What Yoga? – Here we go!
In classic ‘me’ fashion I was starting to run behind getting to my first yoga class. I’d just got in from a big meeting on the other side of town, had a late night the night before, stress levels were up and I had to feed the kids…
After slapping a record-timing *10-minute Tuna Pasta in front of them (must plan it all a bit earlier on ‘Yoga’ nights), the ‘lady in my phone’ (GPS) told me I did in fact have enough time to make it.
I trust her, implicitly.
BEFORE: Watch out! Click to see Savannah on the road to Yoga (Bad driving disclaimer: The judder bar car overtaken in this vlog had virtually stopped and obviously wasn’t running late for anything…)
This time I was going rural and playing it safe by attending a class being held by someone I know, Tracy Manu, who happens to be a life coach as well, so overall she is an inspiring person to be around before we even put down a mat to begin. In fact? Tracy even provides the mats and comfy warm blankies, bonus!
KNOW YOUR ROUTE –
A basic requirement on any journey is to ‘know your route’… as I pulled into where I thought the hall would be, I was welcomed instead by a boat club brimming with locals drinking beer and smoking cigarettes out on the deck. This is not what I had pictured, the relaxing, healthy Yoga retreat I had hurried from afar for. After asking for directions and politely turning down their invitation to join them as it was “more fun here”, I drove onto what was, in fact, a true Yoga haven amongst the trees.
The hall is brand new. Pristine. The setting is by the Stillwater Campground on the Stillwater Reserve which sits by the water, which is very still.
As terrible as it was to be slightly late after my (near) pub visit, I was ushered into place (up the front) and seamlessly integrated into the world of “Kundalini” Yoga. Tracy succinctly took us through a description of what “Kundalini” is. I was on my way to being relaxed just watching her talk! The lighting, the white clothing, the background hand-made bunting hanging on the wall!?
Then it began…
This style is not just ‘lolling around on mats’ breathing deeply and chanting… the following hour and a half was the most activity I’d had for quite sometime. The main breathing technique (Agni Pran/‘Breath of Fire’) was deep and rapid and stirred layers of stomach muscles I had long left as a lost cause. After holding, at length, in positions you wouldn’t normally put yourself in, you are instructed to relax and reflect and sink into a semi-meditative state, reflecting on the pose and its effects on your body … hold… hold… ouch… breathe…hold… re-e-e-l-l-l-l-l-l-l-l-l-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-x-xx…
Being a person who likes to relax after activity, I found this part of the class most rewarding. Not just because I am unfit… it’s just that each time we reflected on an exercise? I seemed to sink deeper into the spirit and meditation as we were guided to be there, so efficiently, by Tracy.
Then there was the meditation itself. First we lay on our backs, under blankets, completely relaxed for quite some time. The effects of our movements were coursing all around, from organs out to muscles. I thought that was that for the meditation. I was definitely ‘there’. Then we sat up and, guided by music and singing a beautiful chant together, we ended the session.
AFTER? (too dark for vlogging) = Relaxed. Empowered. Enlightened. Exercised. Feeling delicious!
Kundalani Yoga (also referred to as the Yoga of Awareness) is intended to wake you up out of your slumber and jump-start your physical and spiritual transformation. Be prepared to learn chants (in the Sikh language of Gurmukhi), mudras (sealing gestures), and kriyas (defined in Kundalini Yoga as sequences of movement-oriented poses, vigorous pranayama, and meditation). Each kriya is intended to create a specific outcome, such as detoxing your system, stimulating the heart center, or building immunity.
This challenging practice might push your limits—and that’s sort of the point.*
Founder – Yogi Bhajan (1929-2004)
Location – Stillwater Community Hall
Cost – (at this stage?) Only $11!
Blanket – Provided
Attire – Wear white (or just comfy clothes)
Class length – Approx. 1.5 hrs
Fitness level: General
Mantra: Sat Nam is the mantra that is most widely used in Kundalini Yoga practice. Sat means truth, the reality of one’s existence. Nam means name or identity. Sat Nam is true identity. Sat Nam is in the sacred language of Gurmukhi. So, this time round, that is how we sign off …– Savvy x
If you missed the first installment? Catch up right here: Click for ‘Part #1 – Beginners Yoga’
* Yoga night 10-minute Tuna Pasta –
Boil a pot of water with a splash of oil and pinch of salt / place in pasta of any kind / cook for 10 minutes whilst (optional) frying bacon bits / mix a can of tuna with mayo, lemon juice and balsamic vinegar / drain pasta / toss tuna mix throughout / dish-up / throw in front of children / kiss the family good-bye / go to Yoga