Gold Coast Yoga Centre April 2016 Newsletter.

Namaste Yogis & Yoginis,
When one truly begins to step onto the yoga path, and away from the more conventional frameworks, it can feel a little uncomfortable. There are no longer clear cut, or habitual structures to take the thought out of living. One actually has to pause and feel into the right thing to do or say. There is no handbook on how to live well and we often find ourselves the maverick, the odd one out, feeling out of sync or disconnected with those we used to feel so comfortable with.

God/faith no longer have neat packages. We feel uncertain and not sure of our purpose or what we believe in. It can feel lonely, but there are guidelines and signposts when we know where to look that connect us on deeper levels, to each other, to the natural universe and laws,  to truth, to love.
We begin in small ways. 

We start by accepting/understanding that we are in transition between the old and the new, and remind ourselves to be kind to ourselves during this time. We talk, and read and listen to teachers, friends, family, sangha (spiritual family), the voices of sages and wise ones through the words they leave behind in dharmic texts; without expectation, or looking for a complete answer. At first it is just an allowing of curiousity. Then something resonates. We receive it (sravana) we contemplate it (manana) and we apply it and test it (niddhidhyasana). We put it to the test, and we observe the results. Yoga does not require us to have blind faith, and encourages us to discover the truth of a teaching for ourselves.

If, after applying and testing several times, in different circumstances, with different people and within ourselves, a teaching feels like it has benefitted you (or helped you see more clearly) you can begin to have faith in it. The more it holds true, the more faith accumulates, but we never stop observing the results, as time/place/circumstance can change the outcome of an action and we may either find its limits or expand our understanding if we remain open.

Once we discover the truth for ourselves, our faith gets stronger. If we have a number of good results from teachings/advice from the same source.. our faith in that source begins to grow. Eventually we develop sraddha – that faith that comes from being tested, and helps us have faith in a future outcome. Once we get comfortable with teachings/teachers, we begin to turn our attention to observing/testing the Divine/Universe/God/Nature/Truth (whatever word feels right for you to explain the Mystery behind all that is).

When we step back (pratyhara) and simply take time to observe the natural rhythms and outcomes of life itself, we begin to learn about that and to develop some faith in our knowing. Eventually, our faith develops to the point that we can step forward into difficult/unknown situations and we can have faith in our capacity to stay steady and that the outcome is for the highest good, whether it appears that way or not at the time.

Only time reveals this kind of truth, so we cannot hurry. In a very practical sense, one of my teachers taught me not to make decisions using only my mind, they will always have an egoic element. Instead, he suggested to take time, get centred and allow the right actions to reveal themselves. It has taken more than a decade to explore this teaching and develop faith in it – but now, it saves me so much time and angst. I get out of my own way, and allow the truth to reveal itself, and things generally work out for the best. Now, I feel I can have faith in that dynamic and it gives me strength and freedom, and that after all is what faith is meant to do.



Practice Tip

When moving through asana, try to utilise all of the actions of the breath. Most of us are familiar with the inhale and exhale. In yoga teachings even the inhale and exhale do so much more than bring in and expel air. For a start prana (energy/lifeforce) rides the wave of the breath/air – so to bring in air is to bring in more lifeforce. We can literally bring our asana to life.

There are five main types/actions of Prana (also known as the Vayus). The first, Adya Prana (the inhaling breath) does so much more that bring in air. It also brings in awareness, wisdom, life, energy, connection to the universe and the divine, knowledge, space, love – everything you need to live and act well. Try to breath in with your whole body/mind, not just your nose and lungs!

The second Prana/vayu is Samana Prana. The home of Samana Prana is said to be the belly and heart similtaneously. This function of the breath could almost said to be the intelligence or colllation of the breath. The inhaled breath expands lungs (therefore the belly and heart region) and there is a split second pause before exhalation when information about where the breath/prana is needed and to be delivered. When you pause at this point, you almost feel suspended in time and space, and can seem to “see” from a higher vantage point. Then the exhale begins – with the Apana Vayu/Prana moving the breath/energy downwards to the earth, grounding, anchoring, connecting, creating structure and support.

Similtaneously, the Uddana Vayu/Prana moves upwards exhaling the breath, emptying anything that no longer needs to be in your body/mind consciousness, and also creating action (in the bandhas, movement etc). The Uddana Vayu creates the structure that holds us upright and activates our core.
Also similtaneously the Vyana Prana/Vayu circulates breath/energy throughout the body, to all the cells and organs and in circulating creates a centrifugal force that helps the muscles hug the bones, allowing us to be strong and stable.

These are very subtle actions, and it takes time and work to feel them, but it is a rich reward.
When the integrated actions of the breath are functioning properly, you feel balanced, clear and connected. You experience a state of Yoga.


"When you inhale, you are taking the strength from God. When you exhale, it represents the service you are giving to the world."  - B.K.S. Iyengar

Referral Program

Every month we give away a $50 gift voucher from our good friends at Wray Organics Palm Beach. Read the details below to find out how you could be the lucky winner!! <3



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