Gold Coast Yoga Centre July 2015 Newsletter...
Namaste Yogis & Yoginis,

Recently I have been enjoying doing Deepak Chopra & Oprah's meditation challenge. In the past,I have been a bit of a snob thinking these products were too commercial - but as I’ve grown wiser, I’ve realised that someone has to understand something very deeply, to make it so simple; and this is what I found in the case of Deepak's meditation practice. This month is particularly wonderful, because the focus is Grace through Gratitude; and the exercises get you to not only practice gratitude, but to understand how this opens you up to the flow of grace and how good it feels when it comes back to you as well. It’s an amazing feeling when you pay attention to the two sides of gratitude. The giving and the receiving in the same action. One of the exercises he gives asks you to imagine a person or thing that you feel grateful for in your life, in this moment. Imagine you’re giving all of your gratitude to them. Now imagine they can hear you, and watch their face light up/their energy shimmer when they receive it.... it’s just an incredible feeling and you literally can feel your whole body open up and expand with the joy of it. So, I am truly grateful for Deepak and this has led me not so much want to "teach" in this newsletter; but to express my gratitude for the many varied blessings I have in my life. Particularly in the context of the yoga centre - I’m so grateful to my amazing team of teachers who are loyal, dedicated, passionate, inspire and challenge; and are wonderful friends and provide the sangha (spiritual community) which holds me steady and gets me through, no matter what. I’m really grateful to my gorgeous admin team for helping to support how the centre runs and allowing me freedom to be able to move back into my role as director and teacher. This is an incredible blessing, I can’t even begin to tell you, how much this means to me. Last but not least, to every single student who walks through the door, because it’s a co-creation, we would not exist without the students coming. We hope that we serve them well and they receive lots of goodness by coming here, but we also are constantly inspired by their stories, their journeys and their lives. Also the yoga community at large that is revelling in the joy of bringing yoga into peoples lives and into the world. On a personal level I have endless things to be grateful for and want to find ways to express it. Sometimes just simply the words “thank you” is perfect, but there are many other ways to express your gratitude as well - by listening, by making someone laugh and bringing joy back to them, by being there in their time of trouble as they have been for you, or just by a hug. So, I hope to encourage you this month to spend a little time in that state of gratitude, not only recognising it, but expressing it and receiving what comes back. Together, we can “trigger off the flow of grace” between each other and into the world - as Deepak has so beautifully inspired.

Referral Program / Yogi Friends
Meet Skye & Annique

The GCYC is a great place to meet new friends, be part of a community and share life-changing experiences with your friends and loved ones. We really love watching the community evolve and grow. Being part of a community is good for your health, fun and supportive. We love that people bring their friends, sisters, partners, brothers, Mums, Dads, kids, neighbours and more here and we have set up a new Referral Program to thank you for helping us grow our yoga family. Click here to find out more.

As well as launching our Referral Program, we also hope to introduce you to each other!! Over the next few months in newsletters, FB and on the website, we hope to share stories and inspirations from our yoga community. I personally love hearing people's stories, and am endlessly inspired and even sometimes surprised – and we hope you will be too! The first couple of students we'd love you to meet are Skye & Annique. Skye has been a long time student and a true part of our yoga family, who brought along her friend Annique – a natural yogini we have loved getting to know this last 18 months. We thank them for their kindness in being our first story-tellers. We have more lined up – and if you would like to share your tale with us – please email and let us know – we'd love to hear from you!! Now to Skye & Annique.
Tell us a bit about your yoga journey?
Skye: I don’t know how long it's exactly been, I think about 8 or 9 years and I just had a feeling inside at the time that something was missing. I was living in Byron back then, so I started searching around for different yoga classes, qi gong, lots of different types of practices and I just tried everything out. When I went to my first yoga class, they said “sit in this position”. I am an ex snowboarder with really bad knees, and a bad back and lots and lots of injuries and I just looked at the teacher and said “are you serious?” There was just no way that was going to happen! So it was very very difficult; but at the same time I just felt like I’d come home, the practice for me felt immediately like something that I wanted to follow and then through the years, physically, all of those injuries have gotten so much better. They’re not perfect but, I’m really really comfortable in my body and I’ve got great quality of life- so that’s really the physical side of it and then in terms of the actual practice, I just felt like I came home. It’s been a vehicle for me, that has just allowed me to explore everything and it’s helped me to heal a lot through the years (which I’m sure it has for all of us) and I think it’s just really wonderful, it’s the most beautiful practice and I’m just so grateful for all of the teachers here at the GCYC. I’ve spent most of my time doing yoga here, so about six months in Byron and then here.
Annique: I first met Skye working on a work project together. Then Skye went to Nepal. One day we ran into each other at a café and started chatting and became better friends and then she told me about yoga here.
I’ve been coming here for a year and a half, not very long, but I’ve really taken to it. I just started and I was like “this is it” and then it’s just been this crazy progression to Ashtanga- I love it so much. Mind you it’s been challenging working through those injured parts of the body as well…
I practice at least three times a week, sometimes more if I'm practicing at a gentle level. It’s taken me a while to change the mentality of "this is what I should be doing; and this is how I should be doing it; this is what everyone else is doing" - to "this is my practice".
Skye: I remember exactly what is was. We had started an artist collective down in Tugun ,we just started it there wasn’t a lot of working –just a lot of laughing… and then often we’d have chats about life and we were standing outside the front of the artist collective, having a chat about life and Annique was talking about a few things and I just remember thinking oh you’ve just gotta come to yoga, and I remember suggesting that you come.
Annique: Yes, I do remember that- I could hardly talk, I was so stressed! I just couldn’t deal… and Skye was like “the more I practice the more solid I get” And I was like, that’s it! I remember, Skye had actually suggested coming a year before, and I came to one class and I was like  - no, not really me. And then I came again, when the time was right, obviously I was ready… it was a Saturday 10.30 class with Kathy, is where I started, Skye came to that class and then people would meet afterwards. Love Kathy’s class, it was a beautiful start, perfect start!
Skye: “I love Kathy” very much.

