Reboot, recharge and reconnect at our IYTA Annual Retreat

Robyn Lynch credits Ayurveda for helping her reconnect with herself and find the answers she’d been looking for. For Robyn, it was a light bulb moment when at the age of 42, she discovered how Ayurveda could help give her a deeper understanding of herself and others.

As a High School Nutrition teacher, Robyn had become very aware of the flaws in the nutrition curriculum. She says, “I was looking around at the girls that I was teaching – the healthy diet pyramid and Australian Dietary guidelines – and I realised it just didn’t work.” Robyn could see this approach wasn’t individual enough – that what may have been great information for one, wasn’t the answer for the next. She had struggled with her own weight and body image for years, so she was very aware of the impact of what she was teaching on these vulnerable adolescents.

She adds: “Because we are so fixated about being thin, I was very concerned about eating disorders. Was I empowering them or teaching them how to create a disorder?”

So after qualifying as a Yoga Teacher with IYTA, Robyn left teaching (in schools) and opened her own Yoga studio and through a sabbatical Yoga retreat, encountered the wisdom of Ayurveda.

Robyn went on to complete many years of Ayurvedic study, including becoming an Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant and Advanced Ayurvedic Practitioner with the renowned Dr. Ajit, AIAS; and becoming a Vedic master with Deepak Chopra’s Chopra Centre University.

Finally Robyn had found the key to not only nutrition and diet, but to living a healthy, happy and complete life. She was no longer fixated with weight or self- image and found herself not only better able to understand and tend to her own needs, but Ayurveda also empowered her to better understand others. This was so important as a mother of three children, a wife and a business owner.

In April this year, Robyn hosted a two-week online summit with 3,000 registrants. She featured 20 renowned speakers from around the world, including International Ayurvedic Doctors, Best-Selling Authors and world- renowned speakers. This culminated in the launch of her face-to-face and online programs, Your Radical Reboot.

Robyn will be running elements from the program at the IYTA’s annual retreat at the Brahma Kumaris Raja Yoga and Meditation Centre in Wilton, NSW in October.

At the retreat you’ll explore the four pillars of life as your birthright:

Dharma – living our purpose
Artha – obtainment of wealth – comes from
Karma – fulfillment of desire and finally
Moksha – freedom

You will be introduced to the 101 of Ayurveda, in the simplest and most digestible way. You will explore the concept of Your Health in Your hands and discover your unique constitution – or Dosha.

Robyn (pitta dominant!), says: “Ayurveda tells us how to be the most powerful person we can be. It is literally the knowledge of living.  There is nothing that Ayurveda does not address and through applying its concepts, you can learn how to reconnect with yourself, discover what you are here for and how to attain your birthright.”

The retreat will also include an exploration of the Five Elements, the Doshas, Agni, Ama and Ojas – the Ayurvedic principles of digestion, self-love and tapping into your authentic power.

Robyn will be teaching yoga classes which include meditation and sound sadhana, giving a chai tea demonstration and sharing loads of practical information about incorporating Ayurveda into your Yoga Teacher practice.

 


About our Instructor

Robyn Lynch

Robyn Lynch

Robyn has a passion for “True Wellness”. Her dream is that all people have access to the wisdom of self-knowing that allows each of us to experience our Perfect Healthy. As the founder of the Perfect Health Centre, she has facilitated life-change for hundreds of clients through Yoga teaching, Ayurvedic Medicine and on-line courses. Robyn has a B. Ed., has studied extensively internationally and her qualifications include being an Advanced Ayurvedic Practitioner, holding a Masters from Chopra Centre University and gaining her initial Yoga teaching qualifications from IYTA.


Seven tips for a successful yoga workshop

It’s 11pm Saturday night and I’m due to run my first solo workshop in ten hours. I’d envisioned a night of soothing baths, self-care and meditation so I’d be all nurtured and plumped up ready to channel the wisdom on the day. But instead I’m in my work office printing out a sea of handouts. What can I say? Perhaps I work best with a deadline looming!

