Kirtan is a form of call-and-response singing or chanting in a group.  A mantra is chanted back to a lead singer who accompanies him or herself with traditional instruments, like the harmonium.  It is a beautiful form of pranayama and sound meditation.  It allows us to practice mindfulness, be in the present moment, release and unblock stagnant energy, and simply chant to our heart’s desire.  We are invited to leave the worries of the mind behind, and feel and express ourselves from the heart.

It is originally from India and is practiced as a form of Bhakti yoga, the yoga of devotion, the yoga of love.

We are very lucky to be able to offer this practice in our studio.  The yoga of sound has been close to my heart since childhood.

Meet Maya.

Maya loves sound.

She sings with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Choir and will be guiding us through our first KIRTAN event here in our studio.  Maya has lived in India for a few years.  There, she has been introduced to Vedic Mantra Chanting and has been taught to play the harmonium.  Here in Australia, she combines these skills and the love of singing, to bring her Kirtan to a few Aged Care Facilities in Melbourne.  I have met Maya on Christmas day, and after singing a few tunes together we agreed to introducing Kirtan to The Art of Balance community.

Where, when and how?

All you have to do is walk through this door, take a seat and enjoy exploring your voice.  No singing, nor yoga or meditation experience is required.  We have decided to chant the Gayatri Mantra, which expresses gratitude to the divine and the life-giving sun.  The intention of opening ourselves up to new experiences and to connecting to our hearts is more important than the meaning of the words.

The event will include chanting and a twenty-minute meditation other than sound.

When:                      Friday, 14th February.

Time:                      7pm to 830pm.

Location:               The Art of Balance – Yoga & Massage, 40 Woolston Drive, Frankston South.

Cost:                      $30 per person; $50 per family/couple (2 or more ppl).

Everybody is welcome.  Please book via sign-in sheet in the studio or contact me on

This is for you, and for us as a community.  I will learn to play the harmonium myself and it is my innate wish to hold regular Kirtan events at our studio.  It will be a trial to hear and feel how it resonates with us.

Artists like Deva Primal, Jai Uttal, Krishna Das and Sacred Earth have commercialised the ancient art of Kirtan.  Listen here to Deva Premal chanting the Gayatri Mantra.  She has a beautiful voice, I think.

Om shanti. Peace always.

Mantra For Letting Go

I let go.

I simply let go.

I am not my thoughts.

I am not my fears.

I am not limiting beliefs.

I let them go.

I am not my stress.

I am not my fears.

I am not my insecurities.

I let them go.

I simply let go.

I feel lighter with every breath.

I feel calmer with every breath.

I let go.

I let go of the tension and I realign with ease.

I let go of worry and I realign with faith.

I let go of doubt and I realign with confidence.

I let go.

I simply let go.

I let go of anger and realign with forgiveness.

I let go of frustration and realign with patience.

I let go of annoyance and realign with compassion.

I let go of guilt and I align with acceptance.

I let go.

I allow.

I align.

I let go.

I simply let go.

May you have the courage to fully let go.


The most important question to ask yourself, for yoga and for life.

Losing motivation, hands up if that has ever happened to you.  Mine is up.  Sometimes, we even lose motivation for the very things we previously had a passion for.  No need to dwell on the fact that it has happened, let’s explore what we can do about it.

Some of us lose our motivation for our yoga practice, not only in winter.  We blame the rain, cold wind, unwellness, colds, stiffness, darkness, sleepiness or other for it.

I’m often asked: “Bettina, how can I keep my motivation for yoga all year round?”.  It’s a valid and important question. How can we keep motivated or even increase our motivation not only for yoga, but for other things in our lives as well.

Let’s de-mystify motivation.  Let’s look at the word :  MOTIVE (ation).

Can we ask ourselves, what is actually our MOTIVE for doing what we are doing.  In case of yoga practice, what is our why for practising yoga in the first place?

Is it the desire to improve your health?  And has that desire perhaps slipped into the background, has the motive (ation) to perfect certain postures moved into the foreground?  And now you realise that this sense of competition is not really in line with your values and why you started yoga in the first place.  Recognise that, become true to your initial motivation and reason for practice, namely your health, and your motivation will come back.

When we know why we do what we do, motivation naturally happens.  Our motivation will be in line with our own values.  It will be in line with what is important to us, what matters to us most.  And if it is not, then we will lack motivation.

