Shala Om blog: 2015 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,000 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 17 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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 🙂


Source: Grounding Yourself With Bare Feet

Bailey Keatley is a Podiatrist at Posture Podiatry in Adelaide.

A couple of short thoughts on depression

Black dog

“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

School’s out, so is Shala Om

 alice cooper montage Thank you all for a fantastic first term of yoga in the cinnamon warmth of Shala Om.

We are taking a couple of weeks off for the school holidays.

Classes resume Thursday 23rd July at 6.30 pm.

 See you on the mat!


Darkling sparkler leaning into light 

Twin star to the shining sister

Spin to bliss on this our circling earth!