Feeling Energy in Your Body
Pictured: Frances on Opoutere Beach
Yoga is the science of prana, which is the subtle life energy that runs through your body and all of nature. When prana is abundant, high quality and free flowing then the body is healthy, the mind is settled and the heart is full. Prana is the key difference between yoga and conventional exercise. Unfortunately, prana is unrecognised by modern medicine which is really quite astonishing considering how essential it is to your health.
The existence of prana is easy to prove. You can experience it for yourself right now. Close your eyes and relax. Spend a few moments imagining energy building up in the index finger of your dominant hand. Then open your eyes and point your finger at the palm of your non-dominant hand and draw small circles on your palm with your finger about 5-10 cm away. Imagine the energy drilling into your hand. Can you feel a sensation – warmth, tingling? You can make the energy flow stronger simply by intention. As an extension, you can use the same method to draw a basic image like a circle, square or letter on a friend’s back and ask them to identify what you’re writing. It’s a fun exercise and a simple way to discover prana.
The great yogis discovered practices that move prana and deeply integrate the mind and body. These practices are called kriya or special techniques. There are various sets of kriyas around that have been passed down through the ages from guru to disciple. The set we practise comes via Swami Sivananda Saraswati of Rishikesh and comprises about 20 techniques.
Pacify vrittis and enliven vayus
This saying sums up the yogic approach: settle the mind and encourage prana to flow. This twofold activity happens naturally with the practice of Kriya Yoga. With regular practice over a long period of time the mind can be trained to settle down and maintain a restful alertness throughout the day. Also, you can train your energy to flow easily and smoothly through your mind and body. While these are advanced states, even a small step in this direction can have a big impact on the quality of your life.
To learn more, join the Kriya Yoga Retreat in July.
Yoga and Psychology
Pictured: Vanessa and Christina during Level 2 teacher training at Ohui Retreat.
Yoga Teacher Training – Level 2 Part-time
The teachings of the great yogis extend far beyond physical postures. They go deeply into the nature of the mind, meditation and energy. On Level 2 we introduce the psychology of yoga found in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and its very practical message about removing suffering and developing the highest levels of human functioning. We also teach intermediate to advanced postures, pranayama breathing techniques and a variety of energy based meditations. Read more about Level 2 yoga teacher training starting on 3 June.
At the end of Level 1 I started teaching yoga but I wanted more depth to my classes. I felt that I needed more tools. I wanted to be able to structure my classes in a different way, like knowing how to put flows together, but to do that I needed a deeper understanding. I wanted to understand the energetics behind the postures and how I could incorporate that into my classes. Read more
Graduate Support Programme
Yoga teacher training doesn’t just finish at the end of the course – it is an ongoing process – and we want to help you succeed as a yogi and a yoga teacher. This new programme enables you to continue learning and growing through yoga. Graduate Support gives you the opportunity to repeat courses that you have already taken at Ashram Yoga for no extra charge. Read more.
Ashram Yoga has an opportunity for someone who is interested in organising a large produce garden at Ohui Retreat. It would be started virtually from scratch. The intention is to make it commercial and whoever is running it to get percentage of the profit. If anyone is interested, please get in touch with us to discuss further.
If you are interested in cleaning at the Parnell studio in exchange for classes, please let us know. Cleaning duties are straightforward and include vacuuming, dusting, tidying and maintaining the kitchen and bathrooms. Hours are flexible. Please email or call Xinia if you are interested.
New Pregnancy DVD
We all know that yoga can be a great tool for pregnant women to prepare physically and mentally for birthing, as well as to deepen their relationship with themselves and the baby. Ashram Yoga has recently produced a DVD on Yoga for Pregnancy. In this DVD, our senior instructor Swami Shantimurti guides you through asana (postures), pranayama (breath work) and meditation. Read more
If you have an event, class or workshop the Parnell studio is available for hire. Read more
We now have bolsters for sale at the Parnell studio for only $55. This is really good value and we have lots in stock – some with the Ashram Yoga logo on the end and plenty without. If you need bolsters for your home or studio, then come in a check them out. We also have blocks, cushions, neti pots, books, incense and more.
Concession Card Competition
Congratulations to Shankar who is the winner of the April draw. If you want to enter the next draw, just put your completed 8-class yoga concession card or one-month pass in the box at the front desk.
Firewood for Sale
At Ohui Retreat we have tons of firewood available. If you would like to purchase some then please let us know. We can deliver loads of up to 5 cubic metres.
Visiting Ohui Retreat
Pictured: Guests on Opoutere Beach
Autumn and Winter Rates
Join us at Ohui Retreat for all forms of traditional yoga including postures, breathing, meditation, chanting mantras and more. Take some time to relax on the beach, read a book, go for a swim in the surf, or just hang out and enjoy like-minded company. Read more
Parking at Parnell Studio
Since the closure of the railway parking we have found some reliable places to park – highlighted on the map above. Thank you for adjusting to the new parking situation – we appreciate your flexibility! Read more
Pictured: Students currently on the one-month Level 1 Intensive yoga teacher training course at Ohui Retreat.
