16 weekly classes – ranging from vinyasa to yin, with special courses for beginners. Founder, Jessica Dewar, is a strong believer in creating an empowering and inviting community through donation-based classes. She says, “Yoga shouldn’t be restricted to only the people who can afford expensive classes. We need to create a community and a way of thinking where a healthy lifestyle can exist for people who might not have the financial means of accessing it. I began yoga for the purpose of being able to share it with everyone. Making a business about the people has always excited me. It’s about connection and feeling part of something bigger.” Check out the schedule at

The Refugee Yoga Project

Inspired by the Hackney Yoga Project in London, the concept of teaching yoga to refugees was piloted in Sydney just over a year ago, with five organisations working with refugees. After the success of this pilot, The Refugee Yoga Project was born. The collaboration between The Vasudhara Foundation and the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS) offers eight weekly classes to groups of refugees healing from trauma. Each class brings together a yoga teacher, psychologist and interpreter, who all work together to deliver trauma-sensitive sessions. Throughout the year, data has been collected as part of an evaluation that will be reported by the end of the year. Based on the students’ feedback, the organisation is hopeful the evaluation report will help build an evidence base for the inclusion of yoga as a mainstream treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression and anxiety.

january 2017




BREATHE YOGA A year ago, Kat and Bodhi, passionate creators of the Breathe Project, embarked on a journey to introduce breathing techniques into primary and high schools around Australia and beyond. What started as a crowdfunding campaign turned into a life-changing mission for the enthusiastic pair who have now worked with more than 19,000 students and teachers across 70 schools this year. They work face-toface educating and empowering teachers and students by helping them to integrate just three minutes of daily breathing into the classroom. The project also supplies resources to support integration and sustainability. Follow Kat and Bodhi, or sign up your school at

Breathe Yoga A SOUND LIFE

The vision for A Sound Life came from the union of Edo and Jo, a much-loved couple who travelled extensively teaching yoga and music in underprivileged communities. Since Jo’s heartbreaking death in Septembe last year, the organisation has continued to flourish, with Jo’s legacy and shining spirit living on. ASL volunteers have been delivering free yoga and music in hospitals, aged-care, disabilities and mental health facilities to transform lives through yoga and creative expression. The charity now also operates in the Illawarra and Byron Bay, and the goal is to take Sound Health nationally by 2020.

ASL volunteers

january 2017

Kids reach tall


Fat Yoga


Fat Yoga, created by body image and eating disorder specialist Sarah Harry, is a roving yoga studio offering classes in 10 locations across New South Wales and Victoria. The movement came from a demand to create safe and accessible practices for people with larger bodies to comfortably enjoy yoga. Fat Yoga is made for anyone who identifies as being large, and who doesn’t feel confident in a general class. Sarah is also a community partner of the US-based Yoga and Body Image Coalition which is dedicated to challenging the traditional media view of the yoga body.

Kids Reach Tall is a yoga program in the Illawarra that includes children with special needs, providing a beautiful experience for the kids and respite for their parents. The weekly, after-school class is open to children of all abilities, including the siblings and friends of children with a disability – helping to foster patience and understanding. The class is taught by local yoga teacher Kathy Gaudiosi who also runs a small yoga studio in Wollongong. The classes give students a full sensory experience; every instruction and verbal cue has a corresponding visual flash card and each child is given a sensory box with objects to smell and touch throughout the practice. This is just one of the areas in Australia providing yoga to students with special needs.





Listening to Om Collective’s new album, A Collection of Mr Kite’s Open Mind, is a truly transcendental experience. This acoustic, folky psychedelic music is a magical accompaniment to the spiritual journey of yoga and meditation. The single Luce de Dieu culminated during producer Tim Ferson’s vipassana-inspired retreat. “I had the place to myself for a few weeks so I unhooked the phones and internet. I set up a yoga mat, which I slept on, under a sadhu cloth that I grew fond of while sleeping with the sadhus on the ghats of the Ganga in Rishikesh. It was the end of a cold winter, so sleeping went for about five hours a night; the other 19 hours of the day were divided between two activities which I had sanctioned: meditation and working on Luce. I emerged from the quiet and visited my brother and played him two samples: A) the original; B) a revised version featuring the new chord progressions at the centre of my 12 days of work. Obviously, I was hoping he would prefer the new version.He couldn’t tell the difference. I played the samples to three of his housemates. None of them could tell the difference. “This was the first song I had begun writing for the album, and four-and-a-half years later, it was the last awaiting completion. I suddenly became acutely aware of the actual insanity of my quest for perfection. ‘Ok, it’s done then.’”

YOGAHOLICS Introducing Australia’s first online yoga platform, created by our friends at Power Living. Stream classes at home, taught by the Power Living crew, including Duncan Peak. Classes range from 5-90 minutes in various styles for different levels, and new content is continually being developed. We gave the classes a whirl and loved them. Videos were high quality, and after using all the American apps, it was refreshing and fun to hear the Australian accent. It (almost) feels like you’re really there! $12/month

People and planet friendly clothing designed for a playful lifestyle. All ethically made with sustainable, organic and recycled materials

Australian Yoga Journal UHDGHUVUHFHLYHRƀ any purchase over $35 Using Coupon Code at Checkout AYJTAKE10 Shop online Email

connect AYJ FAMILY

Loving our yogis Duncan Peak

Rachel Zinman

Practicing for nearly two decades, Duncan has trained in most major styles of yoga and is the founder of Power Living. He is the author of Modern Yoga. He helped start YogaAid, a charity that has raised more than one million dollars for people in need. Duncan teaches internationally and inspires thousands of people to live selflessly.

Rachel Zinman has been practising since 1983, teaching since 1992 and teaching teachers since 2000. She’s studied with some of the most influential teachers in the West including Alan Finger and Mark Whitwell as well as immersing herself in the study of Vedanta. A professional dancer from a young age, a singer/songwriter, poet and bestselling author, she is now completing a book on yoga for diabetes.

Nicole Walsh Nicole offers a progressive approach to Vinyasa Flow Yoga through her studio, InYoga, in Sydney. She infuses traditional yoga with asana, pranayama, music and meditation, with some fun thrown in. Nicole inspires her students to create balance and life choices that are realistic and sustainable.

Simon Borg-Olivier

january 2017

Simon is a co-director of Yoga Synergy, one of Australia’s longest running yoga schools. Their style is based on an understanding of anatomy, physiology and Hatha Yoga. Simon, a physiotherapist, is also a research scientist and university lecturer. He has been teaching since 1982 and leading workshops and conferences interstate and overseas since 1990.


Carrie-Anne Fields Carrie-Anne founded My Health Yoga in 1998 to specialise in yoga, counselling and healing. She has a degree in psychology and is certified in yoga, acupuncture, kinesiology, reiki and Ka Huna Bodywork. Carrie-Anne is an accredited Level 3 Senior Yoga Teacher and represents Australia as a board member of the World Movement for Yoga and Ayurveda.

Eve Grzybowski Eve, who was born in the USA, adopted yoga as her life’s path on moving to Australia. She became a teacher and is renowned for her dedication, humour, and gentle manner. Eve, who has founded two yoga schools, has been a teacher for 36 years and has been training new teachers for 25 years. She sees yoga as the best way to create peace and happiness in the world.

Amy Landry Amy Landry is an inspiration for those wanting to create long-lasting change in their body, mind, and soul through yoga and ayurveda. Renowned for her international retreats, Amy has built a strong following through her dedicated work in the community. She is a regular contributor to yoga-related magazines, has presented at many yoga festivals, and has taught globally in India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and beyond.

HarJiwan/Jacinta Csutoros HarJiwan, founder of HarJiwanYoga and her signature ‘WOW™  40 Day’ programs for women, is a teacher,

At AYJ, we are so grateful to our family of passionate, experienced yogis! They link us to the yoga world and keep us up to date with all we need to know. We can’t be everywhere at once, and so we rely on this beautiful community to connect us to the greater yoga society in Australia. Their expert knowledge and wisdom is vital to the loving creation of each information-packed edition. healer and role model for the massive shift in consciousness happening on this planet. HarJiwan studied with the Master of Kundalini Yoga, Yogi Bhajan, and is an experienced and dynamic Kundalini Yoga teacher. After opening Australia’s first Kundalini Yoga studio in south Melbourne, HarJiwan is now in Byron Bay teaching workshops, intensives and specialised online programs. 

Lorien Waldron Lorien Waldron is an ayurvedic health and lifestyle consultant who works on physical and energetic levels, believing in a holistic approach to health. She is a yoga and cooking teacher with a passion for organic wholefoods, plant-based nutrition, digestive health and intuitive eating. She is the founder of Wholesome Loving Goodness and author of eBook, Simple Ayurveda in the Kitchen.

Mary-Louise Parkinson Mary-Louise is the current President of IYTA. She is a Senior Certified Teacher with Yoga Alliance and Yoga Australia and holds Diploma and Post Graduate Qualifications with both IYTA and Dru. She is an author, counsellor and a pilot, with over 20 years’ yoga teaching experience.

John Ogilvie John Ogilvie is one of Australia’s most highly respected and experienced teachers and founder of Byron Yoga Centre. John has been practicing yoga for more than 30 years and teaching for over 28. John developed his signature style of yoga, Purna Yoga after 20 years of disciplined yoga training including practicing both the Iyengar method and Ashtanga. His teaching style is entertaining and completely accessible.

– 28 TO 30 APRIL 2017 –









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boosters january 2017


It’s easy to see how yoga keeps your body limber and strong, and now research shows that the practice goes a long way toward helping your brain stay in top shape, too. A new study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease reveals that a regular routine of yoga and meditation can help you keep your smarts while remaining happy and mindful. Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, asked a group of older adults with mild cognitive impairment to practice Kundalini Yoga weekly and meditate every day for 12 weeks, while another group was asked to complete a series of proven memory-enhancing brain-training exercises over the same time span. While before-and-after brain scans showed improvements in memory and brain connectivity in every test subject, those who practiced yoga also exhibited noticeable boosts in mood, resilience to stress, and the ability to focus. Wise moves. JESSICA DOWNEY


Almond caramel candy bars Note: I use a 20cm square silicone pan, but any pan of a similar size will work.


1 cup raw almonds 1 1/2 cup buckwheat 4 Tbsp. almond butter 2 Tbsp. coconut oil 1 Tbsp. maple syrup 1/4 tsp. Himalayan salt Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until well combined and moist, about 1-2 minutes. Set aside.


2 cups loosely packed pitted Medjool dates 4 Tbsp. coconut oil 2 tsp. vanilla powder 1/2 tsp. Himalayan salt Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until super smooth and slightly lightened in colour, about 3 minutes or so. Set aside.



january 2017

Holiday treats and happy eats help lay the foundation for a fun-filled festive season with friends, family and unexpected guests!


EVERYBODY deserves a sweet treat over the holidays. But if you want to skip the refined sugars and hydrogenated oils, this almond caramel candy bar recipe is just the thing. Indulgent, delicious and loaded with whole foods, there’s no funky food-like ingredients here, so you can treat yourself without trashing your body-temple. I’ve taken out the toxic hydrogenated oils, refined sugars and adulterated cocoa powder and used pure, natural ingredients instead. These are easy to make ahead, which makes them perfect for unexpected guests, or for Santa’s biscuit plate. Plus, there’s no slaving over a hot oven in the middle of summer! Best of all, your body will thank you for the upgrade.

A NOTE FOR YOUR SHOPPING LIST If you buy activated almonds and buckwheat, it’s well worth the upgrade. Activated nuts, seeds and grains are always preferable as they are more digestible and vastly more nourishing. Wellness whizz, writer, yogi and student of life, Caitlin Nowland lives in Byron Bay with her husband and children. Caitlin is devoted to helping others upgrade their lives through meditation, holistic wellbeing and shared wisdom. Dive into guided meditations, recipes, rituals and more at


1/2 cup of pecans (or other nut of your choice) Gently press pecans into the caramel layer in neat rows. Then pour the remaining chocolate mix over the top of everything. If you like, sprinkle a little salt across the top. Carefully place on a flat surface in the freezer and chill until completely set. Best to allow at least an hour. When set, remove from freezer; let the bars come to room temperature before cutting (so the chocolate doesn’t crack). Lift parchment out of the tray and place on a cutting board. With a large, sharp knife, cut into squares. Store in the fridge or freezer in an airtight container. Layer with parchment.



210 g. cacao butter, roughly chopped 4 1/2 Tbsp. coconut oil 2 tsp. vanilla powder 1/2 cup maple syrup 1/8 tsp. salt 1 cup cacao powder Place the cacao butter, coconut oil and vanilla in a double boiler and gently melt the ingredients. (Be careful not to let any water splash or bubble into the bowl as this will cause the chocolate to separate.) Once the ingredients are melted, remove the bowl from heat and mix in the maple syrup and salt. Finally, whisk in the cacao powder. Line a baking dish (silicone is ideal) with a piece of parchment paper. Pour about half of the chocolate mixture into the baking dish. Place in the freezer on a flat surface for 10 minutes or until set. Carefully remove from the freezer and very gently press the almond biscuit layer on top of the chocolate with the back of a spoon or with fingers (greased with a little coconut oil). Place in freezer until firmed up, about 5-10 minutes. Carefully remove from freezer and gently spread the caramel layer on top of the almond biscuit layer. Grease your fingers with a little coconut oil and spread the caramel this way, which is by far the easiest method!

with Janie Larmour




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AYJ Talk us through a typical day in your life. AMY In truth, there is no such thing! I travel abroad a lot to study, teach, and explore. My daily routine and structure changes with the seasons. Plus, I’m pregnant! However, for example, today I woke to watch the sunrise, did my pranayama/meditation practice, then a beach walk. I came home for breakfast, taught a private lesson, attended an appointment, then had lunch with my husband. In the afternoon I attended to emails, admin, housework, and catching up on reading — it’s a rare day off from group classes! Tonight I’ll make dinner, watch a documentary, and head to bed by 10pm. AYJ What do you love most about your job? AMY That it can truly be a path of never-ending exploration and evolution on so many levels, for both myself and those I share my teachings with.

Wise words AND

yogic inspirations

january 2017

Full-time yoga teacher Amy Landry reveals her personal teaching journey, her daily routine and rituals, and how to maintain integrity when confronted with ‘workplace’ challenges.


AYJ What motivated you to become a yoga teacher, and how long have you been teaching for? AMY I began my teaching journey five-and-a-half years ago. I’ve been practicing consistently for a decade, and initially never considered it could be a career path. It was something very intimate, personal, and spiritual which I explored during my time working abroad. After severe injury and a traumatic incident, landing me in hospital in Asia, that path came to a close. I moved home to Australia, got engaged, and fell into retail management. Yoga had been under my nose the entire time. One day a spark went off and I decided to invest in a teacher training course. Afterwards, teaching opportunities immediately unfolded in a rapid yet organic way. I was welcomed into many teaching experiences, all of which I wholly embraced to learn as much as I could.

AYJ Do you have any special rituals that you integrate into your day? AMY As much as I can, I love watching the sunrise. Every day I apply fundamental Ayurvedic principles to my morning routine, such as tongue scraping, abhyanga, and more. How you start your day is how you life your life! AYJ Apart from group classes, how do you create an income from teaching yoga? AMY Initially I sustained a full-time job with about six yoga classes per week. Shifting my job to part-time for a while, I then let it go as I fell into full-time teaching. I found myself leading 25-30 group classes each week, yet knew I needed to explore more sustainable pathways to sharing my love of yoga. Right now, I teach 12 group classes, private lessons, run retreats and workshops, and also facilitate a mentorship program with newer teachers.

AYJ What do you find most challenging about your job? AMY The degree of vulnerability and potential instability. Yoga teachers do not have the perks of a standard job in the workforce — no superannuation, sick leave, annual leave, bonuses, etc. When you consider the longevity of this career path, it needs to be a refined balance of head and heart working together! AYJ If you could go back and give some advice to yourself before you started on your teaching journey, what would you say? AMY Along the way you’re going to make truly beautiful connections and relationships. However, working in this field will be similar to any other in that you will be confronted with clients, colleagues, or employers who are challenging, potentially abusive, lack integrity, or take you for granted. AYJ How do you maintain integrity in an ever-changing yoga world? AMY I do my best (and am not always successful) in trying to think of those more senior on the path than me. Whether it is how I teach, what I share online, what I study, the companies and people I support, or how I facilitate workshops and retreats, I try to consider what my teachers would think of my actions to ensure integrity in all I do -— to respect those who have walked this path long before me! Keep up to date with Amy’s yogic happenings at

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january 2017


Beautiful, blissful


january 2017

Jessica Humphries explores a resort community perfect for yogis, surfers and fitness fans. From the pool to the restaurant, Hotel Komune Bali is an idyllic getaway for soaking up the sunshine and yogi vibes.

27 january 2017


WANDERING INTO HOTEL KOMUNE BALI, I felt the instant sense of worlds colliding – in the best way. This is a place not only for yogis, but for fitness junkies, surfers and families. As I meandered around the chic beachfront resort on Bali’s east coast, I felt the upbeat energy of the surfie culture, combined with organic, chilled yogi vibes. My mind instantly began exploring ideas of surf and yoga retreats, as I deliberated about what a perfect location this would be for combining the two practices and satisfying a range of interests. There’s the pool bar overlooking the beach with funky music playing while friends laugh and sip cocktails and, contrasted against this, inside the leafy resort grounds is the Health Hub – a magically peaceful place to indulge in all sorts of yogic, healthy goodness. On the night I arrived, I felt instantly at home in my chic room. The TV hummed reggae music while surfing clips played as I made myself cosy and admired the oceanic artwork on the walls. I headed to the Health Hub restaurant, a quaint eatery serving all sorts of sumptuous yogic treats. Fairy lights and greenery adorned the space and I sat on one of the cane outdoor chairs to salivate over the menu. Although the range of food on offer was tempting – from superfood-packed smoothies to fresh seafood and raw

desserts – I found myself ordering the Macro Bowl, and did so almost every meal for the rest of my stay. This colourful concoction consisted of red rice, grated carrot and beetroot, seaweed, steamed vegetables, pumpkin, tempeh and guacamole, sprinkled decoratively around a mini bowl of tahini dressing. My mouth watered each time I saw it on the menu, and I couldn’t go past this crunchy bowl of varied vegetable delights. All options on the health-packed menu were fresh, delicious and often from the resort’s own organic gardens.

GREEN DREAM The eco-friendliness didn’t stop with the organic gardens. The resort has set a positive example in its local area by establishing green development guidelines. As well as keeping the beach and river clean, they have created developments that don’t interfere with the ocean’s natural movements, preventing beach erosion. A large percentage of Komune’s power was solar, the lighting design supports the environment and plastic waste is minimised. The landscaping has been environmentally developed, and there’s a very strict policy of not allowing any wastewater to leave the site and enter the waterways. In addition to this, 70% of staff were local, and Komune is actively

engaged in community development in the area.

