Gold Coast Yoga Centre July 2015 Newsletter...

Namaste Yogis & Yoginis,

During my talk at our recent Winter Retreat – I tried to share some of the main teachings that have truly supported me, and helped me free myself from some of the stories and conditioned thinking that gets in the way of clarity, peace, contentment and living life fully. These teachings (distilled mostly from the Bhagavad Gita and Yoga Sutras) have literally changed, and even saved, my life on many, many occasions. As the journey continues, they continue to help me meet any challenge or situation I come across.

Everything you need to know is in the first 3 Yoga Sutras. NOW is the experience of Yoga (be present). Yoga is the calming of the fluctuations of the mind (be still); Then one can abide in their true nature (awaken).
We live in a dualistic/relative experience of Reality – we can't always change the external circumstances – but we can change how we experience them. One of the key teachings in the Gita is Yoga Samatvam. Yoga is equilibrium. In simpler terms – stay steady. Staying steady allows us to be more present, respond rather than react and reduce the energy given to the extremes of emotion. In Buddhist terms – to follow the Middle Path. Then we can live from a place of greater centredness, clarity and peace.  When you are facing a challenge – let go of trying to fix it or control it – repeat the simple words “stay steady” and try to breathe calmly. Sometimes, when the wave is big, you just have to hang on to the boogie board and go for the ride. This little mantra has been so potent in my life in so many varied situations. I am infinitely grateful.

When we act from this place of steadiness, we relate more truthfully, we are able to be more skilful in our actions – whether physical, verbal or mental, and we are able to more fully tune into our highest guidance – whatever that may mean to each of us individually.  Then the consequences of our actions usually have a more beneficial result to ourselves in others. Skilful living = better outcomes. Yoga karmasu kausalam – yoga is skill in action. If we are unsuccessful – we try to use it as training to improve our skills for the next occasion. Even the lotus grows from the mud. The more compost – the more nutrient dense the vegetable. 
One way to  stay steady and be present is to bring our mind to a single focus. Whether that be a breath, a breathing rhythm, focus on an object, using a role model or text for guidance, or using a phrase or word to keep our mind focused – it all leads to the same thing – reducing the waves/stories/extremes that disturb the mind; and setting ourselves free to truly be. All of these practices are considered to be forms of meditation. It is said we can meditate on anything at all – as long as it produces the desired result (freedom).
Always keep in mind a reference point – the ideal state which you wish to live in. In yoga, nothing is right or wrong – just that which takes you towards or away from that Ideal. As this can change depending on time, place or circumstance – you must be present in your choice each moment. This Ideal can include qualities we wish to cultivate, a person or level of skill we wish to emulate or ultimately an enlightened mind. For example – if you want to be healthy – constantly ask “will this food/action lead me towards or away from health?” if what we need is movement, then movement will take us towards health; but if we need rest – movement will take us away from health. One of my favourite reference point questions is “am I acting from Love or Fear?” As my Ideal is to always act from Love and be free from Fear – it keeps me present to that goal every time I tune in and ask the question.
And finally – practice and surrender (abhyasa & vairagya). To achieve the benefits of these guidelines – you have to actually put them into practice. But you cannot force or even attempt to control the outcome. If you do something in order to receive it for the reward – you cannot be present – you are doing it for a future outcome. The essence of Karma Yoga is to do the absolute best you can – but surrender the results – to God, to the Greater Good, to the Universe, to Fate to Time – the word is irrelevant, but the offering is essential.

We are pleased to announce that the GCYC Apprenticeship Program is commencing at the beginning of September. You may notice that students will be observing classes and later, giving adjustments.Those who have been here long enough, will know that it is beneficial to have some extra assistance in class.


Events and Workshops

Intro to Pranayama Workshop
Saturday 12 Sept // 1.30pm-3.30pm // $25

Our breath can be effected by tension, thoughts, emotions, pollutants, diet and more. We can live in a state of increased stress & tension, and reduced vitality & clarity, unaware that the remedy could be as simple as freeing up and balancing our breath.

This Introductory workshop is to re-introduce you to your full breath potential, and give you some simple rhythms to balance out your nervous system and mind, leading to greater wellness, vitality and yes, even happiness!
** Bookings & pre-payment essential

Upcoming Events & Workshops

GCYC Bali Retreat, June 2016


"Silence is something that comes from your heart, not from outside. Silence doesn’t mean not talking and not doing things; it means that you are not disturbed inside. If you’re truly silent, then no matter what situation you find yourself in, you can enjoy the silence."

~ Thích Nhất Hạnh


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