This is a story about the experience of confronting one’s self-doubt, propensity for procrastination, and taking on the challenge despite all.  I’m hoping my apprehensions and less-than organised work ethic will resonate for others wanting to expand their yoga offerings. And my small takeaway bag of insights will help assuage doubts and provide a few practical tips…

1: Make your theme work for you – don’t work for your theme

I’d started out writing the workshop running notes several weeks ago but after copious drafts, I found myself overwhelmed with the possibilities. So I started again, this time focusing on the workshop theme:Finding Comfort and Ease in Your Life and wondering how I could possibly live up to that claim in one day. Maybe I should work out the sequence of the movements I’d be teaching before anything else? The running notes and handout will fall out of the movements and so would the timings. This was my first minor breakthrough and my first advice to share: now my theme was working for me!

2: Re-use what you’re good at

After toying with the idea of working through the body as the focus, I decide to be pragmatic; I would use all my familiar sequences for releasing different parts of the body but group them into the commonest everyday human movements and postures that everyone could identify with.For example – ease in sitting, walking, lying down, standing and squatting.Now I had the message clear everything else fell into place; the running notes; the scaffold of the day from start time, tea breaks, lunch break and end time. Now I knew exactly how many discrete sessions there were and how long they would run. With the shape of the day as a container I could concentrate on the sequences. I spent a weekend working in my studio practicing and curating the sequences, and getting my daughter to photograph the ones that I needed images for the handout. By the end of the day I had my master list. These were all movements I’d been learning, practicing and teaching regularly but I wrote running notes for them all nevertheless just to commit the ideokinetics to mind and the language to hand.

3: Immerse yourself and capture the output

The notes flowed easily now because for weeks I’d also been in a kind of somatic immersion zone: I was thinking, breathing, sensing Somatic movements 24×7. Jotting down little insights on post-it notes after practicing, waking up and emailing myself reminders of inspired metaphors and even registering the odd creative gem in the middle of meditation!

4: Less is more

At the seventh hour I had a minor crisis after running through the master list of sequences for the last time to check the timings. I didn’t have enough content to fill the sessions! I’d have to leave the students in half hour savasanas and people would feel short-changed! I took a few deep breaths and considered the truth of this rather than the knee-jerk reaction to add more stuff! In fact, the best somatic workshops I’d ever experienced had left luxurious spaces in which to rest and digest and the core philosophy of Somatics is less is more. Those exact words were already in my script so I decided to trust my gut and first instinct and let it be.

5: What worked

As it turned out on the day Less WAS more. The timing was perfect. The spaces allowed the participants time to register their sensations and explore and be curious – an exhortation I gave them at the beginning. So they asked questions and we explored possibilities together. We wandered off briefly on delicious tangents and I allowed myself the indulgence of a story or two. The atmosphere was collegiate rather than dogmatic I found myself simply enjoying the interaction with peers and open-minded and hearted individuals. And the ad-libbing kept it fresh, and interactive, and fun, especially with gales of laughter from the inevitable renegades up the back.

6: And what didn’t…

Those interminable drafts of the handouts wasted time and undermined my confidence. I was better off starting in on the movements and the words fell out of that practice. Looking at all the many books, workshop notes and handouts from workshops I’d attended was also confusing. I was better off simply referencing the resources later after I’d established the message I wanted to convey. Leaving the printing of 600 pages of handouts till the last minute is not recommended!

7: What got me through

Faith in ‘the channel’. This is something I’ve observed in myself many times; when I’m ‘in the flow’ my knowledge and skills emerge effortlessly and with grace. It’s as though all the wisdom of my teachers and their teachers is channeled through me for which I’m incredibly grateful. I’ve observed it in other teachers too. I think it’s the essence and gift of yoga.

Would I do it again?
Absolutely! I’m lining up venues around regional NSW and Melbourne to take my workshops on the road and share the remarkable gift of being able to help yourself to ease and comfort.

Yoga for people who have a life!

Bored with the usual cliched yoga titles, David Burgess decided to shake things up a and has named his upcoming two-day IYTA workshop: Yoga for people who have a life.
So why has he opted for this intriguing name? What will be covered and is it aimed at all of us? (as presumably most of us like to think we have a life). I asked David these questions and more…

Q: What is this yoga workshop about?

