Starting on Thursday morning 6th of February 2020 we’ll have a new yoga class at 6am – 7am.
At the Scout Hall in Cameron Park, Easton Street, Booval.
This class will run through the months of February and March. Then we’ll decide, if and how long it will continue, as the days get shorter. Maybe into April and May, before Winter.
In any case, if you are interested in this early morning yoga class, please join as much as possible. The interest has been good, for an early morning yoga class. Now you just need to show up and roll out your mat.
The cost for the class is $15, or a tick on your class pass.
60 minutes hatha yoga class. We will practice the Sun Salutation, basic yoga postures & stretches, and a short final relaxation. To get you ready for a joyful, motivated start into the new day.
When I was a skinny kid I, like many other youths, used
to love doing cartwheels and handstand all over the house and out in the back
yard. I found doing them gave me a feeling of exhilaration. Fast forward some
40 years and I now weigh in at 97 kilograms. I gave up smoking seven years ago
and took up yoga three years ago under the guidance of Maria Steiner (Prema) at
Hatha Yoga Ipswich.
One of the first things Maria told me was not to compare
myself to others as I struggled to do the Asanas and found meditation difficult
to say the least. Maria delights in helping people achieve their goals and is
hearty in her approbation. She was excited when I managed to do the full wheel
pose, which I hadn’t done since attending the Y.M.C.A. where it was called a
bridge. It dawned on me that I could improve with effort and that many new
poses were attainable. I do yoga to help me become physically, emotionally and
I was given positive reinforcement for each new Asana I
did. Maria is always looking to promote students to do their best and take on
new challenges. She uses humour to keep the class cheerful and optimistic
whilst remaining on the task at hand. I am slowly learning to meditate to
create a calm and resilient disposition. I have also found that my blood
pressure, since commencing yoga, has come down from high to high/normal. My
G.P. is impressed.
One day, a few weeks ago, Maria suggested that I try a
handstand against the wall. I think I am too old and too heavy was my response.
Maria advised me that age and weight are simply numbers and that if I had done
a handstand in the past perhaps, like the wheel, I could do it again. So I
tried. I placed my hands about 15 cm from the wall and positioned my feet as if
ready to run. Kick up two three, fall back two three. Kick up two three, fall
back two three. Kick up two three, fall back two three. Fail.
I then turned my back to the wall and slowly inched up
with my feet until my weight was almost fully on my arms and hands. I could
only step half way up the wall. Before I go on, let’s look at the health
benefits of doing a handstand. According to Google; “ As with all inversions, you get a sense of immediate clarity in your
mind when you bring yourself upside down, delivering fresh, oxygenated blood to
the brain and alleviating stress, anxiety and depression.”
These results were definitely worth striving for, especially as I am inclined to anxiety and depression. So I persisted. A week passed and at the next class I tried again, first with my back to the wall and then facing. Kick up two three, fall back two three. Kick up two three, fall back two three. Kick up two three and then, by gosh, my feet found the wall. I pointed my toes and straightened my posture. I was still heavy, but I was upside down and feeling fine. My body had remembered all those handstands of my youth.
I will mention here that it is important to warm up and
stretch before attempting a handstand, especially by doing the dolphin. As with
a headstand one should follow the Asana with child’s pose to avoid dizziness.
Maria said, good work John and my satisfaction was
immense. That is how I got my handstand back. Now I practice the handstand
twice at classes each week and nearly every day at home. It is a joy to be
coordinated, flexible, stable and strong. Now I have a new Asana in my
Our bodies were designed to move and exercise and yes, go
upside down. Good health makes one feel youthful and more able to cope with
stress and various life challenges. Everyone seeks praise and positive
reinforcement. Doing yoga with a competent instructor like Maria is a good way
to inoculate oneself against these stresses and strains.
Our bodies strive to be healthy and yoga, including
meditation is a good way to ward off and avoid toxic, unhealthy habits. With
every handstand I do I feel stronger and more balanced. I have also regained
that feeling of exhilaration I felt as a skinny kid. It is a wonderful way to
be in the moment and focus the mind.
I hope my story inspires you to do something healthy,
that you haven’t done for years. Or even, if you have not already, take up yoga
Namaste. John Carmichael 27/8/2019.
Following are Photos taken in the Yoga Class on Tuesday 27/8/19. John Carmichael in Handstand and Wheel.
Handwritten Testimonial Essay by John Carmichael:
Thank You very much John for your heartfelt feedback, and allowing me to share your story. May it inspire many others on their life- and yoga path. Namaste, Maria Prema .
How I recently experienced the power of proper breathing.
A couple weeks ago I had a root canal treatment. It wasn’t my first one ever. But for this one, I had to go to an Endodontist, a specialist for those kind of procedures. I spare you of the details.
The procedure took about two hours. I couldn’t do much, lying there with my mouth open, breathing through the nose.
And that’s exactly what I’ve done. I had my hands on my belly, focusing on deep abdominal breathing, taking the attention and focus away from my face. While I visualised healing light all around me, specially on my tooth, as well as for the Endodontist and Assistant. They did the hard work, I was just lying there.
