Follow my yoga quest at home and on the road…

Happy International Yoga Day


I’m in the northern hemisphere … enjoying the longest day, and of course, also enjoying International Yoga Day too.

Love and light

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Yama Yoga Studios – Doha, Qatar

imageAs-salam alaykum

I was in Doha 25-31 May 2015. On previous trips to Doha I had been able to attend several classes at both of the Yama Yoga Studios (YYS) locations – ie European Family Club (Garveys), and Asas Towers.

In the lead up to visiting Doha I had been very interested to read of upcoming workshops and classes being delivered at YYS. However, on arrival in Doha, due to business commitments, I could not fit in a visit to either of the YYS.

If you are planning a trip to Doha it would be useful to register for the YYS newsletter and check out their website and Facebook pages.

email: yamayogastudios@gmail.com

telephone: +974 6617 5802


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The Yoga Tree, Taupo, New Zealand – wonderful workshops during 2015

I first visited The Yoga Tree in early 2014 – it is a beautiful space and Anandi is a lovely teacher.

imageI recently received an email from the The Yoga Tree in Taupo providing details of their upcoming workshops – they all sound wonderful – I wanted to share this information with folks who read this blog. Following is an extract from the email from Anandi…

Mini Workshop – ‘Inversions’ Saturday 9th May 9.30 – 12.30 pm with Anandi

Come and have some fun learning how to go upside down with us or deepening your already established inversion practice.

We will warm up, build strength and then look at simple, easy to remember steps on how to practice the Headstand (Sirsasana,) the Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana,) the Handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana,) and the Forearm Balance (Pincha Mayurasana.)

This Mini Workshop is for everyone, you don’t need to have the best Headstand etc but an open heart and playful mind to give things a go. If you aren’t going up into the complete Asanas we will help you build strength using the yoga props – chairs, ropes, walls etc so that you may receive the benefits from these health enhancing postures in a supported way.

Mini Workshop – ‘Upper back and shoulders’Saturday 13th June 9.30 – 12.30 pm with Anandi
Upper back tightness and shoulder pain is increasing in times where we all use computers a lot more. Come and join us for a mini workshop centred around improving upper back posture, relieving back pain and increasing strength and flexibility in our shoulders.

Suzi’s Winter Workshop – 3 – 7th July 2015

Come and join us and the lovely Suzi Carson this winter for a weekend of Iyengar Yoga.
Save the dates! This will be the 4th year that Suzi joins us at the Studio and not to be missed!

Weekend with Martina Gotz – 31st July – 2nd August

Martina will teach the Chandra (Moon) Sequence on Friday night and 2 Mysore Style classes on Saturday and Sunday mornings where you can practice the Moon Sequence or Astanga Yoga under her guidance. Saturday afternoon will be a workshop on back bending.

Other dates for your diaries this year

Weekend workshop with Rosie Holland, September 25 – 27th 2015.

Weekend workshop with Suzi Carson, December 4 – 6th 2015.

Bookings are essential for all workshops. Check out the Yoga Tree website for further details.

Yoga Tree Taupoimage
Level 1, Starlight Arcade
18 Horomatangi Street
Taupo, TPO 3330
New Zealand

Thanks Anandi – if I was in NZ I would be booked on ALL of these workshops.

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Documentary – Sadhaka: the yoga of B K S Iyengar

BKS Iyengar with Sadhaka executive producer, Lindsey Clennell. Photo Jake Clennell.

BKS Iyengar with Sadhaka executive producer, Lindsey Clennell.
Photo Jake Clennell.

A few weeks ago I discovered a website about a documentary that is being made about BKS Iyengar.

Rather than me trying to explain what this is about, if you feel so inclined please visit the website, watch the trailer and you may wish to make a donation toward the completion of this project.


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A class with Caroline Coggins (23 Nov 14) – an unexpected lesson in compassion

I was looking forward to attending a Caroline Coggins lead class at Yoga West in Perth, Western Australia on 23 November 2014.

The class was to commemorate the 96th birthday of BKS Iyengar.

Caroline began the session by recounting her experience at Mr Iyengar’s  recent memorial in Pune.


116I had read about, and heard about, Caroline Coggins and I was interested to experience being a student in one of her classes.

However, in the lead up to the class I developed vertigo and dizziness (which lasted for several months), and also I had a cortisone injection for an ongoing ankle injury several days before the class which required resting the ankle. So, I changed tack and asked if I could attend the class as an observer, rather than as a participant. Permission was granted.

