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

This Just In

I am very excited to let ya’ll know that the “It’s Good To Be New” Seven Week Intro to Yoga Series has been added to the schedule on Nine Mile Road as a weekly class. The initial seven weeks were inspired by the chakra system. Moving forward we’ll focus on the importance of breath in practice and proper alignment for yoga postures while balancing strength and flexibility. See you Sundays at 2 pm! (new Nine Mile location)

I’ve been watching classes grow at Uru Yoga and Beyond and it’s incredible to watch such a beautiful process. One of the things I’ve noticed about my Monday class in particular is that folks new to the studio are transitioning out of some of the strictly introductory classes and are dipping their toes in the waters of open level and slow flow classes.

It’s all very exciting. I’ve changed the structure of the Monday class, which is an hour and fifteen minutes, to address the growing population of feisty Yogis! I’m changing the 4:30 pm class to an open level class appropriate for all levels of experience. Here’s the class description from the website:

New and seasoned yogis are welcome in this invigorating hour and fifteen minute yoga session. The class is structured to introduce new students to a faster pace of practice while gently and playfully challenging practitioners of all levels of experience. Students can also expect breath practices and concepts of yoga philosophy to inspire the class.

The 6 pm class on Monday is still Divine Balance and Flow, which I lovingly call my Grab Bag class. You never know what you’re going to get when you arrive; restorative, invigorating arm balances and back bends or maybe a sampling of Kali Natha Yoga when I return from a weekend intensive with Swami Jaya Devi.

I am currently very inspired by Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30 pm. In these two classes I want to get back to the true essence of Slow Flow, in which practitioners gain strength and flexibility by concentrating on steady and slow guided yoga postures. The roots of your practice will grow deep with this concentration and balance of effort and ease. The practice takes on a rhythm reflective of the natural and constant flow of breath, reminding us that the most sacred part of the practice is our own presence.

Thursdays at 4 pm I plan on spending the hot summer months slowing the pace way down in the Intro to Flow class. We’re going to invest our energy in letting the breath cue the movements. This slowing allows us to move more gracefully from the inside out into the world, rather than being influenced by outer influences and internalizing them.

At Chip’s Gym in Gulf Breeze, starting in July, you have a chance to win a Jade Yoga Mat (my favorite and the official yoga mat of my personal practice). On July 3rd I’m installing a super fancy coffee can with accompanying slips of paper. When you come to yoga at Chip’s you get to put your name in the coffee can. If you bring a friend, you get to put  your name in twice. That’s right, I said it. Your friend also gets to add their slip of paper to the can. In August we’ll have a drawing. Chip’s yoga is Tuesday at 3 pm and Friday at 3:30 and is free for members.

Be on the look out for a monthly class staring in the fall called Workshop Your Home Practice. It’s a chance to bring your home practice to the studio and ask questions. I’ll guide the opening and warm-up to help everyone settle into their practice, but for about forty-five minutes it’s all about discovery and playfulness on the mat. I’ll just be there serving in an advisory capacity. It’s going to be so much fun!

Please remember that the Light for Nepal fundraiser is this Friday at Uru at 6 pm. All proceeds benefit those effected by the recent earthquake. The silent auction is on right now, please stop by the yoga studio and have a look. And thank you. Really.

~ Namaste.

Light for Nepal

On Friday June 26th from 6 – 9 pm Uru Yoga and Beyond is hosting a candlelight meditation, silent auction and raffle to raise money for victims of the Earthquake in Nepal.

The woman putting all of this together sent out an all points bulletin for local artists to donate something to the silent auction. I think, I sure wish I had something to donate. Then, slowly I look up, as though to watch a majestic bird in flight and see about a dozen malas in various states of completion hanging from thumb tacks. It’s an artful exhibition.

I don’t know if you do this, but when I have a fantastic idea right from the heart my mind steps in with an immediacy that would make Bat Man look like a slow poke. But I’d already thought it and there was about thirty seconds between that idea and my mind insinuating itself in my fun (this is one of the advantages of yoga practice – the mind has a slower reaction time to ruin good ideas).

I chose to donate a white quartz on white hemp. It has a blue tassel. It reminds me of Cinderella, an icy cave in which Lord Shiva meditates and my great-grandmother. It’s one of the first malas I made and it’s one of my favorites.

Strange how even though I made something specifically to sell, I have a hard time turning it out into the world. I wonder who’ll want it, who might buy it and where in the world this little string of quartz will go.

I took it to the yoga studio today. I filled out the artist form and I left that pretty mala in a cardboard box. I wrapped it lovingly in a blue tissue, slightly darker than its icy tassel.

Before I took the mala to the yoga studio I let it “rest” on a chunk on selenite. Selenite is named after its association with the moon, Selene, and is a powerful stone for cleansing energy and neutralizing spaces. I figured since I become a little attached to my projects it’s best to clear them on this beautiful salt based stone.

While this mala was resting I took a picture of it, mostly because my sister suggested I make a file of malas I made and sold, but also because I’m sentimental.

White Quartz mala

$10 door entrance fee – you receive a candle for the meditation and one raffle ticket. The raffle is for a gorgeous mala made of pearls, sandalwood, & Nepalese beads.