The Gift of Discipline

“True freedom is impossible without a mind made free by discipline”

~ Mortimer J. Adler

According to Patanjali, the ultimate goal of yoga is freedom from suffering. Through the lens of our sadhana (yoga practice) we see ourselves, and the ways in which we contribute to our duhkham (suffering). And through the ongoing practice, we reduce negative patterns and build inner strength to face the obstacles and challenges that inevitably arise.

The sage advice from the Yoga Sutras is that this process of creating self awareness should be gradual. If we work step by step towards our goal, we won’t lose heart along the way, because we won’t bite off more than we can chew. Great intentions alone do not create real change in any realm, and so it is with our sadhana. It is the sum of all our small, positive actions that creates real and lasting change, gradually reducing our duhkham and creating the habit of self care.

To help us develop and deepen our sadhana, Patanjali prescribes kriya yoga – the yoga of action. This three step process consists of tapas, svadhyaya and ishvarapranidhana.

Tapas has many meanings: taking action, discipline, heat, or purification. As you can see, it implies some intensity. The action it refers to is an action that helps you to see your patterns, and reduce the harmful ones. Tapas requires intention, so that the action is not random.

Following our actions, we reflect, and we gauge the impact of what we have done. That is the process of svadhyaya – self awareness, seeing the ripples. Svadhyaya helps us to determine the usefulness of what we are doing, and gives us the opportunity to refine our actions.

But no matter how hard we try, and no matter how earnestly we practice, there are things we cannot control. Some days we may struggle to focus, or the body just isn’t willing. On such days we simply have to do the best we can, be kind to ourselves and trust that our intention will be enough. Other times, when things just seem to flow, we might get caught up in feelings of pride and accomplishment. On these occasions, we have to bow to the energy that supports us, offering gratitude for our healthy body, our focused mind, and our access to the practice. This attitude of surrender is the third aspect of kriya yoga – ishvarapranidhana.

Kriya yoga is a valuable tool in our personal sadhana. It reminds us to move at a pace that is conducive to ‘seeing’ ourselves in action. As a feedback loop these three aspects teach us that when we pause to notice the effects of our actions, we will find clarity, and form an understanding of the things we can and can’t control. This understanding informs our future actions. The cycle continues, and gradually takes us deeper into our inner terrain.

The yoga sutras form a road map to guide us on our yoga journey. The ultimate destination is freedom from suffering. Kriya yoga helps us to explore the landscape, and step forward each day with awareness.


~ Lynda Miers-Henneveld


Give a little – freedom on the inside

A wonderful opportunity has arisen for us to share the gifts of yoga with a group of people who might not normally have access to this life affirming practice. My friend and colleague, Adhyatma, has been teaching yoga to inmates at Rimutaka prison for quite some time. Along with several other generous teachers, she has been helping prisoners to discover a sense of connection and belonging through regular yoga classes. The feedback from the people who have attended the classes is wonderful! The insights they receive as a result of their practice gives them access to wholeness, and inner strength. Many of them go on to do their own practice, and some even teach what they learn to other inmates.



A campaign is underway to raise funds for Yoga Education in Prisons. By donating to this Give-a-little cause, you can help to fund more classes, and to give much needed support to a group of teachers who do this work because they believe that yoga is for everyone. Many of the teachers have done this work voluntarily, without income, paying for their own transport costs.


The video on the Give-a-little page is great to watch.  It will give some insights into the benefits of the programme. If you are moved to donate, please make your own pledge there. Freed-om-yoga will be donating all your class fees for the week, and there is a jar in the lobby for those who would like to donate in the old fashioned way!

I hope you can give a little to this worthy cause.









Imagine there’s no heaven,
It’s easy if you try,
No hell below us,
Above us only sky,
Imagine all the people
living for today…

Imagine there’s no countries,
It isn’t hard to do,
Nothing to kill or die for,
No religion too,
Imagine all the people
living life in peace…

Imagine no possessions,
I wonder if you can,
No need for greed or hunger,
A brotherhood of man,
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…

You may say I’m a dreamer,
but I’m not the only one,
I hope some day you’ll join us,
And the world will live as one.

~ John Lennon (1940 – 1980)



Breathing in, I know I’m breathing in.IMG_7143
Breathing out, I know
As the in-breath grows deep,
The out-breath grows slow.
Breathing in makes me calm.
Breathing out makes me ease.
With the in-breath, I smile.
With the out-breath, I release.
Breathing in, there is only the present moment.
Breathing out, it is a wonderful moment.