Being an observer at a asana class was new to me – previously I had always been “on the mat”. I found a spot to sit that I felt was out of the way of teacher and students. I felt strange sitting on a stool, pad and pen at the ready – I felt as if I should make an announcement as to why I was sitting and watching and not joining in. I wondered if others wondered why I was sitting there. I tried to make myself really small – inconspicuous – almost invisible, but, I still wanted to see and hear everything.

All these feelings and thoughts – I this – I that (!)  Once I got over the I-ness and listened to Caroline’s words… familiar Iyengar instructions…. I watched her adjust participants, and watched participants adjusting themselves and each other…  It was OK to just be there, and it was OK to be a student that observed. And, as I watched the students I had a feeling of compassion wash over me – compassion for myself and my own asana practice – my practice was OK – whatever I did it was OK.

This was a new experience for me. I previously felt I had to be more, do more…
all I have to do is BE.

I give thanks for being given the opportunity to observe, and to find that compassion. Compassion for myself that flows on into compassion for others…

Much gratitude to Mr Iyengar
Caroline Coggins, and Yoga West


 Words of inspiration from Caroline on the
teachings of BKS Iyengar

Guruji said to his great grand daughter the night before he died
that he had given her everything, and that now she needed 
to find out for herself.

He was speaking to us all as well.

We are not handed anything of value,
except love and being enabled to progress.

I believe we need to follow in
his footsteps, led by his example,  which does not mean necessarily
only watching and recalling his classes and all the information which has
been generated from Pune.

Rather, the footsteps I am referring to are the
inner ones: the steady work and practice; the keen intelligence
applied to practice; courage and capacity to think for ourselves and not
just follow blindly.  This means that we must know ourselves, our strengths
and weaknesses and culture ourselves.Culture to Guriji meant as a human
being, not in outward things but inside ourselves, creating a unity and inclusiveness,
seeking truth, while being ethical in our dealings with others.

We are all cracked vessels, and acknowledging this frees us to be less
judgmental and self protective. As teachers we share what we know,
endlessly exploring with a 
fresh and open mind.

Let us be bold as we step forward now into our future.

2014 11 23 caroline coggins workshop at yoga west perth


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Darwin, Kakadu, Litchfield and a little yoga on the side

imageBack in August 2014 I visited the Northern Territory (NT) for 8 days. My time was divided between Darwin, Litchfield and Kakadu.

There is much to see and do in the NT, ie from a gentle stroll along Mindil Beach to watch a breathtaking sunset, to action packed – adrenaline pumping – adventures involving helicopters, airboats and crocodiles.

Two decades ago, I lived and worked in the NT for 18 months. I have very fond memories of this part of Australia. Back then there was no speed limit on the open road. Friends and I would go on adventures – either mountain biking or driving – to waterfalls, gorges, abandoned mine sites, etc… It was a seemingly carefree period of my life.

For me, the Dry Season is the perfect time of year to visit the NT – warm temps (29-33 deg C during the day), and low humidity. Although the wet season finished several months ago, I was pleasantly surprised to find water flowing on all waterfalls visited.

During my visit, I made my asana practice on the tiled floor of my temporary home. I did not take a mat with me so I made a small pad out of a towelling face cloth for Sirsasana, and focused on standing asana.

The one yoga venue I visited whilst in Darwin was the Darwin Yoga Space (DYS) which is an Iyengar studio.

On arrival at DYS, I asked permission to attend a class on a casual basis. Not knowing me, or my yoga practise, Margie – the teacher – invited me to join her beginner 2 class.
I had not attended a formal class for almost two weeks – there was a sense of coming home as I entered the studio and set up for class123

Margie’s class was very enjoyable – I liked her gentle, caring, method of teaching.

The DYS is a lovely yoga venue – comprised of two spacious studios – with a view from both studios into a peaceful, luscious tropical garden, with water features and statues.

Mats, bolsters, and other props often found in an Iyengar studio were available for students use. A special of $18 was charged for a casual class during August.120

Darwin Yoga Space
Warehouse 11 & 12 Caryota Court
Coconut Grove
Tel: 08 8948 2299

Following are a several other Darwin yoga venues identified, though not attended:

Flame Tree Yoga Studio
Agoy Yoga
Om Yoga
City Yoga Zone

A few of the highlights of my NT visit…

Darwin – Deckchair Cinema – saw a movie called The Lunchbox which I highly recommend, Wharf Precinct, Mindil Beach (famous for its outdoor market and beautiful sunsets). Berry Springs, Howards Springs, and The Territory Wild Park are a short drive from Darwin.

