Yoga in the Community
Why I teach
To share with you that- which- i- experience. Which is; with right effort Yoga, as a system of mind, breathing, lifestyle & physical practices shows us how to to use our energy properly, awakens our-self to the sacredness of life and how to live from a place of peace. When we our peaceful within ourselves we help bring peace to the wider world.
What is Yoga in the Community for Good health & calmness?
It’s not beginners or advanced yoga, its yoga that everybody can come too. Some folk may have more practised experience, some folk have none, however the essence of Yoga for good health & calmness is that we all do the same practice. The practice will meet your willingness to use it as a tool for self- discovery it is not determined by how flexible, advanced or practised one is. Age does not hinder the practice of Yoga for Good Health and Calmness, there is no obligation to “keep up” only that you bring right effort to your practice, to be in the practice with your own rhythm. The physical postures are one aspect of the whole practice, not the focus.
It is not about forcing and achieving beautiful postures or becoming more spiritual, or attached to a particular style. Yoga for good health & calmness endeavors to offer ways to transcend the externals of the material world, to a more internal experience, rooted in the Niyama of self -study – Svadhyaya. A Yoga practice with Carmen draws on systematic Yoga techniques & rituals, which allow us to directly experience the powerful ways to build vital life energy, keep ourselves strong, let go of limiting beliefs, develop our experience of peace, and balancing the body.
With more focused awareness from a regular practice we become receptive, relaxed and calm tuning into the truth of who we are.
Embracing the whole system of Yoga…….
The foundations of Yoga facilitated by Carmen are interpretations, practice & teachings shared from the wider aspects of Yoga, that form the whole system of Yoga the practice is not limited to a style of Hatha/Asana Yoga (physical postures).
Yoga techniques practiced are: Gentle Asana & Kriyas, Nada Yoga, Affirmation, Pranayama, Mudra, Mantra, Dhyana & Meditation.
Equally- woven into the practice are Yama & Niyama – the living ethics of Yoga that explore the yogic aspect of right living & right attitude. Knowledge gleaned from Masters, Guru’s, teachers, the Sutras, and other valuable knowledge on Yoga combined with a personal 25 years of self led practice & experiential Yoga lifestyle. A practice which imparts that which is experienced as helpful in supporting, SELF discovery, up lifted consciousness – such as when we live in tune with our surroundings, deep peace, devotion, good health.
Whatever I teach, I also practice.
At the heart of Yoga in the community is community service with a NO one turned away philosophy. A lack of money or hardship should not hinder eagerness for knowledge and well-being.
What if I am not flexible, or spiritual or I feel yoga is not active enough?
Yoga first and foremost is NOT limited to flexibility posturing or any kind of religious dogma. It is about settling mind, emotions and energy as we systematically refine our consciousness ( Satchidānanda) Relatively speaking – practising yoga as Asana only, is a pale comparison to what Yoga is capable of offering.Yoga is active ( with calm & focused attention) not passive. The key to using Yoga as practical tool that has unlimited potential, is to assure it is offered in a way which, serves as a living practice. Flexibility and age are not a prerequisite to practice, how physically flexible one is does not determine progress on the path of Yoga.
Can I come to Your class if I have Cancer or other illness?
Yes – if your energy feels good.
Yoga for good health & calmness – The Practice
Begins……….with simple techniques to develop focused awareness to the breath, observation of the layers of body, unite (yoga) the forces of the mind & breath then Yoga begins. Starting with the same techniques to calm ourselves, to set the foundation to practice from a place of neutrality, peace, awareness, and breathe consciousness.
In this way the practice is aimed for anyone, diving beyond the physical we are reminded to not add tension to our practice instead find our place of equanimity – (to be in the practice and not desire it to somehow be different from it is ).
Common Techniques used include: gentle asana (physical postures) pranayama, (breath and prana development ) kriya’s (actions to cleanse and purify energy channels), mantra (to focus the mind) & Nada ( inner sound) Mudra ( body & hand gestures ) affirmation, meditation, Yoga Nidra.
The combination of these aid to draw our senses inwards, strengthen, nourish & cleanse the bodily systems & focus the mind. Designed to develop a greater sense of refined concentration & consciousness. When practised from this awareness: Asana (physical postures) become a vehicle for directing prana (vital energy) to parts of the body that require healing, while also building a radiant life force.
It is the prana that heals, not the Asana itself. Without focused attention on the free flow of energy in the body and on the breathe, Yogasana simply becomes posturing and can result to increased fixation on the body, rigidity of the mind & emotions.
The practice is designed to cultivate a greater sense of refined concentration & consciousness, while building balanced vital energy. Which in turn will guide the – self towards the natural underlying experience of meditation that helps to clear our negative impulses.
