Namaste Yogis & Yoginis,
The end of a year provides a natural opportunity to take stock and assess where we are in life, what we have achieved, what we have learned and what we are grateful for... I am truly grateful for the GCYC, in so many ways.
This year, I have pulled back on some of my duties, and prioritised time with family, which has been essential and very valuable for me. Without Laura and Anita in the office, or my amazing team of teachers, this wouldn't be possible. I'm so grateful for their love, dedication and support.
I'm grateful for the challenges and freedoms of being a small business owner. I'm grateful for the sense of purpose that the GCYC brings to my life, making my work in this world meaningful. I'm grateful for the inspiration from the many dedicated yogis/yoginis and their growth, love and support throughout the years and even decades. I'm grateful for our community – for connection with others in the world who are seeking to be their highest selves, in service to Yoga, Life and the greater good - who are FUN to be around and have huge, loving hearts.
On the weekend we had our 24th Xmas celebration and I remarked that it never gets dull, as each year brings new understanding and growth, new connections and new inspiration. The practice changes us, so even if the same people were to show up, we would still be new to each other, yet paradoxically our connections deeper. This is a very rare gift, and the nature of true sangha.
I'm grateful for the clarity we gain through life's experiences and practice about what serves us and what we can let go of - like old beliefs and behaviours that take us out of our centre, our highest functioning self and our happiness.
I have learned (again) that you need to have space to grow and connect; that filling your calendar with an excess of duties and events prevents this – even when they are enjoyable! A road trip with my Mum was perfect training to learn how to empty out and be fully present. Slowing down and not filling up the itinerary too much gave us time to simply be, discover and get to know more about the places we visited and each other.
Although wise yogi/nis already know this, I had forgotten... Slowing down this year was difficult but I'm grateful I had the opportunity. At first I slept a lot as I recovered from living on adrenalin. Then when I had a little energy back, I had to really discipline myself not to fill that time back up again. I had to write a list of what I could do with free time (time that I could make choices with). Sometimes I chose rest, sometimes social connection, sometimes more meditation, sometimes study, but pausing and reflecting what was most needed for balance in that moment was very helpful. So was recognising the itch to be busy or fill my day was more about avoiding being with uncomfortable feelings.
The rewards have been vast – clarity around priorities, greater presence in what I do and in my connections, space to listen, greater centredness and presence to life, less reaction, tuning into Source more naturally, healing, regaining health and energy, and moments of true happiness. So these are two lessons I'll aim to bring into my New Year.
In essence all of this adds up to being able to shine the light of Ojas, Presence, Consciousness and Joy more easily. I hope you also enjoy this time of rest, reflection and restoration, and we look forward to being part of that. We are open every day on our holiday timetable. This year we have added a restorative class in the afternoon on Christmas Day, and we have a very special New Year’s Eve planned. Make sure you check out our Holiday timetable and events list.
GCYC Shop - Xmas Gift Ideas!
**GCYC Gift Vouchers - give the gift of yoga or let your loved one choose something they need from our yoga shop!
**Art Journals - for the creative yogi/yogini, these mostly blank art journals have some beautiful tips at the front for how to create a daily art practice.
**Yogi Toes Mat Towels - high quality non-slip mat towels perfect for this hot weather in various colours.
Students, please REMEMBER:
1. Bring your towel to place over blankets, if sweaty;
2. Wipe your mat after practice using the bucket/cloths provided;
3. Allow mat to DRY before rolling up to avoid bacteria/odour.
XMAS TIMETABLE - commences Monday 23rd December
View online at www.goldcoastyogacentre.com/timetable
Ashtanga Prep Workshop
Saturday 21st December at 1pm to 3pm - tickets $25
Ashtanga asks a lot from your body... and the Intensive? Well, it’s just more...intense! Although the benefits are amazing, your practice can break through to another level, the increased focus and repetition has potential to weaken or injure if there is an area of depletion, or lack of skill in the pose. We run our Ashtanga Prep workshops to empower students to be able to protect their bodies, discern how/when to modify and get the best out of their experience of the Intensive, and yoga in general.
*The core points of practice;
*What is Ashtanga;
*Practicing with injury;
*Pacing your energy;
*Modify in harmony;
New Year's Eve Special Event!
Tuesday 31st December at 5.30pm - tickets $45 per person
Summer Ashtanga Yoga Intensive - almost booked out!
Monday 6th January to Friday 10th January 2020
Tyalgum Ridge Summer Yoga Retreat
Friday 14th February to Sunday 16th February 2020
PRACTICE TIP - Holiday Practice
My main tip this year is just keep practising. Maintaining regular practice helps to restore, replenish and create space in what can become a busy year. We are open every day, and look forward to supporting your practice; being able to step out of your life and duties and be surrounded by others with the same intention is incredibly potent; but even if you are away, or can't get in for a class, or have time for full practice, do something regularly for maximum health, centredness & well-being. At the very least spend 10 mins a day in meditation or Savasana.