A SECLUDED SURF AND YOGA COMMUNITY I’ll admit that I had no idea where I was when I arrived at Komune, and I left feeling as though I’d entered an alternate universe that could have been anywhere in the world. I happily stayed put, with no desire to venture out, and I had plenty of yoga, healthy food, lazy swimming pools and beachy goodness to keep me entertained. Komune’s home Keramas is a 25-minute drive from Sanur and 40 minutes from the airport. The area is unspoilt and its claim to fame is the Keramas surf break.

SOAK UP THE SURF CULTURE Komune began as a wave-chasing, beach-lovers dream, and has emerged into a community-spirited eco-haven for environmentally conscious travellers who seek balance through yoga and connection to the ocean. As I observed my fellow travellers, I felt an almost ironic connection. Stepping out of my own yogic bubble allowed me to connect with others who were there enjoying a fitness-inspired honeymoon, chasing waves or sipping cocktails by the pool bar. The space allowed for and encouraged all of this, and I began to see that we were all simply seeking our own

peace of mind while soaking up the spirituality of the Island of the Gods. While Komune supports healthy living and meditation, there’s no judgement toward yogis who sneak away from the Health Hub to enjoy a cheeky sunset champers or skip their morning practice for a surf instead.

“There’s no judgement toward yogis who sneak away to enjoy a cheeky sunset champers.” A HEALTHY HAVEN I spent the majority of my time lazying about Komune’s Health Hub – consisting of the restaurant, quiet pool (there’s a separate pool for the grommets, but this one was kept child-free for ultimate tranquillity), a gym and yoga shala, all surrounded by beautiful gardens and greenery. There were two yoga classes a day, held in a big, airy, Balinese shala and ranging from flow to yin, taught by the resident teacher Nicole, a Californian native who has been practicing yoga for 14 years, and teaching at Komune for three. Nicole’s experience teaching at the resort has allowed her to grow immensely through working with so many different students, and her classes cater to a broad range of levels. She said, “Each day that I come to work I have no idea what kind of students will be in class. Many people are here just on holiday and want to give yoga a go for the first time and many have been practicing on and off for years and, being on holiday, have some time to get back into it.” Nicole fondly remembers the recent unveiling of the Health Hub. “When I saw the Health Hub for the first time, I literally got goosebumps all over my body. It was as if someone had unveiled my dreams right in front of me.” I’m clearly not the only one who loves the vibe at Komune. Nicole enthusiastically announced her gratitude, “I love that I work at this beautiful facility that has yoga near the ocean. I love the friendly staff and I am grateful to have had the support and encouragement of the management and owners to make my own dreams a reality here. It’s a diamond in the rough and I truly feel like one of the luckiest people alive when I walk into work each day.” Komune also offers the space for facilitators looking to host their own retreats in this idyllic pocket of Bali.

january 2017



From traditional Balinese massage to “ultimate goddess” and packages for couples, the spa is divine, and treatments are special. After a healing massage and scrub I was treated to a huge bath filled with dried fruits and ginger. I felt like I was bathing in a tub of herbal tea, and it was delicious. The luxury didn’t stop there, and I made sure to indulge in some hair pampering before my departure. Whoever came up with the idea of a cream hair treatment is a genius. My hair has never been given so much love, and it felt luscious for weeks after. With so many yoga retreats catering to dedicated yogis meditating at the crack of dawn (which absolutely has its place), I found Komune refreshing and indulgent. You can create your own experience, and there’s something for everyone – which is ideal for yogis whose travel companions are more into surfing and sunset beers than green smoothies and sunrise meditations. This little world of opposites in a pocket of Balinese paradise is the ideal space to combine a yoga and surfing getaway, and I left looking and feeling like a yoga-drunk, bronzed beachie who had just been on a tropical getaway.

Check out Komune’s special offers, retreat packages and more at

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THE MOMENT I MET LARA ZILIBOWITZ (or Lara Z as she’s affectionately known), I felt an instant sisterly connection. Perhaps coming from the same yoga family played a part. My own first yoga training was with BodyMindLife, where Lara now teaches. BML students’ enthusiasm radiates from them, and we become a part of a collective family — whether we’re casual class go-ers, daily practitioners at one of their three Sydney studios or dedicated teacher trainees. My own training with BodyMindLife was in 2011, and stepping into the space years later brought back floods of memories and awe at the transformation of this contagious yoga community. From that space of yoga family connectedness, I chatted easily with Lara about her own yoga journey, her passion for creativity and how she’s becoming one of Sydney’s most loved teachers at just 29.

decade has been the keystone in my quest toward health during a long-time skirmish battling post-traumatic stress symptoms of anxiety and insomnia.

How did your yoga journey begin?

What does yoga mean to you?

I have been a movement addict from an early age. I was passionate about dance and gymnastics growing up and for as long as I can remember I have been drawn to creative expression through the body. When I was 18 I had a lifethreatening encounter with a glass table, which left my nervous system in a state of severe shock. The medicine I have received from my mat over the past

More than anything, yoga has taught me to wake up and listen to my body with curious, compassionate and loving attention. Every time I come to my mat is an opportunity to revel in the experience of being alive, in both the light and the shadows, to cultivate joy by searching for the preciousness of small things — such as the breath, such as sensation — that transform the everyday

Who were you before you were a yoga teacher? For many years my full-time profession was in the world of food magazines. I held senior editorial positions at Delicious magazine, and prior to that at Masterchef, Good Taste and Gourmet Traveller. Which meant by mornings, nights and weekends, I would slip into my yoga suit to study and teach. After several years operating as a double agent in the worlds of both yoga and publishing, my health was put on the line once again with those recurring stress symptoms. At the start of 2015 I bid farewell to the corporate full-time world to pledge my way forward to peace and health for body and mind.

into the sublime. I feel extraordinarily privileged to be able share these learnings with students, particularly my passion for meditation and healing through movement and creative expression.

How did you come to teach at BodyMindLife, and what is your role within the BML community? As a student, BodyMindLife was my home studio for many years, so it was a profound privilege when I was recommended to join the teaching team by the operations manager at the time, who was a student of mine at a studio elsewhere. I have now been a devoted BodyMindLife teacher coming up four years, and I feel incredibly proud to represent the brand wherever I go. I teach regular weekly classes and workshops, as well as involvement with teacher development and training. We have an extraordinary team, who are like family, and the student community is ever-inspiring — their hearts are wide open and they’re hungry for knowledge. I look forward to going to “work” every single day.

Are you involved in any other exciting yoga projects? I’m also the co-founder of Back2Roots Retreats. These retreats are fertile ground for us to share our diverse


january 2017

talks to Jessica Humphries about her passion for expression through yoga, and her love of creativity and making art.

“I’m a tactile person and hands have always been my avenue to best enjoy the world, whether through yoga or massage, kneading bread dough or eating with my fingers ... but arms covered elbow-deep in silken clay is the ultimate.”

passions and trainings — from vinyasa to tantric philosophy, AcroYoga, Thai massage, art making, healthy cooking and more. Each retreat is a synthesis of luxury and wilderness woven together with a lot of heart. I also have the profound privilege of teaching at some extraordinary events in collaboration with world-renowned DJs and musicians in my role as presenter at Wanderlust festivals, ambassador for Lululemon Athletica, and most recently in partnership with the ABC for Classic Flow Yoga — a free podcast series pairing yoga with classical music.

Which teachers have inspired you? Over the recent years, I have been studying closely under the wing of vinyasa trailblazer Shiva Rea; her fluid and dynamic methodology of Prana Flow has revolutionised my teaching. Every class is now an invitation into moving meditation and living prayer, coaxing students to get out of their head and drop into their feeling, intuitive body. What results is a rhythmic vinyasa experience of flow state, waking up the vital energies in the body and liberating every cell. I feel very honoured for the opportunity to travel the world with Shiva, offering my hands and heart in the role of assistant. Other consistent mentors on my path are liquid flow yogi Simon Park and gravity-defying Noelle

Connolly — both exceptional asana and sequencing gurus who have deeply informed my practice and my teaching.

Apart from yoga, what do you love? I’m a tactile person and hands have always been my avenue to best enjoy the world, whether through yoga or massage, kneading bread dough or eating with my fingers … but arms covered elbow-deep in silken clay is the ultimate. Alongside my love of movement is my love of making art and, more specifically, throwing pottery on the wheel. I have become known for my handmade, hand-carved mandaladesigned ceramics ( The process of creating each unique mandala is a meditation practice. I sit in front of the clay canvas with no plan and no guide, simply giving my hand free reign. The kaleidoscopic, orbiting solar system that results is often a complete surprise to me, each vessel a reminder of my relation to infinity, from microcosm to macrocosm.

So, what’s next? What has been so remarkable for me to see is how all of these seemingly disparate threads of skills seem to have become woven together into a colourful tapestry of a career. And as the way continues to reveal itself, my dedication is to remain in a state of wide-eyed wonder, constantly asking myself the question, “What am I more curious about than afraid of?” The many years of living with “struggle” has brought me into daily conversations with myself, inadvertently demanding for my own authentic expression, innovation and replenishment. My dedication to myself, and my offering to all whom I encounter, is to exit the fast lane and move into the slow river of wonder, stoking the fires of passion and purpose with every conscious breath and meaningful mark or movement. In the words of author Dawna Markova, “We must first live the being and from that will emerge the doing.”

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Pamper those you love with divine beads, bath-time bliss, and indulgent yogic delights from our ultimate Christmas wish list.

Festiveofferings 1



4. LaMav rose hydrating mist Perfect for a spritz of awakening before or after a yoga class, we’re loving the delicious scent and feel of this enchanting mist. $27.95



3 3. Lara Z ceramics Intricately created by our very own cover model, these mandala bowls are designed spontaneously without the use of a stencil, so each piece is unique and makes a beautiful, yogic gift. Starting at $80

5. Chai bath soak Who wouldn’t want to bathe in a scrumptious mix of chai spices? Well, now you can yogis! These yummy, In-Salt aromatherapy bath salts made from essential oils, Epsom and Dead Sea salts are the ideal way to soak your worries away. From $10


january 2017



6. Shemana dream kit This gorgeous kit is the perfect Christmas gift – lovingly packaged and ready for the sweetest of dreams. $100




7. Women’s Wellness Wisdom A guide for creating exceptional healthy living by internationally acclaimed nutritional biochemist Dr Libby Weaver. A beautiful book full of insight and wisdom. $39.95


1. Calm and cool pillow cases Start your day with a namaste by yoga-fying your bedroom with these quirky pillowcases. 100% cotton, Australian-made with toxin-free ink. $40 2. Vitmix S30 Who can resist this personal blender? You get two travel cups plus a 1.2 litre container for creating juices and smoothies on the go or smaller creations – but with all the power of a high-performance blender. $795

Practice 8 8. Organic cotton chambray yoga blanket These sumptuous, heavily textured woven blankets with subtly muted striping bring yoga blankets into the modern era. The natural blankets are ready to support your yoga practice at home or in the studio. $35


9. Yin yoga mats These eco-friendly and chemical-free mats with their fashionable suede surface are perfect for yin. And they’re beautiful! $119



10. Becalm balls These massage balls apply pressure to the skull for ultimate relaxation and are based on osteopathy and craniosacral therapy. $48.40 12

11. Cork Leaf yoga mat These mats are not only super comfy to practice on (no slipping or sticking!) but they’re environmentally conscious (made from cork), sustainable and biodegradable. Did we mention this company’s one mat, one tree planted initiative? The perfect gift for yogi greenies. $125

Yoga fashion 14

14. Just Be tank Living in a vertical world sleeveless tank made from a blend of Organic Cotton and Recycled Wood $55 15

13. Yoga213 happy tank Join the happiness revolution wearing one of these super cute happy singlets. $69.95

15. Divine Goddess 15 mala beads and caps Divine Goddess knows how to create stunning malas – a must-have accessory for any yogi. Top it off with one of their cute new caps – perfect for summer! Malas from $89. 16

16. Yogi. Peace. Club. leggings These fun new prints from Yogi. Peace. Club. are perfect for spreading the yogi summer vibes. $99.99 17. Stay at Home Gypsy jewellery Beautifully created one-of-a-kind silver, crystal jewellery. Starting at $29.



january 2017

12. Inner Fire leggings Eco fashion at its best, created by a yoga teacher, so you know you’re in good hands! $92



HOLLY JOLLY YOGA Delight the children in your life with a gift that truly lasts a lifetime … the gift of yoga. By Loraine Rushton



january 2017

CHRISTMAS is on its way and you have probably started thinking about the perfect presents to give your friends and family. However, if you are stuck for inspiration and yet you want to give the young ones you love something meaningful – a gift they can treasure for a lifetime – then we are here to help. This festive season you can share the magic and yogic joy by bestowing on your loved ones the gift of yoga. You can inspire and instill in others the desire and know-how to embrace a practice that can teach the tools to self-calm, and how to find and maintain inner strength and happiness. So, this Christmas, how about following my 12 days of Christmas yoga for gifts that you can all enjoy together (young, old and middle-aged) forever?

Here’s a Christmas song I’ve created. Hope you enjoy it, and have fun! Give a yoga story book: Babar’s Yoga for Elephants by Laurent de Brunhoff is a particularly cute one. Host a Christmas yoga party: What fun! Who wouldn’t want to come? Download meditation for children: I’ve created a yoga nidra sequence for children, especially for you. Visit for a free relaxation download. Give a mandala colouring book: Children, teens and even adults love to colour in. Mandalas are special because they help to create single-pointed focus and develop concentration; this could be a perfect moment of peace among the Christmas madness. Log on and check out for a multitude of choices. Make a yoga Christmas tree ornament: We often do this in the final yoga class of the year as a special gift for the kids to take home. Draw your favourite pose on an ornament to hang on the tree for a personal touch. Play yoga reindeer games: In preparation for their big night ahead, the reindeers warm-up by assuming Down Dog. Have children run sideways to one end of the room and back. You can also make this a team game. Take a non-yogi to a yoga class. Learn to teach yoga to children: Go to www.zenergyyoga. com for a free audio download on my top 10 tips for teaching yoga to children. Commit to doing an anonymous good deed: In the spirit of Christmas, teach children the joy of giving to others. Give a a deck of yoga cards: Check out bookshops or online for a huge range of beautifully illustrated yoga cards for children. Enjoy a moment of gratitude: With the excitement and overwhelm of the holiday season, the perfect gift for yourself and your children could be to spend a moment thinking of all the things you are grateful for. Rename five yoga poses with Christmas names. For example, Tree Pose could be Christmas Tree Pose or Triangle Pose could be Snow Angel. If you feel creative, sequence the poses into a Christmas story or a song.

With 20 years of experience, Loraine Rushton is a leading authority on yoga for children and teens. Worldwide, she has trained thousands of people how to teach children’s yoga in a way that is educational, meaningful and fun.

yoga sequence for children On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me: a partridge in a yoga tree On the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me: 2 forward bends and a partridge in a yoga tree On the third day of Christmas my true love sent to me: 3 frog jumps 2 forward bends and a partridge in a yoga tree On the fourth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: 4 low planks 3 frog jumps 2 forward bends and a partridge in a yoga tree On the fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: 5 warrior threes 4 low planks 3 frog jumps 2 forward bends and a partridge in a yoga tree On the sixth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: 6 eagles landing 5 warrior threes 4 low planks 3 frog jumps 2 forward bends tr y and a partridge in a yoga tree v a off C is m On the seventh day Christmas o sentt to om my true love me: 6 eagles e s land la g landing es 5 warrior threes 4 low planks 3 frog jumps orw a bends 2 fo ward d a partridge p and in a yoga treee ent to me: my true rue love sent ng 8 crows a crowing g 7 chairs a sitting andin 6 eagles landing hrees 5 warrior th ees k 4 low planks 3 frog jumps 2 forward bends and a partridge in a yoga tree

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: 9 bellies breathing 8 crows a crowing 7 chairs a sitting 6 eagles landing 5 warrior threes 4 low planks 3 frog jumps 2 forward bends and a partridge in a yoga tree On the tenth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: 10 bridges lifting 9 bellies breathing 8 crows a crowing 7 chairs a sitting 6 eagles landing 5 warrior threes 4 low planks 3 frog jumps 2 forward bends and a partridge in a yoga tree On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me: 11 legs a swinging 10 bridges lifting 9 bellies breathing 8 crows a crowing 7 chairs a sitting g 6 eag a les landing 5 wa ri r thre th ees lanks k 3 frog mp r g jumps 2 for d be ds an og and a p rtrid e i


hd a On the twellfth day off Ch Christmas my true love ve sen sent to m me: 112 up dog do down dogss 11 le winging legs a sw 10 br bridgees llifting owss a crowing 8 cro c owing hairs a sitting 7 ch 6 eagles e gles landing 5 warri hr rrior threes 4 llow pla lanks 3 frog jumps mp 2 forrward bends




Power within

january 2017

Diana Timmins chats to Bryan Kest about the real meaning of Power Yoga, meditative awareness and the Law of Karma.



do it or move out of his house! Learning from David Williams and Brad Ramsey was the first – and biggest – step. They didn’t just teach yoga, they lived it – not just in their practice, but also off the mat. David was a great example of moderation. Brad exemplified how a man could be strong, but also gentle. My earliest epiphany was what goes around comes around, and I became aware of the repercussions of my actions. You have to be aware of your actions if you don’t want harmful consequences, also known as the Law of Karma. AYJ What is the main premise of Power Yoga? BYRAN I coined the term Power Yoga in 1989. It was just invented as a cool name, not as some kind of system of yoga, although now I think it is a stupid name as it seems to intimidate people. People have the wrong idea of power – competitiveness, hardness and rigidity – although there is nothing more powerful than gratitude, gentleness and compassion.

