Shala Om is moving!

We are excited to announce a new venue for 2016.

The council has closed access to the community room, at least for now, so sadly we bid that fabulous, unique, somewhat bizarre ambience farewell.

This year we will hold classes in The Chapel, Semaphore Uniting Church.

This beautiful restful space shall help us enter that yogic place of inner awareness.

We are also excited to announce a second evening class, along with our Summer Saturday morning outdoor class.

More Om for everybody!

Shala Om 2016 Classes

  • Saturday    9.00 am     On the lawn next to the Timeball Tower (top of Semaphore Road, opposite jetty)
  • Tuesday      6.30 pm     Semaphore Uniting Church Chapel 
  • Thursday    6.30 pm     Semaphore Uniting Church Chapel 

All classes $10


Enquiries to Unjay, 043 1928 663 or unjay@shalaom.com


See you on the mat!

Christmas and yoga

Christmas and yoga
Christmas… A celebration of the birth of Jesus dating back to around at least the third century A.D., with uncertain origins, but certainly including both Christian and pagan content.
Yoga… A philosophy and practice dating back maybe 5000 years or more, possibly to the Indus Valley civilisation. 
They are the same. Essentially.
Huh!? You may say… How can they be the same?
It’s actually simple and clear. The word yoga derives from a Sanskrit verb meaning to “yoke together”, specifically yoking together body, mind and spirit through physical, mental and spiritual practices, disciplines and virtues.
Christmas (Christ’s mass, or the sacred feast day dedicated to Christ) celebrates the embodiment of the divine in human existence.
Yoga teaches that the deep essential nature of each of us is perfect, pure and divine. Christianity says the same about Christ.
Thus yoga and Christmas are celebrations of the spirit embodied. “Hail the incarnate deity”, as the carol says. In yoga terms, “Ham sa”: I am that [which is pure perfect and divine].

The glass floor

When I was in yoga teacher training, we had a very restrictive structure. There was a set number of specific asanas we had to present, and almost a set script where we had to state counter indications, modifications and benefits of each pose. I can see why a teacher training regime would have this structure, but I did find it frustratingly rigid and predictable.
Now as a teacher in my own shala, I find classes anything but predictable. I have an outline of each class worked out in my head, but I have learnt to abandon it at a moment’s notice. Instead I take as my starting point my students’ needs at that moment in that place. My sequence starts with them.
I have regular students, but every class they have different needs. Maybe there are injuries. Maybe everyone is exhausted. Maybe they are up for a challenge… I can never predict what my students’ needs will be, so each class is a surprise to me! I may have planned a vigorous class filled with sun salutations and side planks but end up teaching a restorative class where we don’t even get off the mat. But no one has left disappointed. (Or else they are really good liars.)
In my other work, both as a kindergarten teacher and a musician, I have come to realise that I can wing it and it will work. (Almost) always. Relying on intuition and inspiration taps into a magical flow where I can connect with my “audience”, whether they are music fans, yoga students or four year olds. I don’t really know how it works, but it does. Ideas always come. Inspiration is infinite and available. It just takes a little bit of courage to step out over the ravine onto that glass floor that doesn’t appear to be there. My parachute is that I can always return to something I know if the glass floor cracks. Play the chords, read a story or return to my yoga training sequence. But I almost never need that parachute. Anyway, what is the ravine under the glass floor? Nothing life threatening- just the risk of embarrassment, an awkward moment when I don’t know what to do or say. It passes.
And the payoff for that tiny bit of courage? Thirty four-year-olds completely entranced by a story I am making up on the spot- yogis looking sleepy, relaxed and renewed as they come out of śavasana- people dancing and singing as I play.
I say the risk is worth it.

New Saturday morning outdoor class! No more Sundays

As Christmas season draws nigh, time becomes of the essence… We have decided yoga may be better placed on Saturday mornings, from 9.00- 10.00 am.

Kick start your weekends … and free Sunday afternoons for family, rest, catching up with people and all the endless events and preparations that seem to fill this end of the year.

