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August 17th 2017
SUNDAY YOGA BOOKCLUB
SUNDAY YOGA BOOKCLUB
Bookclub's running again and we're reviewing some of the principal
yogic texts. This Sunday we'll do Chapter 6 of Raja Yoga by Swami
Vivekenanda - Pratyahara and Dharana. "Possibly
my favourite chapter, this could be considered a 'bridge' from basic
and accessible yoga, to the much more advanced access to 'consciousness
awareness. Brilliant". (Toby) The book is available for $5 at Land of Yoga.
Our Sunday 10-12 morning class has a group of fairly regular attendees
- and we've been having discussions of deeper yogic philosophy and
theory. Now we have added a 'Book Club' component to this multi-layered
weeks we prepare to read a chapter or so of selected classical yoga
texts, and then discuss them during the session. These discussions are
accessible to all - but those who have read the text may have specific
questions to raise.
Toby runs these sessions - we still have the other usual aspects of breath-work and meditation. This is just a chance to expand.
All welcome - 2hr session $15.
WHY BEING SELF-AWARE IS HELPFUL
It's quite common for people to be interested in yoga and meditation
simply because they are trying to fix a problem - like a bad back or
neck... or anxiety or depression. Yoga and meditation are marketed
these ways through the media and by doctors... as a result many people
find limited access to what these deep spiritual practices are actually
Yoga is not a quickfix for problems - IT CAN'T BE. People might feel
their problems are minor, and that a little bit of yoga or meditation
will sort these out... but inevitably a person will discover that all
of our problems - either physical or mental - are actually
deeply-rooted. And there are no quick fixes for deep personal problems.
That's because our problems come from patterns set in place over many
years... often related to our childhoods.
So what is available in yoga BEYOND this simple 'quick-fix' mentality?
Well, my teacher used to tell us very often: "Total Health and
Happiness". And how does one access total health and happiness? Through
Self-Awareness. Here's how it would look:
Self-awareness involves a person taking toal responsibility for their
emotional, mental and physical health. Yoga offers the perfect range of
practices to 'tick all these boxes'. Naturally, one would have to work
at this over time, every day, especially if we have neglected any of
these three main areas previously.
2 Self-awareness means we have a knowledge of our own
habitual behaviours. This means we do not fall for our initial
responses to problems - such as anger, doubt, fear, aggression, or
denial... because we know that these emotions have been learned and do
not actually reflect our true values and nature.
Self-awareness includes a knowledge of the 'way we are doing things'
(and why). This is so important because many people take actions every
day often because they are trying to compensate for vulnerabilities and
insecurities. Once we can recognise these tendencies, we can see,
again, that they do not truly reflect our deepest values and nature.
saves us from the 'victim-mentality' so prevalent in modern society. It
means we stop blaming other people and things for our problems. This
empowers us as the active and decisive agents of our own destiny. It
also makes life easier for our friends and family.
means we can make effective adjustments to any mental, emotional or
physical illness we may develop. Eg: if we get sick, we know why and
what to do about it.
allows us to finally reach a point of no longer being self-absorbed;
then we can direct our attention outwards to be of benefit to others in
society. We have gotten over our problems and become able contributors
to the community.
gives us real insight into who we are and what we are here to do in
this lifetime. This is a very powerful step.
gives us access to understanding ourselves, and also all other humans.
This is where compassion comes from.
affords us the ability to prepare for our own death early, and
properly. This means we might possibly die in the most beautiful and
allows us to see exactly why other people are unhappy and unhealthy -
because they lack self-awareness. We can be more empathetic, but
perhaps also more helpful as teachers.
gives us the knowledge that we are "Existence - Knowledge - Bliss and
boundless as space". This is what Happiness and true Freedom look like
is running this session this year - with a simple focus upon 'practice,
practice, practice' - to train the mind. All welcome.
6.15-7.15pm Drop-in sessions Cost $8
all levels. No bookings required.
NEW SERVICE AT Land Of
This new service is
designed to give people personal support on their own
meditation practice. It is
Skype-based in the form of a 30min mentoring
session with Toby - from your own home or office.