AYJ You have said before that true wellness requires a calm and peaceful mind; how can yoga help people acquire this, and how has your experience with vipassana influenced you in this regard? BYRAN The goal of yoga is awareness. When you bring awareness to what you do, you can identify tendencies such as competitiveness and try to reduce or eliminate those harmful qualities in your thoughts and actions. The silence of vipassana allows things to be revealed that would otherwise not be revealed. It taught me what yoga truly is – which is not a physical practice, but a meditation – and how to bring this into my practice and into my life, from the asana on the mat into all things. AYJ Similar to vipassana, your studio runs by donation rather than a set cost. When and why did you implement this method of payment? BYRAN I have been doing it this way ever since I opened my first studio 23 years ago, and it just feels right to me. I am disgusted with the way business is done

these days. It is cut-throat, backstabbing, fear-based greed, so it is more about taking than giving. I wanted to do things differently. It shifts the emphasis toward giving instead of taking. AYJ Getting out there and teaching yoga can be daunting for new instructors; what advice you can share? BYRAN Firstly, it is a stage you have to go through. They say that fear of public speaking is second only to fear of death. So, yes, it is daunting, but you have to push through and keep doing it. Secondly, be yourself! Don’t pretend to be someone that you are not. Just be and talk like you always do, not like some yoga instructor character. One of the main qualities of a true yogi is authenticity. Byran will be hosting Power Yoga Teacher Training in Airlie Beach (QLD) 21-25 August, 2017; check out for details and online yoga classes.


colours Think carefully about your passion and purpose, and reveal the authentic, beautiful teacher within.

january 2017

By Nicole Walsh


I REMEMBER very clearly the day I decided to become a yoga teacher. I had been taking yoga classes for about two years, and loved how yoga made me feel physically. I was also noticing a subtle shift in mindset that reduced the feelings of doubt and lack of confidence I had been experiencing in my career and personal life. My enthusiasm for yoga was so strong that touting the benefits of yoga to my friends and work colleagues was a daily event, so taking a yoga teacher training course seemed like a natural step. I believed that everybody could benefit from yoga, and I was all fired up about teaching and sharing what I loved. Having now trained hundreds of yoga teachers, I see that same spark of enthusiasm and passion in my trainees that I felt all those years ago. Most people who make the transition from being a student of yoga to becoming a teacher do so because they’ve been inspired by a teacher and by the profound effects of the practice. Being a yoga teacher is by no means easy. But teaching yoga is extremely rewarding, and there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing your students light up to their own potential through the practice of yoga. We teach yoga to facilitate transformation and change lives. Staying connected to our own inspiration, passion and purpose is essential to being able to continually show up for our students day after day, week after week, year after year.

Remembering what brought us to the mat in the first place, what kept us coming back, and why we chose the path of a teacher are necessary elements in keeping our own passion for yoga alive, and in keeping our teaching fresh, uplifting and inspirational. The main role of a yoga teacher is to show students a pathway to awaken their potential as human beings. Yoga is only a little about asana, and a lot about how we feel, think and relate while practicing. LA-based Power Yoga teacher Bryan Kest says, “The asanas are what we’re doing while we’re doing our yoga.” Most teachers will lead people through an appropriate sequence of yoga postures with a focus on the alignment of the body; they will describe some of the benefits of the poses, and tell their students when to breathe in and out. An inspirational teacher will take their students on an experiential journey with expertise, knowledge, patience, passion, compassion, empathy, connection and creativity. An inspirational teacher will be able to articulate to their students their own deep and personal connection to yoga, the really “juicy” stuff that will make their students’ eyes light up and trigger “a-ha moments”. To become inspiring teachers we need to transcend the technical and take our teaching to new realms where we touch the hearts and minds of our students. We need to move beyond the “what” to the “why”. Author and visionary thinker Simon Sinek shares how great leaders in

history have inspired action by communicating their “why”, their main motivating factor in why they do what they do. Sinek states, “Your ‘why’ is the very reason you exist.” Sharing your “why” – your inspiration as a teacher – will connect your students to their own passion for yoga, and this is what will encourage them to return to the mat. Inspiring classes don’t necessarily arise from the sequence of asanas (the “what”) or the alignment cues for the asanas (the “how”), but the way in which a teacher conveys his or her passion for yoga, and what yoga means to them. Discovering your “why” could be the missing link in transforming your classes from technical to inspirational. Don’t be mistaken in thinking that technical is not helpful – it certainly is.

january 2017

“Discovering the ‘why’ could be the missing link in transforming your classes from technical to inspirational.”


“Get clear about what ignites and sustains your passion for yoga, and share this wholeheartedly with your students.” But it’s generally not what drives people to return to your class again and again. Sharing your “why” is about being able to communicate your passion and your purpose for teaching yoga directly with your students. It’s like a thread that weaves through everything you do – from your class descriptions, themes and sequences right down to your website, bio and business cards. Knowing your purpose as a yoga teacher is about sharing your authentic self, and setting the intention to teach yoga in a way that honours that. If your purpose is to help people heal through yoga, your class sequences will be geared towards that goal, your language will take on a healing tone, and compassion and caring will emanate from your entire being. Finding your passion is like finding your personal road map. When you know what your passion is, you feel motivated, inspired, and so much

clearer about your offerings as a teacher. When you’re passionate about something, it feels like a “yes”. As yoga teachers, we start with a desire to share our passion for yoga, but we can quickly get bogged down with the technicalities of teaching yoga, and lose that spark. Making a conscious effort to continually connect to your passion and purpose, and sharing your “why” can transform your teaching so that each time you step on the mat, inspiration flows effortlessly. Get clear about what ignites and sustains your passion for yoga, and share this wholeheartedly with your students. Be inspired, and the authentic teacher will emerge.

TIPS FOR FINDING YOUR “WHY” Ask yourself what it feels like to be authentically you. What lights you up? Focus on what you love. What makes you smile? Discover your values. What is your personal moral code or internal compass that drives your decision-making and behaviour? Own your uniqueness. Where do you shine? What is your special blend of talents, gifts, wisdom, strengths, skills and creativity? Recognise the recurring patterns and themes in your life. What are you drawn to again and again? Cultivate confidence. Find the edges of your discomfort and lovingly challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone.

Nicole Walsh is the co-founder of InYoga, a vibrant Vinyasa studio in Sydney’s Surry Hills. She has been teaching for more than 15 years and is passionate about inspiring yoga teachers to discover their “why” through InYoga’s 200-hour, 350-hour and 500-hour teacher trainings., Instagram @inyogalife @nicolewalshyoga


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january 2017




of life

Meditating on your breathing can help you feel calm, grounded, and connected. Learn how to use whole-body breathing, or breathsensing, and nourish an inner sense of wellbeing and a gentle peace of mind.

january 2017

By Richard Miller PhD


EXPERIENCE BREATHSENSING Introduce breathsensing during the first several minutes of your daily meditation practice. Start with Practice 1, below; as you feel calmer and more comfortable, move on to the more advanced second and third practices. Then, interweave breathsensing into your daily life by remembering to tune in to your breathing patterns throughout the day. If you wish, set your watch or phone to beep at regular intervals, such as every hour, as a reminder to stop whatever you’re doing and check that your exhalation is smooth, steady, and slightly longer than your inhalation.

PRACTICE 1: Observe your inhalations and exhalations During the following practice, note the natural flow of your inhalations and exhalations, and the feelings of wellbeing that naturally arise. Rather than thinking about your breath, be fully engaged with the sensation of each breath. Sit or lie in a comfortable position. With your eyes open or closed, scan your body and note any unnecessary tension. Bring attention to the sensation of your breath. Without thinking, simply note and feel the sensation of each inhalation and exhalation. During inhalation, note your belly gently expanding; during exhalation, sense it gently releasing. Feel yourself settling, relaxing, and letting go with each breath. When your mind wanders, gently and nonjudgmentally bring it back to noting and feeling the breath-driven expansion and release of your belly. Welcome and nourish the feelings of wellbeing, ease, peace, and groundedness that naturally arise with each breath. Remain here as long as you feel comfortable, being at ease with each breath.When you’re ready, allow your eyes to open and close several times as you return to a wide-awake state of mind and body.

PRACTICE 2: Observe flows of sensation and energy Stress can disconnect you from feeling the natural flow of the life force within your body that supports health,

harmony, and wellbeing. However, the meditative practices of breathsensing can help you stay connected to it. Set aside 1o minutes at the beginning of your daily meditation for the following practice, which will help you experience your breath as a flow of sensation and energy. Sit or lie in a comfortable position. With your eyes open or closed, scan your body and note any unnecessary tension. Bring your attention to your breath. During inhalation and exhalation, note your belly gently expanding and releasing. Feel yourself settling, relaxing, and letting go with each breath. With each breath, note a circulating current of sensation and energy flowing throughout your body: With each inhalation, sensation and energy flow down the front of your body, from head to feet. With each exhalation, sensation and energy flow up the back of your body, from feet to head. As the sensation and energy continue to circulate, allow every cell in your body to welcome feelings of ease and wellbeing. When you’re ready, allow your eyes to open and close several times as you return to a wide-awake state of mind and body.

PRACTICE 3: Count your breaths You can also practice breathsensing by counting your breaths – a practice that’s useful in developing focussed attention and concentration. To succeed at anything, be it meditation, a work-related task, getting a good night’s sleep, or developing a sense of wellbeing, you need to maintain single-pointed focus for the duration necessary to accomplish your goal. Breath counting helps strengthen this ability for as long as a task needs your complete attention. When counting breaths, you’ll find yourself distracted by random thoughts. When this occurs, gently and nonjudgmentally refocus and begin counting again. Each time you refocus, you’re strengthening your ability to remain undistracted during breath counting, as well as in your daily life. At first, breath counting can feel challenging, like simultaneously trying to rub your stomach and pat your head. I encourage you to patiently continue practicing; in time, you’ll discover the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits



YOUR BREATH IS ONE of your most powerful healing resources. For example, deep, slow, and rhythmic whole-body breathing can reduce anxiety, fear, pain, and depression; activate your immune system; increase your ability to concentrate; and release healing and feelgood hormones, such as serotonin and oxytocin. Deep breathing achieves this by activating your parasympathetic nervous system and a rest-renew-heal response, ultimately helping you feel relaxed, in control of your experience, and connected with yourself and the world. The practice of breathsensing, a meditation technique that teaches you to observe, experience, and regulate your breathing patterns, offers a way to access the benefits of deep, rhythmic breathing any time you’d like. By mindfully following and observing your breath, you develop a relationship with it and start to think of it as a moment-to-moment flow of sensation, energy, and feedback. Focusing on the breath in this way helps to deactivate your brain’s default network, which allows you to locate yourself in space and time. (For more, see my Meditation column online at meditationpractice.) Turning off this network enables you to release obsessive thinking; it also activates your parasympathetic nervous system, encouraging your mind and body to relax. Once you become aware of your breathing patterns, you can start to make changes that help you stay balanced. For example, practicing exhalations that are longer than your inhalations supports your nervous system in maintaining a healthy equilibrium between your sympathetic response – a fight-flight-freeze pattern in the face of stress – and the calming parasympathetic response. This, in turn, helps you feel balanced and at ease as you move through your day; it also enhances your ability to sense and respond to the critical information your body is constantly sending you. Attuning to your breath can help you recognise subtle sensations of irritation, fatigue, and more that may be early-warning signs that you need to set a boundary with something or someone, or that you need to take time to rest, change your diet, or take actions to reduce your stress.

that come as a result of doing this simple yet powerful practice. Sit or lie in a comfortable position. With your eyes open or closed, scan your body and note any unnecessary tension. Bring your attention to your breath while noting the natural flow of sensation. Let your belly expand as air flows in, and release as air flows out. As you breathe, count each breath from 1 to 11 like so: Inhaling, belly expanding 1; exhaling, belly releasing 1. Inhaling, belly expanding 2; exhaling,belly releasing 2. And so on. When you recognise that you’ve become distracted, gently and nonjudgmentally bring your attention back to your breath, starting your counting again at 1. Continue counting while noting tension throughout your body.When you’re ready, allow your eyes to open and close several times, returning to a wide-awake state of mind and body.

MOVE FORWARD How do your body and mind feel at the end of breathsensing? I think you’ll be amazed how only a few minutes of breathsensing can leave you feeling grounded and refreshed, and able to respond to each moment, no matter what your situation. Can you imagine how you might use these practices on the fly, during your daily life? Make it your intention to practice breathsensing whenever you feel the need to relax, rest, and renew. As you engage these meditative practices, you’re laying the foundation that will enable you to thrive. Be aware that as you practice breathsensing, it’s natural to encounter the emotions that are present in your body. Tune in to the next issue, in which I’ll focus on how to respond to these emotions with actions that empower you to feel in harmony, both with yourself and the world around you.

Richard Miller, PhD, is the founding president of the Integrative Restoration Institute ( and co-founder of the International Association of Yoga Therapists. This is his fifth in a series of 10 columns designed to help you create a lasting and impactful meditation practice.

om AYURVEDA 2. Add fresh coriander to your meals Coriander is a summer super-food. Known in Ayurvedic medicine to remove excess heat from the body, coriander has a cooling, purifying effect on the blood. Add some freshly chopped coriander to your salads, soups and savoury meals for a delicious flavour and to cool you right down. (If you don’t like coriander, there are many other cooling foods you can eat such as fresh coconut water and leafy greens, cos lettuce, cucumber and aloe vera juice.)

3. Play it cool with your spices

yourself glow…

Include a few summer-time Ayurvedic kitchen tips to your daily routine and stay cool while balancing your mind, body and spirit.

january 2017

By Lorien Waldron


Summer is a beautiful season. Our days are longer, the ocean warms up and fresh organic produce is in extra abundance. We generally feel more laid back and relaxed about everything in life, including our yoga practice and daily routines. With the sun-drenched, salty-hair bliss of summer and a new schedule of festivals, gatherings, family get-togethers and road trips, comes a temporary change in our food and lifestyle routine. Alongside this festive social calendar, it’s important to remember to listen to your body. Your mind and body love routine, even if you are a free-spirited wild adventurer who thrives on spontaneity and the unknown. Establishing some regularity with your meal times and daily rituals can go a long way. One of the most basic yet profound principles of Ayurveda is that to stay balanced in mind, body and spirit, we must be able to adapt to the changing

seasonal environment. To stay cool, balanced and full of energy this joy-filled festive season, here are four simple Ayurvedic kitchen tips. Add them to your daily diet and ensure you are glowing with good digestion all season.

1. Stay hydrated Water is essential for our brain and body to function. During summer the heat of the environment can have a drying effect on our body and we lose fluids through our pores via sweat. Staying well hydrated during the day is essential for good digestion and will also keep your skin clear and radiant. The best way to make sure you’re drinking enough water is to: • Drink one or two large cups of warm water on an empty stomach to start the day. • Carry a water bottle with you so that quenching your thirst is only ever a few seconds away. (I recommend using an insulated water bottle so you can carry warm water with you. Drinking cold water requires more energy and slows down digestion.)

4. Choose simple food combinations Our digestive system loves simplicity. Every time we eat something our body has to produce specific enzymes and acids in the stomach to digest that particular food. During summer our body puts the majority of its energy into keeping us cool, which means there’s slightly less energy available for digestion. Nurture your digestion by keeping food combinations simple. Here are my top two food combining tips for glowing digestion: • Eat your fruit by itself and at least 20 minutes before or after any other food. Avoid mixing dairy and fruit especially in smoothies or breakfast yoghurt. Opt for dairy-free milk and yoghurt such as coconut milk/yoghurt. • Allow 20 minutes between eating and drinking to ensure you don’t dilute your digestive enzymes.

Enjoy a nourishing yummy summer, filled with connection, celebration and great digestion!



Spices have numerous health benefits when added to our cooking and they are a big part of building immunity and aiding digestion. Due to the potency of spices, however, it’s important to use them intelligently and in harmony with the season. During summer there is already a lot of heat in the environment. Keep your blood cool and your fire element (Pitta dosha) in balance by avoiding hot pungent spices including chilli, garlic, cayenne, mustard, nutmeg, excess salt and excess black pepper. Instead, choose more subtle spices to warm digestion such as fresh ginger, turmeric powder, cumin seeds, coriander seeds or powder, cardamon, fennel, cinnamon in moderation, and fresh herbs including basil, parsley, coriander and curry leaves.

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What is it like to create a yoga career alongside your existing choice of work? Should you quit your day job to chase your dreams, or try and find a balance between both? We are given some sage advice from yogis who have combined their love of yoga and their desire to teach with the practicalities of life.


january 2017

By Louise Shannon


january 2017

january 2017

“We believe yoga is powerful and transformative at every stage of life and that everybody deserves to experience the freedom and peace yoga can bring.�


Jean Byrne

others furthering their yogic career? “Write down how you want your life to look as a yoga teacher. Think about how many days you need to work in your current career to pay the bills then give up the rest and dedicate the time to yoga teaching, practice and learning.” As a teacher, what is most important? “I think our job is to encourage and remind students that yoga is a discipline. Every time they get on their mats they should feel super proud. They don’t have to be perfect; it’s a step in the right direction. The more you practice, the more awareness you have over what you put in your body, how you treat people, and how you treat yourself. I think the time with self is neglected and that’s what yoga is, time with yourself.” Amy says a strong practice is essential for facilitating a transition from current career to yoga teacher. “Every decision and action is best taken when you’re at your centre. Yoga and meditation will ensure you come from that place.” Dr Jean Byrne, co-founder of The Yoga Space in Perth and member of the council of advisors with Yoga Australia, agrees, suggesting people teach no more than what they practice. She recommends not quitting your day job as then “your yoga teaching is much freer and more transformative if you don’t worry about making money from it”. Jean has practiced yoga for 21 years (Hatha, Iyengar, Vinyasa and Ashtanga). She has completed a double-major degree in religion and philosophy, a PhD in Eastern philosophy and qualified as a primary school teacher. She says that with her husband, Rob Schütze, also a senior yoga teacher, journalist and clinical psychologist, they have been conscious of not relying on yoga as a main source of income.