~ Thích Nhất Hạnh


Moving Mindfully 2

~ an 8-week vinyasa course with Rebecca Somerscales

Rebecca is looking forward to presenting her second Vinyasa course at freed-om-yoga. This course will be held on Thursday evenings, and is aimed at any yoga student who would like to experience Vinyasa-s in the tradition of T. Krishnamacharya.

Vinyasa-s are the carefully constructed, special steps taken in any yoga asana and can link in beautiful sequences to bring a flow of breath and movement which leads the practitioner towards themselves.  The ingenuity of a vinyasa sequence is that one can learn about ones own body, breath and mind in a non-confronting manner whilst practicing. Each vinyasa can enhance our understanding of an asana which was previously tricky or even take us to places we thought were physically out of reach. The breath remains the guide, a constant gauge feeding back to the practitioner, something to link with and take one deeper into practice.

In each session participants will be guided to explore and develop simple vinyasa-s at their own pace. The course is designed to be an exploration as well as being fun. Simple chants will be introduced as a way of deepening the practice and enhancing participant’s experience. Practices may also encompass simple pranayama, as well as rest and relaxation. Adaptations will be made for any students with health issues or injuries so as to maintain safety in practice.

BexRebecca has a wealth of knowledge about working with vinyasa-s from her previous teachers, Sheila Baker and Paul Harvey (UK), and her current teachers, Ruth Diggins and Kausthub Desikachar. She is looking forward to sharing them with you.

To book for this course, please visit our booking page. Once Rebecca receives your booking, she will contact you to organise payment.

Investment – $120
Dates – Thursdays, October 8 – November 26, 2015
Times – 6:30 – 8:00pm
Venue – freed-om-yoga, 180 Melbourne Rd, Island Bay, Wellington
Book Online  – via ezybook or email

Following the Energy

Following the Energy

In this Tuesday evening course, Marie Kiely will guide you in using a range of yoga tools to explore the creation and movement of vital energy, or prana. In these sessions you will utilise movement, breath and sound to become of aware of any obstructions to the flow. The practices will offer you ways to reduce these blockages and work towards establishing vitality and ease.

This 8 week course is offered in two blocks of 4 weeks, with a one week break in the middle. The first session will be on September 15. The classes are 75 minutes long.

To book for this course, please visit our booking page.marie
Once Marie receives your booking, she will contact you to organise payment.

Investment – $120
Dates – Tuesdays, September 15 – November 17, 2015 (no class on October 13)
Times – 6:30 – 7:45pm
Venue – freed-om-yoga, 180 Melbourne Rd, Island Bay, Wellington
Book Online  – via ezybook or email


the Sunday Nourish

This winter I will be offering a series of monthly mini retreats. These Sunday sessions will consist of an extended multi-layered yoga practice, followed by a nourishing lunch, prepared for us by some passionate local foodies! The class will begin at 10:00am, and lunch will follow at around 1:00pm.

Winter is a time of year when we naturally enjoy spending a bit more time indoors, and when we can often use some extra nourishment. The activities of summer and autumn may have left us feeling depleted, and as the weather changes, many of us find that we are more susceptible to colds and flu. We may also find that as the days shorten, our energy reserves run out. What better time to investigate some nourishing yoga practices which can help to soothe and repair the body, and bring a sense of optimism and joy to the heart and mind.

Yoga offers us a variety of ways to create well-being on all of our layers. Using appropriate asana, we can strengthen the physical body and support it in healing itself. Pranayama practices teach us to breathe well, so that we optimise our energy levels. Chanting and meditation practices can help us to connect to our deeper Self, which brings a sense of wholeness and connection.

A three hour class allows us time to explore these tools in a relaxed way. The classes will be limited to six participants, allowing for individual adaptation and support in the practices. The practices offered will be appropriate for all levels.

While we practice, Juno Miers, Ngawai Grant and India Bailey will prepare a delicious lunch for us, following basic Ayurvedic principles, which means that as well as being nourished, our digestive health will be supported.

I hope you will join us for the Sunday Nourish in June, July, August or September! The details are below. We look forward to your company.



the Sunday Nourish
Extended yoga class: 10:00am – 1:00pm.
Lunch: 1:10 – 2:00pm (times may vary slightly).

Dates: Sundays, June 21, July 12, August 16, and September 13, 2015.

Cost: $85 per person, per class, including lunch.

Bookings: visit ezybook and select the session of your choice.