Yoga & Meditation
I began my yoga journey 24 years ago just after my youngest child was born. I saw an advertisement in the local paper for a yoga class once a week in the evenings to be held in the local church hall. The babysitter was organized and along I went. I really enjoyed the movement, the structure, the teacher and how I felt after each class. I kept going on a regular basis and slowly slowly I noticed I was moving to the new yoga centre and going more than once a week. This practice continued and I experimented with different styles of yoga and teachers over the years. This culminated in me completing yoga training to the Yoga Alliance 500-hour level with Ashram Yoga in Auckland, New Zealand.
One of the elders at Ashram Yoga where I attended for over 12 years, was Karmamurti. He often was heard to say to anyone that would listen – just do a little bit of yoga but do it everyday. I have never forgotten that. So I try to ‘do a little bit’ every day.
I currently practice at The Yoga Ground in Grey Lynn in Auckland, New Zealand.
There are many different styles of yoga so it is a good idea to try a class and see which one suits you.
I have trained in a style that was widely regarded as “integral” yoga. This style encompasses all the major branches of yoga, including hatha, karma, bhakti, jnana and raja yogas. Yoga is often understood as being synonymous with physical exercise, but this is only one aspect. The aim of an integral approach is to develop and balance all aspects of one’s being – body, mind, emotions and psyche – leading the practitioner towards a more harmonious state of being. The yoga I learned about is an evolving yoga; it explores and draws out knowledge from the ancient yogic and tantric texts, and presents this in a practical form to the modern world. In this way the teachings are universal, progressive and inspiring.
Yoga can be practiced by anyone, regardless of age, ability or fitness level, and does not conflict with one’s social background or religious beliefs. The wide range of yoga practices and philosophies offered can also be extended into daily life, providing useful tools that can easily be integrated into one’s lifestyle.
Yoga has been acknowledged for millennia as a means to improve health and increase vitality, and guided yoga sessions can help manage illness and other ailments effectively. The regular practice of simple yogic meditation techniques is also a powerful aid to improve health, and reduces mental and emotional stress, providing an antidote to the pressures of modern life.
To experience the benefits of meditation, regular practice is necessary. It takes only a few minutes every day. Once imbibed into the daily routine, meditation becomes the best part of your day!
Meditation is like a seed. When you cultivate a seed with love, the more it blossoms. Similarly, the sapling of consciousness is within you. It needs to be nurtured with simple meditation techniques. Some palm tress yield in three years, some in ten years. And those that aren’t nurtured – never yield! They simply exist.
Busy people from all backgrounds are grateful to pause and enjoy a refreshing few minutes of meditation each day.
Yoga and meditation have assisted me to stay true to myself over the past 24 years. Through raising a family, relationship and financial challenges here and there I have kept doing a simple practice and it often felt like an “anchor” for me to hold on to. Something that helped me feel a sense of strength within to cope with whatever came along. Keeping a regular practice up helps you get to know yourself very well.
I encourage anyone who will listen, to at least try yoga and learn a simple meditation technique!