Amy Arnell Pic: Julie Lowe Photography

january 2017


YOGA TEACHER AMY ARNELL IS LIVING THE DREAM. She’s living her dream. Amy is a walking, talking positive affirmation for living the life you want. She is authentic and embodies the serenity she so clearly feels. A former vet, Amy is now a full-time yogini. She runs two yoga studios in northern NSW, teaches popular weekly classes, and lives a blissed out existence with her husband, young son, dog and cat on a semi-rural property in a picture-perfect beachside town. Yoga makes Amy feel “alive” and humbly “blessed” to be able to help students raise their own levels of consciousness. “People walk in to the studio and you can tell life’s throwing challenges at them; they walk out and they’re smiling and you know their interactions from when they leave are more likely to be positive.” She is fascinated by the science of yoga, anatomy, and the effects of asana and pranayama on the nervous system. “Yoga feeds my scientific mind. My creative side is also nourished by formulating classes and workshops.” Before teaching yoga, Amy says she felt like she was in a rehearsal for the life she was meant to lead. “Now, I’m not waiting for some future achievement or event to make me happy; I am living my Dharma and I’m so grateful for that.” As a vet in her 20s, Amy worked and travelled, eventually finding yoga at a London gym. She went to Mysore and practiced intensely, loving the feeling yoga gave her and rolling her mat out in airports around the world. On moving back to Australia, she threw herself into teacher training courses, gradually reducing her hours at the veterinary clinic, and increasing her hours practicing and then teaching yoga. As much as she loved animals, she declares, “Yoga was calling me!” She was driven to build her life around yoga, and opened Heatwave Hot Yoga studio in Kingscliff. As she unravels the details of her yogic success story, it would seem that while any decisions Amy has made have been motivated by a deep love of yoga, they’ve also been measured and practical, not whimsical. She cherishes her life as a teacher and her upbeat approach and calm nature are inspiring; her tranquil aura fills the space around us … even her dog is chilled out, lying by my feet, his rhythmic snoring contributing to the peaceful vibe. What advice does Amy have for


january 2017

Nicky Knoff


As far as yoga is concerned, however, they are clear about their goals.“We wanted a space in which yoga was accessible to everybody. We believe yoga is powerful and transformative at every stage of life and that everybody deserves to experience the freedom and peace yoga can bring.” Through their not-for-profit vinyasa training program, The Yoga Space offers 500 classes a year to the community, reaching out to people in domestic violence shelters, homes for the elderly, pregnant mothers in prison, inmates with newborns, and people suffering an illness. Jean says, “I feel like when you truly connect with what the heart of yoga is — which is selfless giving and sharing — and it allows you to bear witness to other people’s journeys, their sorrows, their joys, then being part of that is a privilege. And that is why I teach and train teachers. It’s completely humbling. At its most fundamental, it’s beautiful.” One of the many yogis inspired by Jean is her co-founder of Mindful Birth and co-owner of Yoga Space Maylands, Michelle Papa. Michelle understands the dilemma teachers-to-be face when blending their love of an established

career outside yoga, their love of yoga, and the practicalities of a regular income. Based in Los Angeles in her early 20s, Michelle was highly careeroriented, working for big banks and technology companies. “But,” she says, “my heart wasn’t 100% in it.” While working, Michelle was doing yoga to manage her stress, however, when she moved to Perth in 2007 she deepened her practice and has since juggled yoga, her career, and becoming a mother. This year Michelle decided to cut ties completely with her former career and gave herself over to yoga. “It was time to consolidate,” she says. She believes it’s important to keep your day job while figuring out how yoga teaching will work in your life.“I never force anything in my life. It happened organically. But it was a long process.” Highly respected Cairns-based yoga teacher Nicky Knoff says the journey of teacher training – regardless of whether the student becomes a teacher or not – can have a huge impact. “Many people change their lives completely after teacher training. It’s not just about the teaching, it’s about the yogic lifestyle and philosophy and how it makes you physically and mentally stronger and

able to make good decisions for yourself. It’s very empowering.” Nicky, co-founder of Knoff Yoga (with James Bryan), is a master of the meaning of life, hard work, and dedication. Born in 1938 to an English mother and Dutch father, Nicky lived in Indonesia when the Japanese invaded at the start of WWII. She was in a concentration camp from when she was four to eight years old. “It makes one realise that you can’t give up,” she says. “A lot of people in the camp did and died. The guards were very cruel and you had to be strong to survive, and I think that has held me in good stead.” Moved by the advice of her war-time friend, Netty – whom her family became very close to while in the concentration camp and whom later lived in Melbourne where she was a passionate yoga advocate – Nicky attended her first yoga class in October 1970. “I was hooked. I’ve done it ever since.”  Since then, Nicky has practiced and trained with Bikram Choudhury, BKS Iyengar and Pattabhi Jois. She has set up yoga schools in America, Australia and New Zealand and now runs yoga teacher training courses, teaches yoga workshops, intensives, private classes,

and specialises in yoga therapy. Nicky is still teaching students who started with her more than 20 years ago and says, “It’s really pleasing when people take yoga on as a lifestyle and they are not going to drop out.” With the fast modern growth of yoga and huge range of teacher training courses, Nicky advises students to choose their teachers carefully, researching them and talking to them and, most importantly, asking other students who have done the same courses about their experiences. She also advises that prospective students should not be swayed by glossy websites and flattering testimonials. Despite her impressive background, Nicky remains humble and her advice is to remember that you are always a student, you are always learning, and practice is essential to keep you physically and mentally fresh and alive. It is easy to get over-busy, and Nicky advises teachers who have become side-tracked from their practice: “If you have not got time to practice, don’t teach.” Yoga Australia President Leanne Davis, who also runs a studio in Brisbane and has taught for 28 years, says the modern, creative approach to yoga has helped boost its popularity around the world. She says people have taken the concept of yoga and are expressing it in diverse ways, making it more accessible. She says some yoga classes have become more exercise-based,

furthering its appeal, while the public and health awareness of meditation has also boosted yoga’s popularity. She says that part of Yoga Australia’s role is to maintain standards and integrity while also encouraging diversity. “I think we can confidently say yoga has never been practiced by so many humans in the history of time. Never before have so many people globally practiced yoga. How extraordinary!” Her sage advice to those yogis chasing their dreams, and wanting to leave their well-paid jobs for yoga, is to be honest about your future, think carefully, and manage any changes wisely. A yoga income, especially from purely teaching group asana classes, might not match that of your former income. Encouragingly, she says the change obviously can be made, and the support for national and international research into yoga and the benefits of yoga therapy is increasing. As Nicky Knoff says, “I think if anyone really wants to teach and has compassion and understanding for the students, combined with a daily practice of authentic yoga, then they will be successful.”;;;;;

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january 2017

IT’S DAY 12 OF OUR YOGA TEACHER TRAINING COURSE. Donna, a 30-something student is chatting to me during one of the breaks. She tells me that for some years she has been feeling a little lost, wondering where she fits into life. She’s not sure what defines her. Is it her career, her family, her culture, or her relationships? Life hasn’t been making sense. She’s not happy. “There’s got to be more,” she muses.


She lets me know that since starting this yoga teacher training program she has felt the clearest and happiest that she can remember. It’s as though this mindful yoga practice has filled some hole that life simply could not. She smiles and says that for perhaps the first time in her life she has started to feel at peace within herself. This warms my heart, and it’s something I’ve heard from students countless times over the past 16 years – that aching discontent, life’s empty promises, the feeling that there has to be more. Today, people from all over the world are seeking out yoga teacher training courses. Yes, it’s to learn good alignment, how to breathe and maybe start a new career. However, after all these years, I truly believe it’s about so much more. On the opening day of each new course, we ask our students to chant the first line from the Yoga Sutras – atha yoga nusashanam. Loosely translated, this means, Now we arrive for the practice of yoga. It’s the word now that is so important here. Now signals a deep readiness, a heartfelt desire to step forward into a new life of endless possibilities and away from

habitual patterns that no longer serve. I remind students that for millennia, yoga has been somewhat of an unbroken lineage, a refuge and guiding light for those who seek a clearer path and deeper meaning in life. The very fact that they have chosen to step forward into this world is a sure sign that their now moment has arrived. In a modern scientific world where religion and spirituality have started to lose their meaning, it can be easy to feel that sense of disconnect. Where can people really turn in order to find some of the answers to life’s puzzling riddles? Why am I here? What’s the point of it all? Who am I? A genuine yoga teacher training course that offers more than just a physical practice has in many ways become this new spirituality that people in the West are seeking. Yoga can be practiced without the dogma and without beliefs. It’s a personal experience that leads to the heart of what it means to be human. I remember when I began my own teacher training journey more than 16 years ago. I wandered into my first day of the course, sat down for class and it just felt like a breath of fresh air, like coming home. As I deepened my knowledge of the whole yoga path, not just the postures, I found within these teachings a way to understand my crazy mind and heal my sometimesbroken body. For me, yoga became a guiding light toward something buried deep within. My yoga practice illuminated an inner smile, a distant joy, a submerged kindness that I had done my best to bury behind the endless demands of life. Like a polishing cloth these practices of yoga,


Yoga teacher trainer Michael Daly believes in the heartfelt integrity of the ancient discipline and encourages students to trust in the power of the practice, follow its guiding light, and step into a new life of endless possibilities.

meditation and deepening self-awareness started to clean off the debris. I was amazed at what I found buried inside. Whether our students realise this yet or not, I believe this is what most people are seeking when they arrive to start their journey of yoga training. The practice, the postures and the teachings are a garment we wear, but one that we gently peel back to get to the real essence of this path – the discovery of the diamond heart within. And so, again, as I have done with many students, I suggest to Donna that she continue to trust in the power of the practice. Let yoga do its work and enjoy the process of unravelling and rediscovering. There’s truly nothing like the journey of awakening the good heart. I remind her that every new moment, good or bad, is a fresh now. Yoga really asks nothing more of you than to just keep showing up.

Michael Daly is the co-founder of Being Yoga, a vinyasa yoga school which operates three studios in Qld and offers a 200 & 500hr training for yoga and meditation teachers. He is also a hypnotherapist and NLP coach working specifically with yoga students to help them clear old patterns and live their biggest lives imaginable.

january 2017

In doing this for herself, with that sacred blend of courage and vulnerability, she is learning how to empower this quality in her students. In fully living her own path, traversing the inevitable ups and downs and emerging all the stronger, Donna is undoubtedly learning the art of what it takes to be a great teacher. If you are feeling that your own now moment has arrived, then check out some of the great yoga teacher training courses across Australia. However, it’s important to know that not all courses are the same. Ask yourself what you truly desire from this experience. Is it more than just a physical practice? As I have often said, seven billion Downward Dogs done with perfect alignment will not change the planet! Find that teacher who might inspire the deeper message and hidden truths behind this practice so this might become one of the most precious and transformative times in your life. Then, if I can offer just one last piece of advice, it would be to buckle up and enjoy the ride!

“Let yoga do its work and enjoy the process of unravelling and rediscovering.”



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silly season


A yogi’s holiday thrive guide to surviving the highs and lows of Christmas and the chaos and craziness of a festive summer. By Brieann Boal january 2017


WE LOVE THIS TIME OF YEAR, the promise of festive times and new beginnings; plus here in the Southern Hemisphere the holiday season also means surf, sun and endless bikini-clad days. We shed our winter coats along with any heaviness of the year and take on a lightness of being (and body). That is until December 25 lulls us into a week-long food coma. Let’s face it, Christmas Day (for many) is more family friction and food-babies than “Fa-la-la-la-la”. But it doesn’t have to be. If you’d rather replace overstuffed and irritable with energised and wholly renewed, take a more yogic approach to your end-of-year unfoldings. To get you glowing, here’s a swag of rituals that will upgrade your awareness and gift you a calm centre during the hyper-social, sometimes stormy, always silly season.


to connect through desire, sensation and pleasure. However, when guilt is on the scene, the gifts of this energy centre are lost and the door to compulsive eating and overindulgence is swung open. If you feel guilty about eating that figgy pudding (or a glass of bubbly), you do not fully enjoy it. Part of you is elsewhere, hanging out in the control centres of your mind. And so you miss the moment and consequently take no satisfaction, leaving you wanting more. Compulsive behaviour is instinctive — we’re compelled to keep chasing, to keep repeating the activity because our ability to soak up the satisfaction of the activity is blocked by guilt. So kick up your feet, relax into presence and savour and soak up whatever you’re choosing to satisfy your senses with.

Cerebral celebrations


Carve out some quiet time, perhaps on your meditation pillow, with your journal, in the company of your favourite crystals or any setting conducive to introspective travels. Enquire in an honest, heartfelt way: “What really matters? What is my intention for this season?” Sense what bubbles up. Hush your mental chatter and let the words gently come to you. Perhaps your intention is to be present? To be receptive, open and loving? Or to mine every situation, event and interaction for golden nuggets of gratitude and fun? Intention is a pulse of creatively charged consciousness, potent enough to awaken the infinite organising power of the universe. Not only will it conspire in mysterious ways to turn your desires into reality, it will also hold you in alignment with your highest self. Intention is the compass of your heart, your true north, helping you separate the signal from the noise and aligning your thoughts, actions, decisions and interactions with what really matters. It is the invisible force that stops you wandering right off the path to whole and happy and getting waylaid in old stories, triggers and emotional landmines. A sincere intention will help you navigate your way through stress-inducing situations of the holiday season. It will help you avoid family

feuds and replace confusion and chaos with big magic.

Rise and sparkle Make it a priority to get some fitness therapy on Christmas day. Dive in, first thing, before the festivities, food and excuses are in full swing. Sneak out on Christmas morning at first light. Roll out your yoga mat and move through some sequences or lace up your runners and head down desaturated city streets. Exercise sets the psychological tone for the day. It soaks your cells with endorphins and energy, leaving you feeling alert, energised and upbeat. As a flow-on effect, your choices (hello holiday buffet) naturally align this higher vibration. You’ll feel more satisfied across the board, in life … and lunch.

Family Fitness “That workout/yoga practice was a terrible idea!” said no one, ever. Be that person. The one that peels the couch potatoes off the floor and insists: we’re all in! You’ll get a few silent daggers, but they’ll thank you for it later.

Guilt be gone Honour your sacral chakra and take guilt off the guest list. Ideally, your second energy centre (the sacral chakra) gifts you depth of feeling and the ability

Let the credits roll In the spirit of coming together and wrapping things up, take a moment to gather the crew and let the credits roll. Thank and acknowledge each and every member of your clan. Actively notice the things you love and appreciate about them. Sure, they might put their foot in it now and again, they might fly off the


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Harness the power of pure intent

Whether you’re new to meditation, have a solid practice or one that waxes and wanes, the festive season is the perfect time to deepen your daily zen time. Meditation replaces take-the-edge-off tactics and short-lived self-soothers like drinks, desserts and digital distractions with something more wholesome and sustainable. It reduces anxiety, soothes the nervous system and navigates us away from the fight-flight-freeze-submit circuitry. When you meditate, you set your mind and the context for the rest the day to unfold in elevated ways. You complain less and appreciate more. You react less and listen more. There’s less doing and more being. You think better, feel better, live more fully and love more fully. A daily practice also gives us greater access to recourses of the heart. Whether it’s forgiveness, grace, calm connection or attentive listening that’s required to sidestep those family foibles. With consistent practice, you’ll see your entire Christmas holiday through a zen-lens. Which means more peace, more joy and heart-to-heart connection. And that’s what the holidays are really about, right?

“There is comfort in the bonds we call family. Cherish these ties ... and even when they drive you mad, see them as a gift.” handle or say things they shouldn’t. As sure as there are shortcomings, no doubt there are golden qualities too. Choose to focus on these, if only for a day. Give gratitude generously and watch how it harmonises your interactions and exchanges. You can do this out loud, taking it in turns, voicing your thoughts and singing your praises. Or, put pen to paper and revive the long-lost art of handwritten love letters. Either way, ritualise it as best you can.

Embrace the perfectly imperfect




Embrace the wild, crazy mess that is this time of year. The coming together of clan, the noisy clamour of family and friends, the friction, the real deal of family domesticity. It’s all beautifully messy, and naturally what happens when an entire tribe is tossed together under one roof. Regardless of how dysfunctional they might seem, there is comfort in the bonds we call family.

Cherish these ties, hold them near and even when they drive you mad, see them as a gift.

with your family, with your friends and absolutely, wholeheartedly with yourself. Feel into what makes you happy, what makes you feel good. Relax, smile into the imperfections and enjoy.

Replace solo with soul squad With such a strong emphasis on getting together and family, this time of year, for many, amplifies a sense of separation or loss. It can stir echoes of emotions from relationships that have unravelled, awaken memories of loved ones lost and highlight the (literal) oceans between us. Before you officially declare yourself a Christmas orphan, however, consider there is no fixed definition of family. Local yoga classes, special interest and meditation groups are great communities full of receptive, soon-to-be soul squad members. Be brave. Reach out. Connect. Whether you tuck some of these tips in your Christmas kit or throw them all out the kitchen window, what really matters is staying in loving presence –

Brieann is a holistic personal trainer, meditation and yoga therapist, who conducts sessions globally via Skype. She is the founder of Wabi-Sabi Well, a wellness method that blends metabolism-boosting movement, mindfulness, bioenergetic techniques and deep relaxation. The method integrates not just the physical, but also the emotional and spiritual elements to help you reconnect and return to a healthy state of balance, harmony and wellbeing. It’s the antidote to perfectionseeking, bikini boot camps and will leave you feeling liberated, motivated, and wildly free. Workouts, guided meditations and more on

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magicmantra OF

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Tune into the heart-opening potential of devotional chanting and allow your whole being to embrace the good vibrations. Yoga teacher and kirtan musician Radha Rani explains how we can understand sacred verses and merge with the universe’s frequencies.


WE ARE ALL VIBRATION. Solid matter doesn’t actually exist; according to quantum physics we are all just energy vibrating at different frequencies. Sound is one of the most powerful tools we have. Language helps us to communicate, but on a deeper, more primitive level we have sound that affects us in strong ways. Throughout the ages we have used song and the intoning of sound to reach one another; just as the songs of the whales call to each other across the oceans, we too have called to each other. Ancient tribes

all over the world have used song or intoning as a means of communication with greater cultural significance than speech. The Japanese scientist Masaru Emoto noted what happened to water when music was played. Different sounds produced different effects, and literally changed the shape of water molecules. The most clear and beautiful shapes were those made by pure intention, such as the words of love and peace, classical music and prayers. Sound is such a clear and strong vibration and sound creates



resonance. Resonance is when a vibration is made through sound, which produces vibrations in surrounding objects of the same natural frequencies. For example, when you play a D on the A string of a violin, the D string vibrates. The most sacred sounds in the world, according to yogic philosophies, are said to be mantras. They affect you on a cellular level. Even if you do not understand their meaning in a literal sense, your body begins to open up to this higher vibration of energy. They are part of the practice of Bhakti Yoga, which is thought to be the short-cut to merging with the Divine, Loving Awareness or Super Consciousness. The Sanskrit language was derived from the sounds of nature and is recorded back to the early part of the second millennium BCE in the Rigveda. These sacred sounds and vibrations were realised by the ancient Rishis (great knowers or meditators who heard the song of the earth and the stars and recited them). They were recorded in the Vedas – the ancient texts comprised of hymns, incantations (Samhitas) and theological and spiritual philosophical discussions in the Brahmanas and Upanishads. Even The Bhagavad Gita was comprised in a lyrical way, the translation being The Song of the Spirit. These sacred verses have been passed down through the ages, mostly from guru to disciple through verbal recitation. By the time they reach us, they have been translated, however many of the nuances of the language have been lost, so to dwell on them in a literal sense can detract from the meaning and the experience of Vedic verses. Knowing the literal translation takes us back into the intellect rather than the heart. Mantras have been used as a way of freeing the mind of the patterning of consciousness and opening the heart. How do we use mantras? There are a few ways of experiencing mantras; one is to listen and let your body absorb the sound vibrations of the mantra. A more powerful way is to sound them out, and the most powerful way is to intone them silently. By saying a mantra you are tuning yourself to resonate at the same vibrational frequency as the Divine Consciousness, or the deity associated with that mantra – the divine qualities present in all of us, or the healing power or intention of that mantra. As you

come to resonate at the same frequency as the mantra, they say in Sufism: “You stop doing the mantra, and the mantra starts doing you.” The greatest teacher of the Hare Krishna mantra is Lord Caitanya, the incarnation of Krishna who appeared 500 years ago in India, and said: “It cleans the heart of all the dirt accumulated for many life times and puts out the fire of material life, of repeated birth and death.” Vedic literature says we experience difficulties in life because we’ve lost touch with our original, pure consciousness. Mantras help us to fast-track into that loving vibration of Our True Nature. From my experience, the energy in a room is transformed when a mantra is chanted. The focus and intention or drishti and dharana of the practitioners in a space become collective with the sound of Aum. The intention of the mantra unfolds and the vibrations bring a soothing quality to all. In my yoga practice, my experience is heightened using mantras and I often feel the practice has not begun or ended without

them. So why don’t more yoga teachers use mantras? Because they are tricky to say and there is a level of fear around them. Yet all the students I have had, even those who have shied away from repeating mantras, have grown to love, respect and crave them. Another issue in the West is that we have modernised these sacred sounds. This is a great way to bring them into our world and a testament to the mantras that we want to embrace them, but the message and intonation of how they should be sounded out can get lost. With my recent album Mantra: the Sounds of Akhanda Yoga, I have used a simple way of intoning the mantras I was taught in the ashram in Rishikesh India, Anand Prakash Ashram. I am not Indian so they’re not perfect, but hopefully they are easy for the Western ear to learn. The project began as a way to teach mantra at our Akhanda Yoga Teacher trainings on the Gold Coast, but it has grown and can now be enjoyed by anyone wishing to deepen their practice of yoga and tune their inner vibrations. Working with Tone Wonderland of

Wilson’s Creek – who has worked with Deva Premal and Mitten – we aimed to bring the timeless quality of the ancient mantras to this album. This collection is one everyone could learn, and these are some of the most powerful mantras I know. We could all benefit from more mantra, so just begin with Om (Aum), the most profound and well-known. Om is said to be the sound of the very universe itself. Radha Rani teaches yoga and philosophy on Akhanda Yoga Teacher Trainings and has released two albums. She has a great love of yogic philosophy and focuses on the more meditative and bhakti (devotional) side of yoga. Radha regularly leads kirtans, singing and playing her harmonium.  You can buy Radha Rani’s latest album, Mantra – Sounds of Akhanda Yoga, at or on itunes For more information on Akhanda Yoga 200-hour teacher training, visit

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Well connected Integrate your yoga practice with life in the outside world and extend the lessons you learn on the mat to your relationships and daily interactions off the mat.

