Dear Yogis,

Where? At the Victoria Hotel, Ground floor Meeting Room, 12 noon Thursday the 30th June.



As I have been flagging, I have gone back to wood heating.  My new small Nectar wood heater was installed a little over a month ago.  I got my gas bill today – 42% LESS THAN THE SAME TIME LAST YEAR.  Now that is what I call a result!  I don’t light the fire consistently until about 4 in the afternoon, although some days it is still in overnight due to an extraordinary piece of wood rather than me trying to achieve an overnight burn…I am still using gas as a back up and during class.   Now imagine what would happen if I really tried to save.  How amazing is 42%!  

Now I have to think about the electricity.  Because of my age (not that I think I will die soon), solar panels really would not be economical, especially seeing the government gives so little back.  A battery would be good, but the same initial cost vs return applies.  

I have retained my old fridge and freezer because they use one third less energy that the modern no-frost models. I need the computer which can’t be converted to pedal power), and the fans on my gas furnace probably use a reasonable amount, but seeing I am not using my furnace nearly so much, it will be interesting to see how that reflects in the bill.  I will let you know.  I will keep on thinking.

I save at the supermarket because I grow my own greens although I do top up from Coles but I really don’t have to, that is optional spending.  I cook soup and stews on top of the wood heater = a small saving.  I will make the cats food the same way = another small saving.  I think all these small savings will add up. I will let you know.



PAYMENT AND COMMITMENT Because these small classes are almost personal training and the members of the class are balanced in abilities, once a class and your place in the class is set I can’t easily invite anyone else in, sense our policy regarding “use it or lose it”.  This isn’t a dental appointment (although they do charge if you don’t keep appointments) – I can’t just take one person once.  Plus I want committed yogis, not just “fly-in-fly-out”.  I do my best to  offer an alternative class, but can’t always oblige as it is dependent on class numbers, style, and class members.  (*We can of course accomodate a sudden Covid, or illness absence, or the type of job that requires a week on and a week off – part of a regular schedule.  We can also help you when you have lost your job or other examples of hardship).  

If you are not serious about your yoga and if you just want a casual, occasional class before your social engagements, then maybe I am not the teacher for you.  I have been teaching and doing yoga for most of my adult life – I am serious and love my yoga.  I hope you do too.  If you are looking for a teacher SERIOUS about yoga, if you want change,  then come to me, I would love to have you in my class.

Although many in the public seem to think that yogis (and artists) don’t need to charge for their work – WE DO.  We don’t have a Union, or minimum wages, we rely on you.   Keep in mind that for yoga teachers  yoga is their life AND their job, not just a casual social interest.  If you come for a one-on-one, a class, or a booked consult you are on their time.  I am sure they would like to offer everything free of charge – but they like you, need to cover their expenses (and they are getting greater all the time – especially rent, and insurances).  For me, I try to balance this by showing you how you can more easily balance your rising household  expenses.  Hence the herbal workshop and the examples of how I have reduced my expenses – not insurance or registrations unfortunately.

We do recognise our students who have been with us for many years.  This ceremony is coming up shortly when we have three students who will receive LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT awards and GUARDIANS OF YOGA Certification.


TELEVISION.   I enjoy watching dissections and surgery, but have any of you watched the Foxtel series on 106 about Surgeons.  It is fabulous if you turn the sound off.  I am sure that the guy who does the voice over descriptions of the actual surgery also narrates The Great British Bake Off.  It sounds exactly like that – Breathy, British, and theatrical. A little bit “Princess Di”.   It spoils the show for me. I can’t help laughing.  Nothing funny about removing hearts or lungs, but the narrator makes it sound like they are going into the oven, or best served with salad.  Even the surgeons try to be funny – it is not funny.  I understand they are letting off steam.  My request? I would like them to be funny somewhere else, and a serious narration please.  What do you think?


This arrived in my inbox from Harvard University, and thought you may be interested.  I get their newsletters every week, and the information is well researched and mostly valuable – often quite yogic!  
If you are interested in current medical advances, log into their web site, and subscribe to their newsletter.

What is the vagus nerve? The body’s lengthiest cranial nerve, the vagus nerve stretches all the way from the brain to the large intestine. The word “vagus” means “to wander” in Latin, and this nerve essentially wanders throughout the body, connecting the brain, heart, lungs, gut, and intestines. It plays a role in a variety of involuntary bodily functions, including heart rate, perspiration, and getting food from the mouth into the stomach.

The vagus nerve is involved in both the sympathetic (fight or flight) nervous system and the parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous system. It activates the sympathetic nervous system when you’re in a dangerous or stressful situation and then switches back to the parasympathetic nervous system when the threat is gone. When vagal tone—how well your vagus nerve communicates with all these various organs—is healthy, your body is able to downshift back into relaxation mode more quickly. In some people, this important nerve can get stuck in fight-or-flight mode, ramping up feelings of nervousness and anxiousness

Emerging research points to a link between long COVID symptoms—such as tachycardia (fast heart rate), dysphonia (difficulty speaking), and dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)—and vagus nerve dysfunction. A recently study used ultrasound to examine the vagus nerve in patients with long COVID and found changes, such as nerve thickening as well as signs associated with inflammation. This and additional studies suggests vagus nerve stimulation may have therapeutic benefits for those suffering from long COVID.

