Swami Umapuri tours Australia – Queensland
The final destination of Swami Umapuri's 2023 tour 'down-under' was the state of Queensland, in north-eastern Australia, where she visited Yoga in Daily Life ashrams and centres in Brisbane, Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast.
Sri Devpuriji Ashram Yoga in Daily Life Centre
Upon arrival from Melbourne on Tuesday 14 March, Umapuri immediately became an integral member of the Brisbane Sri Devpuriji Ashram by teaching some of the regular classes and kindly helping out with ashram chores and duties in the spirit ofkarma yoga (selfless service for the good of all), wherever and whenever it was needed, showing a great example of a selfless, tireless karma yogi.
The official program of a special week with Swami Umapuri started on Friday 17 March, with a Weekend Seminar with a variety of workshops, including Hatha Yoga Kriyas, Yoga Nidra, Vegetarian Cooking and a Back & Neck Workshop. There were also evening lectures on the weekend plus a four-evening series of yoga classes and lectures during the week.
Swami Umapuri attracted many people, who were deeply touched and inspired by her caring nature, love, radiant energy and immense wisdom. She welcomed all with an open heart and remembered the name of everyone who came to classes, giving her attention to all participants. Everyone enjoyed the gentle but very effective asanas for maintaining a healthy back and neck.
Umapuri shared with full honesty her personal experiences on the spiritual journey. She inspired all students to be actively involved in lectures with singing spiritual songs or reading from the Lila Amrit book, which created a warm atmosphere where everyone felt welcome and part of the community.
Sightseeing around Brisbane
Many of the students participated in almost all events, enjoying a full week-long seminar. They greatly appreciated this opportunity being available in the city, where they could join the events alongside their own daily duties.
Between events, Swami Umapuri took the group for beautiful walks along the Brisbane River, giving them more opportunities for personal talks, guidance and a joyful time together. During the weekdays, they visited a few landmarks in Brisbane, such as the Story Bridge over the Brisbane River and Mount Coot-tha Lookout, and also enjoyed some lovely walks by the ocean.
Swami Umapuri has a deep love and respect for the vast oceans of Australia, the ocean being a symbol of the divine consciousness – just as the ocean is the final destination of all waterdrops, into which they eventually unite and merge; so does the individual consciousness merge into the divine consciousness, as the ultimate aim of spiritual life.
YIDL members' special event
After the initial special week in Brisbane, Swami Umapuri had programs in the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast for a week, and then returned to Brisbane for another weekend seminar organised specifically for Yoga in Daily Life members, devotees and teachers from all over Australia. It was a unique opportunity to come together and deepen the knowledge of teaching yoga, learn about cooking for Vishwaguruji, and feel uplifted by being together in the 'boat of satsang' .
When the time came to say farewell, the group really appreciated having spent time together, reinforcing the connection and unity between everyone, and felt immensely grateful from the depth of their hearts for Swami Umapuri’s visit – she is a true channel of her yoga master, Vishwaguruji, teaching and guiding with the love and care of a mother.
Special thanks go to Jalebi, who travelled around Australia with Swami Umapuri and tirelessly helped in all the yoga centres throughout the whole tour, and she joins everyone in Brisbane in looking forward to welcoming Swami Umapuri back in the future, with open hearts and arms.
Swami Umapuri’s visit to the Sunshine Coast, north of Brisbane, lasted from Friday 24 till Tuesday 28 March.
Kureelpa lectures and workshops
The first event was held at the Yoga in Daily Life centre in the village of Kureelpa on Friday afternoon, with a meeting of local YIDL teachers. Everyone had a chance to introduce themselves and ask questions, after which all enjoyed a very relaxing Yoga practice session focusing on asanas and exercises from the book, 'Yoga for a Healthy Back', authored by Vishwaguruji Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda and published by Yoga in Daily Life.
The session transformed into an inspiring lecture from Swami Umapuri, followed by evening prayers and a delicious dinner.
On Saturday 25 March, Kureelpa hosted a Vegetarian Cooking Workshop, creating a healthy lunch together as a lucky group of YIDL teachers and students. Everyone learnt a lot from Swami Umapuri's expertise and felt very satisfied after preparing and enjoying the meal.
Maroochydore workshops, classes and lectures
On Saturday and Sunday evenings, Swami Umapuri gave inspiring lectures in the Maroochydore YIDL Studio in the centre of the Sunshine Coast, where people could attend in person and also join the event online. Many participants joined from around Queensland, across Australia and overseas too.
During the day on Sunday 26 March, there were morning and afternoon sessions with practices to understand the chakras and their effects on physical, mental and emotional health, as two parts of a day-long workshop titled, Yoga for Resilience, Strength & Vitality with asanas, pranayama and meditation. Yoga practitioners enjoyed the Sunday workshops, some staying all day, with a delicious lunch in between, and some doing either the morning or afternoon.
On Monday and Tuesday mornings, students were offered special extended classes with themes, Yoga for Healthy Ageing and Yoga for Back Care. Both of these relaxing and inspiring sessions were well-attended and many of the regulars said they enjoyed the special attention that Swami Umapuri gave to each student and the encouragement for their home practice, with some of them already reporting new benefits.
Everyone who participated in the programs felt part of the community and experienced their own particular benefits of Yoga in Daily Life. There was a lot of dedicated practice, sincere reflection, as well as joy and laughter, and lots of delicious healthy food, mostly prepared by volunteers, under Swami Umapuriji's expert guidance. Many have been inspired to establish more regular practice and study of Yoga, and all are already looking forward to her next visit.
All yoga students were delighted to hear that Swami Umapuri was touring Australia and even more so to learn that she would be visiting the Gold Coast on 29 - 30 March. So a special event was organised for students and anyone else interested in the subject of yoga and meditation, in the Mudgeeraba Yoga in Daily Life Studio, located in the beautiful Hinterland region of the Gold Coast.
The talk was truly inspirational and centred on the purpose and benefits of 'Yoga and meditation in our daily lives'. Swami Umapuri discussed the importance of choosing a vegetarian lifestyle, why everyone needs to practise yoga postures daily together with pranayama breathing techniques, and the importance of mental health and meditation.
Her lecture was captivating, with the room in concentrated silence as everyone listened to her every word. At the end of the session, she led a 15-minute meditation for the group, which was beautiful and also very well received.
After the formal part of the evening, Swami Umapuri invited anyone who was interested in yoga and particularly anyone with special health concerns, such as neck, back, hip problems etc., to attend a special yoga session the following evening, again in the Yoga in Daily Life Studio. It was a very generous offer, and many came, including people who had not tried Yoga before. Everyone enjoyed the class and the Gold Coast now welcomes some new regular yoga students as a result.
A delicious meal was served on both nights, the first prepared by the venue host Dharmraja, and the second created under the masterful cooking of Swami Umapuri.
Thanks are given to all who attended and helped at the events, especially to our YIDL Australia president, Purnima from Adelaide, Jalebi from Brisbane, who was travelling with Swami Umapuri, Pavitra all the way from Yoga in Daily Life Tasmania, our resident local yoga instructor Seva Puri, and not least to our dear Swami Umapuri, whose presence was such a blessing for all.