So in case of our yoga practice, we need to become clear on why we are stepping on the mat.  Ask yourself, what is your motivation, your reason, for coming to class.  And if you have practiced yoga with me before, you know that I invite you to answer this question several times a year.

Being clear on our reason and motive for doing something is the answer to any lack of motivation.  Yoga, life and all!

Ask yourself here and now, what are your reasons for allowing yoga to be a part of your life?  Or, what is missing when you don’t practice yoga for a while?

Notice, these answers reflect our values in life.

On a personal note.

Each year after I come back from my July holiday in Germany, and from the two week break after Christmas, I ask myself, what is your motive for teaching yoga Bettina?

I aim to answer this question to remain an authentic yoga teacher, and to stay motivated throughout the year for my profession, as well as for my own yoga practice.

Here are my answers:

  • Adding value.  I have the desire to add value to my clients’ life.  The value of being of service and do useful work is important to me.  Also, to be adding value to those I encounter, in general.
  • Excellence.  Personal and professional excellence.  I do wish to fulfil my fullest potential.  I do realise however, that not everybody strives for that.  Personally I do, and nothing prompts me more to do just that than running my own business in the healing arts.
  • Connection.  Connection to myself in a closer and broader sense is essential to me.  I wish to pass on the idea that connection to self fosters a deeper connection to others.  That in turn fosters a sense of peace.  My contribution to world peace.
  • Healing.  I do see my work as healing work.  Facilitating healing from physical ailment and / or emotional trauma is my dharma.
  • Selfcare and selflove.  Big statements, I know.  I strongly believe that all healing starts with us looking after our needs first.  Not in an arrogant way. In a caring way.  Caring for yourself first.  Selfcare is not selfish, it’s essential.
  • Challenge.  I thrive on a physical and mental challenge.  Interacting with humans, running my own business and the physical practice of yoga provides me with plenty of that.

Your turn now to being clear on the motive and meaning for doing something in your life.  It is your answer to any lack of motivation.  ON and OFF the mat!.

Wishing you the courage to ask the question.

See you on the mat.


Feedback from our Meditation Workshop participants

We all live busy lives.  We all would like to find ways to calm our minds and relax our bodies.  Our monthly meditation workshop offers just that, the exploration of several different ways to meditate, without dogma.

So if you considered meditation before, and are not quite sure where to start, or are wondering if you are “doing it correctly”, or if you even can meditate, then consider joining us for one of our monthly meditation workshops on Sunday mornings from 10 to 1130am.

I asked past participants to tell me in one sentence their reason to attend and what benefit they gained.

“My life is busy, I find peace and quiet in these workshops”.

“For me it’s a way of selfcare”.

“Here, I’m able to let go of physical stress and tension”.

“I know I could meditate more often, but I don’t.  So when I attend, I know this will see me through the next month”.

“It allows me to slow down”.

“It’s very peaceful here.  There is no judgement”.

“It teaches me how to be mindful”.

“My intention is to find balance and clarity”.

“I can find more mindful moments in my life, after what I learn here.

“My word for the year is gentleness”.

“I always find new inspiration for my home practice”.

“It’s a way to sleep and recharge”.

“Meditation helps with my anxiety and better sleep”.

“When I’m here, I actually will meditate”.

“Coming here recharges my batteries”.

“It inspires me.  I always take something new with me”.

“Meditation releases my stress.  I’m more relaxed in the days to follow”.

“I come here to slow down and calm my monkey mind”.

And my personal intention for offering this type of event, is to provide all of the above.  Most of us are much better at holding on and being busy, than letting go, slowing down and relaxing.

My classes and workshops are non-dogmatic. And open to everyone.  The simple idea to calm our minds and relax our bodies is an art and a lifeskill.

Join us on Sunday, March 24th 2019, from 10-1130am and monthly from thereon.

Cost: $25 casual or use your yoga class pass.

Wishing you a relaxed body and a calm mind.

Yoga & Meditation URBAN RETREAT

Summer Yoga Retreat – 1st February 2020

Our Urban Retreats are a wonderful way to unwind and recharge whilst deepening our knowledge about yoga and meditation. It’s our afternoon to fill our own cup and find that sense of renewal and connection.

