What a unique experience it was when on Sunday (10 September 2023) Natalie Grace, a Sound Therapist brought a selection of her specialized instruments to our yoga studio in Hornsby.
The workshop started with Franziska leading us into some gentle stretches and smooth movements to get our bodies into the spirit of the coming hour of Savasana! Natalie then took over after we all found a comfortable position on our mats with legs and head supported.
With her Tibetan Singing Bowls, Crystal Bowls, monochord and many forms of chimes and drums, Natalie soon immersed us into a world of sound, harmony, melody and inner quiet. It was literally like bathing in sound!
The most stunning effect for me was when she moved around while playing her instruments. All of a sudden sounds were coming from everywhere making me think of space and time and sinking deeper into my relaxation. Since Natalie is a fully educated musician and singing teacher, it was only natural for her to use her beautiful voice to add even more variety to the soundscape.
Once we had re-entered this world after our sound bath with our newly cleansed minds, we were able to explore all her instruments, ask many questions and try one or the other sound ourselves.
Natalie has kindly agreed to be available for us again next year in March. I will definitely be part of the experience again!
Our first-ever yoga retreat finally took place in November 2021 after a yearlong, pandemic-caused delay. We retreated to the Blue Mountains and let our senses, bodies and minds be inspired by yoga, great company and delicious food.
We met our charming hosts Jeff and Andrew on Friday afternoon. You could tell by their warm welcome that this would be a great place to relax and practise yoga in a beautiful lush setting. Jeff and Andrew build an an eco-friendly refuge in beautiful bush gardens. It has solar power and uses rain water only. The property is surrounded by trees and mountains. There is a very special vibe which you feel immediately when you set foot in the amazing gardens.
The retreat has a shala which overlooks the mountains. We could practice with the window open and the gentle mountain breeze tickled our senses. Our yoga sessions were guided by Franziska. There were asanas, pranayama, and restorative sessions schedule throughout the days.
We were spoiled with luscious vegetarian food which our hosts prepared from the freshest ingredients. Every meal was a highlight not only because of the food but also the pleasant company that this group provided.
This feels a bit like deja vu! In July 2020 we were already celebrating that lockdown was over and we could go back to the studio. But then, the Delta strain of COVID hit us in Australia as well. It was inspiring to see how many people rushed to get their vaccinations once they became available. Hopefully, with almost all Australians now being double-vaccinated, we can leave lockdowns behind for good!
Backbend artistique … and outdoors!
I was again humbled and inspired by the great support you have demonstrated and more importantly, how many of you cannot live without their regular dose of yoga! Conducting yoga classes via Zoom has almost become ‘normal’. Thank you all so much! However, nothing beats working together in person in our beautiful studio with our Yoga Wall.
From 12 October, we will be transitioning back to yoga in the studio. The October to December term is a short one with only 8 weeks. Hence, we have made available an 8-class pass for this term. We have also updated the Schedule of Classes, so you can see which classes are on and when.
Finally, as of now, our Yoga Retreat will go ahead! I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to spending some restful days with you in the Blue Mountains where we can fully enjoy our yoga practice.
The head is the seat of intelligence.The heart is the seat of emotion.
We have come a long way since the scary days of March 2020 when nobody could tell how the whole COVID situation would develop. Fortunately, Australia did better than most countries and we are lucky to be able to think about returning to some form of (new) normality. Four weeks ago we started to move softly forward from online to studio classes and I have seen that most of you have been eager to come back to studio classes. I have also heard from those of you who do not feel comfortable practicing at the studio due COVID-19 currently. I want to let you know that I understand. Everybody needs to decide for themselves how they manage this new risk in all our lives. So, looking at Mr. Iyengar’s words above, let’s use our intelligence and our emotion to be guided and find the decision that is right for us individually. For me, it’s the balance of wanting to continue to guide you in your development of your yoga practice on the one hand and the fear of being in contact with so many people on the other. I am grateful for the mindfulness of all students, who are helping me cleaning the chairs and blocks after each class and staying away from classes when not feeling well. Some have even been tested when showing symptoms of a cold and let me know the results. If we all continue this path of self care and looking out for others I believe we can proceed with studio classes. On the positive, I am very proud of the beginners from the Tuesday class who have been keen to take it up again despite not having tasted the “nectar of a regular yoga practice” yet. Well done!