- Meditation Course Learn meditation over six weeks
- Explore Yoga Beginner course over 8 weeks
- Natal Yoga Course Yoga for Pregnancy over 9 weeks
- Yin Yoga Workshop Learn the elements of Yin Yoga
- PLAY Yoga Teacher Training Learn to teach yoga to kids
- Yoga Teacher Training Level 2 Learn esoteric yoga
- Introduction to the Chakras A workshop with Gemma .
- Silent Meditation Retreat 3 or 5 days to explore inner silence
- Autumn Accommodation Visit Ohui Retreat
- Yoga Revival Retreat Yoga by the beach
- Kriya Yoga Retreat Learn to move energy through the body
- Divine Whispers Retreat Techniques to connect with your soul
Introduction to the Chakras Workshop
In the hustle and bustle of life it can be easy to forget that yoga is more than an effective stretch and a stress busting relaxation! However, a primary focus of yoga is to balance the flow of energy throughout the body and to balance the energetic centres, known as the chakras. Learning about the chakras can really transform and enhance your yoga practice allowing you to experience the postures and other techniques in a much deeper way. It also provides fascinating insight into why physical, mental or emotional problems manifest and gives us the tools to address them. Read more
Astrology: Taurus Rising
The May 7 New Moon chart for New Zealand has Taurus rising. This brings a desire for a peaceful life and feelings of security. It is a good time for connecting with the environment and nature, and for getting in touch with our real selves and our body’s needs.
Mars, in this chart, is in the 8th house of other people’s money and anxiety. Financial matters and the recovery of debts are likely to be problematic now and we may be forced to deal with loss situations. It is important to observe our actions and responses to circumstances, and to take care not to react angrily when things don’t go our way. This is a good time to boldly face our fears and take steps to conquer them. Read more
In the last edition of the NZ Yoga Scene magazine the editors reviewed Lectures from Yoga Teacher Training by our senior director Swami Shantimurti Saraswati. Here is the review in full, reprinted with permission. Visit NZ Yoga Scene’s Facebook page.
“This wonderful volume is full of wisdom. Do not let its slim size mislead you – for while it may be read in a sitting – its lessons will take a lifetime to be known. Take this paragraph on meditation as an example;
‘Spiritual development is measured in inches not miles, so if you learnt meditation last week don’t expect to get enlightened next week. It takes time, patience and effort to mature. And don’t be quick to judge how you are doing – it is very difficult to assess what is going on in the unconscious mind and subtle body. Some people have a lot of wonderful experiences in meditation but for others it is relatively uneventful. It is like getting a window seat or an aisle seat on a plane – the view is different but the progress to the destination is the same.’ Read more
Like Our Facebook Page
Our Facebook page has been steadily growing, but we would like to put some gas on it and get many more people on board. Facebook is a great way for us to let you know what is going on. Please like us.
Ayurvedic Makeover for Diabetes
“I was 19, in my second year of college in Boston, far from family and friends. Like many students, I studied hard, worked several part-time jobs, stayed up late, and lived off of the cafeteria salad bar and first-date dinners. Halfway through the fall semester, I realized that I was alarmingly tired. Walking a few blocks was exhausting, and climbing the two flights of stairs to my dorm room left me winded. A few weeks later, while at a friend’s apartment putting on my costume before a Halloween party, I stood in front of a full-length mirror for the first time in months and saw a gaunt whisper of a girl looking back.” Read more
Video: JP Sears Changing the World
“Taking yoga photos for Instagram is by far the most powerful way to make a difference in this world. In this video I show you how. Brian Crawford Photography had the pleasure of photographing me in the tightest yoga pants the world has to offer.” See the video.
Recipe: Coconut Curry
A vegan, gluten free 30-minute curry that’s loaded with veggies and swimming in a perfectly-spiced coconut milk broth. Coconut quinoa sends this over the top. Simple, healthy, fast and so delicious. Read more
New Book by Swami Shantimurti Saraswati
We are very pleased to announce the publication of a new book by our senior director Swami Shantimurti Saraswati (pictured). It is called Lectures from Yoga Teacher Training and it comprises a series of lectures presented to students on our Level 1 yoga teacher training course in Auckland earlier this year.
The book dives deeply in the esoteric aspects of yoga including energy (prana), energy centres (chakras), breathing techniques (pranayama), mantra, energy channels (nadi), kriya yoga, tantra yoga, yogic philosophy and a whole lot more. If you are keen to know what lies beneath the surface of yoga, then this book is for you. It includes insights and stories that you won’t find anywhere else.
Shantimurti has been practising and teaching yoga since 1976 when he was initiated into sannyasa. He is highly experienced with the inner and outer aspects of yoga and has a gift for sharing his wisdom in an amiable way. Read more about the book.
Ashram Yoga eBook
Download Ashram Yoga’s free Introduction to Yoga ebook. Simply subscribe to our newsletter. This ebook introduces a very simple yoga series. These practices include ankle, wrist and hip rotations which are essential for both beginner and advanced yogis. These exercises are so simple that they are easy to overlook, yet their effect is profound.
Shantimurti has many remarkable stories of people who have healed themselves from serious afflictions with these basic exercises.
Introduction to Yoga is the first chapter of a larger, more comprehensive ebook. The larger ebook with additional exercises including breathing techniques (pranayama) and meditation may be purchased here.