What benefits have you experienced?
Skye: It’s given better quality of life, it’s helped me to be the best that I can be so that I can actually help other people, rather than being… not helpful (laughing) …not so helpful… and it’s just brought me to a place of real gratitude- I’m so grateful for my time here and all the teachers and the friends that I’ve made along the way, and friends that have come in too.
It has just brought me a lot of happiness and brought me through the times of pain as well, it’s been a vehicle to support, you know, loss and all of those things… when you lose family members, whatever it is in life. You just come back to the mat every time- it’s a wonderful support.
Annique: Physically, I find my body is just much stronger so things that used to make me tired, don’t make me tired. I don’t wake up tired… you can actually kind of function better because the body is so much stronger, and you can’t do things like over eat, over drink because your body just won’t handle it- so physically you’re really much better off. And mentally, particularly with Ashtanga that’s challenging I just think it has helped me learn how to face challenges actually.
Fortunately I’ve never been overly attached to a particular style of yoga, because I kind of went “whatever’. When I couldn’t do certain postures it was like, “oh well, maybe I’ll never do it, maybe I will I don’t know". I find it so exciting talking about yoga… but sometimes I try to talk to other people about yoga and they’re like "omg it’s so boring!" :) Doing something like a full on twisty thing … I keep practicing and struggling, struggling, struggling with it and then get help with it, and then to finally find this posture where you’re just getting into it and being like “I’m gonna die” “this is going to hurt me, I am hurting so much” - but then to find your breath in that posture and to have it soften; to watch an experience turn from being so challenging to something that’s actually really comfortable- with so much space in it- it's amazing. I find you can actually take that then to your challenges outside and you find the space and calm in something that’s really challenging. It’s so massive. Finding space in it.
Skye: Have you talked about your kids?? Two years ago just before she started practicing, her two lovely boys , were totally different like we would go to the café and the boys would come and it was just like “bah, bah, bah” it was just full on. It was nuts. They were just wooh!! And then she started practicing and then their energy has completely changed. You go and see them now and it’s just very much more connected, grounded… vipassana.
Annique: I remember that too actually, I remember walking in and I said to them both, sit down it’s dinner time and I had gone away for like 5 minutes to do something and then came back and they were both just sitting there quietly eating, and I was like “what is happening?” What has happened here?? (Laughing) but yeh, I think, there are a few things, they’ve matured a bit, most kids settle down but my approach to them changed entirely and with that they have just calmed down hugely. It’s massive, it’s huge…. and I am always like “thank you Skye…” it’s entirely changed my life, not a little bit… entirely! So thank you Skye. I also take my ten year old to children's vipassana –can you imagine someone giving you that skill at 10! To go - oh ok, I’ll just sit down, I’m angry but I’m just going to sit here.
Skye: … “and now she’s thinking about doing other things…. Maybe looking at teacher training.”
Annique: That’s how I’ve taken my mat into the world and family life….

