Gold Coast Yoga Centre May 2016 Newsletter.

 Namaste yogis & yoginis,
There are many who feel that yoga & politics don't mix. I used to say that I have a two word answer for this – Mahatma Gandhi. One of the greatest yogis of our times, and one of the greatest political leaders too, Gandhi embodied the yogic teachings from the Vedas and Gita, knowing when to act, when to surrender, never standing idly by, yet not attached to outcome, always acting in service, for the greater good for all. Later I realised I have to extend my answer to include such great teachers and political activists as the Dalai Lama and Thich Naht Hahn. All teach from a pure place, yet recognise the need to act, to contribute to the collective experience – not for themselves, but for the greater good of all.

True yogis value this gift of life; not just for their own experience of it, but they recognise that this life is an opportunity to serve others and contribute to a global experience of peace, evolution and love, for all beings and our beloved Mother Earth. When the yogi does his/her inner work and feels at peace, he/she contributes to the collective experience. Conversely, when the outer world is at peace, it contributes to the individual's experience. We are interconnected, what happens to one, happens to us all. So as we move into June, a month where we celebrate the Earth on World Environment Day (June 5), we have an opportunity to stop and contemplate how that is working. Are we in harmony with the Earth, and she with us? One only has to observe the excessive plundering of natural resources, and the increase in natural disasters to consider there may need to be some change, and some healing.

As a whole, we are not even in harmony within ourselves or with each other. When there is discord in the world, there is discord within us. When we meditate, act, practice, the intention of a yogi is not selfish – it is for the greater good of all. Yes, how we feel inside is one way of contributing.. but is it enough? As June ends and moves into July – we have a ripe opportunity with the upcoming election on July 2. I often feel nervous bringing up anything political in the modern yoga world. So many seem to just want the benefits of asana and to feel good. They forget that in the old texts we are taught to value each other and the earth, to look for harmony within and without. The Prithvi Sukta (hymn from the Vedas) tells us “The Earth is my Mother, I am her son”. The Vedas also tell us we are born into this world with 5 debts, one of them to the Earth – for providing us with everything we need for life. In return, we are asked to protect and nourish the Mother in return; and the Gita enjoins us to act. 

Through non-violent action, Gandhi mobilised thousands of ordinary people to overthrow the British Regime and escape the tyranny of greed and power. He (among many) reminded us that to turn away and not look is to give evil men the opportunity to perpetrate acts of violence & greed, and thus become complicit ourselves. As Viras (spiritual warriors) we are asked to step outside our comfort zone for the greater good. The Maha Viharas (4 immeasurable qualities of both Yogic and Buddhist traditions) of Maitri, Mudita, Karuna and Upeksha (friendliness, empathetic joy, compassion and equanimity) are considered the highest attributes a yogi can acquire – yet these qualities are sadly lacking in our society's treatment of the poor, vulnerable & displaced. So, I am taking a leap of faith here –  I have a dream -  of being a yogi, living in a yogic world! I am hoping that if you are still reading this, you want to live the ethics of yoga more deeply. You no longer want to stand aside and watch suffering in so many lives, you understand that even if my own life is comfortable – when others suffer, so do I.

Please take the time to vote on July 2nd and vote mindfully. For me, the Greens are the only party who even come close to some of the yogic values (and a few Independents). Although they are not perfect; and this is not a perfect system; and we may or may not “win” this time around – a swing away from the politics of greed sends a strong message. Voting is not just barracking for a favoured team. Voting effectively can literally change the world. Will you be the change? I personally, will be voting with a vision for a future of compassion, equality and respect for the Earth. It may not happen overnight, it may not happen for a long time, but this can be a step towards greater good, social justice and peace for the Earth and all who walk upon her. It's time for a change.

PRACTICE TIP – Here are a few tips condensed from our Backbends Workshop ...
  • Rename them in your mind – backward lengthening extension, although a mouthful, it straightaway reminds you there is a lengthening process involved.
  • Lengthen the front body as much as possible so as the spine moves into it, it can maintain space between the vertebrae, and keep pressure off the nerves.
    The movement should come from opening the front of the hips and lifting and opening the chest – with the pubic bone and sternum moving away from each other.
  • Pelvic placement and chest lift are priority to depth of the bend.
  • Always counterpose – first a neutral position, then the opposite movement (ie forward fold).
    Make sure you can access a full belly and chest breath at all times.
  • Practice preparatory poses including tiger/cat, dog pose, shoulder rolls, Anjaneyasana (crescent moon), Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior 1),supported backbends over a block or bolster, armpit openers.
  • Practice at your level – get comfortable in half bridge & ustrasana before attempting a full bend.
  • Only practice supported backbends if tired, menstruating or pregnant.


Remember - you go into the draw to win a $50 voucher from our friends at Wray Organics. Just pick up a free pass, write your name & phone number on the back and give it to a friend. When they come in for their free class, you go in the draw! One voucher to be won every month!!


June 5 – Our Bali retreat begins, AND World Environment Day. Celebrate Mother Earth and find out how you can get in volved – check out Also Murwillumbah WED is always a great day out – held at Knox Park, Murwillumbah 10am-4pm – music, performers, speakers, food, stalls, community and all an easy day trip from the Coast.

June 11 – Kirtan with Murray Kyle. This beloved singer/songwriter graces us with soul-filled chanting. Join us for a sublime evening. From 7pm, only $12, chai & snacks available for purchase.
June 13 - Queen's Birthday.
There will be NO 6am or 6pm classes. Classes will be: 9.30am-Mixed Level,  11.15am-Beginners & 4pm-General

June 18 – the lovely Jade from Living Ayur will be sharing the secret of maintaining health and balance for all doshas during the Winter months – by donation, 1.30-3pm
June 25 – Apprenticeship meeting

July 1st – 5 week Meditation Course begins. Join us Friday nights in July as we explore the practice of Meditation. WEEK 1 - The common thread in all methods, and how Meditation fits into the 8 limbed pathWEEK 2 - Meditation and Pranayama, WEEK 3 - Meditation and Mantra, WEEK 4 - Meditation and Intention, WEEK 5 - Chakra Meditation. $20 Casual or just $60 for 5 weeks.
July 2nd – Vote mindfully – and if you want to join me or can contribute some time to support the Greens, contact Ros 0403737287 – time for change.

July 4th – Our NEW TIMETABLE BEGINS. Please take time to read it thoroughly as there have been some significant changes. We have done our best to listen to feedback from you all over the years, and combine that with the teachers & centre's needs, and we have tried to come up with something that serves the community well. We hope you enjoy the new times and look forward to seeing you on the mat. Please note – there is a new pass option – 30pass class for $450. Levels, pass expiry dates and types have all been refreshed. A reminder we still have our Assisted options for those going through a tough time financially. Please contact our office to find out more.

Pick up a copy of the new timetable at the centre, or read about all changes via our blog post:

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