I had never seen such calm looking people! What was their secret?
I walked over to their table in the Union Building of Melbourne University at the beginning of semester 2.
I found out they were promoting and taking enrolments for yoga classes. I felt compelled to find out more. And so I enrolled in yoga.
This was in 1975. I was in my first year at university and I remember how much I absolutely LOVED those yoga classes. In the Beginners class we learned 6 physical yoga practices that we were expected to do daily. We learned yoga breathing exercises, meditation and a relaxation practice. Right from the first class there was an expectation that yoga was to be done every day. The benefits of yoga practices increase when they are done daily.
During each class we would have a discussion about yoga philosophy and practice. I would return from class feeling absolutely INSPIRED by learning about this science of self-development.
Fast-forward a few years and I was teaching in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, and attending weekly yoga classes in St Kilda. The Yoga Education Centre had started a private school. The primary aim of the school was character development for the families. Parents who enrolled their children were expected to commit to their own personal growth and attend a weekly meeting with their child’s teacher and the other parents.
One Sunday morning I was working with a small group of children, and guess who was there to help? Yes, my husband of 33 years, Ian Howard. We were both training to be teachers in the School of Total Education.
It was not until after we were married that we realized what a blessing it is to share the same values. This has been the ROCK upon which we have built our life together over the years. We share the yoga values of tolerance, patience, looking inwards to find answers and having a moral code to live by. We find compromise easily as we understand that the needs of the family override personal preferences, at times.
Interestingly, I find, while we do share the same values we have very different ways of being in the world. Ian has fantastic health and energy, however mine can easily become compromised. Ian is very steady emotionally and I can be high one minute and low the next. But I think the greatest difference is the way our minds work – while we both love simplicity I have a great tendency to over-complicate things. (trying to make things perfect!!)
So who do you think gets the most stressed? That’s right, me!
In 1998, when I returned to teaching Maths in secondary schools, I developed chronic fatigue. In 2008, after visiting many naturopaths and Chinese Medicine doctors I finally found answers to my health with a therapy called BodyTalkTM. This therapy gave me my life back. After 4 months of sessions my health returned and I was ready to go back to work. I decided to train as a natural therapist using The BodyTalk SystemTM, as well as The Horstmann TechniqueTM.
I then set up a clinic.
Several years ago I started teaching several types of meditation. I also combine meditation techniques and energy medicine healing with private clients in clinic. I find that energy medicine techniques help to clear deep emotional and energetic blockages that prevent people from feeling well and happy.
I find running a business tiring and at times stressful. There are many demands on our time as business owners. Up until this year Ian has been what he calls the “step and fetch it”, an invaluable support to me.
Ian’s interest in the health benefits of laughter led him to train as a Laughter Yoga Leader and he believes that laughter is truly the best medicine. In 2014 we created Meditate Laugh Relax, a business that adds laughter into the mix of what we offer. We know that if you are feeling stressed laughter gives immediate relief.
We have both meditated for many years and we have experienced different types of practices. We want to encourage you to see your life as an inward journey. It is our response to life that causes us stress because we are not taking full responsibility for our thoughts, words and actions. As we are generally not aware of the mindsets that we have, nor the emotional baggage that we carry, we can easily react to a situation with negativity. Regular meditation practice lessens the influence of the sub-conscious programs that we all have and our self–awareness grows. Energy medicine can also clear these mindsets and emotional history.
We are looking forward to helping you to discover the power and joy of laughter. To help you relieve any stress you feel. And to teach you techniques to understand yourself, in order to create the life of your dreams.