These private online sessions can be so effective - to work on
and also to work on new practices and techniques. Toby has taught
meditation to 1000's of people over many years, and can quickly
pinpoint a root problem and then offer simple solutions.
is a personal mentoring program designed to help people get the REAL
tangible benefits of regular meditation. 30min
Sessions ONLY $25! Bargain!
read more about this, CLICK
WHAT MIGHT A (REALLY) HEALTHY DIET LOOK LIKE?
Diet is a huge part of our health - if neglected, all
other areas of life will become diminished. A healthy body is only the first
sign of a healthy mind and emotional state.
Over the years I've tinkered with breakfast ingredients
and come to a latest version which seems optimum to 'fuel up' for all my daily
Here it is, in order of consumption (all items organic if
Large warm water (in winter) with squeezed lemon.
About 8 dried sultanas
About 6 dried cranberries
a few inca berries
a couple walnuts
half a banana
mouthful of salad sprouts
one mushroom (with homous)
one carrot (with homous)
Toast (one piece is certainly enough. Any more is
A small to medium bowl of Spelt fruit and nut Muesli -
includes sunflower seeds, pepitas, dried coconut, goji berries
Almond milk in the muesli
a small apple
in winter, a kiwi fruit and maybe mandarin
Things to avoid at breakfast:
Any white sugar
This meal is quite filling, so eating less bread and
muesli is important. A little water after the meal helps digestion.
Is this a good combination? It feels so, to me. But I
could certainly modify or add to it if new information comes in.
So how's your diet?
DEVELOPING A MEDITATION
1) If you don't meditate
every day, the results will only be superficial and short-term.
2) If you do meditate every day, your whole life and mind will change
3) If you're not really serious about change, you won't meditate every
4) If you are serious about change, you'll have to be onto this every
5) Meditation is about watching our mind and its habits. The reason it
produces change is because we start to see our habits, and to check
whether they are useful, positive and functional. Many of our habits
are not useful, positive or functional - and cause most of our
problems. This is why we start CHOOSING to change.
6) We don't have to be brilliant or good at meditating - we just need
to develop it. As we practice it more and more, we learn, understand,
and become clearer and more confident. It's not 'meant to be easy' -
because change usually takes effort. We only make this effort if we
feel unhappy or unclear or unwell. Often people start to feel a little
bit better and then stop meditating every day. That's a big mistake.
6) Often once we start seeing our own habits we find them hard to face.
If we are not serious about change then we will give up at this point.
7) Actually, seeing our problematic habits gives us a powerful choice:
we can be sure, we can be clear, we just have to be serious about
continuing. If we have courage, we can liberate ourselves. This gives
great confidence. But if we prefer denial, this reduces our confidence.
8) Most of all - especially in the beginning - we just need to slow
down. That's the first part of meditation: stepping away, becoming
quiet and still. If we do this for even 5mins a day, it will have
amazing effects within a week. If we can do 5mins morning and evening -
wow, the improvement becomes rapid.
9) Meditation is not just about trying to stop thinking. It's
about taking the time to focus upon what we are thinking. When we do
this, we can become more in control of our mind. This will allow us to
be more stable emotionally. This will allow us to be happier.
10) Once a person realises that taking 5-10mins a day is not that hard,
then they will have changed their mind and life already. Once a person
realises meditation gives us some mental peace and quiet, then they
will realise it is a smart thing to do every day. Once a person truly
understands this, they will realise it is foolish NOT to do it every
11) Experienced meditators have only gained experience by practising.
They will have only gained skill by practising. They will have only
gained happiness by practising every day.
We have a
Meditation Class every Wednesday night 6.15-7.15pm. Cost $8.
the place to explore more deeply the nature of our own minds, the
stresses we create for ourselves, and the simple solutions
connected to awareness, clarity and letting go...
TRAINING AT LAND OF YOGA
will be the last chance for people to do teacher training with us here.
training course is taught by Toby and meets the minimum
requirements as set by Yoga Australia. It must take at least one year
(minimum) but is more likely to take 1-2yrs, depending on your
trainee has their own individual training program and CAN START AT
course can be very full-on, but what can be guaranteed is a
personal growth beyond all imagination. Quite frankly, a whole new life
is available through this experience.
is no need to be amazing at yoga stretching to be a good teacher;
all one needs is the right intent: an interest to learn, grow, and to
is about expanding oneself, becoming a completely healthy person,
in mind and body... and then about offering this presence to help
more info, and to read about the full course, CLICK HERE
Toby has just reduced the prices for this course significantly.
