Follow my yoga quest at home and on the road…

A glimpse of oneness… a feeling of bliss :)

I wanted to shout out “WOW –  how amazing!

I attended the Ashtanga/Vinyasa class at Treehouse Yoga on the evening of 21 March. At the close of the class Chloe, the instructor, asked students to take a breath in through the nose, then “sigh” the breath out through the mouth. We were to make this in through the nose, out through the mouth breath three times. On occasion one, and two, I noticed the varying sounds and duration of exhalation made by the group.

On the third occasion – without orchestration or direction – it was as if the entire class achieved synchronicity, unison.   It was as if we were all breathing with the same set of lungs – as if the other students were breathing with me in through my nose and we were all generating a unified sigh out through my mouth, and I in and out through their noses and mouths. The experience caught me by surprise.

I wanted to shout out “WOW – how amazing!” No one else appeared to notice, or at least if they did, no one said a word.

It was a blissful, albeit brief experience 🙂



Tram tracks and tollways… Tips for visitors to Melbourne, Victoria

Historically, I have found the public transport system in Melbourne to be very good.  On my most recent trip to Melbourne, I chose to hire a car to travel between my accommodation and yoga workshop/classes.  Whilst driving to and fro I had several interesting experiences relating to trams, which lead me to write this post.

281Experience A – Whilst making a right turn I began to enter the “tramway” area rather than the road way (eek!). Fortunately, I realised my error and swiftly, and safely,  moved on to the correct area of the road

Experience B – Whilst driving around a roundabout, I had a very close encounter with a tram. I failed to notice that trams travelled across/through the centre of the roundabout, and had the right of way. Upon realising that my car and a tram were on a collision course I applied the brakes – ABS activated – the car juddered to a halt – the car stalled. Impact was narrowly avoided (pheww).  The tram driver was not impressed and dinged the tram bell repeatedly until I restarted the car and reversed out of the path of the tram. A little shaken, I continued on my journey. NTS – research trams and other traffic/transport information in Melbourne and share with others.

Following are a few tips for visitors to Melbourne – know of other useful tips/info? please use comments section 🙂


Trams, motor vehicles and people share the roads of Melbourne. Following are some of the rules for motor vehicles relating to trams:

  • You must stop level with the rear of a tram at a tram stop until the doors close and passengers have cleared the road.
  • Once the tram’s doors are closed and it is safe to proceed, you must not exceed 10km/h while passing a stationary tram at a tram stop.
  • You must give way to all trams at roundabouts.
  • You must not move into the path of a tram.
  • You must not drive over raised dividing strips or double yellow lines.
  • You must not make a U-turn across a solid line in the centre of the road.
  • You must not park or stop within 20 metres of a tram stop unless there is a sign which permits parking. (Fines apply for non compliance with road rules and increase annually on 1 July) (Source: www.vicroads.vic.gov.au 20/03/2013)

For further information visit –  http://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/Home/Moreinfoandservices/PublicTransport/TramProjects/TramPriorityAndSafety.htm

Hook Turns

A hook turn is a right turn from the left-hand lane. A hook turn is required to be made at most intersections in central Melbourne where trams operate.

These intersections are clearly marked, with a sign hanging overhead or on the side of the road. Some intersections have flashing signs and line marking to help guide you, but most intersections will only have static signs. (Source: www.racv.com.au 20/03/2013)

Visit https://www.racv.com.au/wps/wcm/connect/Internet/primary/road+safety/roads+_+traffic/road+rules/common+road+rules/hook+turns for further information


A Melbourne Pass is ideal if you are visiting Melbourne or need to travel on Melbourne’s toll roads for a period of less than 30 days. A Melbourne Pass allows you to travel on both CityLink and EastLink only.  With a Melbourne Pass:

  • You pay a start-up fee of $5.50.
  • Is valid up to 30 days and can be extended for a further 30 days if extended before the pass expires.
  • No e-TAG device required.
  • Each trip on CityLink will be charged a vehicle matching fee.
  • Each trip on EastLink will be charged the applicable fee.
  • Charges are billed to your credit card.

