Newsletter November 2012
There are many great opportunities to come and experience Anahata and the transforming effects of yoga during the upcoming months, including 'Nurturing Positivity', this year in January with kirtan workshops and a special guest!
The monthly Explore Your 'Self' retreats have brought some new and familiar faces up the mountain to share in and learn from the yogic lifestyle lived at Anahata. We continue to get really positive feedback from these retreats (see the Living Yoga section to read an account of one participant’s experience of this programme). These give an excellent introduction to a variety of yoga practices over a week, and offer the option of staying for a 2nd more in depth week. In November the themes which will be explored will be “Ignite Your Inner Fire” and “Earthcare”.
Join us over the Christmas holidays for a Christmas Eve celebration, and let the tools of yoga help you to set and keep in motion a positive direction for the new year with our annual “Creating Change” New Year’s Retreat led by the powerful team of Swami Muktidharma and Swami Gyan Dharma.
Some very exciting events are planned for the new year. In January, our signature “Nurturing Positivity” retreat has been combined with our ever-popular Celebration of Sound retreat and will take place January 11th – 14th. Swami Muktidharma and Swami Karma Karuna will both be back from India to join with Swami Gyan Dharma in sharing their wisdom and kirtans. Special guest Chakradhyan of the Melbourne Chant and Chai Cartel will also be joining us for Nurturing Positivity to share his musical joy, and will be offering kirtan workshops for beginners new to kirtan and another one for expanding and fine-tuning your kirtan skills in “The Art and Science of Kirtan” workshop before and after the Nurturing Positivity weekend.
The well-received and tasty “Yoga and Ayurveda” weekend will return from 18th – 20th of January led by Sannyasin Adhyatma. Purify your body and mind with Swami Muktidharma and Swami Karma Karuna during the “Yogic Cleansing” Weekend March 1st – 3rd.
New this year, in March Swami Muktidharma will be bringing to Anahata the in-depth introductory week-long course of “Prana Vidya” - where you can learn to consciously direct your own pranic energy for improving your health. And in April Swami Muktimurti returns from Australia to lead us through 9 days and nights of chanting for Navaratri.
For a chance to connect with the source of the Satyananda Yoga teachings and wisdom, Swami Satsangi will be coming to Rocklyn Ashram in Australia in April. More information available on the Rocklyn website.
Check the Anahata website for details of these and other retreats including chances to re-charge with “Yoga & Meditation Weekend Retreats” in February and May, and on-going monthly Explore Your ‘Self’ retreats.
Events Around New Zealand
Swami Muktidharma and Swami Karma Karuna have presented seminars in a number of centres through New Zealand this year to very full and receptive groups.
At the end of April, Swami Muktidharma was a key note presenter at an International Yoga Conference and Festival at Kawai Purapura in Auckland. Supported by a team of dedicated Satyananda Yoga representatives, Swami Muktidharma offered workshops, hosted a joyous havan (ancient vedic fire ceremony) and kirtan (joyous singing) evening in the giant teepee for all the festival goers. Swami Muktidharma was even featured in an interview on The Breakfast Show on Channel One!
Over the past half year, Swami Muktidharma and Swami Karma Karuna have been very busy touring North and South Island, with plans to continue this teaching around New Zealand in the future. Separately and together they presented several workshops in Auckland, Whangarei and recently Wellington, Hawkes Bay, Hamilton, Raglan and Opotiki. Swami Karma Karuna has also been busy presenting seminars in South Island centres including Christchurch, Dunedin, and Greymouth. On the family’s winter North Island Yoga Tour in July, the enthusiasm for learning yoga was evident in the rows of lined yoga mats in Swami Karma Karuna’s yoga workshop for women and the eagerness of the children in Sundari’s ‘Yoga for Kidz’ classes in Auckland.
New Zealand also warmly welcomed Australian neurophysiologist and yogi Swami Samnyasananda back for a tour of the North Island including the Queen’s Birthday Weekend, presenting various in-depth perspectives on “Where Science Meets Yoga”. The very well-attended annual Tauhara retreat was held in September with the theme of “Living in the Now”, including laughing yoga and birthday cakes, and Anahata has already had several visitors who came after being inspired by this retreat.