How can I come to a class?
I encourage you to come along and attend a class and see if this approach to yoga and me as a teacher resonates with you. There is no expectation or obligation required from you. I suggest you come at least 10-15 minutes earlier, if you are attending for the first time, so we can meet. If you are visiting you are most welcome to come along and join in. See below for the timetable.
Tuesdays – St Johns Room / Link Way – Wanaka- 9:30 -10:45 am: Gentle Yoga for Good Health and Calmness
Thursdays- Community Hub/Mcdougall St -Wanaka- 9.30-10.45 am: Gentle Yoga for Good Health and Calmness
How much does it cost to attend?
The structure of Yoga in the Community allows for no-one to be turned away. A modest amount is charged for the class for those that have the means to pay. Casual rate of $12 or $100 concession for 10 classes used at discretion, while those whom find themselves in a time of hardship can practice at no cost, no questions asked.
The modest fees and our practice of Yoga for good health & calmness, gives back to the fundamental community organisation of ST Johns & the Community Hub, through venue hire alongside a small teacher wage. While the kind donation of private benefactor, myself and contribution also from the community Hub offers the community access to quality Yoga faciliation without becoming hindered by cost.
I have come of age as both student and teacher. My relationship to yoga is much different from my humble, yet incredibly life affirming first Hatha Yoga experience 20+ years ago, that triggered deeper explorations of the Yogic System.
Yoga is not limited to a particular style of asana for 1 hour a day. Yoga is daily constant attunement as it weaves into all aspects of life and living. Often challenging in these times, to sustain an integral practice without falling out of contradiction to the philosophy which I uphold, yet the real opportunities for growth are found in those moments, as I turn to the inner teachings and my practice.
I facilitate what I practice, using a variety of techniques from the timeless tradition of Yoga, sharing the wisdom from the great sages, current & past masters, Vedic & Yogic texts, as well as draw on my own personal revelations. All useful to assist in raising our energy & consciousness so we may awaken to the sacredness of life.
A long-time student of yoga (longer than I care to remember). Studied to teach Hatha Yoga in 2005 at the Shoshoni Ashram in Boulder, which exposed me to beautiful Vedic ritual, mantra (guru gita) & other sadhana’s al of which opened my heart to the yogic quality of devotion. This experience led me to realise that yogic awareness beyond the physical practice, is integral to bring wholeness to our practice.
I Studied Ayurveda in 2010/11 with Dr Ajit at the AIAS institute in Auckland as a natural expansion of my practice, although currently I don’t offer consultations or therapies these are skills I have learnt and offered. I draw on Ayurveda constantly as a tool for moment to moment awareness, nourishing daily routines & sadhanas.
Eventually my yoga inquiry led me to initate into the Kriya Yoga lineage, that follows a traditional Yoga, Guru/student relationship with Kriya Yoga NZ, Introduced to Kriya like many folk through reading Paramahamsa Yogananda’s exquisite & timeless Autobiography of a Yogi, the powerful translation of wisdom within the pages of this book stirred a longing for deeper experiences of life beyond the material. Within a short time I initiated into the lineage continued by Paramhamsa Hariharananda, presently, divinely guided by Guru Prajnanandaji. I attend opportunities to spend time in retreat with the spiritual sangha of the Kriya community and in the presence of Guruji.
Most recently I have studied to teach a simple classical vedic meditation technique a natural expansion of Yoga facilitation, one taught by Paramahamsa Yogananda, offered by Ananda yoga & meditation of the Expanding light retreat centre a wonderful growing Kriya Yoga community in direct lineage to Swami Kriyananda & Yogananda.
I offer – Yoga in the Community. With the continued support and kindness from a benefactor & student the goal of bringing yoga into our communities is a step closer; as a recognised tool for mental, physical and spiritual health & growth, accessible for all, allowing for a no-one to be turned away philosophy.
A little acknowledgement …..
“Carmen is a true yogi who walks the yoga talk. Not just a physical practise. You can’t help but feel a little more nourished and centred in body, mind and spirit after one of her wonderful authentic yoga sessions. It is yoga on a deeper level with clear mindfulness and a purposeful approach. Gratitude and intention are always in mind too.
She eases into the class gently with relaxation. She is genuinely concerned for her students and always checks in with each one on how their body is feeling before the class begins. Her classes are the most personal and intimate groups I have ever experienced. Every class is unique and she is always teaching and sharing new postures, stretches, and intentions. It is an absolute treat to attend one of her classes. I have been a student of Carmen’s for over 5 years and feel very lucky to have come across such an absolute gem of a teacher, not to mention beautiful human being. If you want soulful yoga this is the place to go in Central Otago!”
- JL- Blakemore