Wharf Precinct, Darwin, NT

Wharf Precinct, Darwin, NT

Litchfield – Wangi Falls, Florence Falls, Buley Rock Hole, Cascades, magnetic termite mounds.


Wangi Falls, Litchfield National Park

Kakadu – Bowali Visitors Centre, Border Store, East Alligator River, Jabiru, Yellow Water – recommend the 6.45am Yellow Water Cruise – lots of wildlife to see (eg Jabiru, eagles, ducks, crocodiles, kingfishers) and the sunrise was beautiful, Nourlangie and Ubirr – rangers provide wonderful, informative talks about Aboriginal art and culture. NB Insect repellent is a MUST – I forgot, and fortunately a Danish tourist generously gave me some.

Sunrise at Yellow Water, Kakadu, NT

Sunrise at Yellow Water, Kakadu, NT

Morning mist - Yellow Water, Kakadu, NT

Morning mist – Yellow Water, Kakadu, NT

Many thanks to the beautiful NT, and Darwin Yoga Space, and the kind Danish man

PS If you are looking for a great café, checkout Laneway Specialty Coffee in Parap

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Aeroplane Yoga! reblogged from Michael Romero’s ‘Home Yoga Practice’ blog

I am going to give Michael Romero’s Aeroplane Yoga postures a try next time I fly, ie later this year….

Home Yoga Practice

aero 1

Flying is taxing on the whole being. Between jet lag, bad airplane food, getting your immune system assaulted by travelers from all over the world who are sick, and bad posture from narrow airplane seats, you run many risks of getting ill.

During a weekend trip to San Francisco, I had my wife take a few pictures of me doing some asanas that are possible on a long plane ride. These postures combat some of the ills of sitting for five hours.

aero 6

This is Gulphasana (a variation of Uttanasana where you put your hands around your Gulpha, or the Marma point around your ankles). I like this variation because it gives the spine more traction and the ankles give you leverage to pull against. If you are stiffer, you can simply hold the elbows in Uttanasana. You can do this pose by in the area for the loo queue.

aero 4


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Iyengar Yoga at the Busselton Yoga Centre with Lara Favelle

I am most grateful to Iyengar teacher, Lara Favelle, for moving to my part of the world… Lara has established the Busselton Yoga Centre (BYC) in Busselton, Western Australia. Busselton is 220km (2.5 hr) South of Perth, the capital city of WA. Busselton is also a short drive from Dunsborough (20 mins), and Margaret River (35 mins)

029As mentioned in earlier posts, my first yoga lesson was Iyengar based, and though throughout the years I have practised, and benefitted from, many styles of yoga I find myself drawn back to the Iyengar method. Access to an Iyengar teacher has not always been easily available near to where I live, hence my gratitude to Lara being located only a 52km (40 min) drive from my home in Bunbury.

027BYC is situated in a spacious, light, commercial unit. The studio is equipped with ropes, bolsters, mats, blocks, pads, straps, blankets and several back benders. There are black and white photos of Mr Iyengar in various – inspirational – asana, dotted around the studio walls.

024I have been attending Lara’s classes for around 12 months. Classes are delivered for three levels of asana practise, ie Beginner, Developing, and Established students. Lara currently takes 8 classes/week. Private consultations are also available on request. Classes may be paid for on a term, 5 class pass, or casual basis – payment may be made via the internet or at the studio.

Each term (usually 10 weeks) has a theme, eg hip opening, back bends. I enjoy this themed approach to classes, and see and feel myself “moving forward” throughout the 10 week period.

I love Lara’s teaching style – she teaches with humour, patience, passion, and kindness. I feel uplifted when I enter the BYC studio, see Lara, and practice with other Iyengar students – and I float out the door after class. Thanks Lara!

Busselton Yoga Centre
Unit E5 | 115 Strelly Street
Busselton WA 6280
M 0422294687
E tocontactlara@gmail.com

South West Western Australia has a plethora of things to do…

The South West of Western Australia has much to offer both locals and visitors. For example, beautiful beaches – for swimming, surfing, or skiing; wineries; restaurants; galleries; walking trails; fishing; diving; whale watching… to name only a few of the highlights of this region.

