Two deaths pushed me to an Iyengar style “beginners yoga near me” option
My mother died of cancer, probably from old fashioned cleaning agents. As I struggled with my grief, I was unable to sleep. I stumbled into a studio that a friend said had the best beginners yoga near me. Unfortunately, I had stumbled in a studio that had “one size fits all” yoga classes. It did not have a yoga beginner classes level. So I actually made it harder for myself, but that’s another story! Here’s how my search for a yoga beginners class near me transformed my whole life!
Dealing with the grief got me started with yoga, and it kept me going back for more.
It kept me going even though I was hugely stiff and stressed from the work I did in the business I owned with my partner.
The business was a combination of three successful plant nurseries that my partner and I founded in Melbourne, many decades ago.
Like all businesses, the founders have many roles. One of my many roles was lugging around large pot plants… both inside the nurseries, and out to customer’s cars.
In the process, I did lots of walking and lifting.
Even though I was strong, I just got less and less flexible. In addition, my muscles got unbalanced and lopsided.
The rest of my story is below. But if you want to just get on with giving yoga a try, then all Flametree classes are both online and in-studio. So there is always a “beginner yoga class near me” that you can attend online.
Until my “yoga beginners class near me”, I had no idea how stiff I was!
Like many others, as a youth, I had lots of flexible strength.
At school, many years earlier than my nursery business, I was a good swimmer and runner.
At university, I did judo for a while, until I got tired of too many bruises!
Then I settled into my adult life of physical inactivity… except for what I had to do for work.
After work, I just hung out enjoying the company of my partner and friends.
My first main job was even worse for my body than the nursery… because it just involved sitting at a desk, or standing up teaching.
That was my life as an economics lecturer, with lots of thinking, and not very much physical doing.
Eventually, voodoo economics took total hold of economic faculties in the 1980s. So my partner and I decided to learn how to run a business, and learn the economics of the real world!
Economists selling flowers on the roadside!
First, we sold flowers by the roadside. We were probably the most over-educated flower stall owners in Melbourne!
But we loved the freedom of doing our thing, with no boss except for customers.
In turn, it led us to owning a nursery, and eventually owning three nurseries.
All of a sudden, I was 39, and very stiff and stressed.
Then my mother died earlier than average, with the horror leaving me unable to sleep.
So I kind of loitered into trying my first yoga lesson. I was very unsure of what was to come.
By chance the yoga class was with Mark Gibson, one of Australia’s most highly accomplished Iyengar yoga teachers.
I was so stiff that it was difficult to even drop my head forward when standing with the legs apart and bending forward from the waist.
However, to my surprise, on the night after my first yoga lesson, I slept better than I had done for years. Even the very simple process of dropping my head forward was improving my sleep…probably assisted by doing some focussed physical exercise.
I was hooked. Next day, I went back for more.
And on most days after that.
I found yoga different, & better
It was of course a challenging and sometimes even painful process… like most initial engagements with a version of physical exercise.
What again surprised me about yoga was that it was also much more than exercise.
I slowly learned how putting my body into a range of shapes triggered the release of hormones and other goodies into my body and brain.
In turn, all those natural chemicals made me less stressed, more focussed, and happier.
The nursery business thrived to such a point that we eventually sold out and travelled west, and then north.
After 12 months of doing yoga in a tent, all the way up the west coast, my partner and I arrived in Darwin.
I started training as a yoga teacher, and my partner got involved in financial management… which turned out to be more high stress than is good for anyone.
Sadly, all too soon, I had seen two cancer tragedies close up… my mother and my partner!
I look back on that devastating period now. I realise that the balance, calmness, and innate happiness that I was already getting from yoga, definitely helped me through that period… and the many years of grieving that followed.
My physical ability with yoga was of course growing all the time.
Unlike the other physical activities that I had tried and dumped in my life, the challenge of the physical, and the numerous mental benefits, kept me doing my daily yoga practice. In addition, yoga was never boring!
Part of the solution came from the yoga beginners class near me journey
I don’t of course say that yoga alone is enough.
Although yoga has made an enormous difference to my physical and mental being, I am still a firm advocate of good nutrition, and a lifestyle free of toxins.
My mother’s awful death left me with the very firm skepticism of toxins.
In my life, I have already seen too many everyday household products, and even foods, suddenly removed from things we should have anything to do with.
In years to come, in the same way that cigarettes have become highly regulated, I expect to we’ll see the similar approaches with high sugar products, electromagnetic frequency (EMF) products like mobile phones, and more.
Although a healthy life involves more than just yoga, yoga definitely needs to be part of a healthy lifestyle.
What I mean is that yoga is unique among the various ways we can be physically active. It’s unique because of both its mental and physical benefits.
What I learned about yoga
Yes, I get that all physical activity has some mental benefits. But in yoga, the shapes that we put our bodies into, that have been tried and tested over millennia, trigger more mental benefits than any other physical activity.