Given the fine weather we can expect, we are also moving the class to an amazing new, outdoor location.

We meet on the lawn next to the Time Ball Tower at Semaphore at 9am from this Saturday!

Still only $10.

See you on the mat!

Timeball tower map

Grounding Yourself With Bare Feet

By Bailey Keatley, podiatrist

We are approaching holiday season, and this has got me thinking about how much I enjoy seeing the difference in people who are refreshed after a break. On holidays like this, many of us kick off our shoes and enjoy the feeling of freedom that being barefoot brings. Are you like me?

You might not expect this to be coming from a podiatrist, but I am an advocate of spending time barefoot. It can have powerful effects on your overall health and wellbeing. Getting your daily dose of barefoot time can have you feeling more grounded and connected to yourself and can be an important part of a healthy balanced lifestyle.

Have a think about it…. How do you feel walking barefoot on the beach? Skipping on the grass in the park or wandering along your garden foot paths in your backyard?

This is known as ‘grounding’ or ‘earthing’. Recent research evidence supports the practice of barefoot time. The concept of grounding is where you spend up to half an hour connecting your gorgeous souls….Oops I mean, SOLES… to the earth. This can be dirt, grass, sand and even cement. It is something our ancestors have done for thousands of years. I know I love the feeling of getting back in touch with nature.

We spend so much time walking on synthetic surfaces in synthetic shoes. This can lead to a build up of harmful static energy in the body that can cause pain and inflammation and may be a factor in the myriad of chronic diseases that can affect the body. Negative charged electrons from the Earth help the body balance out excessive positive charged electrons that build up in the body, which has an antioxidant effect that can protect your body from inflammation and disease.

Potential benefits of grounding:

Reduce inflammation
Reduce affects of stress by lowering stress hormones such as cortisol
Improve heart health
Increase energy levels
Reduce and prevent chronic pain
Improve sleep
Balance your nervous system
Improve blood pressure and blood flow in your body
Relieve muscle tension and headaches
Shorten recovery time from injury or physical exertion/sporting activities
Speed healing

If you experience pain in your feet when you’re barefoot, or if you are worried about the potential risks, please see your podiatrist. Podiatrists can help you enjoy your experience of grounding by ensuring your feet are functioning at their best when they don’t have the support of shoes or your orthotics.

People with Diabetes, nerve damage or circulation problems in their feet should check with their podiatrist to discuss the best ways to benefit from earthing without putting their feet at risk of injury.

For everyone else, give it a try and see how your body responds. Walk, stand, jump, or skip on the earth… You may be just a step away from better health and vitality through the power of your feet 🙂

image

Source: Grounding Yourself With Bare Feet

Bailey Keatley is a Podiatrist at Posture Podiatry in Adelaide.

Spring has sprung!

…Well and truly!

Shala Om is open again.

Come along and refresh your spirit with yoga.

Thursdays 6.30- 7.30 pm

Sundays 2.00-3.00 pm

Community Meeting Room,

Semaphore Library

14 Semaphore Road

Semaphore (above Take Two)

Still only $10

Beginners welcome- come and try yoga!

photo ©2015 Unjay

Black dog

A couple of short thoughts on depression

“This world is definitely a hard place for the spirit soul to be in. It’s not the natural home of the soul so in a sense we should all feel depressed.”

– Gopala dasi

Australian School of Meditation and Yoga, Adelaide

…in the chrysalis, the caterpillar dissolves into a solution, no longer a caterpillar but not yet a butterfly, and that our transitions are like that too. The pain of not knowing what is to come, of what was dissolving. And yet, you can’t go back to what you knew. You just have to ride it through. I think depression can sometimes be a buckling of the mind under that stress, a bridge that buckled under a heavy load crossing a threshold on the way to somewhere new. It is good if we are able to reach out and know we are not alone at these times, it helps us survive that cold, dark crossing.

  • Unjay, letter to Melody Marshall Habibi,

July 2015