NZ YOGA CENTRE – I love combining art, sacred objects, and memorabilia to create new places for stillness and meditation. My latest installation shrine is titled, ‘virgin in an apple crate.’ The message behind the shrine reminds us to revere and collect fresh drinking water. Many of the objects used in this shrine were given to me by my Wellington friends and yoga students over the years – Ali –
Fresh water is life
“A shrine is a place when one’s personal spirituality finds a platform for expression”
Another place I spend a lot of time contemplating is the Peace Garden in the NZ Yoga Centre grounds. New students here in Marton – such as Tracee and Marilyn – have contributed recycled totara and wood crates to help make the garden come to life. People are always commenting how the garden makes them feel so peaceful and happy.
The main shrine at the NZ Yoga Centre used to reside in the studio space at Sadhana Yoga – Miramar. Lots of people got to see and enjoy the love and peace emanating from the wish-fulfilling shrine. Having a shrine is not about following a religion, of believing in a specific faith. A shrine is a place when one’s personal spirituality finds a platform for expression.
Spirituality is key a principal of yoga
The notion of Ishvara–pranidhana means to show devotion or dedicate ones life to a force greater than oneself.
Do you long for a good night’s sleep? Do you ever lay away fretting you can’t drop off? Do you suffer from insomnia more often than you would like?
The Sleep Seminar, run by Ali Hale Tilley, discusses some of the causes of insomnia, and offers a useful pre-sleep checklist so you can set up an effective sleep routine. Ali will also discuss simple techniques that can help you drop off to sleep.
After the Sleep smart talk, Ali will lead sleep-specific yoga class, with helpful breathing techniques to help overcome insomnia (bring your favorite pillow/cushion as a prop). The yoga class will finish with contemplation exercises and a guided yoga nidra to promote deep relaxation.
Minimum number of attendees 7 maximum 12
All of this should lead you to a better night’s sleep.
The pictures, podcast and poems below illustrate the wonderful narrative of living, dying and expressions of grief.
These images will be turned into cards and posters that can be ordered and purchased from Ali at the NZ Yoga Centre. Any profits from the sale of these images will go to creating our yoga centre ‘Peace Garden’ in Marton, Rangitikei. (These images are subject to copywrite.)
For more information email Ali at email@example.com
Grief sat beneath the heart’s tree,
Mourning what was lost.
Tears welled up and formed a pool.
The pool spilled over into a stream,
The stream rushed out and merged with the great sea of emotions.
When those first tears reached the foaming tide,
Sea birds took flight, startled by the tears’ crystal intensity,
Moved by such gravity, repelled by the presence of unfathomable grace.
Rising to the surface, gentle fish carried each tear down to the ocean depths,
Seeding pearls of courage, compassion, and undying love.
The pearl mala I hold before you has been harvested from those raw emotions,
Shining now with the quiet beauty of liberated peace.
Each image is part of a narrative… the cock and bull, the honeybee and jay…
The king eagle represents my father’s death and his rising spirit. The image is borrowed from a poem that Dad wrote some years ago (see below). 30 years ago, Dad sustained a terrible injury from a fall 15 meters from a roof, which left him permanently blind and head injured. But, he still managed to lead a full life, and maintain incredible inner vision, as the poem below illustrates.
A special kind of magic happened on that river run,
When Me-bunn-bia and Headway joined together, for some fun.
We were all shapes and sizes, but we didn’t give a damn
“‘Cause once we got our bums on seats,” it all fell into plan.
We paddled down the river in our Indian canoes,
It all seemed so instinctive,
We knew just what to do.
The scenery was fantastic, with its browns and greens and blue,
The hills rose up quite sharply and disappeared from view.
We rafted up the second day, where old gum trees had formed a bay,
Above us in a leafy glade, was dappled light and filtered shade.
There, a pretty kingfisher sat; just waiting for a silver sprat.
Along the banks were water fowl
And in the trees, a frog-mouthed owl.
Truly, this was nature at its best, where we had paused to take a rest.
Soon we were paddling on down the stream,
It seemed to me, to be a dream.
I raised my eyes up to the sky
That’s when I heard the eagles cry…
They called to me
Then I thought in Aborigine…Mee-bun-bia (where eagles fly)
Where eagles fly, then why can’t I?
I bent my head, and said a prayer,
My body felt as light as air.
A rushing gust of wind swept by, it sucked me up into the sky,
Up above the world so high,
Like an eagle in the sky, and there was I; and I could fly!
I cried “Mee-bunn-bia, the air is clear” ; Mee-bunn-bia, I have no fear!”
I cried out “free-ee!!…” and spread my wings in ecstacy.
I wheeled and reeled and heeled and squealed;
“Free-ee, free-ee, now I can see!!”
If I can see then , so can you
And now I will tell you what to do;
You don’t give up, you don’t give in!
Keep on smiling – wear a grin.
Take a deep breath….say a prayer, before you know it,
You’ll be there.
Yes, a special kind of magic happened on that river run,
When Mee-bun-bia and Headway joined together for some fun.
Next time we pack-n-paddle, we will plan and we will prepare;
And you can tell’em down the Murray; you can tell-em we’ll be there.
By John Tilley
If you would like to invest in our ‘Peace Garden’ please consider placing an order for a pack of greeting cards or posters. Contact Ali for more info on postage and printing costs.
Listen to a new podcast for dia de los muertos (day of the dead). Day of the dead marks the finale of a three day period where the veil between the living and the dead opens and mortals interact with the spirit world.
today we live
a day to celebrate
tonight we sit – with death
offering the departed favorite treats
amidst candles glittering on marigold petal graves
today we mourn
hearts lifted respectfully
tonight we sit – with spirit
offering heartfelt prayers
amidst the fiesta with gunfire sounding in the distant night