Now, we are ready to take the next step and start with our shorter Term 3 over 8 weeks. To reduce the risk in our classes the number of students is still limited to 10. For that purpose please book via my website for Term 3 to reserve your place. During checkout you will see a text box for additional notes. Please, write your preferred session in this box or let me know by email which class you would like to attend. If there is a high demand for one class and the number of students will be over 10, I will offer an additional class on Monday at 7.00 pm. First, let us see how the bookings will proceed.
If you have to attend another than your reserved class for any reason, please contact me and I will advise.
Since making the difficult decision to temporarily close studio classes, I have been truly touched by your lovely emails, well wishes and encouragement to offer you an option for a home yoga practice. I would like to sincerely thank all of you for your kindness and positivity.
Adaptation is the skill to compromise, the will to change, and the opportunity to evolve.
Theordore W. Higgingsworth
The above quote pretty well summarizes how many of us feel at the moment. I am also adapting to new options and ways to support you in your yoga practice.
I am currently taking a crash course on how to use online media to conduct effective yoga classes. I plan to offer some (free) trial sessions in the near future to see whether we can make this work.
If you would like to be part of the free Yoga Class Streaming experience (or should I say experiment?), please register here.
If it works, I plan to charge a small fee for those virtual classes in the future.
On Saturday, 21 July 2018 we had our first ever yoga rope workshop in Hornsby. We had installed the Yoga Wall in March of this year and used it for the occasional pose during regular classes.
However, we were all irking to give the Yoga Wall a really good work out. So, we did. The workshop was fully booked with ten students. Franziska gave us the option of comparing poses with and without the ropes. But, being all shiny and new, we all agreed that we wanted every pose to include some form of ropes. And Franziska was happy to accomodate our wishes. We started with standing poses and continued to inversions. The first big adventure was to do a handstand hanging in the ropes. What a feeling! Because your body is supported by the pelvic swing there is no pressure on the wrists. And you can stay in handstand longer than normally! After some backbends and standing twists we tried sirsasana (headstand) hanging in the ropes. Again, so different from the ‘normal’ version. We all felt transformed back to our younger days, when hanging upside down from a bar or some playground equipment gave us so much fun. As an adult you don’t get to feel that way often. You can imagine the laughter and joy in the room!
At the end we all felt very elated and stretched. It was an experience not to be missed.
UPDATE (October 2018): This class is no longer offered. However, if you are interested, please contact me and we might reinstate it!
From 14 February 2018, we will be offering a slow yoga class especially for those of mature age (59+). You might have read that “Yoga is for everyone and every age”. That includes higher age!
I am passionate about yoga and thus I would like to present you with an opportunity to benefit from yoga even if you feel that things are not as easy as they used to be when it comes to movement.
In this class we still focus on different areas of the body to develop a sensitivity to bring about change in body posture BUT at a slower pace. As we age, we tend to neglect some muscle groups and to adopt some postures which over time give us grief. I have seen time and again that yoga can reverse those negative changes and bring back vitality and rigor.
Also, if you have health problems like osteoarthritis, scoliosis, shoulder, back, knee problems or would simply like to be able to get down to the floor and back up again (!) … that would be the right class for you. As you probably know, alignment of the muscle-skeleton body can influence habits: how we stand, walk and sit. An aligned body can alleviate pain. Basically, we work on the body and breathing to bring it slowly back into an equilibrium. The goal is that you wrestle less with daily activities and life becomes more harmonic and joyful.
I have a yoga student that told me that at age 79 she is able to do things that she thought she could never do again when she was 69 years old. What will be your story?