Bone Yoga Foundation Workshop with Paul Cohen, January 2019

Green and Serene Yoga Holidays

Holidays are a sacred and special time of the year.  Whether it’s a family holiday, an adventure with friends, a couples trip or a solo explore, holidays are one thing that we always look forward to.  They can be relaxing or exhilarating, inward looking or eye opening, they can be fraught with arguments and disagreements or saturated with calm, peace and serenity.  Whichever way our holidays pan out there is something in the ritual of taking a time-out from our usual lives that should be honoured and revered.

For me, it was a yoga holiday in Morocco that caused a tiny spark of change, setting alight to my life, that grew bigger as I fed it more kindling in 2016 until 14 months on from that holiday my life had irrevocably changed.  What was so different about this holiday than any other I’d taken before?  Why did it make such a change to me?

The answer lies with balance and is what I emphasise through my own yoga practice and business.  This yoga holiday was different to ‘retreats’ that I’d been to before, here coffee was served with breakfast, people talked and laughed without restraint, after yoga and food we were free to spend the day exploring eating delicious Moroccan tagines, lying around at the beach, or going surfing, before reconvening for another relaxing yin yoga class and evening meal (with dessert!).

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A Year of Yoga

Neal GhoshalLast year I taught a lot of Yoga! So much so that by November I was rather tired, exhausted even. I found that I was way out of balance, working late to keep up with the workload, waking up early when our daughter Tula wakes up. The sleep deprivation was certainly not helping re-gain my vitality.

I felt that my regular classes on Waiheke were suffering somewhat from my tiredness.

I turned up to each class of course but often with only a vague idea of what I would teach. Part of this was actually useful and interesting … how do I teach when I’m under this amount of pressure? Can I improvise class after class?

It was in fact engaging simply to turn up to class and meet whoever walked through the classroom door, and create on-the-fly classes and sequences geared right to these students exactly as they were in that moment.

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What is Restorative Yoga?

By Neal Ghoshal

Supported Child's PoseA few years ago I enrolled on a Yoga Teacher Training course for a year at the Yoga Academy Auckland – I was on a mission to learn more and more about this practice and to equip myself with as much knowledge as I could. If I was going to teach Yoga, then I wanted to be good at it.

It was an interesting year – the course was actually geared around the Ashtanga Vinyasa style but I was doing all the course modules except the physical practice itself … anatomy, keeping people safe etc. About half way through the year course tutor Jude Hynes gave us a new practice, brought out some Yoga bolsters from the cupboard and introduced us to the wonderful world of Restorative Yoga.

In the very first pose she gave us – Supported Bridge Pose, I was lying back over the length of the bolster so that most of my body was on the bolster, but my head and shoulders on the floor. It was like an effortless bridge pose. And I can still remember this experience: the exact moment when I felt a true relaxation response deep within me. Tension melting, my body softening and a realisation that something very important for had just occurred, and I was awake to the experience.

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