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SO, YOU’VE GOT A YOGA PRACTICE. Perhaps you hop to the studio every now and again, or maybe you’re a hardcore practitioner who doesn’t miss a day. Whatever the case may be, you may have wondered how you can integrate your yoga practice into your daily life beyond the mat.


How can we evolve a personal practice into a lifestyle of dedication and connection out in the world, as the work we dedicate on the mat comes to fruition in our vocation, friendships, relationships, and the way we move through life? Let’s begin with a moment in time. It’s early afternoon and sunlight is streaming in through the windows. I roll out my mat, holding the edges, and give it a flick to unfold it. It makes a snapping sound before plopping down onto the ground with a slight thud. I flatten the edges and adjust the corners. I’m ready for practice, and the length of this mat will be my residence and place of study for the next couple of hours. The space around is simple. No frills, bells, or whistles. I sit on the mat and drop inwards as I venture into a journey

of mindfulness and transformation. I connect to my breath, and begin. First, comes stillness and a settling process. In the initial moments, the shift is palpable. My breath deepens, and I feel a sense of inner spaciousness overcome me. Within this space, I notice little places of tension in my body, little knots of tightness, spaces of soreness, and the background noise of my mind reveals itself. Wow, has that chatter been there all day? I begin to watch more closely … just listening and observing, getting used to what’s there, and I sit with it for a bit longer. The more I sit, the more it settles. I arrive into a simple form of presence and soon, I’m ready to move. I continue with three aums and slow warm-ups: Sufi circles, shoulder rolls, neck rolls, and seated stretches into my wrists and hands as the conversations with my breath connect to the movements of my body. I roll onto my hands and knees and explore wave-like movements through my spine to free tension through my core and bones.


By Chris Dixon

Soon, when I’m ready, I rise to my feet, charting a course through a vinyasa sequence that sits somewhere between ashtanga and yoga therapy. The movements come with fluidity and technical exploration. With each moment presence gathers, energy cultivates, strength builds in the body, balance enters the mind, and openness presents itself. I guide the practice to a completion when it feels right, and take time to rest on my back. My practice on the mat comes to an end with meditation and mantra. Ah, what a treat! I feel like a new person! My mind is clear, energy uplifted, body balanced, and I feel present. My time on the mat has come to completion, and it’s time to continue forward into the day. What comes next? What does your practice on the mat have to do with your practice off the mat? How will you bridge the gap from the insights you’ve gathered in personal study and share them in daily life, extending your strength and openness into what you do in your life and those you interact with?  The evolution of the practice asks us to do more, and requires we have a

deeper look at our lives. We can discover answers by looking at the larger picture, and by connecting to the traditional model in a modern and accessible way. The modern yogi lives by a code of ethics, learning to live with gentleness, learning how to be gentle on the mat, and how to extend that gentleness outward in relating with the world. This gentleness can come through in many ways, but I like to think of it as one which brings a sense of compassion, empathy, and understanding. You may find that the same sensitivity you cultivate in your practice can be applied in any daily activity you engage in. Imagine if you were to use the same patience and non-judgement in a challenging situation that you do when you’re working on a new posture in your practice. Through our practice we can learn to stay calm in potentially challenging circumstances, and we can learn to carry ourselves with a sense of embodied strength as we move about our business. We can live in a balanced manner, born from the capacity to listen, understand, speak, and act in a harmonious way.

I like to think this yields freedom as we live and act in integrity, and with more skillfulness over time. Of course, we can be patient as we make mistakes; remember there’s lots to learn and it’s all useful information! As you explore your practice on the mat, connect the lessons you learn through your physical explorations back into your life, relationships, and work. It’s possible to integrate the practice into a lifestyle, as something we do at all times. As you explore ways to connect more deeply, you can take a look back to the roots of the eight-limbed yogic path which laid out the foundation of the practice: yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, samadhi. Here, you’ll find the roadmap which leads to an integrated and holistic yoga practice. Happy practicing! Chris Dixon is a yoga teacher with a passion for practice and appetite for adventure. Join Chris and Monica Aurora for a yoga retreat in Costa Rica, June 2017. Log on to

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DATA control A user’s guide to navigating yoga studio software.


THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS that come together to create a successful yoga studio. Front and centre there’s a beautiful, functional space, excellent teachers, and dedicated students. Behind the scenes, there’s a collection of infrastructure and systems without which the studio could not function. Chief among these is MindBody software. As a yoga teacher, I had plenty of experience with MindBody from a front-desk perspective, but only fully appreciated its value when I opened my own little studio in March 2015. From that little studio, with two teachers and one class a day, we grew into Creature Yoga: Byron Bay’s busiest yoga studio with nine teachers (including co-owner Tahl Rinsky), 21 classes and workshops with international teachers. We couldn’t have enjoyed such smooth growth without the help of MindBody. Before making the decision to use MindBody I trialled other systems. None even approach MindBody in terms of functionality, pricing and capability. Another consideration was that, being the most popular sign-in software for

yoga studios internationally, most teachers have been trained in how to use the software which saves hours and dollars spent in training new teachers. So, what is MindBody? It’s an online system that holds and processes all your studio data. MindBody offers many features, depending on the level of your plan – I’m on Pro and it serves all my needs. Here are some of its features.

TIMETABLE MindBody allows me to have a live timetable, up to date with any covers or class changes, accessible to students via their internet browser, the MindBody app on their phone, and embedded into my website via the Healcode widget ( If you don’t want to pay extra for the widget you can include a click-through link to your personalised MindBody site. It’s important for my students to know the schedule is updated and correct. This builds trust between the studio and students.

CLASS SIGN IN I don’t allow students to pre-book classes (only workshops), but this is an option that MindBody provides. Each

class, the teacher uses their login to sign in to MindBody and then signs each existing student into class as he/ she arrives. New students fill out a form (or can use an iPad with the MindBody app to enter their details), and MindBody saves their details for future reference (including details like injuries and illness, and their email to add to our mailing list). I can sign-in students via the MindBody Express app on my iPhone, for those times when the Wi-Fi fails! I use the Express app to check class numbers when I’m away from the studio.

PAYMENTS The MindBody software records cash payments and processes card payments easily. I use their Point of Sale hardware (a simple credit card swiper) which links directly to their software, eliminating human error and saving time if you use the receipt reconciliation that is necessary if you use a third party EFTPOS facility. Students can also pre-purchase passes online for ease of sign in. I can refund a student’s account and leave the money there until they want another purchase.


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By Bess Prescott

WORKSHOPS I can upload workshops to my MindBody site and to my website via the Healcode app. Students can book and pay online, using early-bird pricing, an automatic booking confirmation and a reminder email the day before the workshop.

NEWSLETTER I use Constant Contact as my newsletter provider, which links to MindBody. It creates and updates mailing lists and tracks unsubscribes. I tried using a (free) provider but there was a lot of work in reconciling the two databases. If there’s anything that makes life easier, I’m all for it! Software integration is key.

XERO INTEGRATION Speaking of integration – MindBody now integrates with my cloud accounting software, Xero. My next project is to take advantage of this new feature!

Students’ perspective

“I love using the MBL app on my phone to check class times and book workshops. It saves my favourite studio and my details so it’s easy to book every time and I can check my bookings when I forget! And I can use it on the go.” – Taya Prescott “I use the MindBody website on my phone and on my computer to look at the timetable and check when my pass is running out. When I’m signed in, I’ll check out the workshops, and then get carried away with how easy it is to book in. I like seeing what your history is; it’s like a yoga journal that I don’t have to maintain!” – Sally Cutler “I love that I can see an updated class timetable for my favourite studio on my computer or phone. It’s handy to double-check who is teaching from week to week so I can attend classes with my preferred teachers.” – Caitlin Nowland

Studio owners

“I opened a studio in Mudgee, NSW when I was a mum of two and on a mission to bring modern yoga to a small town that already had so much on offer. Without MindBody I couldn’t have survived. Keeping track of clients and payments was something I didn’t have time for. Having that gateway to easily be proactive and communicate helped me keep customers and my business. Now a mum of three I’m about to hit a new growth phase to start promoting more through MindBody. The time it saves me is immeasurable.” – Randi Thraves, The Yoga Spot, “I am the owner of IXL LOUNGE YOGA & SCULPT studios. MindBody has enabled me to develop a much more professional approach to my business and students. I have what I now know to be passive income meaning I may be away training, and money has arrived into my account from students paying and booking classes. As a small business, cash flow is hard and this has turned my accounts into something more manageable. – Deborah Carwana, IXL LOUNGE,

The business of


Melbourne-based yogi Stefan Camilleri offers advice to new teachers about how to make a living from yoga, how to feel valued and ensure fair rates, and how to promote yourself. WORKING WITHIN THE NUANCES of yoga business can be eerily similar to what you have learnt in other industries, but there are key differences. Because of the nature of yoga and it’s spiritual element, it can be a fascinating place to work. Success comes from creating networks, building a sense of value, and making yourself stand out.

First things first Get an ABN and record spending and income for tax purposes; an accountant can help. Your next priority is to harbour positive relationships with everyone in the industry. Prioritise relationships over short-term advantage, and only interact on a positive level.

Negotiating a rate Negotiating a good rate for your classes is important. It’ll make you feel valued, and avoid the need to overwork or tire yourself out. There are two ways we get paid as studio teachers: a flat negotiated rate or a retainer, and a per-student bonus. Be mindful of the paid-perstudent model as this can work in your favour or it can make it impossible for you to earn a decent wage. Be wary of odd time slots or taking new classes that have small numbers, or you might find yourself on a really low rate on average. However, for many classes we are paid a flat negotiated rate. In a city such as Melbourne this can range from $35 a class all the way to $110 a class. Be patient, kind and firm in negotiating rates.

VALUE THROUGH BRANDING This is done primarily online, and has many benefits to your career if carried out mindfully. In addition to creating your brand online, it helps to do it through word of mouth.

Create a website You will come across as more of a brand than just another yoga teacher and you can communicate with students. It’s easy and can be done for free with applications like Wix and Wordpress.

Social media Instagram and Facebook have become tools in communicating with current and potential students. You can use them as an easy-to-access prospect to give yourself an image, brand and make it obvious to potential employers that you love what you do. This also makes it much easier to promote classes, workshop and events.

Resumé Old school but necessary. It contains much of the same information as the website but you can send it to potential employers.

Balance self-promotion It is necessary to sell your achievements and worth, and stay humble. The best and happiest teachers are not those who self-promote without consequence, they are those who find balance and stay real.

Corporate gigs These are taught in a commercial setting for staff of offices, schools and other organisations. You can increase your rate to three times that of a regular class.


What differentiates a workshop from a regular class is an obvious theme, more time, a higher cost to students and greater energy. The students come along to spend the time to refine their practice or learn new skills. Teaching workshops locally is a great way to supplement your income and give you something exciting to work up to. Consider teaching regular workshops in fundamentals and basics to start, before exploring more advanced and intricate ideas you might be passionate about. Workshops can run for anything from 90 minutes to five hours a day for a week. Most workshops run for two to three hours, with the price being based around what people are charging in your area (usually around $50).


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Retreats Remember there is a lot of work in running retreats, and financial risks involved. To avoid this, consider running your first retreat with a friend who has experience in facilitating retreats. Pool your students and resources to create something really special.

Teacher trainings Eventually you may feel ready to start sharing your knowledge to help people become new teachers by working on or facilitating teacher trainings. There is a whole lot of responsibility in teaching teachers, but you can start small. If you feel passionate and confident with a part of the practice, offer it to existing schools as a service to build experience.

Opening a studio Studios give you a launch pad for retreats, trainings and workshops. Opening a studio is a risk and requires the yogi to be driven, as well as being in the right place at the right time. It can also be an expensive endeavour, with big studio fit-outs in cities now in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Starting small works too, but you’ll need $50,000 to cover building, branding, advertising and your first new months. Using MindBody software or similar means you can keep track of your students, class numbers and other information. Look at building members as that consistent income and student base is what will help you build your studio. You don’t have to open your own studio to have a flourishing business. Hiring a community space is an option, and combined with marketing and hard work, can still create success that you can expand into something bigger.

Creating content Luckily for our generation the advent of the internet gives us the chance to share online content. Teacher Sadie Nardini boasts making up to $260,000 a year from online content alone. This income comes from YouTube videos she collects advertising revenue from, to paid content for other websites, sponsored content, online courses she sells and a subscription to her website that offers online classes.

Above all else, remember why we are here – to create a positive change not only to our own lives, but to those around us. Stay positive, humble, and take care of yourself.

Stefan Camilleri teaches on trainings and workshops in Melbourne, the Americas, Asia and Europe.; Instagram @stefancamilleriyog

Feast on comfort food treats and yogi favourites packed with bright and beautiful ingredients, plenty of greens and fabulous festive nourishment. The ultimate kale and lime salad GF, DF, NF, SF, GRF, VEGAN I F AVA I L A B L E , C U R LY- L E A F E D K A L E I S P E R F E C T F O R T H I S R E C I P E A S I T H A S S U C H A G O O D, STRONG TEXTURE.

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Medium bunch (3 cups) kale, stalks removed 2 medium carrots, peeled and grated 1½ limes, juiced 1 ripe avocado, cubed 2 medium ripe egg tomatoes, sliced into thin wedges 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil Ÿ tsp. Himalayan or Celtic sea salt Pepper to taste Slice kale finely. Combine kale, olive oil, lime juice and a pinch of good quality salt in a medium bowl. Using your hands, massage through for about 30 seconds; it will reduce significantly in size. Add carrot, diced avocado and thin tomato wedges. Season with extra salt and pepper as needed. Mix through gently. Leave to sit for 15 minutes before serving.


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Roast vegetable salad with parsley tahini dressing GF, DF, GRF, VEGAN BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL, CREAMY AND D E L I C I O U S , T H I S I S T H E P E R F E C T S A L A D TO B R I N G TO YO U R N E X T P I C N I C O R LU N C H E O N . YO U R G U E S T S W I L L T H A N K YO U ! S E R V E S 4 -5

1 large sweet potato (approx. 400 g.) 2 large beetroots (approx. 400 g.) 2 medium red onions (approx. 400 g.) 2 cups baby spinach 2 Tbsp. coconut oil or ghee, melted Himalayan or Celtic sea salt to taste Pepper to taste 2/3 cup parsley tahini dressing Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a large baking tray with baking paper and set aside. Peel and chop vegetables into large cubes (do not need to be even). Place vegetables on baking tray. Drizzle coconut oil or ghee over them and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until lightly browned and soft inside. Once cooked toss through baby spinach and dollop the following parsley tahini dressing all over. Enjoy warm.

Parsley tahini dressing GF, DF, NF, SF, GRF, VEGAN C R E A M Y A N D D I V I N E , T H I S D R ES S I N G H A S B E E N A C R O W D - P L E A S E R S I N C E I TS C R E AT I O N M A N Y Y E A R S A G O. S E R V E I T O N R O A S T V E G E TA B L E S , A S A D I P O R A S A C R E A M Y S A U C E O N D A I RY- F R E E P I Z Z A .

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1 cup hulled tahini Juice of 1½-2 lemons ½ cup extra virgin olive oil 2/3 cup filtered water 1 small clove garlic 1 packed cup chopped parsley (curly or flat leaf) Himalayan or Celtic sea salt to taste Good crack of pepper Place everything into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add as much water as you need to bring it to the desired consistency. Store in a jar in the fridge for about a week.


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Preheat oven to 180°C or 170°C if using a fan-forced oven. Line two baking trays with baking paper then set aside. Combine all dry ingredients together in bowl. Add coconut oil, tahini and maple syrup and mix together well. Taking one tablespoon at a time, roll in a rough ball and flatten gently between palms, then place on the baking tray. Continue until all the mixture has been used. Make sure you leave a 5cm gap between each biscuit as they will expand as they bake. Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned, then leave to cool completely on tray. These biscuits are tempting to eat while cooling, but they’re even better cooled and crunchy!

1½ cups almond meal [P] ½ cup tapioca flour or arrowroot [P] 2 Tbsp. desiccated coconut Good pinch of Himalayan crystal or Celtic sea salt 4 Tbsp. (70 g.) coconut oil, softened (not melted) 1/3 cup pure maple syrup 2 Tbsp. hulled tahini 1 Tbsp. natural vanilla extract


Chocolate avocado pudding GF, DF, NF, GRF, VEGAN A S U R P R I S I N G LY D E C A D E N T TA S T E A N D T E X T U R E , T H I S I S A LO N G - S TA N D I N G C R O W D - P L E A S E R AT M A N Y O F M Y E V E N T S . E N J OY I T A S A S I M P L E C H O CO L AT E M O U S S E O R A S A S O F T V E G A N I C I N G .

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2 ripe small/medium avocados ž cup real maple syrup or rice malt syrup [P] 1 cup coconut cream Pinch of Himalayan crystal or Celtic sea salt 4 Tbsp. cacao powder Fresh berries or mango for decorating Place all ingredients except fruit into blender and blend until incredibly smooth. Spoon mix into serving glasses. Top with fresh berries or mango and shavings of raw mint chocolate.

