Justine de Jonge is a Melbourne freelance travel writer and blogger who loves travelling the vegan road. She also loves blogging about her vegan travels at www.fireandtea.com .
Published March 9th 2013
Yoga and tranquility in the heart of Ringwood
"If you can breathe, you can practice yoga." The ancient Hindu practice of yoga has experienced an ascent in popularity in the western world over recent years and many are already reaping the rewards of this holistic health practice.
India has long understood the advantages of yoga through the course of its history, and people in Melbourne are also gaining many health benefits from their yoga practice, such as improvements in flexibility, stamina and vitality, deep relaxation, decreases in stress levels and increases in mental function and awareness.
Yoga brings together mind, body and spirit through a series of asanas, or yoga poses, and flowing breath; core yogic strategies that students implement in order to achieve maximum benefit. One particular yoga centre in Melbourne's outer east, Erlinda Yoga Centre, is providing its students with the necessary skills and surroundings in which to achieve a stronger mind, body and spirit.
Erlinda, the lady behind the centre's name, has a list of credentials as long as an outward abdominal breath and her dedicated teachers are just as well-versed in yoga too. Her centre's philosophy is simple, insisting that anyone can practice yoga at any stage. Erlinda's centre is also a family-focused one, where a range of classes and programs are available – beginner classes, general yoga classes, warm yoga detox and mind, body, spirit workshops, yoga for pre-natal and post-natal mums, yoga for fertility and classes tailored for children. Private tuition and tuition for corporate businesses are also available on request.
A general yoga class, such as the one run by Serena on Saturday mornings, is all-encompassing and students immediately start experiencing calm the moment they leave their shoes at the door. Over the course of an hour and a quarter, Serena takes her class through a range of manageable asanas, such as warrior and tree poses for balance, stretches, spinal twists and an occasional shoulder or head stand.
Yoga's staple asana sequence, 'Surya Namaskar' or Salute to the Sun, features prominently at the start of Serena's classes and it's a sure-fire way of cleansing the body, getting warm and pliable, and bringing much needed oxygen to the body. All of Serena's classes end with more time to bring awareness to self and mind, through nostril breathing and lying in 'Savasana' or corpse pose. Students lie on their backs in complete peace with eyes closed as Serena gently coaxes everyone to relax arms, legs, hands and feet. During the class, gentle Hindi songs chime in the distance, amidst a comforting palate of cream walls, purple mats, gold statues and a painting, hanging freely, that chants 'Om'. It's not long before the class does the same, this 'sound of the universe' reverberates through the centre to bring Serena's revitalising class to a close.
All of the elements of this class instil Erlinda Yoga Centre's commitment in creating a safe and quiet environment for self-expression, teaching, learning and sharing without judgement or criticism, and respecting mind, body and spirit in every student. The centre is also well-equipped to anticipate students' needs. Cushions, yoga mats, blankets, bolsters and straps are all on hand should a student need an extra prop to achieve an asana as effectively as possible. And this is the beauty of yoga – participants can practice at their own pace, ability and strength within freedom of movement. There's no need to compete with the student contorting away on the next mat. It's a matter of doing what's right for the individual. Erlinda Yoga Centre expresses this at every stage so students can excel at yoga and in everyday life.
Why? Yoga and tranquility in the heart of Ringwood
When:Visit the website for a full timetable of classes and programs. Students are encouraged to arrive 10-15 minutes early before each class to make necessary payments and settle in. Students will need to book in advance for specific programs
Where:Level 1, Suite 1/51 Seymour Street Ringwood Victoria 3134
Cost:Prices vary depending on the type of class. A general yoga class costs $20 for a casual one-time visit. Five and ten general yoga session passes are available at $90 and $165 respectively. A full list of fees is viewable on the website.