Saturday, December 3, 2011

Viva el Yoga! Workshop

It was a workshop to celebrate “Being Alive” where we were asked to leave behind our self-imposed limitations, free our mind and all the stressed thoughts to celebrate life through Yoga, Movement and Dance.

And this morning’s workshop focused on liberating our body.  We started the yoga workshop with Gianinna leading the first session which was “Pavamuktasana-Hip & Shoulders Opening”.  Gianinna had designed a sequence of poses to open the hips and shoulders and increased the range of motion in these areas.   I could feel my hips opening more and more as we go through the poses and being able to bring my hands further back as my shoulder loosen from the tightness that have accumulated there.

Stretching in a side twist in Pigeon pose 
The next session was “Jala Vinyasa Flow” by Raymond. Raymond told us that “Jala” means Water in Sanskrit and in the session, we explored the breath synchronized movements that focus on bringing fluidity to the body. The dynamic movements helped to cleanse the system by stimulating perspiration thus eliminating toxins and the stagnant energy built up overtime. The session also revived senses and thus allow the Prana or life force flowing freely like the stream of water permeating every part of our body.   

Although there were no hard poses, i.e. arm-balancing or inversion poses, it felt like an advanced yoga class as we were led through a past-faced flow session where we used the breath to go into poses like plank to upward dog and downward dog to one-legged downward dog and it was a relief to go down to child’s pose after a few rounds of those continuous flowing poses.

Hip-opener and shoulder stretch 
We had a break after these two sessions and it was a light refreshment of sandwiches and raisins cake courtesy of Raymond with ginger cinnamon tea from Gianinna to help us replenished our energy before the next session.

It was then Partner Yoga time and with the help of my partner, my body was thoroughly stretched in the poses.  Sharing each other’s energy, we were able to deepen and increase the stretch and impact of the pose.  It was also a lesson learned on how to build trust as we worked together to support each other in the poses.

Partner Yoga 
The last session was a Dance session with Michelle, the owner of the studio, Arte E’ Vida where the yoga workshop was held.  Michelle led us through two Axe Zumba dance routines which were energetic and fun.  It was a nice surprise to the workshop as it provided us with an opportunity to let go of our inhibitions as we laughed and danced away to the heart-pumping music and by the end of the session, we were all exhausted and thoroughly drenched in sweat.

Let's dance...
The workshop ended with a meditation and chanting of the closing mantra where we were asked to feel the vibrations at different parts of the body as we chanted each syllable and “AUM” three times.   

Namaste Raymond and Gianinna for the awesome workshop!

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