I first met Val in March 2013 when she started classes at YogaHara. As you will read below, Val had been practicing for many years before she arrived in my class. Over the years she has explored a few different classes and styles, but like me she has a very special place in her heart for her first yoga teacher. Val has a beautiful energy and with her bright smile she is a joy to have in class.
Meet Val Kaeser
Val is a longtime yoga practitioner. And like many long time yogis, understands deeply that yoga is so much more that movement (and in fact is not even movement but something much more profound and integrating).
How I Found My Centre
I would like to share my story of the beginning of when I first was introduced to yoga, way back in 1973.
I had had my 1st beautiful baby girl Karin in 1971 and was pregnant again in 1973 with my 2nd beautiful baby Lisa when I started Yoga in Ringwood, an outer suburb of Melbourne. My teacher was gifted in everything she did and with this she was a beautiful giving human being and a wonderful lady known as Jan Haass who lived in Ringwood. Jan was very well learned and experienced and carried out her classes in her own private home with only 6-7 students. About two years later Jan moved her classes and set up her dream, turning office space into her dream studio. Jan taught every week day and week night with between 12-25 students in each class. She created a studio that had a peaceful and serene atmosphere and decorated in turquoise. The studio was situated in the main street of Ringwood.
Back in 1973 yoga was just being introduced to students in Australia. Some people boo who'd yoga and the teachings. I've been very blessed to have been taught hatha yoga, the art of the yogic breathe and learning the various ways to mediate with such an experienced Hatha Yoga teacher, which was mainly with Jan herself. I attended her school for 10 years until Jan had to close her beloved studio due to ill health. She had taken on too much. I was very disappointed and sadden by the closure of her yoga school and found it very hard to find a teacher like how Jan taught.
I would practised every day doing 5 rounds of Salute to the Sun, spinal twist, head stand, cat and dog poses, lotus poses, various warrior and balancing poses, forward strengths and importantly practising my yogic breathing which is a very important part of our practice and finally mediation and relaxation for 10-15 minutes at the end of our class. I remember Jan taught us to sit and stare at a candle burning. I used to love sitting in the dark at home and practicing looking at the flicking of a candle. This practice has amazing powers, centres, is healing and it is very relaxing and great for sleeping. I regret stopping my yoga practice daily after Jan closed her studio and Jan and her family moved to the warmer climate in Queensland were I lost contact with her.
I practiced Iyengar yoga with a very strict teacher, I think I remember her name as Ingrid and she was of German heritage and her studio still operates in Whitehorse Road, Baldwyn. I believe this lady still teachers. She must be over 100 😊. I tried yoga with many other teachers after Jan, but with no satisfaction. I always have said that we as Jan's students had been spoilt by her knowledge and excellent teaching. I did Anti-natal classes with Jan which helped me have a very relaxed birth when I had my second daughter, Lisa, who will be 45 next March.
I eventually moved from Scoresby in 2004 to Laanecoorie onto a cattle farm with my partner and that is where I meet the lovely yoga teacher Marilyn Grossman who taught the ladies of Laaniecoorie and surrounding areas in the Mechanics Hall at Laaniecoorie. I very much enjoyed Marilyn's yoga classes for older ladies and later I moved to Epsom in 2005 and Marilyn contacted me to say she was teaching again in the White Hills Hall. Marilyn is a student of Gina's and also takes classes for Gina at YogaHara. I've found my yoga path in Life with the beautiful human being, Gina and her wonderful teachers at YogaHara. I would like to take this opportunity of thanking you Gina and your wonderful teachers and I am very blessed to have my pathway cross with you and YogaHara.
Namaste with love Val Kaeser 🙏
If you would like to share your thoughts on yoga or your journey to yoga and be included on our blog, please contact us.