A: In my experience a percentage of people come to yoga because they consider themselves as not having a life, they are without direction or purpose. These people are susceptible to replacing this life or filling this void with yoga and become fanatics. Yoga though is about the middle path that which can so enhance our life, can if overdone be detrimental.

Q: Did this happen to you?

A: Oh yes! When I began yoga it was an absolute joy and enhanced my life on many levels. After about six months of practice, I became what now with hindsight I consider obsessed with yoga and while yes, there were benefits, it was no longer in balance.

I went from attending a couple of classes a week to a home practice which quickly progressed from half an hour of asana to a couple of hours of asana then on to a couple of hours twice a day. Plus Kriya yoga for two hours in the morning. Then I moved to an ashram, where I continued doing the kriyas and an hour and a half of morning practice and meditation in the evenings….at least in the ashram where the focus was on karma yoga, so I was able to balance out and express the energy generated from this quantity of sadhana. Many people make this error too of doing lots of practise and not finding a proper outlet for expressing this added energy.

Q: Was there a “lightbulb” moment when you realised it was taking too much prominence in your life? How did you create a more balanced life for yourself?

A: There were a few lightbulb moments in truth: when I found the only books I had read in the last couple of years were exclusively on the subject of yoga, when I found my circle of friends had dwindled to only those who were “serious” about yoga. When my inner dialogue became judgemental regarding people who didn’t practice yoga. When I became that ungrounded that I began to take the psychic experiences one has from such sadhana as being of higher priority than day to day life. In yogic terms when with respect to the Purusharthas I had become mono obsessed with moksha to the detriment of artha, kama and dharma.

Q: What is a good balance?

A: Yoga should enhance and balance life: not replace life is the point I am making here. There is a point where less is more. To gain benefit from yoga you don’t need to become a vegan, you don’t need to practice everyday, you don’t need to do asanas that hurt, pranayamas that make you dizzy and meditation that makes you overly sensitive or introspective or ungrounded. You don’t need to become an expert, you don’t need to look for more than what works in your life as determined by you, not by some “highly evolved” being. Yes it is good in all areas of our lives to learn from those that have travelled down some pathway of learning further than ourselves but we should remain empowered and trust our own wisdom too. These days I cross the road and avoid those who are in the habit of telling me “what I need to do”.
Yoga should enhance and balance life: not replace life is the point I am making here. There is a point where less is more.

Q: Who is this yoga workshop aimed at?

A: I would hope that there are teachers and other people interested in yoga beyond the practices who are interested more in why we do these practices rather than so much how to do these practices. There are people far more adept in the technical aspects of yoga than I who are better suited for that..

I would like to see people who are interested in taking an active part in deciding which practices they want to do and why. Those who want to have an understanding of yoga beyond Hatha Yoga.

People who have a full schedule of life and have only time to do that which is necessary for them to make systematic progress to whatever outcome they are looking for yoga to provide.

Those who for one reason or another can’t spend an hour or so on asana and another half hour on pranayama and another hour on meditation. Those for whom yoga is a part of their life, that enhances their life rather than is their life. Mostly though: those who are really already too busy with competing priorities to come to a full weekend workshop!

Q: What will you be covering?

A: Technically, I will cover a range of accessible practices: asana, pranayama (a much under rated and under represented aspect of yoga) no frills Yoga Nidra and a few accessible mediation techniques. i.e Simple efficient and effective practices one can take home!

Theoretically I would like for those attending to be able to walk away with an understanding of where yoga came from and its evolution to where it is today so I will be giving some historical perspective to yoga. There is some stunning and usable philosophy and an understanding of mind (psychology) that underpin yoga and I would like to introduce some of those concepts and suggest how they may be relevant in one’s busy life today.

About the Presenter

David Burgess

I am not the message, I am just a messenger. We, I believe, need to learn not to confuse the message and the messenger because as a messenger I have my limitations whereas yoga when not personalised is flawless and relevant to all of us. My story is not! To continue on this theme we in the west have become so interested in our teachers background, our pedigree, what knowledge they possess, what postures they can do. This is to me acquisitive and we end up being swayed by celebrity and how many people one has in their social network… Suffice it to say, I have been physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually inspired by yoga for way more than a few decades. I currently teach on the IYTA teacher training course which is one of the joys of my life.