Student Posts

Full Arm Balance

Adho Mukha Vrkasana, translated as downward facing tree pose is commonly known as handstand. The image of an upside down tree is inspiring; it describes the inner energy of the pose. You look back down to earth with your hands firmly rooted to the ground, limbs fully stretched, legs and feet reaching up to the sky.


Utthita Trikonasana is triangle pose. It is a pose commonly taught in Iyengar yoga classes right from the first day. From standing in Tadasana (mountain pose), Utthita Trikonasana involves jumping or stepping the feet apart and stretching the arms out to the sides at shoulder height. The feet are turned to very precise angles; the right foot to 90 degrees and the left foot is turned in at about 45 degrees. From this point comes the lateral stretch of the trunk to the right side.

Rebuilding a Practice. Sarvangasana

Following the birth of my first child I watched as Salamba Sarvangasana (shoulder stand) fell out of my practice. My first shoulder stand after birth felt ungrounded. But this wasn’t unexpected. I was confident that in time my yoga practice would return to me my old pose. But as time passed I found that shoulder stand was often missing from my day, and my old pose was becoming a distant memory.

Ardha Chandrasana

The feeling in the pose was an unlikely combination of fragility, shakiness and weightlessness, like a new bourn doe struggling to its feet and then a sense of permanence, as I settled to find the balance, sensing the firmness and stability. I moved with care, fixing my bottom hand to a block and raising my back leg to bring the asana to life.

Student reflection on the January Retreat

For several years, I’ve hoped to attend the Yoga Mandir Residential Retreat in Otford, NSW. Yoga practice is an integral part of my life and Yoga Mandir is my ‘home of yoga’ so it was only natural that I would want to join in the retreat. I did not set an intention to master a difficult pose, balance longer, bend more deeply, or to keep up with others. I hoped to deepen my practice, work on quietening my mind and experience the joy of 6 days of yoga. I wanted to be in the experience...

Virasana Cycle

My first glimpse of yoga was in a private session with Alan Goode. After discussing the physical challenges that I was facing Alan said “Okay. Let’s see what you CAN do”. He knelt down and sat on a block, interlaced his fingers, turned is palms away from his face and raised his hands above his head. ‘Parvatanasana in Virasana’. I gingerly knelt down beside him, interlaced my fingers and raised my hands. I felt overwhelmed as I faced my broken body for the first time in years. My hands reached my forehead and stopped, the sensation I felt was so intense.

Practice and Detachment

by Fran Tolhurst
BKS Iyengar writes at the beginning of his commentary on the fourth chapter of the Yogasutra that in the end, our aim is to live a life free of attachment and desire, “ ... "One time in Afghanistan, before I was about to travel by road from one region to the next, one of my friends warned me to be careful in case of militia; “Remember, they do not care who you are, what you have done in life, what your status is. They do not ask who is your grandfather, or your father, or how many children you have. They will just kill you; without passion.”

How Yoga Changes us

by Peta Keaney
‘Yoga has the power to change us’. We hear this a lot. But how does yoga change us? I know yoga makes me feel good and that when I do it I feel ‘happy’ - but how does this translate into longer term change in the way I live my life?


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