Anybody I’ve spoken with about my first experience of Vinyasa Flow Yoga will have heard me use phrases like ‘inspiring’, ‘amazing’, ‘life-changing’ and various other effusive terms to describe it. It came during a teacher training with a teacher called Shiva Rea in Venice Beach, California.
Suffice it to say that the class was exactly what I needed when I needed it. I am forever indebted to Nicky Knoff and James Bryan for the firm foundation their certificate training provided, to Lynda Miers-Henneveld for the vast knowledge, love and support her wise mentoring offers and to the wonderful family of Wellington yoga teachers and students with whom I am fortunate enough to explore yoga on a regular basis. All of those influences plus my continuing quest for self knowledge prepared me for the boundary-shattering experience that was that class.
For a couple of months before I went to Shiva’s training, I was in a place that felt tight and constricted. Emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally, everything was at low ebb. My personal yoga practice was less than satisfying. Looking back now, I can see that it was because I was practicing someone else’s yoga.
To cut a long and emphatic story short, after my first Vinyasa Flow class I felt like I had been let out of a cage! Vinyasa Flow combined the Yoga postures that I had come to love with the creativity of flowing movement I had experienced as a dancer. I found that the music the teacher played during the class helped me to have a deeper and more focused practice while the fluid movement gave me the freedom to explore my own expression of the Yoga postures.
I left that first class utterly changed and exhilarated. To be honest though, that was only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Over the remaining hours of the training, I was to be taken on an absolute whirlwind of experiences, inundated with information I will be absorbing for years but most importantly of all, I was allowed to step out of the cage in which I had imprisoned myself and my creativity. I learned at the absolute deepest level of my experience that being strong (emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally) must be balanced by being flexible.
Over time, my daily sadhana (or practice) has become an adventure in exploring and expanding my own boundaries. Free to move around in postures and listen to my body’s own inner wisdom, I am finding new levels of strength and flexibility as well as a deeper sense of connection to myself and to others.
In my Vinyasa Flow classes I hope to act as a river guide for you as you explore your own flow and create your own personal practice. I offer you information and strategies to enhance your experience and to keep you safe but at the same time I give you some space so that you can discover the poses for yourself. The classes can be challenging since we are nudging at boundaries but there is always the option to take it at your own pace. Please join me to go somewhere new within yoga and perhaps, yourself.
~ Kelly Fisher