This pass can be opened 48 hours after travel and there is no limit on the number of Melbourne Passes that can be purchased. (Source www.citylink.com.au 20/03/2013)

For further information visit http://www.citylink.com.au/1090.htm


myki is a re-usable smart card that stores value to pay fares on public transport, eg trains, trams and buses. You need to buy a myki card prior to travelling on public transport.  Please use this link for further information about myki for visitors to Melbourne http://ptv.vic.gov.au/fares-tickets/myki/myki-visitor-pack/

Other useful links:

Information for tourists http://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/Home/Licences/NewToVictoria/InformationForTourists.htm

Road rule animations http://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/Home/SafetyAndRules/RoadRules/CommonRoadRules.htm

Safety and Road Rules http://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/Home/SafetyAndRules/RoadRules/

I am grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from my experiences 🙂


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Iyengar practice on Phillip Island, Vic with Fiona Rawson

Fiona teaches in a lovely, bright, yoga space, which is equipped with ropes and props for 10-12 students.

Whilst visiting Phillip Island (PI) I was most fortunate to be able to attend two Iyengar classes with Fiona Rawson.

I was introduced to Fiona (an Iyengar teacher) at an Iyengar workshop in Melbourne. I told Fiona I would be visiting PI, she then gave me her contact details and class times. She had asked me where I was staying on PI – at that time I did not have my accommodation details with me… When I arrived at PI, I contacted Fiona and told her where I was staying – co-incidentally, I was staying in the street where Fiona lived 🙂 It was all “meant to be”. We arranged that Fiona would pick me up and take me to her Thursday evening class.

Fiona teaches in a lovely, bright, yoga space, which is equipped with ropes and props for 10-12 students. Fiona often has fully booked classes, however as I was on PI over a long weekend some of the regular students were away, therefore I could use one of the spare spaces. Yeahh!

On Thursday, 7 March, we practised standing/balancing asana, eg Vrkasana, Ardha Chandrasana, and on Monday 11 March we practised twists – standing, seated, inverted.

Fiona suggested an adjustment technique, ie to first place a hand on the floating ribs, followed by placing the hand in the mid chest/breast area and turn the chest, ie floating ribs stay put. This technique worked very well for me.

I very much enjoyed time spent in Fiona’s class – she has a gentle, caring, warm manner.

Big hugs and many thanks to Fiona for enhancing my visit to PI.


PS If you are visiting PI and would like to attend a class with Fiona, telephone 03 5956 8786

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A class on the grass at Churchill Island Heritage Farm

How I came to attend an outdoor Hatha Yoga class on Churchill Island, Vic, is reminiscent of the Dem Bones Song …

* At the Iyengar workshop I attended in Melbourne at the end of February, i mentioned to Peter Scott that i was going to visit Phillip Island.
* Peter introduced me to another workshop participant – Fiona Rawson – who lives, and teaches yoga on Phillip Island.
* I attended an Iyengar class with Fiona and asked her about other classes I may be able to attend whilst visiting the area.
* Fiona told me about an outdoor yoga class on Churchill Island…

I went to a class on the grass, under a tree, with an ocean view, at Churchill Island on Saturday 9 March. This was my first outdoor practice session. I have to admit my focus wavered a little at times as Galahs, Willy Wagtails and geese flew overhead, along with a few sharp nips from ants, etc.

The class was lead by Karen Easton. One of the techniques that Karen gave the class – which really resonated with me – was in relation to breathing, ie breathe in from the soles of your feet to the top of your head.

Practising yoga outdoors was a lovely experience. Resting in the lap of Mother Nature was up lifting.

Thanks to Karen for a lovely class in a special location.