Here are a few short sequences that take 20-45 mins that will keep you connected to your essential self/source and feel replenished, calm and centred no matter what. Time might even slow down. My favourite guiding mantra at the moment comes from Mukanda Stiles, giving a new take on the practices of Abhyasa/Vairagya (action/surrender) and is “Remember when relaxation comes, stillness surely follows”. You can use this anytime you are unsure how to practice, or in meditation – I have found it changes my practice immediately.
To calm and centre:
Sitting calmly and comfortably, let your breathing relax. For 3 breaths, count your breath as you slowly inhale, then try to exhale for twice as long. For example if you inhale for 5, exhale for 10 counts. This will get you to connect to your belly breath, and activate the parasympathetic nervous system.
After the 3 breaths take time to relax for a moment, then practice 3-12 rounds of Nadi Shodhana (alternate nostril breathing) depending on your capacity and time available (less for beginners) to further tonify, calm and strengthen your nervous system.
Sit for 10-20 minutes, occasionally remembering the guiding mantra suggested, or use a simple mantra with the breath e.g. “here/now” or “I am/Peace” or “So Ham” with the inhale/exhale to bring you back to the practice.
To cool down on a humid day:
Lie down. Do not go into Savasana, but focus on the breath. Practice the 5 vayu meditation (https://soundcloud.com/gcyc88/5-vayu-meditation), or simply take a few moments to feel the breath fill the belly/heart on the inhale and flow out through legs/arms/crown on the exhale.
After 3-5 minutes – start moving lightly – flexing fingers, toes, hands, feet then hug knees to chest and roll up.
Practice Pawanmuktanasana – gentle repetitive movements with the breath to limber the joints, starting with the minor joints – major joints. Fingers, wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck and head, toes, ankles, knees, hips. Lightly flexing and rolling the joints as you breath – about 5 breaths per action.
About 5 Tiger/Cat, and then circle the spine a few times each way.
Move into dog and walk the dog.
If you have time/energy you can stand for 3 x arm circles, 3x squats, 3x light flowing salutes. This may even lead you into a more regular practice. Otherwise, lay down for 5 mins Savasana on a spinal roll.
(Option, Simhasana and a few minutes sitting before Savasana).
Pose for Overeating:
Seated Virasana for about 10-20 minutes, meditating/breathing. Make sure you sit high enough to take the pressure off knees. When coming out, massage the knees for a few breaths, then lay down in Savasana for about 10 breaths/few minutes. Spinal roll can help.
Option: can do Supta Virasana if experienced and your back/knees are conditioned. Spend a few breaths in child after coming out. Massage knees and lay down for a few moments.
To cool excess heat:
Long Supta Baddha Konasana on a spinal roll, with blankets to support knees/groin - 10-20 mins.
Upavista Konasana with head on a bolster or chair - 3-5 mins
Simhasana pranayama, then sit for a few minutes.
Savasana - 5-10 mins.
XMAS INSPIRATION - Support local small businesses!
The joy of giving that is good for you, the planet and your local community - your time, your love, your help, your smile and giving experiences like yoga, acupuncture, massage, or a shared experience like a concert or meal at a favourite cafe. Our favourite practitioners like Anchor Health Clinic, Vibrant Ayurveda, The Wholefood Pantry, and many others also offer gift certificates. Make their Christmas, as well as your loved ones...
Our amazing Anita Joy from Anita Joy Therapies is offering an extra special Xmas Offer for GCYC students - $15 OFF your first Ayurvedic treatment! (Use special code #gcyc)
*Abhyanga - a full-body warm oil massage! Accumulated stress and toxins in the mind and body dissolve during this nourishing treatment, its powerful affects also recharge and rejuvenate the body and mind for overall health and well-being - usually $70, now only $55 using #gcyc
*Shirodhara = B L I S S - An ancient Indian health practice... This beautiful therapy involves gently pouring warm herbal oil over the forehead. Extremely beneficial to the nervous system... reducing anxiety, stress, headaches, insomnia and so many more benefits - usually $80, now only $65 using #gcyc
*90min BLISS Package = Abhyanga + Shirodhara + Facial + Head massage + Herbal Tea & Raw treat - usually $110, now only $95 using #gcyc
Book now using special code #gcyc at https://anitajoytherapies.setmore.com/
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
Hope to see you on the mat or at one of our events!
Love and blessings over Xmas <3 <3 Suzanne