No meditation this Sunday, May the 10th

There will be no meditation this Sunday May 10th at Shala Om- beecoz it’s Mother’s Day. Or Mothers’ Day. Or possibly Mothers Day. Even as acting local Apostropher General, I can’t figure that one out. As far as I can tell, they may all be correct. Anyway, it’s not a day to sit about meditating when you should be out spoiling your mum! Well, maybe meditate first…

Meditation resumes the following Sunday.

What can meditation do?


What can meditation do?

Change the world. One breath at a time.

We often focus on breath in meditation because:

  • It’s the thing you still do when you’re not doing anything;
  • It’s a way of focussing on yourself objectively and subjectively at the same time; and
  • It’s something you can centre your mind on, stilling and quieting the mind.

When we focus on the breath, we also detach from our thoughts. We can’t stop the thoughts- they are what the mind produces and they always keep coming. But we can choose not to invest in them for a time, the time we set aside for meditation.

Thus, meditation is

  • A conscious act of stepping outside your usual thought patterns and processes;
  • An opportunity to explore other modes of consciousness of which we are not usually aware; and
  • A way of putting a new perspective on our everyday life and freeing ourselves from unhelpful preconceptions

Meditation is worth doing. Nothing else which is so close to doing nothing can do so much!

If you are new to meditation, the “doing nothing” aspect can be very challenging! I can only encourage you to stick with it. Put in the time, overcome the boredom, even when you don’t feel like it’s not worthwhile- it really is. And it’s a skill; like every other skill, it takes time to master. 

Be patient; be persistent. You will be rewarded in ways you have never imagined. In changing your perception of the world, one breath at a time, you change yourself. When you change yourself, you change the world. One breath at a time.

Meditation: 2pm Sundays 

Yoga: 6.30 pm Thursdays

What can real yoga do?

My whole purpose in starting Shala Om:  I feel like too much yoga these days is done superficially. Too many studios present yoga as a trendy cardio workout, with little time to feel into each pose of the sequence. This is a true loss, beacuse what yoga uniquely can do, is to walk that line between the unconscious energy of the body and the conscious mind. It brings us fully into the present moment. And being in the moment, the connection between unconscious energy and the conscious mind just happens.

Really it can’t be put into words, it is experienced in the practice. And we feel the beneficial effect afterwards. Everyone always does.

Yoga is not a doctrine or a creed, yoga is movement in harmony with our multi-layered nature as human beings.

Yoga : 2pm Sundays

Yoga: 6.30 pm Thursdays


We make a living with what we get;

We make a life with what we give.

Meditation Sunday 3rd May 2-3

Community meeting room, Semaphore Library.

Bring cushion, blanket and anything else you might need.


First Class at Shala Om


So it finally came to pass… The first class at Shala Om. Thank you to friends and family for so much support!

As you can tell from the picture, our venue, being the upstairs foyer of the old Semaphore Cinema (now housing the library) has a strange otherworldly charm all its own. Well done and many thanks to Christy for suggesting it. I am also honoured to think that our library itself would not be there were it not for the efforts of my late father-in-law Arthur Mortimer and his tireless advocacy of access to education. Shala Om is being built in his shadow.

It was so rewarding to see the sleepy, relaxed faces emerging from śavasana at the end of class!

Shala Om runs every Thursday night at 6.30 for yoga and 2pm every Sunday for meditation. $10, b.y.o . mat. 


If there were no words

Would life still be a story?

This is what I see:

Still water reflecting sky

Open, fresh, free

Stretching on forever

On the water an ocean of lotus

Wide green leaves giving life

Soaking sunlight and alchemizing that gold

Into perfect out stretching flowers

Expressions And symbols at once

Dredging from the depths

Through deep intertwined roots

From one earth a manyness of being

Showering sight in revelation

the life contained unseen

Unlocked by reaching down, opening arms

And gazing at heaven

© 2015 Unjay


English: Tir Bijan Lagoon, Amol City, Iran
فارسی: آب‌بندان روستای تیربیجان، آمل، مازندران، ایران

The yoga body lie

So, in no way do I fit the modern western ideal of a yogi, let alone a yoga teacher. I know I have less than no hope of teaching for the studio which I go to as a student. 


  • I am not a woman
  • I am not a young woman
  • I am not a lithe, long legged young woman
  • I am not an unusually beautiful lithe, long legged young woman

You know the ideal I am talking about. She is on the cover of even well meaning yoga magazines, ideologically sound clothing companies’ catalogues and yoga studio ads.

Even family members ask me things such as, “You’re a big boy to be doing yoga aren’t you?”

It can be difficult to stay focussed on the clear aim of yoga: the acceptance and integration of the body into the self, the Union of physical, mental and spiritual being into an undivided awareness of the divine already dwelling within.

Here are some thoughts of other yoginis on the subject:

Just google “yoga body” and you’ll find your screen flooded with young, white, beautiful women whose lithe bodies are either executing some advanced posture requiring the strength and bendiness of an Olympic Gymnast or  are sitting in Lotus, hands in prayer, eyes closed, their enraptured faces evoking beatific female saints who denied the flesh in search of transcendence.

Danielle Prohom Olsen People often talk about the “yoga body.” What does that mean to you?
 The yoga practice as we know it was designed in the East by and for men with short bodies and long limbs. It’s been carried on in the West by women with short bodies and long limbs. Those are the bodies we see in the magazines and Pinterest pictures doing all the cool, pretzel-shaped poses and making them look easy and accessible.

We need to change that ideal. A yoga body, in fact, is any body doing yoga. Can you breathe and be aware of it? Congratulations, you have a yoga body.

Samantha Menzies

We all need to let go and just truly accept ourselves for who we are.

When our time comes and our physical bodies die, do we want to look back and realize we lived our lives trying to change to please others? Or do we come to a point and realize that we are perfect now, we will never be here again and in that moment, we are more beautiful and no one…let me say that again, no one, can steal or snuff out our light.

Rachel Priest

Maybe instead of the mirror, the magazine and the selfie, we should simply close our eyes and focus within. This is what the real yoga body does; this is what it is for; this, and not its outward appearance, defines it.

What is meditation?

The fact is that you meditate not to attain God, but to become aware that God is within you.

Shree Gurudev

Meditation is the yogic practice of being connected to the deepest part within. A wide range of meditation techniques are designed to help you observe and explore the world of thoughts and feelings, and go beyond to an experience of deep peace and contentment.