Words by Psychotherapist Jane Faulkner
Yoga has supported and guided me throughout my adult life. It has helped me overcome health conditions, insecurities, stressful conditions and improved my perception and clarity of what is important for me.
For all of us, life is so busy, we are constantly on the move without much time for rest or reflection, I think this way of living leads to many of our issues and problems. Yoga is one way to support you through life, it is both an art and a science and is a vast, varied and deep topic. Yoga provides something for everyone and has been practiced for centuries. It is proven to help and provide relief for many ailments and I have been amazed at the transformation Yoga has made upon my life and the lives of my students.
What is yoga and who is it for?
Many people are confused about what Yoga is and what Yoga does; there is a misconception that is for skinny, flexible, fit young people and this could not be further from the truth. Yoga is for everyone, whether you are injured, dealing with acute or chronic illness, any age, shape or size, yoga has something to offer you. There are many different styles of Yoga and many different facets of Yoga within each style, so if you try a class and it doesn’t feel right please look around until you find one that does. There are many different standards in the different styles of Yoga and some styles have different ways of approaching the goal of Yoga, which is union or your mind, body and spirit becoming one and you accepting who you are and feeling comfortable in your own skin.
Not all yoga is created equal
Yoga is becoming more and more popular which is fantastic; however, Yoga is also being cheapened and changed by our Western mindset – we all want a quick fix.
All Yoga’s offered today are not created equal, with some schools of Yoga producing teachers with limited training and experience. So when you are looking for a class ask the teacher where they trained, how long they have been teaching for and how long their teacher training was for. I don’t believe that you can be a safe teacher in just a few short weeks of training; I believe it takes a lot of time to understand Yoga and its effects upon your own body and mind before you are ready to teach others.
Yoga helps you to train your body, your mind and your emotions; it helps you to become calmer, healthier and more whole. Yoga is about meeting yourself and working with what you have, it is never about comparing yourself to the student beside you, it is about challenging yourself and learning about you. Learning about your strengths and weaknesses, your mental and emotional habits and tendencies and through Yoga learning and practicing new ways to approach life and yourself.
What you can expect from a yoga class:
- To be challenged, yoga can be hard work you will be accessing muscles you didn’t know you had (its not all peace, love and moonbeams)
- To be in a class full of people from all different walks of life
- Classroom sizes vary from 2 to 60 people (when starting out I recommend smaller class sizes so the teacher has time to assist you and so you can really understand what is required within each of the poses)
- To feel comfortable to just be yourself within the classroom
- To be supported with your injuries and conditions
- To feel safe and welcome
- To be interested and stimulated as you will be learning new poses and new ways to approach your body
- That your entire body will be addressed within a class. The amazing thing about Yoga is that each pose has an effect upon the entire body, the muscles, the bones, the organs, the nervous system, the endocrine system, the cardiovascular system and the mind all get a workout.
- Over time, you will feel stronger, calmer, healthier and more comfortable in your own skin
- You will start to notice that you are less reactive about things and that things that used to get to you don’t seem to bother you as much anymore
I have explored many different styles of yoga and now teach and practice Iyengar Yoga. In the system of Iyengar Yoga teachers study for 5 years before they become qualified teachers, it is a system that has a lot of depth and knowledge and it is a very safe, challenging and satisfying style of yoga. There is an emphasis on alignment and on learning how to support your body throughout life so that you are strong, flexible and healthy throughout life.
Jane Faulkner started her career as a Registered Nurse and has worked in hospitals in Australia and overseas. During her career as a nurse, she supported people through the difficult transitions of illness, grief, death, trauma, mental health issues and childbirth.
Jane has a Masters in Gestalt Psychotherapy, a Bachelor of Nursing, a Certificate in Initiatic Art Therapy and is certified in Equine Assisted Psychotherapist. Yoga is an integral part of her life, she is a Certified Iyengar Teacher and continues to study and teach in the Iyengar yoga tradition. She is an accomplished teacher, therapist, and facilitator and has led many women’s groups and Day Retreats, presented seminars and workshops, and worked with many different community groups and individuals.
Jane is the founder of Equine Assisted Therapy Australia, an organisation that provides training, retreats, programs and individual sessions that aim to provide individuals with a new and authentic ways to grow and learn more about themselves. Connect with Jane HERE.
Georgia’s two bobs and experience of Iyengar Yoga
I have practiced Yoga on and off for many years now, just recently committing to the practice once again. Like a lot of women, I’m very good at looking after everyone else needs but awful at recognising my own. After a recent spate of waking in the night, mind whirling, writing posts, designing recipes and worrying about how dirty my walls and cupboards are, I reassessed what I needed to do to resolve this anxious wakefulness and something deep inside brought me back to Yoga. I’m very new to the Iyengar style of Yoga; it is certainly the most thorough, supportive and exacting type of yoga I’ve ever done. It’s mentally and physically challenging but in a good way that I can already feel the benefits from. I practice at Chevron Yoga Centre (Jane also teaches here two days a week), click here for more details.
Hope you enjoyed this post. Do you practice Yoga and how does it impact on your health and wellbeing?