After dipping my toes into at the start of the ‘Summer’ with Smile, I picked up sticks for West coast adventures in search of sunshine, knowledge and musical nourishment.
Teaching Yoga to complete beginners ( and family members with various ailments) gave me a lot to think about when preparing the lessons. It was a pleasure getting to know my students; their bodies gave me excellent scope and experience to create interactive sessions. We are always aiming to reconnect our Selves with our natural state of joy and compassion.
(Yoga can help bring to light habitual patterns including self-addressing i.e negative scolding towards oneself and physical preferences i.e left and right side heavy which can cause poor posture and alignment)
I got the chance to study Kundalini Yoga under Tej in Hollywood…
(‘Nine Treasures Yoga was founded by Tej Kaur Khalsa, a longtime teacher of Kundalini yoga and a student of Yogi Bhajan for over three decades.’ )
I found Tej’s classes extremely empowering and invigorating; after feeling like performing 1000s of sun salutations and Vinyasas in the past few years. Kundalini Yoga uses the breath and voice for chanting and opening up the front of the spine and uses small repetitive movements mobilising the arms and back of spine.
I was taken aback by the lack of movement. I am used to from my Astanga and Vinyasa classes, even Hatha and Yin move more and use Asana differently to Kundalini. Kundalini really is an energetic mover as oppose to an oxygen mover. Do not underestimate the movements that are required for these classes though, Chanting and performing some of the repetitive movements for a 3 minute track will cause you to ‘feel the burn’ Sneaky!
I moved to Venice Beach after Hollywood in search of Beach life and Yogi vibes.
I found Yoga Nest and made the most of their amazing intro special and for about 10 days became a part of the family. I learnt the importance of pace and engagement from the beautiful and warm teachers and was lucky enough to take part in a sound bath accompanied vinyasa class. The resonance and vibrations from the singing bowls provided a thickness in the air on top the heat that energised us all through a particularly challenging sequence.
From here I migrated East to get back on board with Daya Yoga studio and to relieve my creative itch by reconnecting with my producers and musicians in Brooklyn.
New York is a place where practising Yoga off the mat is just as ground breaking and uplifting as an asana class.
The Yamas and Niyamas are important ground rules to follow and some of my luck is proof that if you keep the handy 10 in your mind somewhere, as you go about your interactions with New Yorkers, they will recognise the integrity of you.
Everyone goes to the City or stays in the City for a reason and it is easy to forget along the way to living for that reason what the reason for living in The City actually is.
Life! Real-Life experiences that are unmatched by suburban comforts and ‘living comfortably’ without roaches and rats.
Speaking of living comfortably…
…at my last place in Bushwick, BK down in the basement (yes there were Roaches and Mice…) I was lucky enough to share the bottom end of a Duplex with a Yoga practitioner who had been teaching for 20 years! I also had a housemate who was very keen to practise and learn more so I was able to learn and pass on knowledge in our little mini melting pot of Yogis. This helped me keep up my home practise and keep up my teaching hat.
off the mat behind the mic
Living life as a Yogi and trying to live as authentically as possible has definitely had an impact on my body and my creative mind.
Through surrendering and letting go whilst jamming and tracking ideas for songs and melodies I was able to relieve a sticky point in my Jaw. Literally!
No word of a lie…
…after my first session with a new producer, I return home sit on the sofa to chill and all of a sudden my Jaw goes *CLICK* and there I go, left side of my jaw unlocked!
I am a chronic teeth clencher and carry mad tension in my jaw so for it to just relax and let go like that after my shit hot session; something in my mind must of relaxed. My Throat chakra must of had a moment of spinning perfectly!
To this day the left side is still looser and open, but the right side knows where it’s headed now, I’m optimistic. ha.
The point is…
…your physical body and mind and chakras and all of that are all interlinked and tensions that are being held in the mind will no doubt be held somewhere in the body.
Face, Neck, Shoulders, Chest, Diaphragm, Back, Hips, Hamstrings, Feet.. even hands and fingers!
Do you have any questions you’d like to put to me about Yoga?
Obviously Im not going to be able to answer everything but I can answer in relation to my own practise and maybe be able to point you in the direction of the answer you seek,
No question too silly!