With our boutique yoga studio being perfectly situated in native bushland, allowing us to feel home away from home and any outside responsibilities, you will come away feeling deeply nourished and recharged.

Restore your sense of peace and spaciousness and join me for a full Saturday afternoon in our boutique yoga studio.

The first part of the Retreat invites us to experience yin and yang yoga for the season of SUMMER. We will explore the energy and idea of the season of SUMMER and how we can support our health and wellbeing during this season.

sound medi

Then we will pause and indulge in scrumptious sweet and savory afternoon tea. Food is fully catered for. Any special dietary requirements will be taken into consideration.

With our bellies filled and our hearts playful, we flow into the second half of the afternoon where we will enjoy a crystal bowl sound meditation.

Places are limited to 14 participants.

Investment in your health & joy: $95

DATE:            1st February 2020

TIME:             1pm to 5pm


Booking via email

Payment reserves your place and is due with booking.

Bettina Pfannkuch
BSB 733 059
Acct 512308

I am looking forward to sharing this beautiful event with you.

Monthly Meditation Workshop – February 2020

Sunday, 16th February | 9.30 – 11.00am | class pass or $25

Learn to calm your mind & relax your body.

Discover what type of meditation works best for you and your lifestyle. Relax in an atmosphere of acceptance in our beautiful yoga sanctuary in Frankston South.

Be guided in a very permissive way, so you too can have a positive meditation experience. Allow yourself to have a restful and restorative 90mins.

Our monthly meditation workshops are an effective way to explore different ways of meditation, spot meditation and mindfulness. You can immediately apply what you’ve learned into your day-to-day life. No meditation nor yoga experience is necessary. Everybody is welcome.

To book, sign-up in class or send me an email

I look forward to connecting with you.

Thursday Meditation Class – Every first Thursday of the month

After many appreciated requests for a regular meditation class during the week (as not everybody will be able to attend the Sunday Morning monthly meditation workshop), I’m excited to offer you a monthly meditation class on the first Thursday of each month.

6th February

5th March

2nd April

7th May

4th June

6th August

3rd September

8th October

5th November

3rd December

This will be held right after our yoga class, from 11.15am to 12.15pm.  You can come for the double (yoga and meditation) or just for one. Cost is $25 or class pass.

It is my mission to allow you to have a pleasant meditation experience.  Meditation is joyful and do-able by everybody.

The emphasis in this class in on experiencing, exploring and allowing. The benefit of meditation lies in the practice, in the doing and exploring. Not so much in the technique. This class also serves the need of the community, as it becomes more obvious through my work in yoga, coaching and healing, that the ability of becoming present, staying focused, clear thinking, calming and slowing our thinking is an essential life skill to have. One that can’t be learned from a book, one that has to be practiced and experienced. Preferably with permissive guidance.

Be curious, allow yourself to open up to your full potential.

Learn and experience the ART OF MEDITATION in a natural environment, with like-minded people, with an open heart and a curious mind. With me and my experience and wisdom. I’m happy to share and explore with you.
See you on those dates.

This is a casual class and does not require booking.

Yin Yoga and Crystal Bowl Sound Meditation – Masterclass of Relaxation

Friday, 21st February | 18:00 – 20:00 | $40

YIN: 1hr
Yin yoga is a quiet, slow-paced and mostly floor based form of yoga, where yoga poses (asanas) are held for a longer period of time to stimulate the deeper layers of connective tissue.

You will be invited to let go of all muscular effort, allow yourself to come into a pose, be supported by bolsters, blocks and blankets and feel a stretch-like sensation that varies in intensity depending on your own personal preference and physical state of being. You will be encouraged to use your breath to soften, calm and quiet your mind and with that the intensity of the physical sensation.

This is a wonderfully relaxing and flexibility increasing style of yoga

As you make yourself comfortable either sitting or lying down, you can completely let go of all sensation, thought or worry and allow the week that was to simply be as it was.

You will be experiencing a deep sense of physical relaxation and calmness of mind while you are completely immersed in the sound and vibrations of the crystal singing bowls.

A deeply healing and relaxing meditation modality.

Here in our MASTERCLASS, we will explore 60mins of YIN YOGA, followed by 60mins of SOUND MEDITATION.

A fabulous way to let go of the week and start the weekend with intent, clarity and calm.