For instance, in recent times, I’ve become very interested in the role of stress in shortening the telomeres in our brain. Telomeres hold our chromosomes together.
Yoga of course reduces stress… so in turn it helps us keep our telomeres as long as possible. It’s just another part of how medical science is steadily proving the various and numerous benefits of yoga. (In the case of telomeres, only in the last ten years or so).
But in the meantime, as a trained social scientist, I’m happy with the over 100 conditions where yoga has already been proven to help.
In years to come, as large scale clinical trials steadily roll out, I’m there’ll be even more proof of yoga’s numerous benefits.
Of course, I never learnt much or any of this in the yoga beginners class near me options where I started out. These days, fortunately, there is much more of this sort of information around, for those who want it.
I got what was of special interest to me
Even though it may not be something that interests some students. I also love the combination of yoga and India’s medical knowledge (Ayurveda). (Many just want the secular exercise that yoga offers, and that’s all fine.)
For example, Geeta Iyengar, one of the founders of the style of yoga taught at Flametree Yoga, was a doctor of Ayurvedic medicine, She showed how much the weather impacts the sort of yoga, or other exercise, we should do at various times of year.
In Darwin’s extreme climate, I teach sequences of yoga poses that help students manage the impact of weather on their body. No other form of exercise does that. It will be even more necessary in years to come as climate change makes for even more extreme weather.
Getting all benefits of yoga
My personal focus is to see as many people as possible get access to those physical and mental benefits of yoga.
Every day, as I talk to students, and help them with their yoga and any physical ailments, I am delighted to see the impact that yoga makes on their life.
I have a truly joyous life. How would I ever have guessed that my “yoga beginners class near me” inquiry would have led to this.
On the one hand, I revel in the innate happiness that yoga delivers, and on the other hand I have the privilege of making a big difference in the lives of Flametree’s many yoga students.
On top of that, I know that with yoga in my life, I am at least significantly increasing my so-called “health span”… the years of having all my physical and mental faculties… so long as I minimise all those nasty toxins that are too much part of the modern world!
Easy restorative yoga as part of beginner course
In the Flametree Yoga beginner course, and weekly packages, there is a Beginner (Easy Restorative Yoga) class on Saturdays at 4pm, taught by Flametree’s Senior Yoga Teacher, Chris Lalor.
The pictures with this post show me, (Chris) doing a range of postures. Beginner poses are usually simpler, and restorative poses, with a range of props, are even easier.
Restorative yoga can be done by almost anyone, no matter what condition or ability you may have.
The poses are easier, but you hold them longer, via using props.
So you get heaps of concentrated benefits, including de-stressing… which helps with kilos!
At the end of a series of restorative poses, you feel calmer, rejuvenated and relaxed.
Restorative yoga also steadily builds your ability to do all types of yoga poses, as they still build flexibility and strength.
Restorative poses are also regularly used in many of the sequences designed to help with particular issues, including waistline, anxiety, depression, relationships, backs, menstrual pain, menopause, and more.
The beginner yoga deal lets you choose an unlimited number of up to many classes a week, for a little as $2.75 a class (depending on how many classes you do per week).
Each beginner class is one hour long.
All beginner classes are online, or in-studio, or both. Being online means that yoga is always “near me”… no matter where any of us travel.
In-studio beginner classes are taught in Darwin CBD, Woolner, Casuarina, and Palmerston.
Six types of beginner yoga to test out
There are currently several types of classes in the beginner level classes.
They are introductory poses, gentle yoga, backcare yoga, and easy restorative yoga.
Each week, you can choose any mix of these various classes.
You don’t need to do just restorative poses. You can try out whatever types of classes and teacher work for you.
There is no need to do the same classes each week. You’re encouraged to try different types of classes and teachers and see what works best for you.
If you wish, you could start with the Beginner (Easy Restorative Focus) class and then steadily try out other classes.
If you want a slightly faster class, then try the classes with just regular beginner poses.
Beginner yoga course, options and classes
All classes, for beginner and non-beginners, are both online and in-studio, so there is always a “beginner yoga class near me” that you can attend online. The same is true if you’re looking for a beginner yoga course near me.
The beginner poses are easy, introductory poses.
One of the key reasons that yoga is so successful with treating pain, including back, neck and shoulder pain, is the often overlooked role of fascia tissue in your body.
If you want it, heré is more on the numerous benefits of yoga.
Other options in your “beginners yoga near me” search
The NON-BEGINNERS deal, for who are new to Flametree, or lapsed 6 months, get 2 weeks of unlimited non-beginner classes for just $29.
Non-beginner classes include a Special Focus 50 Plus class each week, plus the Gentle Yoga class, and others.
The non-beginner timetable has a large range of convenient times, suitable for many time zones.
If these deals are not exactly what suits you, check out all Flametree Yoga packages.