Not so long ago, the reputable British media organisation, the BBC, published an article online: Does Mindfulness Really Improve our Health?

This was the clickbaity headline displayed on the sites front page.

When one reads that article, you might be disappointed in what you read.

Here, we will assume that most readers were looking for great health outcomes and were therefore open to a mind-body connection; hence, the interest in reading the article...

The banner loudly exclaims: Mindfulness may have been over-hyped!

Well, is that a little unjust?; why is the BBC downplaying the role that mindfulness plays in many people's lives?

Truth is, these days more and more Australians are turning their minds and their time to mindfulness to ease the stress in their lives that we are all subjected to day by day, and week by week.

Our government has taken notice!

The Government health website focuses on meditation, pilates and yoga for the training and development of body and mind, for both kids and adults.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government health campaign Girls Movement is recommending Yoga as a great important way for Australian women to stay fit and healthy.

These government-funded programs are convinced that yoga, among other disciplines, is indeed a viable and legitimate form of health maintenance in our life, are you convinced too?

In fact, it's not that hard to find a yoga class near you, no matter where you are.

Surely, all fitness fans must now jump on the yoga and pilates trend!

What exactly is yoga? Is it just sitting cross-legged and chanting mystical words trying to reach bliss? Do we have to eat raw fish only?

Before we find any yoga studios and courses in your local community of Brisbane, let us dive in to see what exactly practising yoga in QLD is all about and what benefits and power you could take from doing yoga on a regular basis.

 

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What is Yoga Exactly?

For adults and kids who have never done it before, most yoga sessions appear to be a group of people sitting on mats with their eyes closed, or having a good old stretch.

Every now and then, they change position, and then the closed eyes and stillness resume.

We are going abolish this idea that yoga consists only of chanting, posing in "bliss" for eternity and only eating raw fish!

Yoga is invigorating and cleansing, it helps your body relieve stress and tension, whilst improving flexibility – yes you'll be able to stretch and touch your toes in no time kids! That's just the beginning.

Other health benefits of yoga include:

  • Improved physique, strength, power and stamina.
  • Improved circulation of your cardiovascular system.
  • Lowers your body fat levels, especially visceral fat.
  • Boosts your immunity.

And we are only talking about physical benefits! Yoga helps tremendously with our mental health, such as:

  • Mental resilience over time.
  • Concentration over time.
  • Anxiety, by creating a lasting sense of calmness and well-being.
  • Stress and tension.

Do you have to wear leggings and sit around on a mat to draw on these advantages?

Not at all! Though it is more comfortable like that!

There are many forms of yoga, from the traditional meditative to what is called Bikram yoga, where you mix hot sauna-like conditions with a variety of poses and exercises to help you stretch and flex yourself into a state of tranquillity.

The majority of people do wear leggings or yoga pants, but they are by no means essential to enjoying a good yoga session. Just don't wear any type of tight pants or an accident could happen!

 

How do you balance your chakras?
There are many types and settings to practice yoga. Credit - PixaBay

Types of Yoga

If when you think about a lotus pose, your knees ache, or the term downward dog creates a vision of a hopeless terrier hanging upside down, and about to lose its life, it's probably for the best that you join a beginners level class.

For those that are pregnant, you could benefit from prenatal yoga, and after the baby is born, your new child may even sleep better after some baby yoga (not Yoda), sessions! 

Here is a summary of the most common forms yoga comes in.

  • Hatha yoga – the most basic form of yoga, consisting of 20 to 30 poses, with a focus on great breathing techniques and stretching.
  • Iyengar yoga is more orientated by details and props and yoga blocks are used for more complicated positions.
  • Ashtanga yoga goes through a cycle of six poses, delivered by a yogi instructor
    • Mysore, a subset of Ashtanga, is for the more independent yogi: nobody will call out the poses!
  • Vinyasa is more dynamic and fast-paced, with shorter holds on each pose and requires controlled breathing.
  • Kundalini is for people looking to forge a spiritual connection. It focuses on mental strength and meditative techniques.
  • Yin yoga is also ideal for those wanting to practice meditation.
  • Bikram Yoga. Hot hot hot!! Sauna like conditions offers a great chance to stretch and build up a serious sweat.

If you are interested in mixing the training of body, mind and spirit you aim to have a go at each type of yoga see which one suits you best, or feels the best to you. They are all very different!

All of the practices of yoga incorporate pranayama, or mindful breathing, designed to channel your life force energy– or prana, and promote relaxation. This is the basis of what is yoga.

Are you now ready to discover where in Brisbane you could take up yoga?