Why do you come to the GCYC?
Skye: Because it’s the BEST!
Annique: It is the best…
Skye: I do because I‘ve been to lots of other places to practice, and personally, I just haven’t found other teachers that I have liked as much. I like it because the teachers, they walk the walk- you know they’re not just talking about mindfulness and loving kindness and compassion, taking care of others, and practicing the class and then walking down the street carrying on like a pork chop they’re actually walking the walk which is great.
Annique: Nothing like it really.
Skye: They are also very nurturing, the teachers, and for me it just feels like there's a support system there that you can always come back to, and I don’t have lots and lots of conversations with the teachers about, you know, stuff that’s going but if there’s something big that does happen, I know that I can always come in and talk to them – there’s just that kind of support, it’s amazing. It's a real community, a family.
Annique: It’s such a good community here too, that really draws in good people, just really interesting, good people.

Any advice for new yogis?
Annique: It’s a very personal thing, just stay with it.
Skye: Find the right teacher, is the number one thing, try lots of different classes and then just wait until you’re just sitting there in front of this person going “I’m home, this is who I should be practicing with”  and I think that applies to yoga and other practices as well.
Annique… I think persist, as well. Even though it’s not been very long that I’ve been practicing, when I think about the back stuff that I was having, I could have so easily just gone “forget it” – but it actually heals all those things if you persist at it. Dedication to is important because it does… it’ll solve it. Just deal with it. You’ll find your way through… but yeah, persisting.
Skye: And enjoy it! Every time you start getting tight and achieving that’s the time to let go, that’s what I think, that‘s the biggest thing for me with yoga.
Lots of laughter…


Events and Workshops

Apprenticeship/Mentorship Program
Saturday 18 July // 2pm

This Saturday we are holding our second information talk, for those of  you, who would like to learn more about our apprenticeship program.

Whether you want to simply expand your experience of your practice, or make yoga your life’s path, this apprenticeship program is designed to suit your lifestyle and needs. With different levels and options available- from occasional attendance to the full apprenticeship-there will be something on offer for everyone! This will be the last talk we will be holding, so if you can't make it and have  questions, please feel free to email us on

Headstand Workshop
Saturday 25 July // 1.30pm-3.30pm // $30

Headstand is considered the King of Asanas not only for its extreme benefits, but also the level of mastery required to practice safely. In this workshop, Suzanne and Kath will cover the benefits and dangers of Headstand (Sirsasana), whether you are ready for it or not, how to build towards it, how to practice safely and how to make it light and effortless. This workshop is for all levels, and for those considering the mentorship/apprenticeship program, this would be a great opportunity to experience Suzanne's teaching style.
Bookings and pre-payment essential - numbers limited <3

Bring Back The Yoga Social Night
Sunday 26 July // 6pm // $25

We decided it was about time we brought back the Yoga Social Night! And what better way to kick off the first of many gatherings with our community, than with a winter get together! Come and share a vegetarian banquet at one of our favourite little Indian restaurants, in Burleigh Heads- Aafrein Indian Cuisine.

$25 (per person) will get you a delicious banquet of Indian cuisine, connection, laughter and fun!

To book your spot, please pre-pay at the yoga centre or you can make payment to our bank account.

Winter Springbrook Retreat
Friday 7-9th August // $390

Three weeks to go before we head off to Springbrook for our winter retreat. Chai by the fire, cacao ceremony, Ayurveda therapies, delicious food, philosophy talks and a bansuri flute performance while we practice asana. We can't wait! There is one space left if you would like to join us <3

Practice Tip
Our bodies provide the most amazing bio-feedback if we take time to listen. They let us know when we have reached our limits, when we need to push a little, or pull back and rest. They let us know if we are in danger, or feeling safe and connected. If we pay attention they warn us of potential injury or illness and let us act early and even prevent it. They let us know if we are stressed – even when we don't realise it (especially the breathe); when our organs are not functioning properly and when we are structurally out of alignment. They also guide us back into a harmonious state. Similarly, our emotions also act as fantastic signposts. If we are grumpy, angry, depressed, restless – these can be signs that our life is out of balance in some way. A yoga practice changes our consciousness and so our emotions should shift during a practice. If they are the same at the end – either we have not been able to be fully present, or we have simply been doing exercise. Feelings of joy, contentment and peace, even when life is challenging are signs that our practice is working – and that we are aligned with life's flow. We are able to go with the journey and reach our highest selves. Lord Ganesh – mythologically the first yoga student – has enormous ears. He knows how to listen!!! That is why he carries in his hands varies symbols of the battle (against the ego), of wisdom/study, of an enlightened mind and often a bowl of sweets showing that he knows sometimes you have to take rest/nourishment on the path, and allow a little sweetness among the hard work. Knowing when to use what requires great discernment and paying careful attention to your body/mind. Listen like Ganesh!!


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