Although this is an additional service for The Art of Balance client community, everyone is welcome.

No yoga or meditation experience is required.

COST: $40
Book via email –

Payment of $40 reserves your place, and is due with booking.

Bettina Pfannkuch
BSB:733 059

Thank you.

I look forward to sharing this masterclass with you.


SPRING – The season of RENEWAL.

To honour the transition from winter to spring, from darkness to light, see if you can incorporate this simple meditation into your life.  The spring equinox on 21 September marks equilibrium between day and night, and it is the aim of yoga and meditation to restore balance in mind, body and spirit.

In addition to our yoga practice, see this link to website for my suggested yoga poses for spring, a meditation practice will give you another dimension and tool to celebrate the change of season, both within nature and within yourself.  Restoring and finding balance.

Find a comfortable seated position.  Let your spine be long and draw in soft, smooth and even breaths through your nose.  Scan your body and see if you can release any tension with the use of your exhalation. Sit and be like this for a few breaths or longer if time permits.

Meditation Script.

  • Start to feel your sit bones against the surface you are sitting on.
  • See if you can visualize grounding down into your sit bones, as if you are glued to the surface you are sitting on.
  • See if you can visualize growing roots or ankers to the earth.
  • Ask yourself what is grounding you to this earth, what is steadying you, what or who is stabilizing you.
  • Now visualise that, may this be something tangible, or intangible, a person, a thing, a belief, a habit or otherwise. Visualize it, feel it and bring it as close to you as possible.
  • Now, see if you can visualize the top of your head.
  • See if you can imagine that with each inhalation through the top of your head you breathe in new energy, and with each exhalation release anything that is no longer useful to your mind, body and spirit. You do not need to know consciously what that is, the intention to do so is enough for this meditation.
  • Repeat breathing and visualizing in this form for as long as you have time and are comfortable.

If thoughts, feelings, sensations or emotions arise, simply acknowledge them, and see if you can come back to the meditation.

You can practice this anywhere and at any time.  The practice as such is where the benefit lies.

To end, bring your hands into anjali mudra (prayer hands) in front of your heart and close with a moment of gratitude and reflection, soaking up the energy of your meditation into your life and into your whole being.

Enjoy being in meditation, be kind to yourself and have fun.

With my best wishes for a vibrant season of Spring.


Find a comfortable seated position.  Perhaps sit on a cushion or a blanket, lean against a wall, or sit in a chair.  Place your palms facing up in mudra of knowledge (first finger and thumb touching) with your palms facing up to open your awareness and receive energy, or with your palms facing down to ground and calm the mind.

Scan your body and see if you can release any tension with the use of your exhalation.

Let your spine be long and upright.  Slightly draw your chin in and let the back of your neck lengthen.

Bring your attention to the natural rhythm of the breath.  Feel the rise and fall or your inhalation and exhalation.  As you focus on your breath, start to practice the simple mantra “So Hum”.  On your inhale, silently say ‘so’ to yourself and as you exhale, say ‘hum’.  Keep repeating.  Once the ‘so hum’ rhythm has been established, begin to contemplate the meaning of ‘so hum’.

As you inhale with the mantra ‘so’ inwardly say to yourself “I AM”, connecting to your essential self.  Contemplate the source of your breath.  Where is your breath coming from?  Through your visualisation contemplate the 5 billion human beings and countless creatures on Earth being fed by the same tidal rhythm of the breath.

As you exhale with ‘hum’, inwardly say “that” or “ALL THAT IS”.  Feel how your exhalation releases you into the space around you.  Visualize your exhalation leaving your body through your nostrils and then merging back into the atmosphere, back into infinity, back into “all that is”.

See if you can stay with this contemplation until you naturally begin to settle into a state of unified consciousness.  This may only happen for a few brief, refreshing moments at any one time.  If thoughts, feelings, sensations, emotions arise, acknowledge them, and see if you can come back to the simple mantra of ‘so hum’.

To end, bring your hands into anjali mudra (prayer hands) in front of your heart and close with a moment of gratitude and reflection, soaking up the energy of your meditation into your life and into your whole being.

This meditation can be practiced anywhere and anytime.  Please be kind to yourself and accept that in the beginning you may only be able to focus for a few breaths at a time.  There is no expectation as to how long you need to meditate for.  Always make any practice suit your needs and requirements.