Retreat leader Maxine Yeates is no stranger to Oneworld Retreats, having visited Kumara on many occasions. She knows firsthand the life changing benefits and the power of a retreat and is delighted to return as guest leader and to share her knowledge and passion.
Maxine’s love of all things yoga has been instrumental in her taking the leap from a busy career in the corporate world to a full-time yogi. Maxine has led a number of Urban Retreats in her home town Melbourne, as well as running her own Corporate Yoga business and teaching in several popular studios.
Maxine enjoys teaching a variety of styles including Hatha, Vinyasa and Yin Yoga. Philosophy, pranayama and meditation are skilfully interwoven throughout her teaching, providing guests with a complete yoga experience. Maxine believes that yoga is for everybody, and if you can take a breath you can do yoga. So whether you are an established practitioner or completely new to yoga, Maxine invites you to join her on this wonderful, soul-enriching journey back to self.
It grounds me. My practice makes me feel stronger, more compassionate and more humble. Yoga has helped me create space and with that I act more skillfully.
How do you come back to your inner peace?
Through my daily Meditation and Pranayama practice. It sets me up for the day. Even if i am short on time I will find a few minutes to be still. After all, 5 minutes is better than no minutes!
Your top wellness tip?
Pratice gratitude. It’s so easy to get caught up in our daily worries and concerns, which grinds us down and depletes our energies. Practicing gratitude, however small, reminds us that there is always something that gives us hope and joy.
Maxine Yeates is no stranger to Oneworld Retreats, she has visited us many times and now she is returning as a retreat leader to share her knowledge and passion. Read below our interview with Maxine.
You have been to Bali many times and now you are returning as a retreat leader. What attracts you to Bali?
I feel like I just have to visit Bali at least once a year, especially Ubud. For me it’s like I’m coming home. I have a great sense of ease and peace when I visit and can just absolutely let go and be myself. There is a spiritual charge in Bali that is like nowhere else and I always feel revitalized and restored after spending a few days immersed in this wonderful environment. The Balinese are the most beautiful, generous and hospitable people and I very much enjoy spending time in their company and learning about their culture. I cannot imagine my life without Bali!
How has yoga changed your life?
In immeasurable ways! I had been practicing yoga based stretching for many years, but it wasn’t until the sudden passing of my father that Yoga appeared to me in its truest sense. From that point forward, I began to give myself a break. Yoga allowed me to be kinder to myself, less judgmental and more compassionate. I’ve learnt to connect with my physical and emotional body in ways I never thought possible. I’ve slowed down the mental chatter, become more introspective and found space to breathe. Most importantly I’ve connected with my purpose and with that I am able to live more joyfully.
What exactly is Yin yoga?
Yin Yoga is a complementary style of yoga that supports our more Yang style Yoga practice (Hatha. Vinyasa etc), bringing about balance. Whereas other forms of yoga work to strengthen and lengthen the muscles and soft tissue, Yin Yoga works on the harder tissues of the joints, cartilage, fascia, bones etc. Through mild stress on these tissues, we allow the body to explore its full range of motion and provoke the body’s natural healing response in these areas. Additionally, the energy pathways or meridians in the body are stimulated thus removing blocks and stagnant energy and restoring health and vitality to the organs, much in the same way as acupuncture.
Yin is a particularly mindful practice. Passive poses are held for several minutes as we relax our muscles as best we can to access the hard tissues. As we do so, we are encouraged to lean in and explore the sensations – which may be physical, emotional, spiritual – just as they are, without judgement. In this way we learn to be more present, resilient and focused.
What is your favourite pose and why?
This is a hard one as it changes all the time. I would have to say that currently it would be Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose). I love the expansion I feel in this posture. I feel open and stretched in all directions and I love playing with my balance. This hip opening pose strengthens my ankles and knees and build my concentration, focus and confidence. I wasn’t able to practice this pose for a long time due to an adductor injury, which inhibited wide legged postures, but with patience and a little self-compassion I have slowly found this asana again.
Describe this retreat in just one sentence
A perfect opportunity to bring about presence, connect with self, restore balance and take your yoga practice to the next level.
Often in our busy lives we find it challenging to find stillness and this can leave us feeling depleted, drained and lacking vitality and joy. This retreat is designed to recalibrate and bring balance to the energies by harmonising the yin and the yang aspects of our being.