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The Changing Face of Yoga…it’s all about balance!

When we made the big move to the country from the city more than 20 years ago, I had the occasional doubts.

We moved to a somewhat remote property 45 kms from town and with no neighbours in sight.

Luckily one of the first discoveries I made, was the existence of a yoga class in a town called Murrurundi. It was 80kms away.

The yoga was based in the grounds of an old Catholic convent in Murrurundi. This meant a round trip for me of about 160 kms but I have kept it up for all this time, delighting in driving along the highway and coming to the small town which nestles at the base of the Liverpool Ranges.

This first class was run by Andre and Lisa, who also ran retreats, boot camps and trained teachers in their methods. And for a few years it continued until the teachers moved on maybe missing the sea and the coast.

Through yoga I met quite a few locals and from them I was introduced to other community groups like a writing group and a book club. The book club has been active and stable for over 50 years and our writing group for more than 20 years. So with this move I had time to balance my passions and find time to write, read and exercise!

As Lisa and Andre moved on and the Convent was sold, there were replacements and other venues, like the RSL hall or the Bowling Club.

We had Harry, then Rick followed by the lovely Deb and Tess. Deb lived up on the hill and walked barefooted through the paddocks to our new venue, St Paul’s Anglican Church hall. At least we became ecumenical! We presented Deb with a bike complete with basket, as a farewell gift as she moved on.

Covid came and shut us down, even our subdued chanting was not allowed. But our new teacher, John became adept at mopping the hall and we wore masks when required.

Then John decided to indulge his travelling urge and we bid him farewell with the gift of a bottle of the local gin!

Luckily there was a local to take his place. Glenda was trained in Japanese yoga. Most of us knew her well as she also belonged to my writing group and the Book Club. It’s a small town!

We have all adapted to this new regime although we are quite rigid in the places where we put our mats in the hall. I do like to lie near a patch of sun as the hall can be very chilly in any season. And others dislike the air flow of the air conditioners.

We have remained a core group of about 12 or 13 each Friday and many are locals who live nearby and arrive at the hall on foot or by pushbike.  A few of us travel the long distance each week, grateful that such a class exists in the country. Of course the majority are women, but a few brave males turn up some weeks. As new people come to live in this quaint town, we have acquired some new members and also lost a few.

It is a fact of life, that as farmers age, they move on, often to the nearest town with good facilities and shops.

My good friend Sal, who often lies down next to me in the class, is doing just that and she will be leaving the yoga group as it will be too far to travel. I will miss the sight of her tugging on her special yoga socks to keep all her toes warm.

So the dynamics will change , someone else will lie down on their mat beside me and the morning tea gathering at the local Art Gallery after yoga,  will be a bit smaller.

But as we age and our practice changes as we deal with dodgy knees and hips, we accept the changes as a challenge and chant OMMMM.