The annual retreats of Navaratri and Nurturing Positivity saw Anahata filled with people and good vibrations. As always it was a true gift to have Swami Muktimurti here leading us through hours of chanting with her amazing voice during Navaratri at the end of March. After nine days of chanting the wave of peace and bliss that had settled over Anahata was very evident. We look forward to her return in April 2013 for the next Navaratri!
Having Rishis Nityabodha and Yoga Diwali over from Australia for the Teachers & Initiates conference and Nurturing Positivity in April was another treat. The wisdom and humour of the Rishis, combined with Swami Muktidharma, was an inspiration to all, and their infectious spirit for life was easy to catch on to. The ‘Nurturing Positivity’ retreat over Easter saw around fifty people up on the mountain discovering the art of positivity through yoga. As well as Mother Nature lighting up the picturesque setting Anahata enjoys, we were treated to wonderful sessions of asana, meditation, yoga nidra, chanting and singing, as well as the increasingly popular laughing yoga. The kirtan sessions and performances by guest musicians stirred our hearts, and brought many of us to our feet. The Akhanda Kirtan (hours of continuous chanting) was a highlight for many. Hours of beautiful kirtans, including Swami Kailash's resonant voice leading us in song, left everyone in a very blissful space.
The marquee tent used during 'Nurturing Positivity' was brightened up and turned into a kids space for the Family Yoga Retreat the following week. This was the first of its kind to take place at Anahata and was such a success that we can't wait for the next Family Yoga Retreat in April next year! Having children running around the place brought out the childlike spirit in all of us. Out came the outdoor games, dress ups, time in nature and crafts. The children were introduced to new experiences as they got involved in Kidz Yoga classes led by Atma Sundari, Vishwatma and Annapoorna, learnt the Gayatri mantra and participated in fire ceremonies. A highlight for many of them was the Didgeridoo Sound Adventure led by local musician Sika. The children made their own didgeridoos and got dressed up to perform with Sika in a special concert for the whole ashram. Parents were also well taken care of, having the opportunity to unwind in Hatha Yoga and Yoga Nidra classes, as well as gain new perspectives during conscious parenting sessions with Swami Muktidharma and Swami Karma Karuna.
The annual Yoga and Sacred Feminine retreat in May was another heart-warming and transforming event for those who participated. Through sharing our personal stories, laughter, tears, yummy iron and calcium rich foods and incredible practices for women’s needs, we felt very nourished and supported. The goddess within in all her aspects (maiden, mother and crone) was honoured in three havans (sacred fire ceremonies) at their corresponding times of day (sunrise, full sun and sunset). Warmly guided by Swami Karma Karuna, with wonderful input from locals Rita and Caitlin, participants were treated to clay rituals, Lakshmi Yantra colouring, candle ceremony, voice workshop, asana classes for women's health and a massage exchange.
The focus over the month of June at Anahata was 'seva' - the practice of selfless service. With different themes each week participants got to learn about many aspects of yoga, such as purification, earthcare and havan (sacred fire ceremony). It was wonderful sharing this month with more people with large hearts for service. As Swami Sivananda said, seva is about purification of the heart, and service is one of the first steps of this purification.
We had a group from Japan visiting at the end of August to learn about Nada Yoga (yoga of sound) and ashram life. While many of them didn't speak much English, we were able to communicate through the language of yoga and the heart. The group got to experience all aspects of ashram life from karma yoga to havan. They shared one of their traditional dances with us and the Japanese discipline and gentle humility was something to be admired – natural yogis. Inspired by the Japanese group, the Anahata residents are FINALLY keeping their shoes in a neat line!!!
We have just finished up another Navaratri in October led by Swami Gyan Dharma. The Life of Choice Labour Day weekend retreat also took place during Navaratri, with Sannyasin Kalikamurti coming over from Alice Springs Australia to lead participants through a supportive and clarifying process in a fusion of modern psychology and the tradition of yoga to experience new perspectives. Participants were nurtured in the beauty and peace of Anahata, with restorative Yoga Nidra, Asana and Pranayama sessions, and joined in with the Navaratri chanting practices, havans (transforming fire ceremonies) and kirtans (joyful chanting).
We look forward to the months of Spring and sharing the beautiful space we live in with more people who come to experience and discover yoga and its many benefits.
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