Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Reflections from the mat : Kripalu edition

Reflections on Kripalu 
10JUL15 - 12JUL15 
This past weekend I spent my time at the Kripalu Yoga center in Western Mass. I attended a workshop with Shiva Rea called "Prana Vinyasa Movement Alchemy tending the sacred fire" and in one word it was amazing.  The entire workshop focused on tuning into the tempo of our bodies and looking at the yoga practice through the natural elements.  It was intense and I was able to put my body into places that I didn't know I could go.  I really liked how she related everything back to a visceral feeling and wanted to have balance between the elements, earth, fire, wind and water. 

So all that being said here are some highlights.... In no particular order..... 

One the last day we did I guess you could call a full elemental practice, with components in each element.... During that we did a YOGA KRYIA which felt sort of prayer like. She played music and we closed our eyes and moved from "camel like pose" to fully extended on our bellies or child's pose.  It was so intense to open up my heart that way. And surprisingly doing the "camel like" movements didn't freak me out. I felt liberated. Immediately after we paired up and did partnered forward bending, when you sit back to back with someone and the one person goes into seated forward bend while the other lies on top of them, and it was amazing. 

The afternoon session we decided to have down on the lake, which first of all was really gorgeous.  So we went down in our bathing suits and yoga clothes and had the session. But the amazing part happened at the end. We all went in the water, including Shiva Rea, and did a floating savasana. We grouped up and held each other up in the water. During which we all om ed.  It was really good cool and relaxing in a new way to be floating in a sea of oms in a much more literal way then ever before.  Once we'd all done that we were standing and freezing because well it's Massachusetts... The water never gets hot. And Shiva started "drumming" the water.   . we all joined in a circled up. Then we started to chant. Unfortunately I don't remember the Sanskrit (I asked later what it was and it was something to evoke the earth mother goddess ) and we did sort of a round with a Sanskrit chant and "going down to the river to pray" all the while slapping the water.  The collective consciousness was INCREDIBLE.  

I experienced my first "Yoga Trance Dance".  This is admittedly what I had known her for but not really known what it was.  It was all about organic movement, and a different type of movement mediation.  Through dance and freedom and no structure. It took me a while to fully give in, but when I did it was incredible. I thought about the year I've had, and all the fear and anxiety and anger I have experienced and it a certain extend still hold residually.  I realized how long it had been since I felt truly free and I just let go. And dance in the dark with all these other yogis. But of course like any good yoga experience there was a savasana. We laid down wherever we were and blissed out. It was great. 

I was pleasantly surprised with my dormitory experience. All the women were nice and I really connected with a few. And good on Kripalu for sticking us together since we mostly all were in the same workshop. 

I got into the quad stretch version of half pigeon for possibly the first and only time. 

I went way farther in (foot behind head) reclined... Then I ever thought possible. 

The food was amazing. And then had a continual supply of Kitchri.  Though tummy got funny with so much ruffage. 

I realized that you can still have a powerful practice outside the powers tradition. But using the different types of salutations at different types and different purposes you had build a heck of a lot of inner heat. 

I want to learn more about mudras. 

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