Here are 12 natural ways to stimulate the vagus nerve and elicit a relaxation response.

1. Get vocal.The vocal cords located at the back of the throat are connected to the vagus nerve. Gargling, singing loudly, humming, or chanting activates the nerve and improves vagal tone.In 2019 a study in BMJ Open found that singing significantly reduced anxiety over a 6-month period.

2. Go for a foot massage.Reflexology is a method of massage that when used on the feet activates the vagus nerve, decreases sympathetic response, and lowers blood pressure, according to recent findings Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine.

3. Try cold exposure.   Recent scientific articles (and Wim Hoff) show that cold water immersion triggers vagus nerve activity that is associated with a decrease in heart rate. Take a cold shower, go outdoors on a frosty day, or simply immerse the top half of your face—down to your cheeks—in cold water to elicit the response (Jacki Onassis did this every day) .  I turn cold water on my legs and feet at the end of my morning shower – not as challenging as whole body cold water immersion, and I can deal with it for longer.  Research also shows that cold water also reduces inflammation.

4. Use your mind to warm your hands. Using metal imagery to warm your hands counteracts the stress response and increases parasympathetic tone and relaxation. A number of studies report lowered blood pressure with hand-warming.  In research from Korea,  a significant decline in the systolic and diastolic blood pressure was observed in the treatment group.

5. Watch what you eat.    High-fat and high-carbohydrate diets have been found to impair vagus nerve signaling, according to a 2021 studies in Scientific Reports. Conversely, consuming fiber-rich foods—such as oatmeal, broccoli, or chia seeds—improves vagal tone for better signaling.

6. Enjoy a belly laugh.   Letting out a good chuckle can stimulate the vagus nerve and promote relaxation in response to stress. One 2018 studies in BioPsychoSocial Medicine suggests that simply hearing laughter can increase a parasympathetic response.

7. Meditate.Decades of research show that this ancient practice stimulates the vagus nerve, decreases the sympathetic fight-or-flight response, promotes relaxation, and reduces anxiety.

8. Get active.  Physical exercise promotes vagus nerve stimulation while lowering the stress responses associated with the sympathetic nervous system.

9. Blow on your thumb.  This may sound weird, but it works. Put your thumb in your mouth and blow on it, but don’t let the air escape. This odd trick activates the vagus nerve.

10. Breathe deeply.  Scientific research indicates that slow diaphragmatic breathing activates the vagus nerve and reduces the stress response. It can also help stop a panic attack quickly. To do it, lie on your back and place a small book on your belly. When you breathe in, make the book go up, and when you breathe out, make the book go down. Shifting the centre of breathing lower in your body will help you feel more relaxed and in better control of yourself. *If you make this a practice whilst you are watching television – use the ad breaks to focus on your breathing.  Some shows have 10 ads per break which is plenty of time to get really good with the “in and out” breath.  Start with in for 4, hold for 6, out for the count of 8.

11. Listen to calming music.  Music creates vibrations that can impact the vagus nerve.  Listening to relaxing music can trigger a parasympathetic response that reduces anxiousness.

12. Smell the lavender.  Aromatherapy activates the parasympathetic nervous system, according to scientific studies. Specifically, in 1917 research papers, the scent of lavender was found to soothe anxiety.


Natural supplements that can help promote relaxation and calm an anxious mind include:

  • GABA: Low levels of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) have been found in many psychiatric disorders, including anxiety. GABA is an amino acid that has a calming effect for people who struggle with anxiety or stressful thoughts. It promotes relaxation.
  • Magnesium: In the brain, magnesium helps activate GABA receptors, which can help calm the brain and reduce anxious thoughts.
  • Probiotics: A healthy gut is critical for a healthy and calm mind.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Scientific papers show that omega-3s may help reduce anxiety.
  • L-theanine: Found in green tea, l-theanine inhibits the excessive firing of neurons, which results in a feeling of calmness and more self-control.



ZOOM: Mon. 6.30 FREE OF CHARGE Teacher Training, Tues. Herb workshop 7.30 ($50 per month – part of the Bach Therapist Course), Friday 6.45 Tarot –  $50 for 4 Friday classes.
STUDIO YOGA:Mon. 1pm (full) 2.15pm, Wed. 1pm Restorative(vacancy for July only), 2.15pm  Friday 1pm, 2.15 Hatha. (Possible Sat.10am Hatha)

CONSULTATIONS: Tarot/Bach/QHHT HYPNOTHERAPY (a very powerful form of hypnotherapy), Bowen or a combo – by appointment only.  $85 including remedy (including postage if zooming)  Past-Life (QHHT taught by Dolores Cannon) $250 via email or in the studio.  The reading includes Time, date, place of the prior life. To discuss,  email

MONTHLY LUNCHEON:   Thursday 30th June at 12noon at “The Vic” in Woodend (If you are running a bit late, relax, it’s OK – drop in for dessert.  We have the meeting room, so it is separate and quieter).  Please let me know if you can join us.  We will post an invite closer to the day.   RSVP PLEASE

WEEKLY MEETINGS:  We have free Teacher Training zoomed on Mondays 6.30pm, and we began our yoga teacher asana class/meeting in the studio WHICH WE HAVE ORGANISED FOR EVERY SECOND SUNDAY BETWEEN 2 and 3pm.  NEXT STUDIO TEACHER TRAINING CLASS Sunday 3RD JULY.