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 .
In the Yoga tradition, that I practice and teach, we chant/sing/recite many Sanskrit Mantras. These Mantras all have different meanings: Mantra for protection, Mantra for safe travelling, opening and closing Mantra for the Yoga class…..
Every Day of the week is dedicated to a different Deity. In my own practice I observe these days with specific Mantras for the Deity of the Day.
Friday is Devi day, honoring the Divine Mother.
Please click on the link below to listen to a short recording, I’ve done this morning. This sound file is unedited….. I simply recorded myself as I play the harmonium and chant the Mantra.
Only a few more weeks until our Yoga & Meditation Retreat in Coolum Beach, on the Sunshine Coast, at the Luther Heights Youth Camp.
We still have spaces available in our small, focused group. If you feel inspired and called to immerse yourself into a weekend of traditional Hatha Yoga and Meditation, don’t hesitate to contact me for detailed information and to book.
phone or text: 0423 477 725
Yoga & Meditation Weekend Retreat Friday 16th – Sunday 18th of August 2019 at Luther Heights Youth Camp, in Coolum Beach, on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland
Experience, learn & practice traditional Hatha – Yoga, Meditation, Rituals and Kirtan (Mantra chanting).
Simple, basic, clean accommodation and amenities.
Delicious, vegetarian meals, that might inspire to try new recipes at home.
Spectacular ocean views, observing the sunrise.
Walks along the beach, or buswalk at Mount Coolum. If we are lucky we spot some migrating whales in the distance.
Release – Relax – Recharge.
Letting go of the Winter blues, to be ready for Spring.
The topic of the weekend retreat is based on the five points of Yoga, as taught by Swami Vishnu-Devananda:
1) Proper Exercise (Asana) Proper exercise should be pleasant to the practitioner while beneficial to the body, mind and spiritual life.
2) Proper Breathing (Pranayama) Proper breathing should be deep, slow and rhythmical. This increases vitality and mental clarity.
3)Proper Relaxation (Savasana) By relaxing deeply all the muscles the Yogi can thoroughly rejuvenate his/her nervous system and attain a deep sense of inner peace.
4)Proper Diet (Vegetarian) A lacto-vegetarian diet. This is an integral part of the Yogic lifestyle.
5) Positive Thinking and Meditation(Dhyana) Here is the most important point of all, we become what we think. A positive outlook on life can be developed by learning and practicing the teachings of the philosophy of Vedanta. The mind will be brought under perfect control by regular practice of meditation.
During the weekend we practice these five points of yoga.
The retreat is suitable for beginners to learn about the basics of yoga and for more advanced yoga students to deepen their practice.
The cost for the weekend is $420.- Included in this price are the complete yoga program, accommodation (Please bring your own linen) and vegetarian meals. A non-refundable deposit of $120 .- is required to reserve your space. The final payment is due one week before the Retreat.
Next week on Friday 4th November 2016 we have a Friday hatha yoga class and Satsang.
In a Satsang class we begin with silent meditation, then Kirtan Mantra chanting and a lecture on different yoga topics and philosophy.
It is a stress-releasing way to start the weekend, letting go of the week. Do something good for your soul, even if you feel tired at the end of the week. You will feel a big difference come Saturday morning!
Where: Raceview Scout Hall, 32 Taylor Street, Eastern Heights
What: Hatha Yoga Class (breathing exercises, sun salutation, 12 basic postures)
Time: 5pm – 6:30pm
What: Satsang (silent meditation, uplifting Sanskrit chants, an inspiring reading)
Time: 6:45pm – 8:30pm
Cost: $15.00 or class pass (no first free trial class on this day).
The lecture for this month will be on the Mantra. The meaning of OM, why we meditate on OM, the benefits of chanting Mantras.
You are most welcome to join for just one of the classes. If you like an extra exercise session you come for 5pm.
If you like to learn/practice meditation and get deeper into the yoga philosophy or if you like the Sanskrit Chants (Kirtan) please come to the hall for 6:30pm.
In between the two sessions we have a cup of (herbal) tea and something sweet. I made a raw vegan chocolate cake, it’s setting in the freezer.
raw chocolate cake, vegan, gluten-free
You get most benefits if you join for the whole program from 5pm onward. But if this does not suit you, you are most welcome to come only for the yoga class or meditation/Kirtan (Satsang) only.
Looking forward to seeing you soon. Please contact me if you have any questions.
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”.
Just please remember to bring socks, jumper and if you like even a blanket for the final relaxation. It will make you feel more comfortable. Just coming back from Switzerland, I realise that there is no bad or cold weather, only wrong or not enough warm clothing.
On the other hand, being physically active and doing any kind of exercise in the Queensland Winter is the best Season for it. Plus it helps you build your immune system and emotional well being.
While in Switzerland I went for a walk almost every day. Young and old everyone goes for bushwalks, hiking and short pleasant strolls, no matter the temperature and weather conditions. It’s a daily dose of nature’s medicine for well being.
One of my friends (a working-mother of two young children aged 4 and 6, they walk or play outside every day) told me, she read in a study: That if everyone would go for a good walk in the fresh air amongst trees, mountains or the ocean for a total of two hours per week. There would be less illnesses, physical and emotional illness.
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.