In writing this testimonial I will be answering two questions, the first is, as a 56 year old male who has never done yoga before, what is it that makes me continue after 4 years of Yoga. The second question is why I drive for 15 minutes twice a week past 12 other Yoga centers, to the ASMY?
I developed an overall health program looking at all aspects of my health. This included Physical, Mental, Spiritual, Social and Cultural activities. I believe I’m more comfortable and motivated to undertake a task in a group situation rather than solo-inisolation. The fact that I was a total novice and had no experience in Yoga, made sense to go to an organization which could direct / channel me in a safe productive manner to achieve my physical goals. My main focus in undertaking Yoga was to increase my overall flexibility. In the first year I achieved this with an overall increased improvement in flexibility of 15%. Second year was less at 5%, third year there was no gain, Fourth year I am starting to notice small improvements in Range of Motion (ROM) in specific restricted joints. My technique is far from perfect, a long way from the instructors and bears no resemblance to the young people who do Yoga on a more serious note. However I can do the majority of moves as well as some people half my age.
Second question, is why I attend the ASMY. When I asked around about different Yoga centers the ASMY was recommended to me, more for the food that goes with the extra activities than the Yoga itself. It would be wrong for me to compare the ASMY with other centers as I have never had the exposure or the necessary experience to do this. The two things outside of the Yoga I really like about the ASMY center are firstly the positive ambient atmosphere which lends itself to form a current of high energy within the physical environment of undertaking a Yoga class. The second being the staff who are highly qualified practitioners demonstrating a true sincerity to help where they can. I find it a pleasure to associate with these beautiful, lovely people who give of themselves to help other on such a regular basis.
The cost and time to undertake a Yoga class twice a week dwindles into insignificance, compared to attending and paying for Physiotherapist treatment once a week. Namaste
Three years ago I saw a yoga and meditation lifestyle retreat advertised, it was for a weekend in the Byron Bay Hinterland being hosted by the Australian School of Meditation and Yoga. I hadn’t heard of the school, but the retreat was so affordable that I decided a weekend to stretch and detox would do me a world of good. Work and life struggles had been bothering me and I’d been suffering with insomnia, headaches, back pain and anxiety.
When I arrived at the retreat I was warmly welcomed by Candace and instantly felt amongst friends. The volunteer yoga teachers generously gave their time to guide the retreat goers through 3 days of vegetarian food, herbal tea, yoga asanas and meditation. I was familiar with silent meditation, but had never heard of Kirtan. Kirtan is the call and response singing of mantras. When the sound of the harmonium filled the retreat hall for the first time, I was overwhelmed by the beauty and instantly felt drawn to the sounds. The retreat took me away from all the worries of work and living in the world, and I felt so renewed from the experience.
After the retreat it was soon back to business as usual with work and life stresses, and it was not long before the anxiety, pain and sleeplessness crept back in. Things went from bad to worse and after many sleepless nights, I felt as though my world was imploding. By chance I stumbled past an email from Candace from the retreat some months ago, and I remembered her warmth, her joy and the way she seemed so…untroubled.
I sat down and wrote a long email to Candace explaining my situation. Candace’s reply was gentle, inviting me to come that very evening to chat with her at the school in West End. I met with her that evening, and told her I feel completely lost and don’t know what to do. Candace recommended I attend a Deep Peace meditation class at the school once a week, just to start with that.
And so I did. For one hour a week I attended a deep peace class… and it helped with my anxiety. Over the weeks and months I attended deep peace classes and Saturday morning yoga, I gradually felt better. My husband encouraged me to attend the meditation as he could see the effect it was having. Materially I hadn’t changed anything – my job was still stressful, my health issues were still there, but I felt less anxious and suffered less.
Over the months that followed I began to inquire more about the yoga and meditation practice. I felt it important to deepen my understanding, and with the guidance of Candace I enrolled in the Yoga training course offered through the Australian School of Meditation and Yoga. Through this course I was introduced to my teachers Vrndavan Dasi and Jayasri.
The journey over the next year was truly unforgettable. I began to learn Yoga philosophy, asana technique and teaching methodology, about pranayama and our true nature. The journey continues and I feel so much gratitude towards my teachers and friends at ASMY.
I have grown to especially love Wednesday evenings at West End, where the Kirtan is mellow and soothing, and the chai is warm and sweet. Tuesday evening deep peace at Nundah is also a treat, with guided relaxation as well as kirtan offered. There are so many deep peace and yoga classes to choose from at ASMY and across many locations, there is something for everyone.
In this world you can even have too much of a good thing, but Kirtan is not of this world and you can never have too much. Kirtan is truly universal, and if you have never been along to the school, I warmly welcome you to come along and experience the benefits of guided deep peace, yoga and kirtan.
I have been attending the Hatha Yoga classes at ASMY since July last year, I love that there are a variety of different classes and times to choose from. In October I went along to the Open day which provided me with a good introduction to the full range of activities at the Centre. I have enjoyed them all, especially the wonderful “Live Kirtan” mantra meditation. Since then I have attended the sessions regularly; using them to wind down after a busy week or joining on a Sunday evening to prepare for the coming work week. And to mention the special celebration events they host and the Kirtan Rivers Cruise. For someone like myself that is new to Brisbane the ASMY Centre has provided a great sense of community, as there are so many friendly and like-minded people to meet and share a yummy veggie meal with, making you feel very welcome from the start. Haribol!
Having stumbled across ASMY many years ago during a search to try yoga – yet again, after quite a few ‘below par’ experiences – I feel blessed that it has gone from strength to strength as a school & is still around for me to attend! I happily recommend the school to people all the time.
The teachers have varying styles & skills which will suit some individuals better – however I enjoy all their classes. They are all excellent teachers & remind us that yoga is not a competition. So if I find myself on a particular day with lower energy or have an injury & the class is a more vigorous one, I know I can still do the class at my own level and feel glad I made the effort to get there.
There are now so many class times to choose from, there’s no excuse for me not to attend at least once a week & as my yoga practice grows, I find myself looking forward to each class & am squeezing more than one session a week – work & family life permitting.
The meditation & cooking classes are an added bonus to being an attendee & have really changed things for me at a time when most needed.
I have been a regular participant at the West End studio of the Australian School of Meditation and Yoga for over two years. The classes are fantastic, very versatile and rewarding. I never get tired of them. All the teachers are fully trained,professional, supportive and fun. All classes have modifications for all levels of student fitness and experience.
The studio space is just lovely, peaceful and comfortable. The equipment is well maintained and the airconditioning a welcoming bonus for practice. The timetable suits all types of working arrangements and the fees are very low for the benefit and quality of the classes provided.
There are also classes in relaxation and kirtan which are very popular.
Recently I attended an alignment workshop which was marvelous and delivered a much needed reminder of the importance of good alignment in yoga practice.
I love my yoga practice,find it all very beneficial and would not go anywhere else for my classes. I can’t thank the wonderful people at ASMY enough for the most inspiring and exciting yoga regime that I have experienced.