Savoury sweet potato slice


T H I S R E C I P E I S A FAV O U R I T E O N YO G A R E T R E AT S . I T ’ S D E L I C I O U S , Q U I C K TO M A K E A N D J U S T H I T S T H E S P OT. S E R V E S 6 - 8

500 g. sweet potato 2 zucchinis 2 cloves garlic, finely grated 1 cup almond meal 6 eggs Pinch cayenne pepper 3 Tbsp. tamari [P] ½ cup coconut cream ½ cup fresh basil or flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped Himalayan or Celtic sea salt to taste Pepper to taste

Preheat oven 180°C. Line a medium-sized springform cake tin and set aside. Grate sweet potatoes on largest-option side of grater. Set aside. Grate zucchinis on largest-option side of grater. Add to sweet potato and set aside. Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Tip contents of bowl into baking dish and bake for approximately 1 hour or until the centre of the bake is firm to the touch. Allow to cool in tin for 5 minutes before gently sliding the slice out onto the bench. Cut into 6 large pieces or smaller as desired. Top with your favourite chutney [RR] and sprigs of basil or parsley to serve. Angie Cowen is passionate about gluten-free cooking and baking as she is passionate about the health benefits to be gained from strengthening the digestive system. She feels it’s important her food is not only a culinary taste experience, but that it also aids in your body’s health. She attended her natural and whole food chef training in Perth in 2010 with acclaimed whole food chef and author Jude Blereau. Angie was the in-house chef at Jaspers Village Resort in Mt Seaview from 2010-2012, where she cooked for yoga teachers and students. She has also created gluten-free products for her own business. Now, back in Sydney, Angie runs gluten-free whole food cooking workshops at the Sydney Cooking School. Sign up for her newsletter and check out her cookbooks at


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Give classic poses a new twist A

By Laura Burkhart

NOT ONLY ARE TRADITIONAL yoga poses enormously beneficial, they also have a rich history. And while it’s important to respect classic poses, it can also be fun to add variations to the time-tested asanas. Like taking a beloved family recipe and adding spices, herbs, or even a few new ingredients to create a flavour that appeals to your palate, putting a twist on your go-to poses can breathe new life into your practice, helping you access different muscle groups and simply making you smile and have more fun. This sequence is packed with traditional poses, along with non-traditional variations on those asanas. Ideally, you’ll notice similarities between the classic pose and the new take, while also experiencing how each version opens up the body in its own, unique way.


1 Marjaryasana-Bitilasana

2 Sucirandhrasana

Come to Tabletop, placing your hands under (or slightly in front of) your shoulders, and your knees under your hips. On an inhale, lift your sitting bones, chest, and head toward the ceiling, keeping your neck long (shown). As you exhale, tuck your tailbone, lift your lower belly, and release your head and neck toward the floor. Repeat this cycle for a total of 5 breaths, and then return to a neutral spine.

From Tabletop, thread your left arm underneath your right arm. Lay the back of your left shoulder on your mat, leaning back to open the inside of your left shoulder blade. Hold for 3 breaths, and then repeat on the other side. (A)

Cat-Cow Pose

Eye-of-the-Needle Pose + variation

VARY IT UP: Extend your right leg to the right and press the outside of your right foot into the floor. Slide your left hand down toward your right ankle, grabbing either above or below your right knee. Lean back slightly to open your upper back more deeply. Hold for 3 breaths, and then repeat on the opposite side. (B)

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Before you begin


Start with a seated meditation: Come to a simple cross-legged position and rest your hands on your thighs, sink your sitting bones into your mat, and lift your chest to elongate both sides of your waist. Relax your shoulders away from your ears and take a deep inhale, feeling your breath move all the way down toward your pelvis. Pause for a couple of seconds at the end of your inhale, and then slowly exhale from your chest all the way down toward your lower belly. Take a few more cycles of breath like this, and then open your eyes and make your way onto your hands and knees.



3 Uttana Shishosana Extended Puppy Pose + variation

Return to Tabletop, and then walk your hands forward until your upper body is in Downward Dog (pose 4). Bring your forehead toward or on to the floor or a blanket, and hold for 3 breaths. (A) VARY IT UP: Take your gaze out in front of you. Extend your right leg to the right, directly from your hip, and press the outside of your right foot into the floor. Press your chest forward as you lean your hips back, while keeping your left thigh vertical. You should feel a deep opening in your right inner thigh and groin. Stay here for 3 breaths, and then repeat on the other side. (B)

Stay on the right side for poses 5–9, then repeat on the left side.



4 Adho Mukha Svanasana

5 High Lunge + variation

From Tabletop, tuck your toes under, lift your hips, spread your fingers wide, press your inner thighs back, and release your heels toward the mat. Hold for 3 breaths. (A)

From Down Dog, step your right foot forward, place your right ankle under your right knee, and extend through your left heel. Reach both arms overhead and elongate through your waist while relaxing your shoulders away from your ears. Hold for 3 breaths. (A)

VARY IT UP: Pull your right knee to your chest and rotate your right shin so it’s parallel to your mat’s top edge. Slightly bend your left knee and keep it bent as you flex your right foot and place your right ankle on top of the front of your left knee. Reach through your arms, lift your sitting bones, and press your right outer thigh back. Feel and breathe into the opening in your right hip. Hold for 3 breaths, and then repeat on the opposite side. (B)

VARY IT UP: Keep your left arm reaching high as you slide your right hand down the back of your left leg. Press through your left heel; lift up out of both sides of the waist as you reach your left pinky tip up and back toward the wall behind you. Find length from your left ankle up to your left fingertips and hold for 3 breaths. (B)

Downward-Facing Dog Pose + variation


Revolved Lunge Pose, a.k.a. Easy Twist + variation From High Lunge variation, bring your left hand to your mat or a block underneath the left shoulder and reach the right arm toward the sky. Lengthen the left side of your waist forward and keep lifting your left inner thigh. Hold for 3 breaths. (A) VARY IT UP: Keep the left hand planted and right arm up, and begin to straighten both legs. Be sure your left heel stays lifted and the left side of your waist is long. Feel the spaciousness in your body as you rotate your chest toward your right leg. Hold for 3 breaths. (B)

7 Utthan Pristhasana Lizard Pose From Easy Twist variation, place both hands on the floor inside your right foot and bring your left knee to the mat. Heel-toe your right foot to the right, moving your right toes and ball of the foot off the mat while keeping your heel on. Stay as is, or walk your hands forward. If you have more wiggle room, bring your forearms down to blocks or to your mat. Reach your chest forward as you press your right thigh back. Stay here, or bend your left knee and catch the outside of your left foot with your right hand (shown). Guide your left heel toward your left sitting bone while pressing your left shin back. Hold for 5 breaths.

6 Parivrtta Anjaneyasana

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8 Prasarita Padottanasana

9 Utthita Parsvakonasana

From Lizard Pose, walk your hands beneath your shoulders, straighten both legs, and turn your feet to the left. On an inhale, lengthen your spine; on an exhale, bring your hands to the floor (or two blocks) and walk them back so they align with your feet. Hold for 3 breaths. (A)

From Prasarita Padottanasana, slowly return to standing, turn your right foot to the right, and bend your right knee so it’s directly over your ankle. Take your right forearm to your right thigh and your left arm overhead. Hold for 3 breaths. (A)

Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend + variation

VARY IT UP: Keep your hips where they are and walk your hands forward. Bend your right knee slightly and slide your left hand down the outside of your right leg, rotating your chest to the right as you reach your inner thighs back and reach through your right arm. Hold for 3 breaths. (B)

Extended Side Angle Pose + variation

VARY IT UP: Keep everything as is but reach your left arm toward the back of your mat so it’s parallel with the ground, turn your left palm down, and reach your left fingers back toward the wall behind you. Drop your right ear toward your right shoulder to open the left side of your neck. (B) Hold for 3 breaths, and then return to Down Dog. Do poses 10 and 11 on both sides before continuing.


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10 Ardha Matsyendrasana


Half Lord of the Fishes Pose

Come to seated, bend your knees, and place your feet hip-width apart. Take your left heel toward your right sitting bone and place your right foot outside your left knee, pressing your right big toe into your mat and your right hand into the floor about 10-15cm behind your seat. Keeping your torso vertical, take the left elbow to the outside of your right knee. On your inhale, lift your spine; on your exhale, rotate your torso. Finally, bring your gaze toward your right shoulder without cranking your neck. Stay here for 5 breaths, and then move to the next pose.


11 Upright Eye-of-the-Needle Pose + variation + variation Keeping your legs in Ardha Matsyendrasana, take both hands behind you, lean back, and place your left foot on the floor. Rotate your hands so your fingertips point away from you; lift your hips, and then bring your pelvis back down to the mat close to your left heel. Breathe into your right hip for 3 breaths. (A) VARY IT UP: Take your right hand and grab the outside of your right foot, resting your right forearm on your right shin as you turn your torso to the left. Stay here, or bend the elbow and take your right forearm vertical, fingertips pointing toward the ceiling as you twist a little deeper to your left (shown). Hold for 3 breaths. (B) Repeat poses 10 and 11 on the opposite side.

12 Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

13 Supta Padangusthasana

Lie on your back, bend your knees, and bring your heels toward your sitting bones. Press your feet into the mat and lift your pelvis toward the ceiling. Tuck your shoulders underneath themselves and rotate your palms so they face the ceiling, or interlace your fingers underneath your pelvis. Press your upper arms and feet into the mat, squeeze your thighs isometrically, and lengthen your tailbone toward your knees while keeping your chin away from your chest. Hold for 5 breaths, lower back to the mat, and then repeat 2 more times.

Stay on your back and bring your left foot straight out in front of you. Draw your right knee into your chest and place a strap below the ball of your right foot. With one side of the strap in each hand, keep your arms long and your shoulders connected to the floor as you extend the right heel toward the ceiling. On your exhalations, gently lead the right leg toward the wall behind you. Hold for 5 breaths. Stay on the right side, release the strap, and take your right ankle on top of your left knee, prepping for Supine Pigeon.

Bridge Pose

Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose

Do poses 13 and 14 on both sides before continuing.

15 Savasana Corpse Pose


Extend your legs in front of you and reach your arms overhead, finding as much length as you can from your fingertips to your toes. Release your arms to either side of your body, palms facing up and shoulders away from your ears. Close your eyes and scan your body from the crown of your head to your feet. If you locate any tension, breathe into that area and let the tension go. Stay here for 5 to 10 minutes.

With your right ankle on top of your left knee, lift the left foot off the floor and wrap your hands around the back of your left thigh. (A)

OUR PROS Teacher Laura Burkhart is a San Francisco–

VARY IT UP: Keep your legs as they are, and then release your left leg and slowly bring your right foot to the floor outside your left leg. Grab your right foot with your left hand and your left foot with your right hand, keeping the outside of your left leg connected to the floor and your right shin moving forward. Hold for 3 breaths. (B) Then, repeat poses 13 and 14 on the opposite side.

based 500 E-RYT yoga instructor whose extensive studies under Jason Crandell and Shiva Rea taught her smart sequencing and the benefit of fluidity, both of which helped her forge her intuitive, eclectic instruction style. Model Stephanie Fong, a certified yoga and Pilates instructor, first studied Ashtanga Yoga, and then alignmentbased vinyasa, with Crandell and Burkhart.

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Supine Pigeon + variation

14 Supta Kapotasana



Poses of the month

How to move from Gomukhasana to Purna Matsyendrasana By Richard Freeman and Mary Taylor


Gomukhasana go = cow · mukha = face · asana = pose Cow Face Pose

Benefit Brings awareness to patterns of breath and facilitates subtle movement in your shoulders, arms, hips, and legs; encourages toning and awareness from the palate to the pelvic floor; fosters internal reflection.

1 From a kneeling position, cross your right leg over your left just above your left knee. Place the top of your right foot on the floor alongside your left ankle. Exhale and sit back onto your heels, keeping thighs and feet together. Bring your focus to the low belly and pelvic floor, observing the movement of the breath. 2 Gaze gently at your knees as you place your right hand on your right knee, and your left hand on top of the right. Bring the chin toward the sternum; inhale to sit tall and straight. 3 Release your jaw, tongue, and palate and breathe smoothly, allowing your heart to float, collarbones to broaden, and coccyx (tailbone) to drop as your low back ribs spread on the wave of the breath. Hold this form for at least 10 rounds of breath.

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4 Inhaling, lift your head and gradually tilt it


back to extend the lower neck. Rotate your left shoulder forward as you reach that hand up your back with the palm facing out. On an inhale, reach up with your right arm. Bend your right elbow, drop your right arm down your back, and clasp your hands together behind your back. 5 Now, roll the top of the left shoulder back. Point your right elbow at the ceiling and your left elbow toward the floor, and gently pull your arms in opposite directions. Drop your sitting bones toward the floor and softly squeeze your legs together to create the sense that your upper body is floating above the foundation of your legs. Breathe smoothly, softening the tongue and jaw while listening to the sound of the breath. Hold the posture for at least 5 breaths. 6 Release the pose on an inhale. Switch the cross of your legs and repeat on the other side. Repeat on the other side.

DON’T stick out your front ribs while your hands are clasped behind your back. The hand in contact with your thoracic spine triggers a lifting of the heart and a sense of lifting and spreading in the upper back, but these sensations are lost if the front ribs jut out. Instead, focus on broadening the low back and dropping the coccyx down and forward to soften the front ribs and lift the centre point of the pelvic floor.

DON’T collapse the center of your chest, which causes the entire pose to feel sunken and static. Instead, spread the collarbones and sit as if hovering above the support provided by your legs. Breathe smoothly to cultivate a sense of internal calm and stability.

Our Pros Richard Freeman has been a student of yoga since 1968 and studied in India among a number of traditional lineages, which he synthesises in the Ashtanga Vinyasa system. Mary Taylor began studying yoga in 1978 and, inspired by her primary teacher, K. Pattabhi Jois, became absorbed by the practice and its transformative impact on the body and mind. Freeman and Taylor teach together throughout the world and have co-authored a new book, The Art of Vinyasa, which will be released by Shambhala Publications in December. To learn more, go to



your practice YOGAPEDIA

Modify Gomukhasana if needed

to find safe alignment in your body. If your shoulders are tight … TRY using a strap to connect your hands behind your back. Hold the strap in your right hand as you reach up, dropping the strap end down your back. Rotate your left shoulder forward and reach up your back with your left hand to grasp the strap; now, roll the top of the left shoulder back. Your feet can be touching or slightly wider than your hips. Just as in the full form, pull your hands in opposite directions. Sit tall and straight through the torso, neck, and head as you breathe smoothly.

If you experience knee pain sitting back on your heels …

If your ankles are uncomfortable …

TRY placing a block beneath your sitting bones. The block should be high enough to eliminate any discomfort in your knees. Keep lower legs and feet separated and angled out to the sides. Connect to the sense of support and strength your legs and pelvis provide to your core. Focus on sensations in your pelvic floor and belly so that you’re inspired to breathe deeply, tapping into the uplifting quality of inhaling and the grounding effect of exhaling.

TRY placing a blanket beneath your lower legs. Arrange the blanket with the fold just at your ankles, so that your feet hang off the blanket and rest comfortably on the floor. For this variation, be sure your lower legs are either touching (as in the full form) or, if sitting on a block, slightly wider than the block.

OPPOSITES IN ACTION Yoga is a continuous dialogue between complementary patterns of form, movement, and awareness strung together on the thread of the breath. Inhaling deeply and smoothly, we feel a rising, spreading pattern in the core of the body, which stimulates the senses. On the exhale, there’s a contracting, downward pattern that creates stability and grounding. Inhaling and exhaling are two phases of the same wave. Movements become balanced around the central channel when we keep the best internal qualities of the inhalation (an open heart) as we exhale, and the best internal qualities of the exhalation (rooting into earth) as we inhale. This kind of deep, contemplative breathing makes asanas unfold into radiant awareness.

Ardha Baddha Paschimottanasana Half-Bound Seated Forward Bend

Benefit Instruction Sit in Dandasana (Staff Pose). Fold your right knee and rotate your femur externally as you pull the right heel up near your waist. Drop the right knee toward the floor. Reach behind your back with your right hand, twisting as needed to grab your right big toe; keep the clasp and return to centre. If you cannot face forward while holding the toe, hold the foot with a strap. Inhale, reach up with the left arm, and straighten the spine, and then exhale and fold forward with a slight leftward twist, taking your left foot with your left hand. Hold for at least 15 breaths. Repeat on the other side.

Facilitates a deep core twist; opens hips, ankles, and knees.

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Practice rotating your spine, increase hip and shoulder flexibility, and work proper knee alignment in these prep poses for Purna Matsyendrasana.



Marichyasana C Benefit Opens the shoulders and protects the sacroiliac (SI) joint and lumbar spine while facilitating the sense of moving rhythmically into a twist.

Instruction Sit in Staff Pose. Bend your right knee and put the foot parallel to your left thigh. Place your right hand behind you and, exhaling, lean back and twist to the right, starting from your pelvis and SI joint and moving up your torso; drop your sitting bones down. Inhale and reach up with your left arm; as you exhale, curl the spine to wrap your upper left arm around the outside of your right thigh. Reach back with your right arm to clasp hands together. Alternatively, hook your left elbow outside your right knee. Push the left arm into your leg while simultaneously pushing into the arm with the knee. Hold for at least 10 breaths; switch sides.

Parivrtta Parsvakonasana Revolved Side Angle Pose

Benefit Works the oblique pattern of twisting; lengthens the psoas muscle, which starts along the low back, curls down the pelvis, and attaches to the thigh.

Instruction Stand with your feet about one leg-length apart. Turn your right toes to face forward and angle your left toes in, about 45 degrees. Inhaling, reach up with your left arm. Bend your right leg, so the knee is over the ankle. Exhaling, curl the spine, reaching your left arm outside your right thigh to place your hand on the floor. Alternatively, have hands in Anjali Mudra (prayer position). Reach your right arm overhead, palm facing down. Gaze up at your right palm. Hold for 10 breaths; switch sides.

Twist deeply and slowly as you move step by step into Purna Matsyendrasana. Benefit In addition to working your back muscles, this powerful, deep spinal twist cultivates a union of opposite actions in which the prana (inhaling pattern) keeps your heart buoyant and wide while the apana (exhaling pattern) makes it feel like the coccyx is flowing horizontally along the floor.


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1 From a seated position in Staff Pose, fold your left leg into Ardha Padmasana (Half Lotus Pose). Use your right hand to very gently roll the left calf muscle outward, so the knee folds comfortably and safely. Place the left heel in the lower right portion of the belly, at least 5cm below the navel. 2 Draw your right leg up and place the foot flat on the floor just outside your left knee, toes pointing forward. Begin to twist by turning the belly to the right and pushing out through the left knee so that the pelvis turns to the right along with the torso. Inhale and reach way up through your left arm to release the psoas (a hip flexor) and the quadratus lumborum (QL) muscles, which extend from your hips to your ribs, on the left side. 3 Exhaling, roll the left shoulder forward and wrap the left arm outside your right thigh as you continue to rotate the torso to the right. Push your right knee in toward the midline as you wrap your left arm. Reach to eventually hold the outer edge of your right foot with your left hand.



