Nurture, nourish and challenge.
Charlotte Hamilton of The Yoga Bud has been teaching yoga in Geelong for nearly ten years.
The YogaBud classes suit a range of levels of experience from beginners to experienced. One of the fantastic aspects of yoga is that every pose can be adjusted to each individuals level. Coming from training in Classical Yoga, awareness of the mind through the poses (asana) is one of the main focuses of the classes. Through yoga you will gain strength, clarity, confidence and increase feelings of overall wellbeing. The Yoga Bud uses the principles and philosophy of traditional yoga and adapts them to modern day living.
On a physical level, yoga is brilliant for the body. It helps strengthen, tone and massages internal organs, builds balance and co-ordination. Some poses will help energise and others will help you relax. Our lives are becoming more sedentary – some studies suggest that the body requires movement every twenty minutes for optimal learning – and this is having an effect on our physical health. Yoga helps keep our body supple and its a great preventative tool. Yoga teaches us body awareness – most of us get so busy and caught up doing ‘stuff’ in our lives that we have forgotten how to listen to our body and all of a sudden we end up with really tight shoulders or some other physical manifestation of our current lifestyle.
Yoga is a discipline, and disciplining the mind is one of the main objectives of yoga Patanjali (the ‘forefather’of yoga) says: Yoga is ‘citta vritti nirodha,’ – slowing down the thoughtwaves in the mind. Yoga teaches us that we have over 60,000 thoughts randomly going through our head every day...so how do you manage all those thoughts? The first step is to becoming aware of your thoughts. For afterall, what you think is what you create as stated in this excerpt from the Upanishads: (an old yogic text)
Watch your thoughts for they become words
Watch your words for they become actions
Watch your actions for they become habits
Watch your habits for they become character
And watch your character for it becomes your destiny
Each class always starts with a breathing exercise or meditation and ends with shavasana and the content of the class varies - using a combination of traditional yoga, vinyasa, oki—do , partner work and many other influences. Shavasana ( deep relaxation) is a pose in which allows the body to experience deep rest and to integrate any shifts that may have occurred on a deeper level. Classes will often include a chant – giving each person the chance to hear their voice. In our culture now most people are so self conscious to sing and feel that they can only sing if they are in tune. But in most traditional cultures, they know and remember the importance of singing – the spiritual connection and almost direct mood lifter – and singing is part of everyday life.
Physicists have now found that if all the sounds of the universe are made at the same time it will create the sound ‘om’. So science is now proving true what the yogis have known all along...
Another aspect included in the classes is inspirational quotes or comments to encourage self enquiry if appropriate – sometimes we just need the space or to be shown a different way to look at a situation. In another class students may be asked to draw on their intuition and choose a positive affirmation card that may be the message they need at that particular time.
An underpinning belief of The YogaBud is that ‘the body knows’. The body has a stored memory, and hence its own story. Yoga allows the body to release any memories it may be holding and subsequently causing blockages to be released in the body. This belief has been further enhanced by studies in Art Therapy and experiencing the power and the inner knowing of the body during this course.
And the name Yoga Bud came to Charlotte while she was on a ‘New Beginnings’ retreat in Healesville and was creating her Vision Board. It was a picture of a beautiful rose that prompted the name for her yoga business. Charlotte believes yoga can support each individual to discover themselves and how to be their best – whatever that may be!
For her, there is the notion that just like a rose bud, one can not pull out the petals to make it blossom, it blossoms according to its own, and natures, timeline. This is true with our own flexibility, strength and personal development – that we blossom and open when we are ready. Students in the yoga class are always encouraged to take responsibility for their own bodies and to listen to their body and allow it to open in its own time. Forcing and pushing is going against one of the 8 limbs of yoga - the yamas - satya – truth – being honest about where you are at and ahimsa - non-violence - respecting your own body.
So The YogaBud encourages you to keep on learning, and exploring the self:
‘Think of a rose bud from the time it is a tiny bud. As it opens to full flower, till the last petal falls, it is always beautiful, always perfect, always changing. So it is with us.’ Louise Hay