Kali Natha Yoga at URU Yoga and Beyond

I received some most exciting news last week! I’m adding another class to the schedule at Uru Yoga and Beyond. This isn’t just any ‘ole class either, folks. I got permission to teach Kali Natha Yoga at Uru.

Why would I need permission? You might ask. And from whom?

I’m studying with the Teacher of my heart, Swami Jaya Devi, in Atlanta in her 500 hour teacher training program. In that I am learning Kali Natha Yoga as taught by Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati. I want to teach this yoga because teaching is another form of practice. But also, when I practice or teach Kali Natha Yoga I am in the flow of that lineage and in such sweet harmony with the teachings. I feel that I’m in the presence of my Teacher no matter where in the world we are.

I inquired as to whether I may teach at the yoga studio in Pensacola because I’m still in training. Like novice hairdressers who need to practice on a warm body once they graduate from those infernal mannequin heads, teaching yoga is not very different.

I assure you, future Kali Natha Yoga practitioners, that I am an infinitely better yoga instructor than I am a hairdresser. No one needs to worry about losing an ear or their hair smoking and burning under a dome dryer! Having said that, it’s better to check in with one’s Teacher before teaching the things one studies.

My poetic heart doesn’t answer the question of what, exactly, this kind of yoga is. So I went to the website to help find the right language to describe it.

Kali Natha Yoga takes its name from Mother Kali, the all-embracing Mother who takes the pain and suffering of her children, and the Nathas who are ancient yogis from the lineage of Lord Shiva. It is this balancing of masculine and feminine that makes Kali Natha Yoga transformative. This yoga awakens the Divine feminine principle of Shakti and moves the practitioner to a deeper self-awareness.

Kali Natha Yoga is a root yoga, complete in itself, and can be used as the basis for all other yoga practices. It utilizes many of the yogic tools including mantra, mudra and pranayam and can change the breath and the quality of blood. It changes air to prana and prana to pure shakti. Every chakra is opened and stretched. The essence of Kali Natha Yoga interweaves together the mind, body and soul. 

I couldn’t have said it any better myself.

Kali Natha Yoga is on the schedule at Uru Yoga and Beyond  beginning the weekend after Labor Day. Class will be Saturdays at 2 pm. There will be a monthly series, so we have a chance to dive into it and devote heart and mind to some of the variations that show up while visiting the same set of postures. This will provide Time and Space to investigate the challenges and growth born from repeated efforts.

Kali Natha Yoga is a moving meditation, a prayer in motion and the unspoken poetry of the soul. I cannot wait to practice with you.

nataraja

Teachers in Training

Well, we’re approaching one of my favorite times of year. If you know me, you might think I’m talking about my cat’s birthday or Halloween, which are also two of my favorite times of year. I am not talking about my own birthday or the celebration of when Hazel came to live with me, either.

I am talking about the day when the yoga teacher trainees at Uru Yoga and Beyond begin to teach yoga. I love it when that happens.

I’m a mentor in the teacher training program. I got to be this lucky because a special fantastic lady, Caroline, had been taking my yoga classes and decided she wanted to do the program last year. Uru’s owner and director developed the mentor program, in part, so my friend and I could work together. It was a most special fantastic time for us both. Now we both teach at the same studio. Check the schedule and go see her, too.

So here I am, doubly blessed because I’m in the second year of being a mentor in the training. These folks learning to teach yoga spend the first five months learning about technique, flow, sequencing, postures and alignment (not to mention all of the personal growth that begins immediately). In the fifth month of training they start practicing on the public.

It’s not unlike beauty school when the public can make an appointment with a beautician in training and get their hair done, for good or ill. Except in the case of new yoga teachers there’s no risk of chemical burns to the ears from perms gone wrong or messy side bangs accidentally cut to one’s hairline.

Being a mentor is its own practice and I still can’t believe how lucky I am. I’m a very new teacher myself in the whole scheme of things. Even so, I get to watch teachers form from the bones of devotion to practice. As they take shape as instructors their own maturity adds flesh to their shape. Confidence, shining more brightly after every moment they practice the art of instruction, becomes the luster and glow of their complexion.

That’s the news folks. The teacher trainees are taking the reins in my classes at Uru (but only for a few poses, just to practice). Everyone who attends a class in which a teacher trainee works contributes to the development of them as future yoga instructors. Just like I wouldn’t be able to do the work I love without the sweet souls who attend my classes, these women wouldn’t be able to do the work of becoming instructors without your attendance.

This is special and sacred work and we’re all in this together

Here is an Image of Ganesha, the Lord of Obstacles, both creating and destroying them for our highest good. May He continue to guide you on your way.  Namaste and Good Luck Teachers in Training.

Ganesha om