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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 .

Friday Devi Mantra

9 Aug Prema playing harmonium.

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.

Jaya Jagadambda – Maria Steiner (Prema) 9/8/19

https://hathayogaipswich.com.au/2013/07/15/mantra-deity-day-of-the-week/

Prema playing harmonium.
Prema playing harmonium, Yoga Retreat 2016.

Yoga & Meditation Weekend, 16th – 18th August 2019.

8 Jul

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.

email: hathayogaipswich@gmail.com

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.

Detailed information are on the website: https://hathayogaipswich.com.au/retreat/

or contact me directly via email and phone call.

email: hathayogaipswich@gmail.com

phone or text: 0423 477 725

I also have a pdf file (6 pages) with detailed information and photos.

Thank you for your interest and I look forward to hearing from you.

Prema Maria
OM OM OM

PS: Following some more photos from last year’s Retreat, September 2018.

  • Hatha Yoga with Maria Steiner

6 – weeks – meditation – course

6 May

I’m teaching a meditation course starting Monday the 13th of May 2019, from 5pm – 6pm for 6 consecutive weeks.

The cost for the whole 6 sessions upfront is $80.-, if you prefer you can pay and attend each session individually $15.-

The course is based to learn step-by-step the Japa Meditation practice (repeating a Mantra as a focal point). But each week, has also it’s own, individual lesson. So in case you can’t commit to 6 weeks ahead of time, you are most welcome to join for a couple of lessons.

This meditation class is taken at our home in Silkstone, and you need to book and confirm please.

What to expect from this meditation course:

Besides and as preparation for the Meditation, we’ll do light stretches, breathing techniques, concentration exercises and learn about the purpose of meditation.

It has been a while, since I offered a course like this. If you are interested, make some time to attend all six weeks or a few lessons.

https://hathayogaipswich.com.au/classes-cost/meditation-course/

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.

Dharana & Dhyana – concentration & meditation

11 Jan My Altar January 2019

Based on the “Five Points of Yoga” as outlined by Swami Vishnu-Devananda-ji.+

5. Meditation (Dhyana) and positive thinking

Here is the most important point of all, we become what we think. Thus we should exert to entertain positive and creative thoughts as these will contribute to vibrant health and a peaceful, joyful mind. A positive outlook on life can be developed by learning and practising the teachings of the philosophy of Vedanta. The mind will be brought under perfect control by regular practice of meditation.

Meditation is a natural state of consciousness that isn’t learned, any more that you learn to sleep. It just happens. When the mind becomes one-pointed and steady, it will naturally go beyond the normal mundane awareness into the state referred to as meditation.

Before meditation, practice concentration, one – pointed thinking. Then this practice will lead to a meditative state of the mind. Train the mind in a variety of ways in concentration in the beginning. Sit in a quiet place, or in nature focus on your breath. Inhale – Exhale …… mentally repeating a Mantra “OM” or “Soham”. Concentrate on any concrete image: a flower, a candle, the blue sky. Concentrate within on one of the Chakras.

In meditation do not strain the eyes. Do not strain the brain. Do not struggle or wrestle with the mind. Relax. Observe the thoughts like a cloud passing by. Gently allow the divine thoughts flow.

Meditation practice – Concentration on a flower.

Through regular meditation, the mind becomes clear and the motives pure. The subconscious mind release hidden knowledge that allows a better understanding of oneself and our relationship to the world. the limited personality slowly dissolves into an expanded consciousness. Ultimately, the super-conscious or intuitive forces are released, leading to a life of wisdom and peace.

Swami Vishnu-Devananda

Sunrise Meditation in nature – yoga weekend retreat September 2018.

Quote

September 2018 Yoga Weekend

16 Aug

via Retreat

I have a few last minute spaces available, if you would like to join our Yoga & Meditation Weekend.

Friday 7th – Sunday 9th of September 2018.

The cost for the weekend retreat is $420 including, Yoga & Meditation program, accommodation, meals. 

If you are short on time you can join us for one day only Saturday 8th – Sunday 9th of September 2018, at the cost of $300.-

All bookings need to be confirmed and paid by 30/8/18.

Please, don’t hesitate to contact me for any questions and discuss details.

Looking forward to begin Spring in Queensland with a Yoga Weekend: release – relax – recharge.

OM Shantih – OM Peace, Prema Maria

 

 

 

 

 

Retreat page updated

11 Dec

All the information for our Yoga & Meditation Weekend Retreat has been updated. 

The next retreat is in September 2018, Friday – Sunday, 7/9 – 9/9/18.

At Coolum Beach, on the beautiful Sunshine Coast, Queensland. 

Follow this link: https://hathayogaipswich.com.au/retreat/

Please contact me if you have any questions, concerns, need more information or would like to book your space.  https://hathayogaipswich.com.au/contact/

Thank You!!

Prema Maria 

Sunrise at Coolum Beach, November 2016

Sunrise at Coolum Beach, November 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

Interview on SBS Radio in swiss-german

17 Nov

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.

Here the link:

http://www.sbs.com.au/yourlanguage/german/de/audiotrack/echo-helvetia-gesundheit-und-innerer-frieden

Emol oepis fuer d’Schwyzer wo mini Website laese. 

 

 

SAM_6814_Maria Steiner

Maria Steiner (Prema), Yoga with Maria. OM OM OM

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday 24th February 2017

17 Feb

Time for a Friday Hatha Yoga Class and Satsang Meditation.

Coming up on Friday 24th February 2017:

At the Raceview Scout Hall, 32 Taylor Street, Eastern Heights.

5pm – 6:30pm  Hatha Yoga Class (breathing exercises, sun salutation, 12 basic postures, guided final relaxation)

6:45pm – 8:30pm Satsang (silent meditation, uplifting Sanskrit chants, an inspiring reading)

The cost is $15 or  one tick on the class pass.

You can join for both sessions to get most benefits, a good way to end the working week. Or if this is not possible for you,  just attend the Hatha Yoga class or the Satsang/Kirtan class.

In between the two sessions we have a cup of tea and something sweet.

If you know you will be coming  for sure, please let me know (message, email or in class). Otherwise it is perfectly fine to just show up and bring your friends.

Looking forward to a yogic start into the weekend. OM OM OM

Maria Prema

 

altar-2

 

 

 

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