You can learn at home, at a studio, at a retreat or even in the local park!

Yoga Retreats and Workshops

A lot of people think that trying something before delving in too deep is a logical move, and honestly, it's hard to disagree with this sentiment. 

In the case of yoga, the chance to experience the bliss before a long commitment to classes comes in the form of workshops and retreats.

BIYOME by Celia Roberts

Esteemed professional Celia Roberts provides teacher training but also classes and courses for any type of folk, be it kids or adults. She hosts yoga retreats that can last anywhere from 2 to 4 days.

Don't worry, it's not going to be 4 days of endless meditation or an endless cycle of asanas; this retreat is packed full of education on everything pertaining to wellness, from stress reduction to nutrition.

The retreat is located in the hills west of Brisbane.

Nourishing Yoga Retreat Australia

Connect with your true nature and let the spirit of Stradbroke Island take over your soul.

Located at an eco beach house, Point Lookout, surrounded by beautiful beaches and surfing spots. You'll be sharing this natural landscape with dolphins, turtles, manta rays, koalas, kangaroos, goannas, sugar gliders, and local birdlife. You will join Kat Ford, for a cleansing, high vibrational weekend of organic food, vinyasa yoga, and mediation. Massage and healing available with the resident therapist as an optional extra.

It's pricy, over $500 AUD, but this includes a two-night stay, delicious meals and of course lots of yoga instruction. Group sizes are a maximum of 12.

Find My Calm Retreats

Now, this one is a bit different! You'll have to be a master of silence for this one.

If you struggle to ‘switch off’ and calm your racing mind, then this silent yoga retreat might just allow you the chance to slow down completely.

Located in the Gold Coast Hinterland, you’ll take three days out of your busy schedule to take part in twice-daily yoga and meditation classes while you enjoy the blissful silence.

When you’re not in class, you’ll be able to meander the world-heritage listed forest surrounding the venue (waterfall included!), participate in nature connection workshops and learn powerful tools and strategies to help create a calmer, less-reactive mind.

Accommodation and nourishing meals are also provided – Price comes in at $690 AUD for a two-night stay.

What is Ashtanga yoga?
A retreat is a fantastic way to get into yoga. Credit - PixaBay

Learn Yoga In a Private Lesson

Some people won't go looking for yoga classes in QLD because...

People are often hesitant to try something new, to step outside of their comfort zone in a group setting, even in as welcoming an atmosphere as you would feel in a yoga or pilates studio.

Another reason to prefer private yoga lessons could be lack of access: perhaps the hopeful participant simply can't make it to a local studio to participate in a group class, or they don't have the time in their week or day to travel to a studio.

Luckily, the benefits of yoga can still be achieved by all in the community thanks to a personal yoga instructor.

Finding a yoga teacher to do this is not difficult either!

For instance, you can look at the Superprof platform, where you can find hundreds of personal yoga teaching profiles, for all levels and styles. Simply look at the website to find the right teacher for you, then organise some dates to book your first few courses!

Whether you know the type of yoga you like, for example, restorative yoga, or you just want to dive deeper into understanding yoga philosophy, Superprof yoga teachers are ready and willing to work with you, to bring you up to date with your potential and to help you see all the benefits yoga can have on you.

And no, you don't have to accept someone into your home if you don't have adequate space. 

Many Superprof yogis offer lessons online via webcam, and 90% of teachers will let you book a first lesson for free!

It's an excellent opportunity to at least get a feel of what a yoga lesson is like, right in the comfort of your own home!

In terms of pricing, you might be surprised.

The average price of an individual yoga lesson in Brisbane is $41 per hour. 

Of course, the price of a lesson depends on a multitude of factors, including a teachers' experience and qualifications.

Though, some prices start as low as $20 per hour. Teachers around this price bracket may be students with many years of experience doing yoga, so it doesn't mean you can't learn something from them!

Meanwhile, at the top of the range, we see lessons going for $50 +. These are teachers with teaching qualifications and normally at least a few years of teaching under their belt.

You just need to go through the site and choose who you think will be the best fit for you.

It could depend on the price, type of yoga, location or experience of the teacher. It's up to you!

If you just need to get back on track with your yoga, or whether you work an off-shift, these dedicated professionals are available to you.

Where to do your lesson? You can, of course, do the lesson at home, but some people choose a place in nature, like on the top of a hill with a view, or in a quiet park.

Connecting with nature is a great way to practice yoga.

So what are you waiting for! Book a personal yoga teacher now and start your journey

You can find yoga sessions across several key cities in Australia:

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Dan