Purna Matsyendrasana purna = full · matsya = fish · indra = lord · asana = pose Full Lord of the Fishes Pose

VARIATION If the pose above is too challenging, instead of folding the left leg into Half Lotus, leave the thigh on the floor and place your left heel just in front of your right sitting bone. Follow steps 2 and 3; reach behind your back with your right arm to clasp your left thigh; switch sides. This variation is called Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose).

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Stay safe If you feel any pain in the Half Lotus knee, work on Ardha Baddha Paschimottanasana, learning to fold the leg comfortably into Half Lotus before proceeding. In Purna Matsyendrasana, don’t overdo the counteraction of bringing the upper hip back down as you twist. Work slowly, step by step. Don’t force or strain even as you place the arm along the outer edge of the upper leg to take the foot. Use the breath, inhaling to stabilise and exhaling to deepen the twist. Work all of the movements from beneath the belly.


4 Exhaling again, wrap your right arm behind your back, working to eventually clasp your left shin. Inhaling, turn your head in the direction of the twist and gently apply the counteraction of bringing the right buttock and sitting bone slightly back down and in, and rolling the left shoulder back so there is a sense of the heart floating. Push down through the big-toe mound of the right foot to help facilitate these actions. Spread the toes of the Half Lotus foot and bend them slightly toward the right hip to protect the left ankle. Establish a soft, steady gaze, looking toward a point on the horizon, and eliminate any tension in the face, tongue, and palate. Hold for at least 10 rounds of breath. Exit the pose on an inhalation and repeat on the other side.


your practice ANATOMY

Body of knowledge Will my hips ever be open? By Dr. Ray Long


WHILE STUDYING IN INDIA with B.K.S. Iyengar years ago, I heard that he was travelling to Bangalore to teach, and I asked if I could join him. He responded that there was nothing for me to do in Bangalore. As I walked away that day, it occurred to me that he hadn’t said no, and I had a burning question I wanted to ask. So, I booked the seat next to him on the plane (you could do that back then). When I got to the airport, I found Mr. Iyengar sitting at the gate. I walked over, sat next to him, and said jokingly, “Mr. Iyengar! Are you going to Bangalore, too?” He laughed at my bold manoeuvre, and we chatted while waiting to board. Finally, after the plane took off, I turned to him and asked the question I so wanted him to answer: “Mr. Iyengar, what’s the key to mastering yoga?” He didn’t respond by dismissing me, nor did he give me a standard answer like, “Just practice.” Instead, he said, “To master yoga, you must balance the energies and forces throughout the body.” To demonstrate, he held up one hand and, with his other pointer finger, indicated the outside of his index finger and then the inside, and so on through all of his fingers and the front and back of his wrist, explaining that the energy should be balanced on both sides. “You have to do this throughout the body in each pose, on each side of each joint, according to the forces needed for each position,” he told me.




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Find balance to open your hips Anjaneyasana Low Lunge

Upavistha Konasana

Step the left foot back into a lunge, bending the right knee directly over the right heel and bringing the left knee to the floor (you can use a folded blanket under the knee for comfort). Engage the left glutes to increase the stretch in the front of the left hip. Bend the left knee and grasp the ankle with your hand or a strap to deepen the hip stretch. Then activate the muscles by imagining that you are trying to drag the left knee forward. Hold for 5 seconds, then relax and go deeper into the stretch. Release and repeat on the other side.

This pose stretches the hamstrings and the adductor muscles on the inner thighs. Sit on the floor with your legs in a V and activate your quadriceps to straighten the knees. Engage the outer hip muscles to widen the legs, then press your heels into the floor and attempt to drag them toward each other isometrically to contract the hamstrings and adductors. Hold for 5 seconds, relax, then repeat and go deeper into the stretch.


Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend

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Mr. Iyengar’s words contained great wisdom, and as I dedicated my study to this concept over the following years, I learned that balancing forces is particularly crucial when it comes to addressing the feeling of tightness many of us have in our hips. Because so many of us sit for a living — or for far too many hours when we get home from work each night — our hips are subject to a lot of imbalanced forces. Too much sitting leads to shortened hip flexors (including the psoas, iliacus, and rectus femoris) and weak hip extensors (especially the gluteus maximus), which prompts the hamstrings to work harder. The combination of all of this leads to a common set of muscle imbalances that can produce, among other things, abnormal pressures within the hip joint itself and that dreaded tightness. Stretching the muscles that surround your hip can help to maintain healthy mobility of the joints, to improve circulation of the synovial fluid (which reduces friction in the joint cartilage during movement), and to counteract some of the imbalances created by our chronically sedentary lives. However, while maintaining range of motion in your hips is very important, it’s not all about flexibility. Based on firsthand experience, both from my perspective as a doctor who treats patients with hip-joint pain and as someone with occasional hip pain myself, I’m confident stating that balancing flexibility with strength in the muscles around the hip joint is the key to mobility and stability. To better understand, let’s look at what determines mobility and stability in your hip joints. First, there is the joint shape: a ball fitted into a socket. Surrounding the bone are a capsule and tough ligaments (which connect bone to bone at the joints). Finally, there are the dynamic stabilisers of the joint — your muscles. Bones do not change shape, and in general, the ligaments do not stretch very much. So, if you can’t change your bone shape, and your ligaments and cartilage are fixed in shape and length, what can you adjust so that you can more easily get into hip-opening poses? The answer: your muscles and tendons. To activate the muscles in your hips — and learn where your weaknesses and imbalances are so you can ultimately find more openness — try this exercise: Come into Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose). Your knees should be

your practice ANATOMY

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana Bridge Pose

This pose strengthens the outer hip and gluteal muscles. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet hip-distance apart. Press your feet into the floor and attempt to drag them apart without movement. This trains the outer hip muscles to remain active in the pose and strengthens the muscles around the pelvis. Maintain this action as you contract the gluteus maximus to lift the pelvis up into Bridge. Hold for 5 breaths and release.

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana Pigeon Pose

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This pose stretches the outer hip and gluteals and also relieves tension in the deep hip muscles. From Tabletop, bring your right ankle toward your left wrist and place the lower right leg on the floor parallel to the front edge of your mat. Extend your left leg straight behind you. You can stay lifted in a backbend or fold forward over the bent right leg. Feel free to place a block under the front thigh muscles of the extended back leg for support. Hold for 5–10 slow breaths, and then repeat on the other side.


flexed, while your hips will be abducted and externally rotated. Now, squeeze your calves against your thighs and notice that your hamstrings contract. Next, squeeze the outsides of your hips and buttocks to draw your knees down, then notice that you’ll go deeper into the pose. This exercise engages many of the muscles that create the form of the pose — including the tensor fascia latae, gluteus medius, and hamstrings — and you will likely experience more open hips in the pose as a result. Now, do this exercise again, and notice if there is a difference between your muscles on each side. Does your right knee melt toward the floor more

easily than your left? Do your left hamstrings seem weaker? On the side that feels less strong, engage your muscles a little more strongly than on your other side (while still keeping your stronger side active) to see if you can find more balance. You can apply this same observation to your hips: Are the gluteals on one side stronger than the other? If so, practice engaging the weaker glute, without letting the stronger one go slack. To work on activating the muscles of the hips to find more balance, try the sequence on page 76. The beauty of finding more balance and openness in the hips is that not only will it lead you into your fullest expression of hip-opening poses, it will

also help on an emotional level. That’s because stress causes our bodies to contract and curl inward, a natural action to protect the vital organs. But practicing hip openers counters this energetic closing, which means there is a good chance these poses will affect your mental state and perception of wellbeing for the better. OUR PROS Teacher Ray Long, MD, is an orthopedic surgeon in Detroit and the founder of Bandha Yoga, a website and book series dedicated to the anatomy and biomechanics of yoga. He trained with B.K.S. Iyengar. Model Geenie Celento is a Denver-based yoga teacher.

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january 2017






WHEN THE OPPORTUNITY to travel to India for World Yoga Day came up, I was ecstatic. I’ve always felt quite at home in Asia; the smell of the streets was instantly familiar, comforting and exciting. The noise of vehicles honking and the unbearable heat felt tolerable. The stark contrast to home was enticing, and the chaos was welcomed as an opportunity to embrace a less orderly way of living. The locals waved and said hello as I passed by, welcoming me to India, noticing my foreignness, and I felt safe. This was New Delhi – not a completely authentic reflection of India (explore Old Delhi if you’re looking for something more real – the poverty and the mess, the culture, temples and ashrams), but a nice place to ease into the experience. The stopover in Delhi was brief, before heading to Chandigarh for World Yoga Day. The tour was mapped out for me and I went along for the ride, mostly viewing India from the comfort of air-conditioned boxes – not my usual travel style but much more comfortable than the backpacking experience (and one that I highly recommend for sensitive travellers who aren’t fans of

heat, noise and strong smells). But there were still plenty of opportunities to dive in. My travel companion was Eileen Hall, a Sydney-based Ashtanga yogi who was on her 34th trip to India. I felt instantly safe in her company, as I admired her interacting with the locals with ease and her understanding of a culture that could only be cultivated through many years of experience. Before the event, I noticed signs everywhere ... the locals were clearly excited to celebrate World Yoga Day, a tradition that was born in India and has become popular worldwide. We woke in the middle of the night to travel to the Capitol Complex to celebrate with Prime Minister Modi and thousands of locals who had gathered for a huge yoga class. Although it was only 4am when we arrived, it was excruciatingly humid and we fanned ourselves with our cardboard invitations as we watched the 30 thousand-plus excited participants, all decked out in their World Yoga Day t-shirts with huge grins of anticipation. The experience was eye-opening, and the perfect beginning to a jam-packed and chaotic schedule over the next week

where we visited some of India’s most well-known yogic places, from the famous ashram, Parmarth Niketan in Rishikesk to the Ayurvedic capital Kerala, practicing yoga and experiencing the richness of the bustling culture. I loved the contrast to home … the simplicity of life. The locals are definitely not walking around with their heads stuck in their iPhones. They’re hanging out, enjoying life, slowing down within the chaos and noise. The culture embraces an attitude of gratitude. My tour guide talked about the monsoon as a welcomed “natural air-conditioner”, and I watched as destitute children laughed and played on the streets. A firm believer that yogis should be out in the world, not in ahsrams, Eileen mused, “Coming to India is like a pilgrimage for yoga teachers. You have to do it.” I picked her brain as I devised this beginner’s guide to the country where one hour means somewhere between three and four hours, the bread tastes like delicious, salty clouds of heaven, the phrase, “excuse me ma’am, selfie?” is heard at least 10 times a day, and the hotel staff wake you at 11:30pm to ask if you want a 5am wake-up call.


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Choose your timing If you want to avoid the heat, choose a different holiday destination because it’s hot – really hot – all the time. Peak season is from October through to March, and the weather is best during this time. From April, the weather starts getting pretty toasty, then the monsoon comes in July. If you’re up for a different adventure, this is the cheapest time to travel and hotels are half-price. I travelled in June and it was mostly sticky and overcast.

Travel remedies Prepare your remedy pack with emergency pharmaceuticals for all the nasty belly ailments. If you’re really careful you might be lucky enough to avoid Delhi Belly but, if not, you’re going to want something strong (even if you’re an anti-pharma, natural remedy-loving hippie like me).

A good cream for bites and rashes goes a long way, as does a good repellant if you’re prone to insect bites. Natural antiseptics such as tea tree and lavender will come in handy, as well as any other natural remedies you use at home. Pre-travel, you may want to look into the recommended vaccinations. It’s a personal choice what route you decide to take, and those who don’t wish to go down the Western medicine path can talk to their naturopath about alternatives.

Handy items to pack Eileen fondly remembered the first time she visited India, as she recalled filling a suitcase with toilet paper. Luckily for us, toilet paper is now widely available in India, but you may find items like wet wipes, tissues, earplugs, sticky plasters and vitamins handy. Remember your power adaptor, a day carry bag and sunglasses, and you may like to consider a travel yoga mat that will fold easily into your luggage.

Money 50 rupees is around $1, and like with any

holiday, you can modify your experience based on your budget. India is a relatively cheap place; an average Western traveller can expect to spend between $20 and $100 per day for accommodation, food and sightseeing.

Dress Think long, flowing pants and t-shirts. Ladies, a shawl is your new best friend. It can cover your shoulders, act as a sarong or a blanket and provide cushioning on long trips. If you’re planning to swim, leave your bikini at home and find a conservative one-piece and a sarong to cover up in between swims. Don’t forget comfy shoes (I took my Birkenstocks) that are activity-appropriate. If you’re not a huge wearer of sneakers and aren’t planning on hiking, leave them at home (they take up lots of luggage space). Plastics with good grip are best for the monsoon season.

Getting around If you’re wanting a cruisy experience, you can book everything through the tourism board – from flights to hotels, trains etc. This is a great option for

You need a visa in advance to visit India. Give yourself at least a couple of weeks to organise this before travelling, but the process can now be done entirely online at

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first-time travellers. You can also book a personal driver through the tourism board and this guarantees that your guide is government-approved for your peace of mind. Drivers can also be organised privately, as well as rickshaws and motorbikes. Only take a night train if you’re with someone or it’s first class, and female travellers can ask to be in a women’s compartment.

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Where to go


• Riskikesh is the cultural, colourful yoga capital of the north, and a must-visit for it’s famous ashram (Parmath Niketan), happy cows, Aarti along the river Ganges, and yoga festival every March. • You’ve likely heard of Mysore, especially if you’re an Ashtanga yogi, and any serious yogi will include this amazing place on their yoga journey. • Goa is on the beach and popular with young tourists, but there’s lots of fun, yoga goodness here too. • Anywhere in Kerala is wonderful for lovers of Ayurveda – here you’ll find the best Ayurvedic doctors and treatments in the world! • Auroville/Pondicherry is a cultural experience that will fascinate lovers

of meditation and philosophy. • Jaipur is your go-to for vipassana, with an abundance of beautiful sights.

Solo travelling Having a travel companion is always fun, but if you’re really diving in and travelling alone, keep your wits about you. Like any other place in the world, awful things sometimes happen. It’s not advised to venture out alone at night, particularly for women. Be organised, know where you’re going and how you’re getting there.

Accommodation Organise your first week well (and be prepared for your plans to change) then you can be a little more flexible. Depending on your travel experience, you may want to book your entire trip. There are plenty of accommodation options from government accommodation to hotels, guesthouses and ashrams. A quick search online will send you down a delightful holiday booking rabbit hole.

What to (and not to) eat Be very careful, eat Indian vegetarian (ahimsa!) and don’t eat street food. My biggest mistake after being

meticulous for almost the entire journey was a handful of crisps purchased from the side of the road. I remember Eileen looking at me and shaking her head, warning me that the oil used in some street food could be years old. I shrugged and shoved another mouthful of the delicious, salty chips into my mouth – a move I regretted 24 hours later! You can’t be too careful when it comes to what you eat and avoiding the water. As well as only drinking bottled water, keep your mouth closed in the shower and use bottled water to brush your teeth. Only eat fruit with a skin (that’s been peeled) and make sure all other food has been properly cooked. It might seem extreme and perhaps not necessary for a seasoned traveller, but there’s nothing worse than being in a foreign, unfamiliar country and feeling like you’re going to die from a tropical stomach bug. Then enjoy! Leave your gluten-free, sugar-free diet at home and embrace the incredible culinary delights that India has to offer.

Yoga Don’t expect it to be the same as in the Western world. There’s a big focus on



pranayama, meditation, and more traditional practices. Leave your Lullus at home and pack your fisherman pants.

Where to go Be prepared to be a bit of a celebrity and to spend a lot of time waiting around. Think India time where everything moves much more slowly. The population is mostly made up of Hindus, with around 82% Hindu, 15% Muslim and 2% Sikh so expect it to be much more conservative than home. Hindus generally don’t drink alcohol or eat meat and you’ll delight in the extraordinary devotion of the locals (don’t miss seeing an Aarti on the river Ganges to really get a feel for the extent of this Bhakti culture). The language is different in the north and south, with Hindi being spoken in the north (so you can Namaste as a greeting). Don’t worry, most of the locals you’ll be interacting with speak English too. Get your bargaining hat on – nothing has a price tag. Be friendly when bargaining, and embrace this fun, cultural exchange. You can generally expect to pay around half the asking price on most things if you’re game enough to play! This is just the tip of the iceberg. Reading up before you go will prepare you for a deeper cultural experience. Toward the end of our journey, my mind wandered back to the first day when our tour guide had gently reminded us, “Always we say in India – expect the unexpected.” I looked outside the bus window and smiled at the vibrant locals in colourful, worn-out clothing, contrasted against the rubbish and chaos on the streets. I asked Eileen why she keeps coming back. “It’s the contrast. The rawness of death. At home it’s hidden, but here it’s very real. It’s a valuable place for us to step back and remind ourselves – there are people with less.”

Centre yourself This simple sequence will soften spots that tend to cling to tension (lower backs, hips, thighs) and ground you with squats, passive backbends, mild inversions, and twists.

AS YOU PRACTICE Energetically, these poses aim to rebalance apana vayu (downward-moving energy), allowing the mind to calm and the body to relax.This is the perfect sequence to settle frayed nerves because it includes a balance of restorative poses that invite you to rest and a few poses that require gentle effort and balance.

Sequence and modelling by Larissa Hall Carlson

Level: Beginner Good for: Calming frazzled nerves Props needed: Two blocks,

a blanket, and a bolster

Intention: Comfort Reflection: Put a priority on your

comfort. Reflect on what it feels like to be at ease in mind and body.

Additional benefits: Lengthens the front and back of the body in equal measure

3 Vrksasana (Tree Pose), variation 1 Matsyasana (Fish Pose), supported variation

2 Supta Virasana (Reclining Hero Pose), supported

4 Malasana (Garland Pose)

5 Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend), variation

Rest your head on a block in its highest position and your mid-upper back on a block at its middle height. Bend your knees, and place the soles of your feet on the floor. Relax your shoulder blades, and breathe for one to three minutes.

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Step your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees, and sink into a squat. Balance between the heels and balls of your feet. Press your palms together at heart level; press your elbows against your inner knees.


7 Tri Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana (Three-Legged Downward-Facing Dog Pose)

Lift your right leg to hip height. Lengthen back through your inner right leg, and reach through your right heel.

Place a bolster lengthwise at one end of your mat and a folded blanket on its far end. Sit between your heels with the bolster behind you, and lie back on it, head resting on the blanket. Stay here for one to three minutes.

Come to standing. Balance on your right leg; place your left foot against your inner right thigh (avoid the knee). Interlace your fingers; press your palms up overhead. Pause for one to two seconds at the end of each exhalation. Repeat on the other side.

6 Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose), variation

From standing, place your hands on the mat, lift your hips, straighten your legs, and fold forward. Cross your right leg behind your left. Lengthen up through your tailbone and down through your crown. Repeat on the other side.

