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How I Got My Handstand Back

2 Sep
Handwritten Testimonial Essay by John Carmichael 27/8/2019.

How I got my handstand back

(A Testimonial by John Carmichael)

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 psychologically healthy.

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 repertoire.

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 and/or meditation.

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 .

My September Hiatus

29 Aug

I’m on holidays from September 2nd – September 27th 2019, therefore no Yoga classes with me all of September.

I’ll be back on Tuesday 1st of October 2019, and ready for the new warm Season.

No Yoga Classes at the Scout Hall all of September 2019.

Silvia will teach and cover the Yoga class on Wednesday evening 6:30pm – 8pm, at the PCYC Ipswich.

Silvia also teaches a weekly, morning class at the PCYC. Every Thursday 9:30am – 10:30am.

For cost, terms & conditions, please check the PCYC Website https://www.pcyc.org.au/clubs/pcyc-ipswich/

Or phone the office at 3281 2547. The PCYC Ipswich offers a good variety of fitness classes such as Pilates, Silver Sneakers, etc. and has a 24/7 Gym.

Silvia teaches also a free Yoga class on Monday 6pm – 7pm, at the Croquet Hall in Queens Park. During School terms. This class is free, and part of the Ipswich Council Active Parks Program. You find many other free classes and activities here: https://www.ipswich.qld.gov.au/residents/healthy_lifestyle/active-parks-program

I prepared a sound file for you, with the Sun Salutations (surya namaskar). It’s about 8 minutes long, a good morning practice. You can listen here and/or download it:

Enjoy your practice. Namaste

Sun Salutation at Retreat August 2019, sunrise practice.

#Yoga4dignity – Saturday 31st of August 2019

31 Jul

#Yoga4dignity 2019 is happening Australia wide on Saturday 31st of August.

Every day, 48,000 Australian women face another night with nowhere to call home. Imagine the difference we could make to the lives of these women if 48,000 people came together in a nationwide show of solidarity?

Once again yoga instructors across the country donate their time to teach a yoga class on Saturday August 31 to help raise funds and awareness of the issues faced by women and girls experiencing homelessness, domestic violence and period poverty, in what will be the biggest joint yoga class ever seen in Australia!

I’m teaching the #Yoga4dignity class on Saturday 31/08/19 at 9am – 10am, class location is the Scout Hall in Cameron Park, Easton Street, Booval.

Please buy your tickets online, this is the link: https://www.sharethedignity.com.au/events/yoga4dignity-booval/

This is the third consecutive year I donate my time to teach this special yoga class, and the Scout Hall offers us the Hall for free. I don’t have to pay any hall hire.

Thank you very much for buying your ticket for the cost of $20 to participate in the #yoga4dignity class, supporting women in need of a safe shelter.

#Yoga4Dignity is a simple and fun way to make a real difference to the lives of women and girls in Australia experiencing period poverty.

Your registration fee for #Yoga4Dignity helps us to ensure that these women and girls will have access to the items they need, when they need them, like the young girls at a Brisbane therapeutic school who were in tears at receiving handbags filled with sanitary items and luxury items recently. “On that incredible day,” said school staff, “I saw one young woman walk out our front gates, with her head held a little bit higher,”.
This is why we do what we do, and why we are so grateful for your support.

Following some photos from the previous years, some of you have been part of it each time. Thank You !!

#Yoga4dignity 2018
#Yoga4dignity 2017

Easter / Anzac day break

15 Apr

This year on the following days before and after the Easter long weekend we have NO Yoga classes:

Thursday 18/04/19

Tuesday 23/04/19

Wednesday 24/04/19 (except the Yoga class at the PCYC 6:30pm – 8pm, this class runs as normal)

Thursday 25/04/19 Anzac day

I wish you a good & safe Easter break and Anzac day.

Desert Rose in our front garden, April 2019.

new brochure 2019

31 Mar

Since a couple weeks I have new brochures available. Pick up your copy, next time you are in class. Plenty of extra ones for your friends, family and anyone you think would be interested in Yoga classes & Meditation to share with.

Thank You !!

Yoga Retreat August 2019

19 Feb

So far this year, about once a week someone or two came back to a yoga class, who hasn’t been in class for a while/years. It’s interesting; often when people miss for a long period, they are almost embarrassed to come back to a yoga class. There is no need to be embarrassed to return to the yoga class after a long absence.  As I hear this excuse a lot, if you wan’t to come back to class come back, no questions asked.


The next excuse I hear from people not coming to a yoga class is: “I’m not flexible”.  Well that’s the purpose of yoga to become flexible and allow movement to your own ability. Improve and moving to your own level. 


The same counts for the Yoga Retreat, you can be a complete beginner to attend the 
Yoga & Meditation Weekend in August, Friday 16/8 – Sunday 18/8/2019.

