Living Yoga: A Year Long Commitment to our Selves through Yoga Practice

The program is being run as part of the Victorian Integral Yoga Association (VIYA)’s celebration of the 50th Anniversary  of Integral Yoga and is designed for those of us who really want to commit to Yoga as a way of life and would find it helpful to have a formal structure and a like-minded group to support our living the teachings of Yoga. This program will be an opportunity to develop a home Yoga practice or extend and build on your current practice and is suitable to both new and experienced students. Everyone is welcome.

It will be presented by Chitra Stern, Mitra Dema and Simone O’Donnell, all Integral Yoga teachers with extensive experience in program leadership and current teachers in Melbourne and Daylesford. The teaching team will be assisted by Deb Absler, Yoga Talks Convenor.

Participating in the program will  be an opportunity to have a lot of fun, to get to know ourselves and each other better, and for us all to deeply integrate Yoga into our daily lives. Together, we can experience the extraordinary transformation that comes through sadhana (dedicated Yoga study and practice) and sangha (like-minded spiritual community).

Through out the year, there will be a balance of Yoga study and group practice (8 group sessions: 5 x 1/2 day and 3 x full day classes), personal exploration and practice (documented and supported with a monthly diary – online and downloadable) and individual mentoring.

Group sessions will be tailored to the specific needs and experience levels of the participants and will address a variety of yogic lifestyle components to support our wellbeing on all levels – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.

Some of the topics we will cover are:

– The foundations of Yoga philosophy and practice including the 6 branches of Integral Yoga and how we can integrate them into daily living

– The 8 limbs of Yoga and other key components from the classic Yoga text, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, including in depth study and practice of the yamas and niyamas (ethical and lifestyle principles of Yoga)

– The power of intention – creating a Yoga mission statement and using sankalpa (intention/affirmation) and bhavana (visualisation)

– Developing and supporting a daily practice of pranayama (breathing practices), meditation and Hatha Yoga

– Mind/body connection

– Releasing and managing stress

– Yogic diet and food awareness

– Creating living and work environments that support us

– Other vital lifestyle components including physical exercise (in addition to Hatha Yoga), creative expression and effective communication

We will each have the option of a practice buddy to connect with, to give and receive support as well as having access to an online support forum.

If you wish, you can get together with Mitra, Chitra or Simone for personal mentoring throughout the year (up to 3 x 1hr private sessions) and email specific questions along the way. There will also be plenty of opportunity during group sessions to address areas of specific interest.

The program will run in two parts: an introductory session, where we will overview the program and set our foundations for our practice, and a further 7 sessions where we will deepen our understandings and experiences through study together and dedicated practice.

As the program is a major commitment, you are welcome to attend the introductory session before you decide on the full program. You are also welcome to contact us if you have any questions about whether this is the right program for you.


Introductory Session: Living Yoga – Setting the foundations for practice: how, why, what and when?  Saturday January 30, 1 – 5pm, followed by a pot-luck vegetarian supper: $60 / $50 conc.

Sessions 2  – 8 (dates below): $520 / $430 conc., which includes 7 group sessions, monthly diary, email support and 3 one-hour private mentoring sessions. Deposit of $200 due by February 27, balance to be paid before June 30. If finances are a challenge, please chat with us.

Booking and payment can be made at

The code for EFT payment is “FYYEFT”  – for those who wish to book without a credit card.

Monies received will be used to cover presenters’ fees and other program costs, with any remainder being held to fund future programs and/or donated to charity.


TBA – to foster connection, as a practical experience of Karma Yoga and to keep costs down, we would like to run sessions at participants’ houses – once we know who is participating, and who is able to offer a space, we will finalise locations. If you know already that you want to participate and would like to offer your home as a venue for one or more sessions, please let us know.


Sat Jan 30 – Introductory Session – 1/2 day: 1-5pm (followed by a pot-luck vegetarian supper)

Feb – no session as we have our Yoga retreat day in Sorrento on Feb 27

Sun March 20 – Session 2 – Full day:10-5pm (bring pot-luck veg plate to share for lunch)

Sun 1st May – Session 3 – 1/2 day:1-5pm

Sun 29th May – Session 4 – 1/2 day:1-5pm

Sun June 26 – Session 5 – Full day:10-5pm (bring pot-luck veg plate to share for lunch)

July – no session

August – no session as we have our Winter Yoga Retreat weekend Aug 19-21

Sun 18th September – Session 6 – 1/2 day:1-5pm

Sun 23rd October – Session 7 – 1/2 day:1-5pm

Sun Nov 27 – Session 8 – Full day:10-5pm (bring pot-luck veg plate to share for lunch)

Please note that Yoga Talks Satsangs will be held following some of the sessions which participants will be welcome to attend.

More information: Contact Chitra at chitra108@bigpond or Mitra at

We really hope you can join us – this is a great opportunity to really take the plunge and live Yoga to the fullest!