Now in general I very seldom meditate for longer than 15 minutes. But I had no other choice, no place to go – nothing to do. I tried to detach from my body and observe myself from the outside. Forgetting time and space.
Of course I felt dizzy and was numb on one side of my face, once the procedure was finished. Instead of going home or trying to drink, let alone eat anything. I went straight to the movies. Probably the best I could do at the moment, and I can highly recommend it. I watched “A Star is born”. It made me forget my tooth, I was distracted in a dark room. While the sensation in my face and mouth came back slowly. Afterwards I drank a green smoothie with a straw and went home on the train.
In the evening I was teaching a yoga class, without bending forward or moving my head too much.
At night before going to sleep I took two pain-killers, just in case it would help me from waking up through the night with pain. Plus I did not need to be a hero, as I almost never take any painkillers.
The next morning I had the day off. I could feel the pain and swelling ease by the hour. I was thinking more about the movie I saw, listening to the Soundtrack of “A Star is born”, than my tooth.
I give credit to my almost pain-free experience and quick healing to the BREATH, proper deep abdominal yoga breathing, meditation of detaching from the body.
Everyone in my yoga classes the following week, had to listen to my story. As I was practising and experiencing in every day life, what I preach.
Thank you for reading my story !! Prema Maria
PS: In addition to the breathing exercise, I would recommend to go straight to a movie theatre after a root canal treatment or similar.
At the beginning of October this year, a journalist from SBS Radio in Melbourne contacted me for an interview over the phone about Yoga.
It’s for SBS Radio the German speaking program. The segment within the German program is in Swiss – German (my first language), the weekly program on a Sunday night is called Echo Helvetia: interviews, portraits, stories, etc. about Swiss immigrants in Australia.
A dear yoga student of mine and beautifully, gifted, talented Artist Lee FullArton did some local artwork in my honour.
The traffic light control box on Jones Road, Bellbird Park (it’s on the way from Ipswich to Springfield). If you are in the local area go have a look, it’s beautiful and fun. Adding some coulour to the traffic and roads.
I feel humbled and it also makes me feel integrated in the local community. That my yoga classes have such wonderful influence on many people.
Lee’s words: “Dedicated to my beautiful yoga teacher Prema Maria At Jones Rd Bellbird Park.” “My pleasure you inspire and guide the well being of so many people .. a tribute is fitting xx”.
Lately in our meditation session on a Tuesday morning 10:30am – 11am (after the regular yoga class), I have been reading and sharing from the wonderful book “SOUL SHIFTS” by Dr. Barbara DeAngelis.
Personally I read the book very slow, take my time to reflect on it. I read it in two ways one bookmark starting from page 1, and then every so often I open the book randomly and see what comes up for that moment/day.
“Growing your own pineapples is patience in practice.
The result is a very rewarding treat.
See this example as a metaphor for many things in life.”
Presently we have three pineapples growing. From the time you cut the top and put it in a pot or directly in the ground is takes about 2 – 3 years for the beautiful red pineapple flower to emerge. Then close to six months until the fruit is ripe, yellow and sweet. You can not rush it!!
Pineapples are part of the Bromeliad family.
Mother Nature gifted me with a pineapple for my birthday, 31.1.16.
The practice of Gratitude is something I wanted to write and post a blog about it since some time. (Better late than never, while starting the New Year with good intentions and put them into practice) 🙂
Back in January 2013 I posted the following on my Facebook page:
“This idea made the rounds on Facebook last week.
Start on January 1st with an empty jar. Throughout the year write the good things that happened to you on little pieces of paper. On December 31st, open the jar and read all the amazing things that happened to you that year.
So I started my own with a hand made label and I call it “Gratitude Jar”, seeing and appreciating the beauty and abundance in life. If you like you write a daily note, about anything that put a smile on your face that day and made you feel happy in your heart. Of course you can use a smaller jar……. “
Half a year later my Gratitude Jar looked like this:
Since then I still add more notes to my jar. I write about anything that brings joy to my heart, the smell of a flower, a delicious organic fruit, the many new and loyal happy people in my yoga classes. A phone call, a postcard, etc. I received.
A few years before I started the gratitude jar I wrote a gratitude list at the end of each year. I still do that and also add things to the list throughout the year. After I write my gratitude list for the previous year, I then write my intentions list for the new year.
If you prefer you keep a gratitude journal, where you write your daily or weekly notes. Anything you give thanks to.
It is a wonderful practice that brings abundance, as you start to see the beauty in your life.
It’s actually a practice that I did for a while as a teenage girl. And it really helped me a lot back then (it was after my father died), no one told me about it, I listened to my intuition. I would write in my girly diary when: someone in the street smiled at me, I saw a nice flower on the side of the footpath, if a certain boy at school would say “hi” or “hoi” to my …… 🙂 I did not call it gratitude back then, I just noted what brought me joy that day, usually the smaller the better.
This year I do my gratitude on social media. Instagram has these wonderful hashtags #366grateful #365grateful #366daysofgratitude #366grateful2016 and more similar # or you start your own.
If you like to follow me on Instagram you find me under @mariaprema
I hope you join me this year in the practice of gratitude in some ways & the format that speaks to you. Let’s share our experiences throughout the year.