About

Astavakrasana

Om sahana vavatu

Sahanau bhunaktu

Saha veryam karavavahai

Tejas vinavadhe tamastu

Ma vidvishavahai

Om shantih shantih shantihi

My journey began in 1984 when I was 14 years old with a strange lady who came to visit my year 8 history class, asked us to lie down and close our eyes then guided us on magical journeys inside hot air balloons and secret, hollowed-out trees, all within our own minds. Relaxation….. peace……freedom – I was home! The familiarity of what I was doing allowed me to meditate like I had done it a thousand times before – only I hadn’t; it was all really new to me. 

Fascinated by what my mind was doing, the experience forever burned into my memory, and for the first time in my short, tormented life, I caught a glimpse of what true peace felt like and then I promptly got on with the rest of my life. Fast forward a handful of years later whilst on a solo sojourn through Europe, I stumbled upon a small class tucked neatly behind several other unassuming shops.  I had found a small group of Yoga devotees, all dressed in white, and led by a perpetually smiling Indian gentleman. Without knowing why, I decided to join in and try out this thing called Yoga.  After all, I had a close friend who was a Satya Sai Baba disciple and I knew what Yoga was, it’s just that I had never actually tried it myself before. Again, I was oddly once more drawn in, as if I had done this sort of thing before in my life. “Why was this feeling coming up all of the time?” I asked myself. Eventually encouraged first, after their initial astonishment at my being able to perform a free-standing headstand during my first class, and then second, by my sincere dedication to the practice, I added Yoga to my life. Or shall I say, Yoga became my life, because after my experience with the group I dived deep down into the depths of it’s philosophy and started to live the practice on a daily basis. 

As things usually go when on this path, I obtained my teaching qualifications in 2006, with the 500 hour Advanced Diploma in Yoga Teaching course at Nature Care College in St Leonard’s, Sydney, Australia. I loved everything about that year of my life. I framed my qualification and had my course notes all neatly bound into individual folders for aesthetics along with easy access.  A few more qualifications were added shortly after: Holistic Yoga Therapist & Meditation Teacher, Pre-Natal, Chair Yoga, Yoga for Primary School Kids and Seniors, along with teaching corporate Yoga to stressed out executives and leading many workshops on varying topics.  During the years that followed I taught hundreds of students and subsequently developed my own approach to Yoga. I call it “AstangaContemporary Classical Vinyasa” (“Astanga” as in “both 8 limbs AND Astanga Vinyasa” but also “Vinyasa” as in Vinyasa Flow, “Contemporary Classical” as it (a) draws from extensive classical and authentic traditions of Yoga and (b) recognises the vast diversity of Yoga styles that have blossomed in the West yet doesn’t purport to be of any particular style/path but rather draws on a number of paths, styles & traditions for it’s content). It includes Raja (Astanga) Yoga as its foundation including the key elements found within both Gyana and Karma Yoga. The 90 minute sequence loosely follows Astanga Vinyasa Primary series but includes poses from Second and Third series.  I find the Astanga Vinyasa series to be heavily focused in one plane/direction or another and my body (and my students) doesn’t agree with that. My methodology attempts to correct that feature to make Astanga Vinyasa “friendlier” to western bodies. I am a Gyan Yogin at heart as my mind is naturally drawn to acquiring knowledge, so I kept that as the basis from which to explore from. My interest lies in the area of special needs and functional movement, and I love flow types of Yoga! As a meditation student for 36 years, Yoga asana student for 30 years and teacher for 12 years, Yoga has become my love and my life.

Here, I get to share this joy with you, on this platform, and with others on Zoom and in person, in classes.  They say “sharing is caring” and you matter to me. My vision? It’s to make it to 100 years of age with the help of both Yoga and “Blue Zone” principles whilst showing others how to get to 100 themselves too. Hence, this blog was born!!

https://www.bluezones.com/

This blog is the medium I am using to write about my journey inwards to the Centre of my Consciousness- my True Self. Here is where I will write about what I’m doing, why I’m doing it and how I am working on making it to 100. To Centenarian age. I would love to have you join me on this journey – let’s travel inwards together.  Share our passion, our highs, our lows, our fears, our joys, our revelations, our insights – let’s put it all out there! Let’s out ourselves LOL!!! This is a safe space to come together for sangha, spiritual connection, to recharge your batteries, for lively discussion, for fellowship.

 Now here I would like to say a big  “THANK YOU!” to all of the students who I have instructed over the years; you have helped me to grow, to become the Yogin that I am today. I couldn’t have done it without you all. You matter to me. Pamela and Sue, you are my most committed, dedicated, enthusiastic and loyal students. I have enjoyed seeing you both blossom in your asana practice to become “pretzels” LOL! grow in your hearts and minds with your wise approach to the Crone years and also thrive in your personal lives. It has been an honour to be in your presence all of these years and to teach you both. I also want to thank all of the teachers that have walked alongside me on my long spiritual path.  First, the unknown high school meditation teacher and the eclectic bunch of Yoga teachers in white – “Thank you!” Second, my first official teacher: Victoria Waldran-Hahn –  “Thank You!” Last, all of my teacher-trainee teachers: Mark Breadner Mark Breadner |, Sinder Kaur of Energy Medicine, Clive Salzer Clive Salzer | Ortho-Bionomy | Bowen | Life-Coaching | Alexander Technique, Eileen Hall Ashtanga YogaMoves, Simon Borg-Olivier Home – Simon Borg-Olivier, Eve Grybowski Home – Yoga Suits Her (eveyoga.com), Sally Flynn Sally Flynn – Yoga Australia, Swami Kriyatma Saraswati, Michael de Manincor Michael de Manincor | The Yoga Institute, John Norris John Norris | Live Yoga Life, Dr Shaun Matthews MD Shaun Matthews | The Yoga Institute and Jane Macnaught Mona Vale Counsellor: Jane Macnaught, NSW (australiacounselling.com.au) – “Thank You!” Finally, “Thank You!” to my gurus Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati “SwamiJ” of the Abhyasa Ashram Abhyasa Ashram (swamij.com)  and Sadhguru of Inner Engineering Inner Engineering – Offered by Sadhguru – Complete program for inner well-being. You all mean the world to me, every one of you. Lineage is important to me and I thank and honour my teachers before me. Thank you for holding my hand gently as I was instructed in the art and science of Yoga.  My Sadhana is what it is today because each one of you gave me a small gift to treasure always and forever. I am eternally grateful.

A special “THANK YOU!” to Peter Khanana. For helping me get back on my horse and working out the problems I encounter along the way. I am where I am thanks to your help and especially your vision. I hope to make that dream a reality one day and they say “the journey of a thousand miles begins with taking the first step“…heres my first step! Thank you! 🙏

“Namaste!”

Always remember what brought you to Yoga in the first place.”, “Take students out of their heads and identification with their bodies.”, “They are not looking for intellectual knowledge, they are looking for themselves.“, “Yoga is everything about the mind and nothing about the body.”, “Allow the service in you to blossom.”, “ Yoga begins now to wherever it wants to go.”, “Remember the Upa Guru.”, “Contradictions are allowed, explore them then come back to the Source, the One – the Truth.”

© 2020 A Yoga Mindset. All Rights reserved.

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