A few of my favourite things to do are: take a stroll on the 1.8km long Busselton Jetty, spend a chillaxed weekend in Augusta, enjoy a meal at Samudra in Dunsborough, listen to live music on a Sunday afternoon at Caves House Hotel in Yallingup

Anyone visiting this area is spoilt for choice of what to do and see.

Love and Light

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Yoga in Victoria, Australia – 3 of 3 posts – Hatha Yoga at the Mud Hut Studio, Corop

Last year I was in Victoria, Australia, for several weeks. During that trip I revisited three yoga teachers I had met whilst visiting Victoria in a Feb/March 2013. The third of these teachers was Sue Barlow at Mud Hut Studio in country Victoria.



My second visit to Mud Hut Studio (MH) was made one year after my first visit. As on the first occasion, I attended class with my friend Jo who lives in the general vicinity of the MH. Again, I planned ahead and ensured there was room in the class for me to attend as a casual.

176Since my previous visit Sue has built a new larger studio. The original MH was very cute, however the new space is brighter, bigger, has more storage and changing facilities.

The studio is approached by way of a very generous driveway, and large pavers lead you to the welcoming verandah, and entry to the studio. The studio has large windows along one wall which look out on to a peaceful garden area.

As experienced previously, Sue made me feel very welcome.

It was again lovely to enjoy a class with Sue in the new Mud Hut studio.


Mud Hut Studio is located at:

622 Old Corop Road


VIC 3612

M: 0438 523 415

E: sue @mudhutyoga.com

A casual class cost $18

I encourage readers to check out Sue’s lovely website where you will find additional information on classes, workshops, etc.

Many thanks to Sue and Jo for their hospitality

Om shanti


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Yoga in Victoria, Australia – 2 of 3 posts – Iyengar Method on Phillip Island, and Hatha on Churchill Island

Last year I was in Victoria, Australia, for several weeks. During that trip I revisited three yoga teachers I had met whilst visiting Victoria in a Feb/March 2013, this post tells of time spent with Fiona Rawson, Iyengar teacher and Karen Easton, Hatha teacher.
Hatha with Karen Easton on Churchill Island

It was lovely to make the now familiar drive onto Phillip Island and then cross over by bridge onto the smaller Churchill Island. Highland cattle barely batted an eyelid as I drove past, and pairs of large Cape Barren Geese nibbled at grass and also seemed undaunted by my vehicle passing by.

139On entry into the Heritage Farm building I made payment for the Saturday morning yoga class. The weather was clear so the class was to be held on the grass, as it was on my first visit. I recognised many of the students faces from a year ago. Karen vaguely remembered me and then recalled that I am the lady that blogs about yoga – “Yes – that me!” And, yes, she is happy to lend me a mat. Another yogi – Jane – was handing out purple, white and green ribbons for International Women’s Day.

We rolled out our mats on the grass – wherever we felt like placing our mat was where we lay – no soldier like rows as you would usually find in an indoor studio. The outlook onto the Western Port was as beautiful as I remember.

Under Karen’s direction we moved through a gentle Hatha sequence culminating with Savasana to the sound of local birdsong.

Karen’s contact details:
Landline 03 5956 7751
Mobile 0432 028 655


Iyengar Method with Fiona Rawson on Phillip Island

161It was great to be back on Phillip Island, and I was very happy to once again take a class with Fiona – I love her warm, nurturing style of teaching.

I felt most grateful to be able to find a spot free in the class for a casual attendee such as me.

Jane – whom I had met at Karen’s class – was also at Fiona’s class. Great to see another familiar face.

The inside of Fiona’s studio was the same as the last time I visited, however the area at the rear of the studio had changed. Fiona had installed recycled glass partitions that are etched with various asana (Fiona’s own impressive hand work). The partitions,  grass and garden beds make for a very nice outlook from the studio.


Recycled glass panels define the garden area at the rear of Fiona’s studio

Fiona continues to provide mats, straps, blocks and other props for students use. Wall ropes are in situ, and a wooden tressler is also available.

For details of class schedule and fees please telephone Fiona 03 5956 8786

Studio located at:

74 Ventnor Beach Road

Cowes, Phillip Island

Many thanks to Karen and Fiona

Love and light


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