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IN THE CITY MAGAZINE
The Canberra Times | In the City Magazine | AUTUMN
Tucked away in a quiet street
of Braddon, a very special man
works his magic, as RAHIMA
Alan Goode began practicing yoga in Sydney in
1975 when he was just 15 years old.
“Two years earlier my mother had passed away
suddenly,” he said.
“The period immediately following my
mother’s death was one of turmoil and I had
no way to make sense of my experience or
what was happening to me – the distress was
On attending his first yoga class, Goode
experienced an intense physical release of tension
and relief from the inner tension of his mind and
emotions for the first time since his mother’s death.
Goode believes that during the teen years, a lot
of people question their identity and direction in
life. For him, the experience of yoga helped him to
find a way to exist in his own skin.
Clad in simple black cloth pants and a black
cotton t-shirt, today, at the age of 50 years old,
Goode is the picture of clarity, wisdom and
Goode practices Iyengar yoga, a rigorous
method of practice that brings body, breath and
He has been the director and owner of the Yoga
Mandir studio in Braddon for the past six years
and has built up a loyal following of yoga fanatics.
One of those fans, 38-year-old Janette Nolan
of Griffith has been practicing yoga under the
instruction of Goode for three years. She swears
“We are really lucky to have someone of his
calibre in Canberra. He makes yoga make so
much sense on how to approach it from the mind,
not just physically”.
Yoga Mandir Studio in Braddon is Goode’s
third yoga school and the students are exposed
to the practice and the philosophy of yoga in a
Goode is a man of the world, so why has he
chosen to settle down in Canberra.
Having run yoga schools since the early 1980s,
when he moved to Canberra in 1995, he set up his
yoga school. He wanted to develop a student body
that was exposed systematically to yogic practices
as well as the subject.
“Yoga is often described as an art and a
science and Canberra provides an excellent
environment to focus my energies towards these
ends,” he says.
“Canberra also has a wonderful mix of city
and bush with ample parkland and cycle ways.”
Canberra’s population is urbane and the
capital understands the value of applying
themselves to something to reap the long-term
He loves the location of Braddon as the
proximity to the city makes it easy for students
to attend classes before work, at lunchtimes and
after work. Being close to the Australian National
University is also beneficial, as students do not
have to travel far to attend a class.
These days, many people know
that yoga is sitting in a room
or outdoor area, usually with a
group of people or by yourself
and manoeuvring your body
into different positions, but a lot
of people do not actually know
what the true purpose of yoga is.
Goode believes yoga is a system
that looks into bringing the body,
breathing and mind together.
“Most people today, experience
disfragmentation and are either
sitting at a desk using their
thoughts but not their bodies or the other way
around,” Goode says.
“Yoga has the capacity to bring all these things
together. As a practice it is a case of letting go of
stresses and distractions and being able to bring
one’s physical and emotional needs together in a
Physically, yoga is fantastic for the body,
increasing flexibility. It is also good for your heart
rate and metabolism. It is believed that a healthy
mind is a key player in one’s overall health.
Nolan has found that it is not just physical
benefits reaped from practicing yoga, but most
importantly, mental benefits.
“I have been practicing yoga for 14 years and I
find the mental benefits of it the most rewarding.
I have an insight into myself and it helps me to
make important decisions in my life.”
Possibly, one of the most important points of
interest is the link between yoga and the healing of
the body. Yoga acknowledges that pain in the body
does not merely affect the body; it also touches us
physically, energetically and emotionally.
Goode believes that an injury or illness doesn’t
just affect the body in a physical form, but also
affects someone emotionally and energetically.
Suffering doesn’t only touch those with injuries
“We all suffer in some way and yoga helps us
look at the source of our suffering and to reach out
for integration” Goode says.
Goode emphasises though, yoga should not be
seen as a substitute for conventional treatments.
Yoga is not a way to avoid suffering; it is instead a
way to face what people have and deal with.
“Every day I have to help people stand in the
face of their difficulties rather than promising a
Photo: Rohan Thomson
Goode for the
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