Step or hop back to Down Dog. Cross your right leg behind your left. Lengthen up through your tailbone and down through your heels. Hang your head. At the end of each exhalation, pause for one to two seconds.

8 Pigeon Pose

9 Balasana (Child’s Pose), variation

Lower your right knee to the mat between your hands. Extend through your left leg, and balance your weight between your hips. Elongate your spine; rest your forehead on a block. Breathe gently into your lower back. Repeat poses 6 to 8 on the other side.

Lower your hips onto your heels, and press back to Child’s Pose with straight arms. Walk your hands to the left until you feel a good stretch along your right torso. Gently breathe. Repeat on other side.

10 Makarasana (Dolphin Pose)

Come to all fours and then onto your forearms. Interlace your fingers, curl your toes under, lift your knees and hips, and straighten your legs. Hang your head, and lift your tailbone to lengthen the spine. Pause at the end of each exhalation.


12 Purvottanasana (Upward Plank Pose)

Unwind your legs, and extend them in front of you. Place your hands on the floor behind your hips with fingers pointing toward your seat. Lift your hips, and press the balls of your feet into the floor. Drop your head.

14 Ardha Pavanamuktasana (Half Wind-Relieving Pose)

Extend your legs flat onto the floor. Bring your right leg toward your chest, and interlace your fingers behind your right thigh. Relax and lengthen through both heels. Repeat on the other side.

11 Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose), variation

Sit down, and stack your right knee on top of your left, keeping your sitting bones rooted between your feet. Gently twist to the right. Relax your jaw and shoulders. Change the cross of your legs; repeat on the other side.

13 Sucirandhrasana (Eye-of-the-Needle Pose)

Lie on your back; bend both knees. Stack your right ankle on top of your left thigh. Interlace your fingers behind the left thigh. Flex your ankles, and guide your legs toward your torso. Repeat on the other side.

15 Jathara Parivartanasana (Revolved Abdomen Pose)

Bend your knees, and draw your legs in toward your chest. Lower your legs to the right. Hold onto your top leg with your right hand. Relax your shoulder blades; breathe into your left side. Repeat on the other side, then rest in Savasana.

Rhythm harmony AND

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The practice

2) Create fists with both hands and extend the thumbs straight. Place the thumbs on the temples and locate the soft niche where the thumbs fit just perfectly (the lower anterior portion of the frontal bone, above the temporal-sphenoid suture).

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3) Lock the back molars together with lips closed. Vibrate the jaw muscles by alternating the pressure on the back molars – lock the left back molars, then lock right back molars and so forth in a consistent rhythmic fashion. As you do this, a muscle will move under the thumbs; feel this muscle massage the thumbs at the temples and apply firm pressure.


4) Through closed eyes, roll eyes up to look at the space between the eyebrows, the Third Eye Point. 5) Keep eyes closed and focused at the Third Eye Point as you silently vibrate mentally the sounds: “Saa taa naa maa, saa taa, naa maa, saa taa naa man …” This translates as: Infinity, life, death or transformation/rebirth. This mantra increases intuition, balances the hemispheres of the brain and describes the continuous cycle of life and creation.

6) Feel these sounds vibrated at the Third Eye Point (as though written at your brow) with the rhythm of your alternating jaw muscles. 7) Continue a steady rhythm of the mantra in the same rhythm as the locking alternate back molars, eyes rolled up and in. Your breath will regulate itself. 8) Continue the practice for 5-7 minutes. Over time you can increase the duration to a maximum of 31 minutes. 9) To finish, inhale deeply, suspend the breath for about 10-15 seconds, applying a little more pressure to your temples as you penetrate your gaze through the space between your eyebrows. Exhale and relax. HarJiwan is an experienced Kundalini teacher, healer, wellness facilitator, speaker and founder of HarJiwanYoga. She is creator of WOW, the WOW Vortex (an online mentoring program for women), and offers specialised mentoring programs for women online and in person, helping women to live in selfempowerment, with vitality and happiness. HarJiwan teaches workshops, master classes, intensives and retreats nationally and in Byron Bay. To find out more, check out To connect with HarJiwan: Instagram @HarJiwanYoga and Facebook HarJiwanYoga


1) Sit with a tall, straight spine, apply Jalandhara Bandha (Neck Lock) by gently drawing the back of the throat toward the spine and lengthening the back of the neck while lifting the chest.

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All the components that make up great children’s yoga classes: Ages 3-8,9-12, 13-17

An understanding of yoga therapy and how it works

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The specific corrective exercises for the top 10 issues being faced by children and teens today: ADD, ASTHMA, DIABETES, COLDS, CONCENTRATION, STRESS, BACK ISSUES, DIGESTION, WEIGHT, DEPRESSION

Teaching and designing classes that will leave each and every child feeling happy, empowered and believing in themselves The privilege and opportunity of touching the lives and making a difference for children

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YOGA STUDIES COURSES Certificate of Yoga Philosophy Hatha Yoga Practitioner Certificate YOGA TEACHER TRAINING COURSES Diploma of Yoga Teaching Advanced Diploma of Yoga Teaching Distance Learning Options Available YOGA AUSTRALIA REGISTERED COURSES




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MELBOURNE YOGA CENTRE & School for F.M. Alexander Studies Diploma in Yoga and Alexander Technique Teaching with David Moore, author of “Yoga and the Alexander Technique: Intelligent, Injury-Free Yoga.”

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This course is similar to the popular in-studio course, however may be studied by distant education for those who live 50 kms away from the Sydney studio. Please note that there are two face-to-face tutorials consisting of 1 week (including a retreat) and 3 days for the second one. If you are motivated to self study and work hard, this course if for you.

situations that may arise in your yoga-teaching career. At the end of this course you will have the skills to help people with a wide range of issues such as back, neck and shoulder pain (and other body alignment issues), digestive issues, period pain and other women’s health issues (including pregnancy) and most emotional and psychological issues.

Zen Ki Yoga is a Japanese style of yoga based on Traditional Chinese Medicine, the 12 meridians, the 5-element theory, principles of yin and yang and the seasons. It is the most effective healing system you will ever learn and a powerful tool for getting your body in shape and balancing your health.


The diploma course is registered with Yoga Australia and you will learn to teach safe and powerful yoga classes to the public within the course so that you are capable to handle all

to be prepared for the first face-to-face meeting: 18 – 20 March 2017. Second meeting: retreat on 15-17 September (2 hours from Sydney) and then continues in Sydney 18-20 September. Email for course prospectus |

Open only to qualified Alexander Technique teachers, this course is run as an extra to the Advanced Diploma of Alexander Technique Teaching 1,800 hour course runs over three years. The Advanced Diploma of Alexander Technique teaching is a government accredited course. Local students enrolled in the Advanced Diploma can apply for Austudy International students can apply for three year student visa (Cricos code 02438J - Einstein's Moon Pty Ltd)

School for F.M. Alexander Studies 330 St Georges Road North Fitzroy, VIC 3068 03 9486 5900


200HR YOGA ALLIANCE ACCREDITED Ubud Bali - 12 Day Intensive 29th June - 12th July

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MAT PILATES LEVEL 1, 2 & 3 Geelong, Victoria - Part Time Level 1. 18-19 Feb, 25-26 Feb & 5 March Ubud Bali - Residential Intensives

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Level 1 & 2. 3-10 April. 6 days (7 nights) Level 3. 10-14 April. 3 days (4 nights)




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Our YAA registered teacher-training course offers a unique exploration into contemporary Hatha vinyasa yoga. Led by Mathew Bergan and an experienced teaching faculty, our program will accelerate your journey towards becoming an outstanding teacher. We offer 200 hour training in Sydney over weekends and a successful “iÂ˜ĂŒÂœĂ€ĂƒÂ…ÂˆÂŤÂŤĂ€Âœ}Ă€>“ĂŒÂœĂ€iw˜iĂžÂœĂ•Ă€ teaching skills. Our experienced lecturers will help you understand your own unique physiology and how to impart this essential wisdom. Our graduates evolve into accomplished, Vœ˜w`iÂ˜ĂŒ>˜`ÂŽÂ˜ÂœĂœÂ?i`}i>LÂ?iĂŒi>VÂ…iĂ€Ăƒ guaranteed to thrive in today’s competitive teaching market.

Comprehensive Training and Experiential Education Vinyasa Flow – Core Yoga – Continuing Education With practitioner and teacher trainings in Yoga, Pilates and Thai Yoga Massage, Yoga Trinity offers an opportunity for students and teachers to dive deeply into the richness of traditional yoga teachings and explore the modern practice and therapeutic applications of yoga

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Want a ‘taste’ of Yoga Trinity? Visit our site to download free classes and podcasts. tel: 0406 784 878 email:

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INSPYA Yoga Teacher Training Byron Bay February 6 – March 3, 2017 This Level 1 Teacher Training Course has been successfully implemented around the globe over the past 10 years. INSPYA Yoga has trained over 1500 yoga teachers worldwide. We are catering to those aspiring yoga practitioners who wish to establish a sound and professional foundation as a yoga instructor that has both heart and an international reputation.

YOGA TEACHER TRAINING PROVIDER IN AUSTRALIA For courses, information or to book, visit us

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Lance Schuler (Principal teacher)

This course is 200 contact-hour program and has a dual certification process: 1. RYT-200 Yoga Alliance 200-hour Accreditation 2. INSPYA Yoga Certificate 200-hour Accreditation This teacher training will be held at INSPYA Yoga’s home, 5 minutes from Byron Bay. Our awe-inspiring property hosts a fully equipped yoga studio, which opens out to lush gardens, abundant in seasonal organic fruit and vegetables. Venue: Lot 1 Natural Lane, Broken Head


Ph 1800 449 195

For further details, please visit our website: Or contact Ella directly: 0431320090 |

> Gain International Accreditation

> Certificate in Mindfulness & Meditation

january 2017

> Online Course

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200 Hour Diploma of Yoga Teacher Teaching (12 Months Part Time)

Paymen t Plans Availab le

Nationally recognised and Internationally Accredited with Yoga Alliance Located in Point Cook, Melbourne’s Western Suburbs (opposite Williams Landing Train Station)

Only 25 minutes from the CBD and 35 minutes from Geelong Choose between Friday’s 9:30am - 2:30pm (School Terms Only) Saturday’s 8:00am - 12:00pm Sunday’s 2:00pm- 6:00pm Two Yearly Intakes – February & July 2017 Early Bird Registration Discount – Save up to $400!

Contact us today for a course prospectus! Give us a call: 1300 787 974 Drop us a line:


To be part of

Please call (07) 5508 2787 or email

january 2017

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january 2017





with Mysan Sidbo Level 1 - Yin Yoga Teacher Training 100 Hours Level 2 - Yin Yang Yoga Therapy Teacher Training 100 Hours SYDNEY:

Level 1: 4th Feb - 2nd April 2017


Level 1: 2nd June - 14th June 2017 Level 2: 18th June - 1st July 2017

Immerse yourself in the practice and theory of Yin Yoga, anatomy, fascia, meridian lines and chakras. In Level 1 YYTT you will gain insight and knowledge to Yin Yoga and the anatomic and energetic practice that Yin Yoga emphasises. In the Level 2 YYYTTT we further our knowledge with more anatomy, yoga philosophy, and the understanding of cells and our body, heart and mind in our yoga practice and teachings. Take your yoga teaching to a new level. Adventure into Yin Yoga with all its goodness on a deep physical, energetic and heartfelt level.

For more information and bookings go to

Are you someone who ™ Works with others to improve performance ™ Works with people wanting more flexibility or less pain ™ Relies on your body to perform your work ™ Wants a better understanding of your body/mind ™ Wants a career that keeps you young? ™ :DQWVWRKHOSSHRSOHÀQGWKHLUSRVHVHDVLO\"

Then this is the training for you. The Feldenkrais Professional Training starts in January 2017 Check our web Events List for introductory workshops

Phone: (03) 9737 9945 for more information Email: Web:

Teacher Training


january 2017

Yin Yoga







OUR NADI YOGA 200HR TT provides graduates with a solid foundation and set of effective tools to teach yoga while deepening their own personal practice. The focus of our 200hr training is to provide future teachers with the knowledge of anatomy, alignment and adjustments as well as yoga philosophy, embodiment, energetics and practice. CURRICULUM - 200 hr course curriculum includes these topics and more: Asana, pranayama, mudra, bandha, tantra, mantra and PHGLWDWLRQ Â&#x2021; $QDWRP\ DOLJQPHQW Â&#x2021; <RJD KLVWRU\ SKLORVRSK\ Â&#x2021; 3ULQFLSOHV RI 9LQ\DVD <RJD 6HTXHQFLQJ Â&#x2021; (OHPHQWV 3UDQD 9D\XV Â&#x2021; &UHDWLYH DQG LQWHOOLJHQW IORZ Â&#x2021; &KDNUD VXEWOH ERG\ V\VWHP Â&#x2021; 6DQVNULW IRU \RJLV Â&#x2021; 8QORFN DQG DUWLFXODWH \RXU YRLFH Â&#x2021; Observing and reading bodies and breath Â&#x2021; <RJD NUDPD PRGLILFDWLRQV Â&#x2021; %XVLQHVV DQG HWKLFV Â&#x2021; <RJD IRU LQMXU\ SUHJQDQF\ DQG UHVWRUDWLYH Â&#x2021; 3UDFWLFH WHDFKLQJ Â&#x2021; <RJD VFULSWXUHV DQG WH[WV Â&#x2021; 3OXV DQ LQWURGXFWLRQ WR <LQ <RJD

january 2017

Prerequisite: Minimum of 2 years regular yoga practice and a recommendation from a teacher. Application: We carefully select our teachers in training so that you will be prepared for the curriculum and process.


COST: $4800NZD per person. EARLY BIRD: $4600NZD if paid before December 1st, 2016. Students of Nadi Yoga receive a $500 Discount. (regardless of when they pay) *Students of Nadi Yoga must hold a current concession or membership card. Price includes: Unlimited access to Yoga Nadi classes one week prior, during and one week after the training period, Training Materials, Teaching instruction, daily healthy lunch, refreshments, mats & props and guided walks. Does not include: Accommodation, other meals. Additional costs: Nadi Wellness Workshops or other intensives.

For more information or to register please contact

It takes dedication and passion to become a musician, philosopher or artist... as it does to become an Iyengar Yoga teacher... itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s worth it.

Find out more about Iyengar Yoga Teacher Training. Conditions apply.



“There is a cost to living meditatively: all your cherished ideas about yourself and how things should be. The benefit is shining good health of mind and soul. Oh yes, and then there is enlightenment, too.” -Swami Shantananda. PH: 03 9833 4050 E: 1st Floor, 6 The Hwy, Mt. Waverley, 3149

Download a prospectus on the teacher training page of our website or email us

Yoga Classes Meditation Classes Teacher Training Distance Education Workshops & Retreats

3 Study Options Available: Wednesday evenings, Thursday during school hours & all day Saturday and Sunday once a month.

january 2017

Australian College of Classical Yoga

Courses starting in: February, March, April, July and October.



BYRON BAY - BALI - EUROPE - NEW ZEALAND Relax, be inspired & develop your yoga practice in idyllic surrounds.... Join Jessie Chapman & facilitators for an inspirational retreat with yoga, healthy meals, guided walks & hiking, massages, spa treatments, core strength classes, meditation, yoga nidra, cultural tours & lots more in beautiful surrounds. Byron Bay NYE Yoga Cleanse Restore Dec 28 - Jan 3 â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;17

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2017 Spain & Pyrenees Yoga Hiking Sep 2-9 & Sep 11-16

2017 New Zealand Yoga Hiking Nov 17-21 E. Ph. 0402 772 388


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To be part of the Australian Yoga Journal directory, please call (07) 5508 2787 or email


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“be your own kind of beautif ul in our eclectic eco-conscious yoga clothing”

Illuminating Hearts & Minds


in ir ti n AYJ INTERVIEW

practiced Iyengar for the next 20 years. Around 30 years ago I had moved to Byron Bay and one of my yoga teachers asked me to cover a class for them. I loved it and offered myself as a sub for teachers in Byron. After a year I ended up starting my own Wednesday night 6pm class and I started the Byron Yoga Centre in 1988. The Byron Yoga Centre is the longest-running yoga school in Australia that has been owned by the same owner.

How has your yoga practice changed over the years?

Byron Yoga Centre founder John Ogilvie shares his discovery of the real meaning of yoga and the importance of serving a worthwhile purpose in life.

january 2017

Interview by Tamsin Angus-Leppan


John Ogilvie first tried yoga in 1981 and founded the Byron Yoga Centre in 1988, which he still runs. Byron Yoga offers classes, retreats and teacher training, including a course for overseas students to qualify them for an international student visa. When asked about what keeps him motivated, he says, “Helen Keller was once quoted as saying: ‘True happiness comes from serving a worthwhile purpose.’ I’m doing what I’m meant to be doing which is sharing yoga with other people.” These days John, a dynamic 59-year-old, spends most of his time nurturing the Byron Yoga Retreat Centre which he opened six years ago.

How did you first come to yoga? My first introduction to yoga was in my early 20s, around 1981. I was doing a

residential stress-management course and yoga wasn’t included, but one of the staff told me about yoga so I tried it with him. I had my own electrical contracting business, I was working seven days a week and my life was completely out of balance. After that I practiced yoga on my own from the sheets of paper that he had given me; it took me about three hours to go through the sequence. I didn’t know at that time that there were things like yoga schools, but I started hearing names of schools so I started going around to yoga classes. In Melbourne in the early 80s there wasn’t much, but I went to everything I could find. Then I saw an advertisement for an adult education course in Iyengar yoga and that was it, I was sold. That was the style for me and from then on I just

What is next for you? Over the last 10 years I reached some conclusions about what life is meant for. Life is meant for growing, improving and changing, to ultimately become the best version of myself that I can be, and yoga is my vehicle for that. To achieve that, the process is accelerated if I am helping other people achieve that outcome. The Byron Yoga Retreat Centre is a spiritual oasis. I’ve come to a feeling that I have a 19-year-old daughter, a 10-month-old baby and I’ve got a six-year-old retreat centre; I think of it like a child. I’m kind of feeling quite grandfatherly toward all the people who come to the retreat centre.


True to himself

In the beginning it was a hobby, something I did in my spare time. I loved doing yoga and I found teaching yoga helped reinforce my experience of yoga. When I was in Melbourne I was very sporty and an aerobics freak. Yoga became the physical activity for me. Around my mid-30s, I’d reached a physical peak but I also kept getting injuries from pushing myself so hard in yoga practice. I pressed the pause button and came to the conclusion that pushing myself to be more and more flexible was a no-win game. I asked myself the question, what does it mean to progress with a yoga practice? That’s when I started to read the authentic Indian yoga books and nowhere was I coming across: “You do yoga to be more flexible.” It just kept repeating the importance of meditation. That’s when I started to do a lot more pranayama and meditation and study and from that grew the style of yoga I now practice called Purna Yoga.

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