Catherine Potter – Radiant Sun Yoga
I am called to share the holistic physical, mental, emotional, philosophical and spiritual wonders and benefits of yoga with others. I first started yoga some 42 years ago and have been teaching since 2007.
I own and run the Broulee Yoga Shed on the NSW south coast where I have taught regular classes, intensive summer holiday classes, private yoga sessions and yoga earth retreats since 2012.
My yoga draws on many influences and incorporates conscious breath, energy, inner focus, fluidity, flexibility, balance, strength, softness, active postures, flowing movement, restorative and yin practices, guided relaxations, silent meditations, chakras, chanting, nature and earthing, silence, stillness, spirit, wholeness, oneness, connection and wellbeing.
I am a registered full member with International Yoga Teachers Australia – IYTA.
I gained my initial qualification as a Hatha Yoga instructor through Yoga Trinity then did Advanced Vinyasa Flow Yoga training in 2009. I have also been taught by Mark Whitwell from Yoga of Heart.
My first yoga teacher, in 1976 when I was only 16, was the wonderful Roma Blair, mother of Australian yoga. My big sister took me to her classes, for which I am forever grateful. I have explored many yoga styles with many different teachers over the decades since then.
Radiant Sun Yoga is an eclectic mix of styles that have influenced me over the years including:
- Hatha Yoga
- Vinyasa Flow Yoga
- Yoga of Heart – Mark Whitwell
- Iyengar Yoga
- Yoga to Health – Louise Wiggins
- Tai Chi
- Qi Gong
The yoga that I teach is Hatha Yoga. Hatha is the generic name for all types or brands of yoga that incorporate physical poses or asana, breath control or pranayama, and conscious relaxation. Ha-tha is a Sanskrit term that refers to the merging of masculine and feminine dualities, like yang and yin, symbolised as the sun and moon.
Thus Hatha Yoga represents a dynamic balance of these opposite dualities – masculine and feminine, sun and moon, inhale and exhale, yin and yang , fire and water, strong and yielding, light and dark, hot and cold, soft and hard, active and passive, doing and being. Yoga is our direct participation in the union of these opposites, where one empowers the other in limitless reciprocal exchange.
The Sanskrit term “yoga” means to connect, to unite, to join. We connect body, mind, breath and spirit through the practice of yoga. We connect our individual self with the universal self through yoga. We connect nature and consciousness, body and soul, through movement and breath. Breath guides our physical movement. The breath movement is the body movement.
Breath in English is also known as inspiration. To breathe is to inspire, “to be in spirit”. Thus connection to breath makes our yoga inspired, divine, spiritual. When we do conscious breathing in our yoga practice we activate, move and increase prana – the universal life force energy. Breath is the entry point into our energetic layer, our subtle body, our chakra energy system, our own spirits, creation spirit connection, our inner wisdom and our connection to a higher consciousness.
Yoga is not about striving to achieve and to get somewhere. It is about remembering that we are already somewhere. It is about remembering our direct relationship with creative source and the wonder of life as it is given, right here, right now. Inhale. Exhale.
Yoga of Heart
My main yoga teacher is Mark Whitwell of Yoga of Heart. Mark has taught me so much about the purpose and practice of yoga. That yoga is direct participation with life, creative source, as it is right now.
“The ancient wisdom of yoga teaches that Life is already given to you, you are completely loved, you are here now. It teaches that we are not separate, cannot be separate from nature, which sustains us in a vast interdependence with everything. The universe comes perfectly, and is awesome in its integration and infinite existence. This union is our natural state, this union is Yoga. When you experience this connection to the fullness of creation, of nurturing source, you are doing your Yoga. Yoga is your direct participation in nurturing source.
Happiness arises when you relax into the reality of your natural condition. The secrets of the universe are already in you as you. Seeking anything implies that you don’t have it; every search for the idea of enlightenment leads you further away from it. The magnificence of life does not await you – it actually is you. Mark Whitwell
Salute the Sun
The radiant sun shines joy and spirit into our yoga practice. The sun is energy, heat, fire, strength, the source of life and light. It is a symbol of hope, wonder, brilliance, power, health, life.
The sun has long been revered in the yoga tradition as sacred, the physical and spiritual heart of the world. Ancient yogic texts recognised the sun – surya – as the soul of all beings, the creative life force of the universe. Yogis believe that the sun radiates inside as well as outside the body. The sun is the outer symbol of the spiritual light within our inner self, our true essence.
In yoga we practise an ancient flow sequence known as surya namaskar – salutations to the sun. Surya namaskar means to bow to, to honour the sun. Sun salutation is a complete practice for the body, mind and soul. It is a graceful dynamic sequence of poses.
Surya namaskar is an energising way to start your day, and to give reverence to and draw life-giving energy from the sun. Each salute to the sun begins and ends with the hands joined in prayer at the heart in the spirit of devotion and with inner heart awareness. Regular practice of surya namaskar brings increased strength and flexibility to the body, focus and harmony to the mind, and deep connection to the soul of the universe and our inner selves.
With each forward bending posture I surrender, with each back bending posture I open my heart. With every balancing pose I am part of divine oneness. With every salute to the sun I acknowledge the divinity of the universe.
YOGINI by Brian Holmes
poised within the light
the ballet of yoga transpires
as existence itself
fluidly the arms stretch to the sky
amalgamating the energy of the being with the elemental whole
her breath becomes the movement of the tide
the ebb and flow
limbs caress the wind
like wings of an eagle
choreographed to the symphony of the sea
spirit expanding into the moment
past and future in flux into one pure truth
melding with the reflections from spun glass waves
running with the mountains
growing with the forests
seeding the soil
one simplicity within multiple realities
both lost and found between the sands of time
in all directions
her body sculpts serenity from the passions within
from the radiant sun
into the clear crystal morning air
Radiant Sun Yoga Gallery