In a time where #ISO has become one of the top trending words, and everything is about how to manage your anxiety and stress whilst in self-isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic, Bondi-based yoga instructor and founder of Power Living Yoga Duncan Peak, is using his knowledge of yoga and meditation to give back.
Power Living is offering free meditation classes in thirty minute sessions weekly for the foreseeable future.
Duncan was introduced to yoga at a very young age, but it was when he was a teenager, through the study of yoga, meditation and various martial arts, he established a connection to his spiritual presence within.
This encouraged him to question his purpose in life. From a rebellious teenager to spiritual warrior, his journey is somewhat unique; inspired by grief, personal hardships and his personal triumph over many obstacles in his life.
Before founding Power Living, Duncan’s journey included serving as a Captain in the elite Paratrooper Regiment of the Australian Army. He also had a highly successful period consulting to corporate businesses on best practice management and was a focused athlete; an Australian services rugby union representative.
His teachings blend contemporary Vinyasa Yoga with ancient philosophical wisdom which is relevant and accessible to anyone wanting to grow physically, emotionally and spiritually. He is the original pioneer of contemporary yoga in Australia, and the Founder, Master Facilitator and CEO of Power Living.
Smashing the traditional yoga stereotypes, it’s his creative vision and courageous spirit that have shaped what Power Living is today: one of Australia’s largest and most successful yoga communities.
With Seven studios across Australia, peak has 12,000 students coming to classes each week as well as a world-class 200-500hr teacher training program with thousands of graduates globally. He is author of Modern Yoga, creator of multiple yoga DVDs/CDs and launched Australia’s first virtual yoga platform, YOGAHOLICS.
He is driven by a genuine desire for the wellbeing of others and his belief in the ability of yoga to positively transform lives.
“I want to stay at the forefront of modern yoga, functional vinyasa, modern movement and leadership skills. It’s the philosophy embedded in our 200HR global leading Teacher Training programs.
The practise I take myself through and bring into our programs is always centred around deepening the practice, the sense of self, purpose, and confidence. It’s about empowerment through your yoga practice to become the very best human and teacher you can be.
I practice to become more present in life. I train in a way that allows for a safe, life-long practice. It’s important to understand nurturing mobility (active range of motion), not just flexibility, and how to share that knowledge with others. It’s about creating a yogic lifestyle you can sustain forever,” he says.
If there’s any advice Duncan would pass onto his former self before his twenty year yoga journey, he would say yoga has shown him how to be more self-aware and tell his younger self to avoid bad behaviours, be mindful of thought patterns and beliefs which don’t serve any purpose later in life.
“Physically yoga keeps me fit, agile and allows me to play all the other sports I love. As a philosophy however, I have more inner peace. Through practising yoga and its philosophies I continually attempt to develop better self-awareness so I know when I am creating stress.
Like the times I am placing too much demand on myself, or creating stories out of things that just are as they are. As a result of yoga I try to be really aware and accountable for my own inner state at all times. The attitude that ‘the problem is never out there or because of someone else but is within me’, is really empowering and humbling to remember.
We are always responsible for our choice to be negative or to complain. It is not the situations, it is the thoughts and negative tendencies to act that are the issues. I try to be really accountable to that,” he says.
Here’s what Duncan recommends for anyone starting out a first time yogi:
“I encourage people, rather than being fixated on poses, or glorifying poses, just to enjoy their individual journey. Rest assured that when you focus on the building blocks that lead to more advanced poses, the results will take care of themselves, probably faster than if you had simply fixated on the result to begin with.
Try to have no attachment to the result and just be present in your journey. Yoga as purely a movement system is limiting the potential or your mind and body transformation. Yoga can be looked upon as an art not a bulletproof practice for your body. Focus on a complete system of body, mind and character transformation, there is not another system that comes close. Asana is a small part, remember the whole is needed to transform your life.I am always relearning Yoga.
For me it is the ability to accept complete uncertainty and not let it turn into fear. Like all of us, I have lots of big decisions and at times in life we can have larger uncertainty. I’m trying to simply sit with the true nature of life, impermanence until genuine insight dawns upon me, often it’s in a yin pose I’ll go to in these moments.”
Click here to connect with the meditation classes – this link will recur each week.
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