Another exciting expansion has just been announced from renowned wellness destination, Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat. Further enhancing its already overflowing guest facilities, the retreat has now incorporated a new Iyengar yoga studio, making it the very first retreat in Australia to do so.
Gwinganna’s iconic heritage church has been refurbished to host the new yoga facility, offering unique yoga lessons that will see guests literally hanging from the walls. Known for its use of props and acute focus on technique, Iyengar yoga is very different to the standard yoga classes of Hatha, Yin, Vinyasa and Restorative currently on offer at Gwinganna.
Senior Program Manager and yoga teacher, Donna Abbate, says she’s thrilled with the new studio and that their new Iyengar offering will be ideally suited to guests of any age and experience – even for absolute beginners to yoga. “Iyengar yoga offers a steady step by step approach to postures and breathing,” she says. “It is excellent for rehabilitation and anyone with limitations in their movement. It works for all levels as a beginner feels supported while a more experienced student can access more depth in their practice.”
“When I practice Iyengar yoga, I feel clearer in my mind and more balanced, symmetrical and longer in my body,” says Abbate. “I think people surprise themselves with what they can do and how they can feel.”
Classes feature a range of props including mats, bolsters, blankets, blocks, special chairs and ropes hanging from surrounding walls, and although guests may be familiar with using some of these throughout their standard yoga classes, their use in this exciting and unique context of Iyengar is completely different, but aims to ensure students feel safe, supported and therefore more able to relax during yoga.
Iyengar yoga aims to help students reach and maintain health and wellbeing through precision, timing, and alignment in all poses, doing so through the use of props. Created over 75 years by Yogacharya BKS Iyengar, the practice aims to help participants achieve optimal mental, physical and spiritual stability and strength.
The new studio is another element of Gwinganna’s extensive expansions, of both its facilities and its wellness offerings, and comes soon after the retreat’s recent $1.7m renovation to accommodate a brand new wellness complex.