PS if you are visiting Phillip Island/Churchill Island, Victoria, and would like to take a yoga class with Karen her contact numbers follow
Landline 03 5956 7751
Mobile 0432 028 655

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Punky does Adho Mukha Svanasana – Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

Whilst staying with friends – Jo and Bill – in country Victoria (26 and 27 February) I kept a watchful eye on their Staffordshire terrier, Punky, as I was keen to see her perform downward facing dog/upward facing dog. And, if possible, photograph her doing so…

Punky has an endearing personality – she is a very loveable girl 🙂 She did lots of cute things during our time together – for example, whilst I was lying in bed (head under the covers) Punky took great delight in jumping on top of me and snuffling around trying to “get me out”. It was a lot of fun for me too 🙂

But, no DFD was forthcoming – that was not until I was saying my goodbyes. I glanced down at Punky – who was positioned between Jo and the car – she completed a beautiful DFD followed by an UFD – as my pusses would say – it was (p)awesome. I imagine Punky would say it was Punky-licious!

I missed out on the photo opportunity, however Jo has very kindly provided me with this photo of Punky enjoying a trip to the beach.

Thanks to Jo and Bill for their generous hospitality. And, special thanks to Punky – you are an inspiration.


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Mud Hut Yoga – a “treasure” in country Victoria

My beautiful friend, Jo, had told me about Hatha yoga classes she had been attending at Mud Hut Yoga, located in Rushworth, Victoria. I was intrigued by the name of the space – I knew it was located off the beaten track – and, the teacher sounded lovely. I added the Mud Hut onto my yoga “to do” list.

When I was planning my visit to Jo I timed my arrival so that I would to be able to attend a Tuesday (Feb 26) class at the Mud Hut. I was aware that mat space was at a premium, therefore a place was booked in advance.

Late Tuesday afternoon we set off from Jo’s house and collected Katrina en route – we travelled along unsealed roads – passing by fields filled with crops – or cleared fields with remnant stems glistening golden in the sunlight.

We pulled up outside the Mud Hut. I had expected to see – literally – a mud hut, however the venue was like a cottage that had been converted into a lovely yoga space. There was room for 10 mats, ie nine students + teacher. It was an intimate, inviting space. I felt most fortunate to have the opportunity to attend a class at the Mud Hut. It was perfect!


Sue Barlow, the teacher, was gorgeous and welcoming. The other students were also welcoming, and appeared interested to see a new face – albeit for only one lesson. The students had travelled from Corop and Colbinabbin. The sense of community was palpable.

Sue lead us through a lovely vinyasa practice. The highlight for me was being introduced to Tripod balance pose. Sue closed the session with guided relaxation. I felt as if I was walking on air 🙂

Many, many thanks to Jo, Sue, and all of the Mud Hut students.



Lecture, and workshop, at Yoga Jivana, Melbourne


I attended a lecture, and workshop, at Yoga Jivana in Northcote, Melbourne in late February. Alan Goode, the Director of Yoga Mandir, delivered the “What is Yoga?” lecture/lead the workshop, assisted by Peter Scott.

Lecture – 1800-1930hrs Friday 22 February
Workshop 0700-0930hrs and 1500-1700hrs Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 February

The Friday evening “What is Yoga?” lecture introduced the theme for the weekend workshop.

Each morning was devoted to general asana practice, and the afternoon was spent in restorative practice followed by pranayama. Alan reminded the group of concepts from the lecture throughout the weekend. At various times the group was asked to gather to watch specific aspects of practice.

I found the workshop rewarding, challenging, and exhausting. In hindsight, it would have been wise to allow time to acclimatise to the new time zone before attending the workshop (NTS).

Many thanks to Alan, and Peter, for sharing their experience and wisdom.


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Iyengar class @ Yogaville, Melbourne

20130226-080910.jpg Friday 22 February, I searched on Google to find an Iyengar class that was nearby to my accommodation and fitted in with my commitments for the day. I attended the 0930 class at the Yogaville Iyengar studio, which is located in the suburb of Preston, in Melbourne. The teacher for the session was Bron.

The cost for a casual class of 1.5 hr duration was $25. The class was asana followed by a short Pranayama session.

This was the first Iyengar class I had been able to attend since November last year. It was wonderful to be in an Iyengar class once more as I find this method of yoga particularly rewarding – I appreciate the amount of information/detail and adjustments that are given.

Thanks to Bron.


PS Yogaville have a retreat in Bali in August 2013

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