Gold Coast Yoga Centre January 2015 Newsletter...

Namaste Yogis & Yoginis,

Did you know it takes hours for an ocean liner to turn around?  Whereas a light skiff can turn in seconds? I mention this as we head into the New Year, and only a month into it, many “resolutions” have already been abandoned. Partly, this is because they are often made as “something you are supposed to do” in the New Year, and are not dedicated, or from the heart. Partly this is because, like many things these days, they have not happened instantly and we have already given up. The ocean liner is like a vasana (a well-established habit of the mind – heavy & dense). Once a habit is well-established, it takes time to turn it around. Don't give up so quickly. There is no substitute for time in growing, evolving, turning your life around – especially if you have really gone off track. Smaller vessels and boats are like Samskaras – habits and impressions that are less deeply entrenched. Initially a Samskara can be used as a piece of information – if I do this.. that will happen. It is only after we repeat the action it becomes a habit, and seemingly more solid/more real. No matter how established the habit, it is not real. It is only apparently real. It can be changed. Set your intention, from the heart. With determination and commitment take daily steps towards creating a new habit, or practice and one day, you will go past the tipping point and the habit will crumble. At this stage it is crucial to create the new habit or practice that you want to embrace, and repeat that until it becomes more “solid”. If you want to maintain that new practice, it will need constant feeding and attention, because like the discarded habit, it too is not actually real, and can dissolve over time without attention. Some practices you might want to nurture include compassion, patience, healthy lifestyle and diet, a loving relationship, listening skills and so on. These habits enhance your experience of life, and add to your capacity for yoga, and calming the mind, eventually taking you towards what IS real. Some habits you might want to leave include excess TV, excess and bad food, late nights, excess intoxicants, anger, bad communication. These distract you from the true goals of life which include truth and peace, and keep you caught up in the stories of the restless mind. So, don't give up just yet dear friends, choose the life you want to live and cultivate that daily.

With blessings,
Suzanne Gray



January Wray Voucher – There are all kinds of ways we can be inspired to live a yogic life. Wray Organics makes our world a better place – providing local, ethical and organic choices to live a yogic life! Write and tell us what inspires you to practice yoga, and make the world a better place? See our FB post or email us at Everyone will get the chance to inspire others, and one lucky person will win the draw for a $50 Wray voucher.
Keep the Date – 20-22nd March - Springbrook Retreat – the lovely Kath will be running her first retreat. Awesome yoga classes (of course), Margs delish food, divine environment and some special guests to be announced.
The new Soapwalla deodorant has been put to the test!! The lovely Anita tested it during the Ashtanga Intensive (can't get more challenging and sweaty than that!) and the verdict? It works!
Natural, organic, effective. Only $14 in store now.

The Intensive was amazing this year. Strong practitioners, great energy, two inspiring teachers.
If you missed seeing the pics – go to our FB albums page.


New Pregnancy Gallery

We have a new Pregnancy Gallery on our website. Although not in order for a practice sequence yet  - (and there are more pics to come!!) there are great ideas for modifying poses during your pregnancy and to give you confidence about what can or can't be practiced.
These poses are also excellent for restorative practice, menstruation (except the inversions), if you have gained weight.
During Pregnancy, NO strong twists, back-bends or abdominals. If in doubt, check with your teacher. Inversions are fine (and beneficial) as long as you can get up and down smoothly. Thanks to our model Marni, who gave birth to beautiful Marlon  the day after!!!
Click here  <3


There are a few poses that I do daily, even if I have no time for anything else. They connect me to my breath, calm my mind and nervous system, purify, mobilise my spine and joints – essentially keep me sane, and functioning, no matter what.

  1. Wide leg child pose, with arms extended. In this pose, the spine is neutral, the diaphragm relaxes and access to a full yogic breath is natural and easy. As I fill my belly and upper lungs with breath, I create space between the vertebrae of the spine and take pressure off the central nervous system. The heart is below the spine which is calming and refreshing for the heart. The abdomen is required to act to send the breath out – activating the core and muscles that support the spine. If I activate my arms (palms into floor, biceps roll out, shoulderblades towards kidneys and shoulders away from ears and neck) and keep breathing fully, I discover (and release) the tension that impinges on my neck, shoulder and arm movements and restricts blood flow to the brain.
  2. Tiger & Cat – mobilises the spine from cranium to sacrum, gets the synovial fluids flowing, mobilises the hip and shoulder joints, massages abdominal organs, gets lungs pumping, increases core action. After a few rounds, I then circle the spine clockwise/then anti a few times to release tension in the waist, sacrum and lower back. Activates both sympathetic and para-sympathetic nervous system.
  3. Modified Pidgeon – releases tension in the gluts that then effect the spine's tracking. Also releases some of the tension that adds to hip tightness. 5-10 full breaths.
  4. Upavista side stretches. With legs in upavista (wide angled stretch) I inhale raise the arms, exhale turn to the left and fold over towards the left foot, inhale up and exhale to the right foot (or as far as you can go). Repeat about 10x each side then inhale centre, bring legs together and fold forward into Paschimottanasana. I get a hamstring stretch, really good massage through abdomen (moving lymph and encouraging digestion), waist stretch and strengthen. In the Paschimottanasana I increase the hamstring stretch (vital for back and knee health), tonify and strengthen the CNS, and release tension in the back.
  5. Seated (cross legs) twist. Inhale lift the spine, then exhale to the right, inhale centre and exhale to left. Repeat 2-3 times. Mobilise thoracic spine and release tension that inhibits breathing. Some purification.
  6. Seated meditation. With lifted spine, first I inhale, then exhale and employ the root lock action (anus, perineum, navel in). Maintaining the lock, I lift the chest further and drop the chin. Breath is steady even if a little restricted. (advanced students can hold the breath in).  Release lock, lift spine and place hands in Jnana Mudra (thumb and index finger tips touching to make a circle). Let the breath move up and down the central energy channel naturally (sushumna). 1-3 minutes
  7. Lie down for a few minutes in Savasana. Let the nervous system and breath settle, the energy be distributed evenly through the body, the knowledge and space integrated and cultivate peace. 2-5 mins
All of this takes about 10 mins max. If in a super hurry, then I reduce it to 1,2, 6 & 7 for a total of 5 mins. Getting something in daily is essential. It keeps you connected, in tune and lets your day and energy flow. There are many variations of this practice, and I do change the sequence from time to time if I have an area that needs attention (e.g I might add a shoulder opener, or cross legs, or abdominals) but I always include 1,2 and 7!! Ideally, you have a little more time in your day for your practice, but there are days when we have to make do. Now there is no excuse!!!


Every morning, when we wake up, we have twenty-four brand-new hours to live. What a precious gift! We have the capacity to live in a way that these twenty-four hours will bring peace, joy, and happiness to ourselves and others. - Thich Nhat Hanh


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