  • We will return to the same venue as last year, Luther Heights Youth Camp in Coolum Beach. The accommodation is very simple, bunk beds, dorm style. But since we occupy only a third or quarter of the beds available, we can spread out nicely. There are separated niches to share with your friends & family. You need to bring your own linen. 
  • Toilets, showers are basic & clean.
  • The vegetarian meals are delicious, and a good variety.
  • Even good coffee (a luxury, not following traditional yoga ashram rules).
  • So rather than a luxury yoga Retreat, this is more a traditional Yoga & Meditation Camp, as they used to be, when Yoga first arrived in the West. Or more like a Yoga Ashram in India, where the focus is on the practice of yoga, rather than a luxury bed & spa. (which is very nice, but has it’s price). 
  • This allows me, to keep the price below $450
  • The cost the for whole weekend is $420 (including the yoga program, accommodation and meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner).
  • We are surrounded by beautiful, peaceful nature, trees and grounds. Views over the ocean and towards Mount Coolum.
  • Spectacular sunrise, to start the day with Sun Salutations and Meditation.
  • Short walk to the beach and Point Arkwright lookout. 
  • A good location and opportunity to immerse into the practice of Yoga. Dust of the winter blues, getting ready for Spring.
  • My friend Amrita Kamala will mostly likely join us again, to play the harmonium.
  • As a new activity this year, we might have a camp fire on Saturday evening. The Camp has the facility for this, but of course this will be weather permitting only. If no fire restrictions.
  • For the Retreat Weekend to go ahead, I need a minimum of 15 -18 bookings. 
  • Please let me know by 31 March 2019, if you are seriously interested to attend the Yoga & Meditation weekend.
  • As by then I can cancel the venue without any extra charges, and of course I would refund your deposit as well. Fingers crossed, that will not be the case. 

Please contact me for any questions and bookings. I can also send you a detailed pdf file by email , or you find all the important details by following this link:

https://hathayogaipswich.com.au/retreat/

Looking forward to hearing and seeing you,

Prema Maria

Sunrise Meditation, Retreat September 2018.

Yoga is back for 2019

11 Jan Yoga with Maria in Ipswich QLD

Grab your Yoga mat. All Yoga classes with Maria resume on Tuesday 15th January 2019.

(No unforeseen interruption to weekly class schedule until Easter mid April 2019).

Hatha Yoga with Maria Steiner
Hatha Yoga with Maria Steiner

Weekly Yoga class schedule:

Cameron Park, Scout Hall, Easton Street, Booval

  • Tuesdays, 6:00pm–7:30pm (90 minutes Hatha Yoga class)

Raceview Scout Hall, 32 Taylor Street, Eastern Heights

  • Tuesdays, 9:00am – 10:30am (90 minutes Hatha Yoga class)
  • Wednesdays 9:00am – 10:00am  (Seniors Yoga class) 
  • Thursdays, 5:00pm – 6:00pm   (Seniors yoga class – new class)
  • Thursdays, 6:30pm – 8:00pm  (new time – 90 minutes Hatha Yoga class)

 Cost  

  • first trial class: free
  • drop-in class $15.00
  • 5-class pass (valid for 2 months) $70.00
  • 10-class pass (valid for 4 months) $120.00

Cost for Senior Classes  (Wednesday 9am – 10am + Thursday 5pm – 6pm)

  • first class: free
  • single class  $10.00
  • 10-class-pass  $80.00

Plus every Wednesday night 6:30pm – 8pm. I teach the yoga class at the PCYC Ipswich. Now since 10 years.

Please phone, email or message me, if you have any questions. All of the above Yoga sessions are suitable for beginners.

Looking forward to welcome you on the yoga mat in 2019!!

Christmas Break December 2018

13 Dec I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a safe, happy New Year !!
Christmas tree at Sydney town hall, November 2018.
Christmas tree at Sydney  town hall, November 2018.

 

This year’s Christmas / New Year’s break will be for three weeks, from Monday 24th December 2018 until Sunday 13th January 2019.


The last Yoga classes in 2018 are on Thursday 20/12/18.

All Yoga classes resume on Tuesday 15th January 2019.

The yoga class at the PCYC Ipswich will resume one week earlier, on Wednesday 9th January 2019, 6:30pm – 8pm.

 

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a safe, happy New Year !!

Thank you for your loyalty during the past year.

Looking forward to welcome you on the yoga mat in 2019 again.

Be well and healthy.

November Break

15 Nov raod trip

I’m on an early Summer Holiday (before the silly Season starts).

NO Yoga classes from 19th November until 30 November 2018.

The yoga class at the PCYC Ipswich on Wednesday 6:30pm – 8pm, 21/11/18 + 28/11/18, will be taken by Silvia.

In December we have all the Hatha Yoga classes, as per new schedule,  from Tuesday 4th December until/including Thursday 20th December 2018.

 

I’m off on a road trip. 
We are on a road trip. 

Change to Thursday Yoga Classes

24 Sep Yoga Class at the Raceview Scout Hall with Maria Steiner.

As of Thursday 18th October 2018, 

Thursday class schedule / timetable as follows:

These Yoga classes are at the

Raceview Scout Hall, 32 Taylor Street, Eastern Heights, 

Yoga Class at the Raceview Scout Hall with Maria Steiner.

Yoga Classes at the Raceview Scout Hall with Maria Steiner.

5pm – 6pm Senior Yoga class (new class), cost $10.-

this class is suitable for everyone who likes or needs an easier and shorter yoga class, this class is one hour. For the breathing and other exercises we sit on the chair, instead of floor. We do standing up exercises and on the yogmat or continue on the chair. In general we do not practice the Sun Salutation in this class.

SAM_5991.JPG

Standing spinal twist, my mother Pia Steiner, November 2015.

 

6:30pm – 8pm Hatha Yoga Class (new time), cost $15.- or yoga class pass

our usual 90 minutes hatha yoga class, breathing exercises (pranayama), sun salutation, 12 basic postures, final relaxation.

 

Hatha Yoga class with Maria Steiner at Raceview Scout Hall, Eastern Heights, Ipswich, QLD.

Hatha Yoga class with Maria Steiner at Raceview Scout Hall, Eastern Heights, Ipswich, QLD.

 

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