This opportunity won't sit around forever.
"Path to Enlightenment"
Guided Meditation CD Series
nothing more important than having mental peace. If we can come from
this place, all our actions and experiences of life will be healthy and
peaceful. Only then can we truly connect with each other. This Yogic
meditation series teaches the knowledge that leads to a true state of
inner peacefulness. It is simple and clear.
Each session goes for 60mins and is deeply
relaxing. Each session involves simple discussion, breath practices,
meditation techniques, and rest periods. There are 18 sessions in total.
Perfect for Beginners and Advanced as well, this takes one's
mind to a whole new level of awareness and knowledge.
from the centre, for $35.
ALSO AVAILABLE ON-LINE WITH FREE DELIVERY! CLICK HERE.
(Note: Each session is available individually for $5)
Be your own doctor!!
have a question regarding energy.
it possible in a yogic sense to store and harness energy? (I thought
the bandhas may have something to do with this).
for example I am feeling very energetic on a particular day -
notwithstanding the type of energy (positive or negative) - are there
ways in yoga to hold on to or harness this power?
in relation to this, can yoga be helpful in turning negative energy
yoga practice is leading me to believe that everything is energy in
one way or another!
Melanie for the question, it's a great topic!
Yoga is certainly a study in energetics - even if most westerners think
it's mostly about stretching and dealing with anxiety! So perhaps this
is a more advanced area, to explore the nature of energy, mental
energy, physical, emotional... any energy, all energies... (especially
via the breath).
Let's face it, if we take yoga to a meditation level, we are observing,
noticing and learning about subtle feelings, sensations, emotions,
thoughts, and reactions... and gradually as we continue to learn and
understand we see more detail in things we previously missed. This is
the development of 'awareness', which leads to insight and wisdom. This
is how we can start seeing or understanding 'energy' in a new or
Raja Yoga especially is designed to show us the nature of energy
through time. Stopping and taking rests are the simplest ways to
recognise the energy levels of our body... and then our mind... but
also we begin to see energy moving in our lives, moving around us,
towards us, and past us. We continue to meditate upon all this and
start to notice fluctuations, rhythms, and cycles... this becomes more
interesting over time. If we keep watching, we see more.
So yes Melanie - especially through use of the 'bandhas'
locks) and breathwork - we can harness energy, distribute it in
specific ways around our body, conserve it, expand it, and learn to
feel it. This more subtle awareness takes many years. It's similar to
the understandings of 'Chi' in Chinese Medicine. For beginners, it's
enough to recognise that in Hatha yoga we are balancing
around the body, and also energising what is dull and flat. The body's
cells are little energy houses which need rejuvenation stimulus daily
or they will die. People who develop chronic conditions like Chronic
Fatigue and Depression are clearly low on energy (ie: mental and
physical). These levels can all be built up, and also restored, and
taken to phenomenal levels. The breath activates this the most.
The idea of turning negative energy into positive energy is
unnecessary, caught up in the obsession most people have
about trying too hard to be positive and holding onto positives in
their lives. All energy has balance and negative energy is natural and
has nothing wrong with it, and will come and go like everything else.
People who get 'stuck' in
negative patterns are usually this way because of their attachment to
positives and lack of trusting the negative. Better to let go of fear
and control and see negatives as just part of a cycle of change.
Of course everything in the universe is nothing BUT energy, always
moving and changing, taking different shapes. This energy can perhaps
be harnessed, but in other ways dispersed. Holding onto energy is not
really necessary - we're just better to stop being so resistant to it
moving. Letting go, opening, allowing, trusting - these are clear
mental habits which facilitate the most free body and mind.
Let the energy work for itself (it will anyway).
Doctor Qua'c a question about Illness or Injury, Email Toby.
Take extra care of your health!
Come on down to Land of Yoga where 7 days a week we are always