Meditation

Silence – What Does It Mean To You? Or The Art Of Nada Yoga

Recently, in our name-share-circle (that’s right before we start our yoga practice), we shared what silence means to us.  The question was, what image, word, feeling or felt sense comes up the moment you are asked this question?  What does silence mean to you?

Below are some of the shared answers.  I find them inspiring. You?

Calmness Harmony Beautiful
Can only be felt, cannot be described with words Reading a book Space
The absence of all the noises in my head who tell me I should do this that and the other Swimming under water No sound
The resonance in the silence Stillness Mindful speech
A forest The Chapel of Silence in Helsinki Coming home to a quiet and empty house
Peace The absence of a regular activity/person/thing Being on my own
Clearly hearing the sounds of nature Absence of noise Freedom

We went on to feel silence in our yoga practice.  We were feeling for the silence in our bodies, in our breath and in our minds.  This quote adds another dimension to the idea of silence.

If there is no stillness, there is no silence.

If there is no silence, there is no insight.

If there is no insight, there is no clarity.

-Tenzin Priyadarshi-

This brings me to share with you the concept of Anahata Nada – the unstruck sound.

Anahata Nada is an idea out of the tradition of Nada Yoga.  Nada yoga is commonly referred to as the classical term for yoga of sound.  In this particular case, it is the yoga of meditation, a Hindu Tradition, where sound is used to enter into silence and presence.  At a basic level silence is an absence of noise.  The concept is though that there is an underlying continuous silence underneath all sounds.  The Art of Anahata Nada.  It is through deep listening that we can hear these layers of silence.  We can discover what sound and music reveal to us in the silence that follows sound.  We can also hear the silence as we make sounds.  In yoga practice we can listen to the silence around, beyond and between the breaths.  We can listen with our whole physical body.  We can even go further to hear the silence as we do all our daily activities.

There is an opportunity to experience Anahata Nada in our next community Kirtan here in the studio on April 19th with Cara and her partner Marcus, playing harmonium and drums, and chanting Mantras with us.

When:                   Sunday, 19th April, afternoon 4-5.30pm.

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

Book via sign-in sheet in class, or via email bettina@theartofbalance.com.au

I’m looking forward to sharing this heart felt practice with you.  Together let’s enjoy sound and silence.

Monthly Meditation Workshop – March 2020

Sunday, 15th March | 10.00 – 11.30am | 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 bettina@theartofbalance.com.au

I look forward to connecting with you.

Yin Yoga and Crystal Bowl Sound Meditation – Masterclass of Relaxation

Friday, 20th March | 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

CRYSTAL BOWL SOUND MEDITATION: 1hr
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 – bettina@theartofbalance.com.au

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

Bettina Pfannkuch
BSB:733 059
Acct:512308

Thank you.

I look forward to sharing this masterclass with you.

Yoga & Meditation URBAN RETREAT

Autumn Yoga Retreat – 28th March 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 AUTUMN. We will explore the energy and idea of the season of AUTUMN and how we can support our health and wellbeing during this season.

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:            28th March 2020

TIME:             1pm to 5pm

BOOKING:

Booking via email bettina@theartofbalance.com.au

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.

KIRTAN – Mantra Chanting – Sound Meditation – April 2020

Sunday, 19th April | 4.00 – 5.30pm | $30 p.p.  / $50 per family

With Cara and band. Harmonium and Drums.

Kirtan is a form of call-and-response chanting in a group. A mantra is chanted back to a lead singer who accompanies him or herself with traditional instruments, like the harmonium and / or drums

Through chanting we connect effectively to our hearts. The sound, the vibrational energy and the experience of chanting allows our hearts to ease, to soften and to heal.

As Krishna Das says: ” Through chanting we offer our hearts in love to the presence of Love in this moment “. ‘

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.

All you have to do is walk through ABOVE door, take a seat and enjoy exploring your voice. No singing, yoga or meditation experience is required.

We will chant several chants, in addition to 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.

Our facilitators Cara and her partner Marcus bring us voice, harmonium, drums as well as enthusiasm and experience.

When:                     Sunday, 19th April 2020.

Time:                      4pm to 530pm.

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.

No yoga, no singing, no meditation experience is necessary.

Please book via sign-in sheet in the studio or contact me on bettina@theartofbalance.com.au

Om shanti. Peace always.

What Is KIRTAN?

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 bettina@theartofbalance.com.au

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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQjHSIHPJfw

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.

HOW TO STAY MOTIVATED!

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.

REASONS FOR AND BENEFITS OF MEDITATION

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.

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.