SHIVA REA AND ARTIST ARLI LIBERMAN: CLEARING OUT PHYSICAL, MENTAL, AND SPIRITUAL STIFFNESS.

“Don’t supress the wave.”: The final words from Yoga practitioner and Teacher, Shivea Rea upon closing her class ‘Prana Vinyasa – Riding the Vinyasa Wave.’ The room was saturated by the sweet smell of Nag Champa. The music of Eastern descent pulsed through my veins with each beat of the drum. The doors closed and it was as if I had stepped into another world.

Maybe it was the fact that her Father was a surfer. Perhaps having grown up in Hermosa Beach, California had something to do with it. In any event, it was obvious that Shiva Rea has a deep relationship with the Ocean. In fact, she “didn’t know anything but the ocean”.

She started her class by saying “We all have the ocean inside of us.”

Now, I could talk about the technicalities of Prana Vinyasa Yoga all day…but I won’t. Why? I wouldn’t possibly want to dilute the experience by reducing it to a verbal illustration of its history, philosophy and the standard poses. I must admit, this was a deeply spiritual and transformative experience for me.

I would first like to discuss the idea of space, movement, and the freedom to take up space and move within it. I have not practiced a lot of Yoga. In fact, this was only my second class and so I feel that by being called to write about my experience I have been given the unique opportunity to be very present within my experience. In other words, I had to be acutely aware of each minute detail happening within my body, mind and consciousness.

We occupy space in a variety of ways. We work at our desks and sleep in our beds; we eat at the kitchen table and read in our reading chairs. We designate spaces to utilize them and to move within them very specifically.

Flow.

Movement.

These are words and actions that we can forget to integrate into our lives, and the by-product can be physical, emotional, and spiritual stiffness. ‘Ride the Vinyasa Wave’ very much drew attention to my own stiffness. Throughout the practice I realized how little time and space I create to allow the small waves within me to flux, flow and to grow. More importantly, I realized that if I deny myself a space to nurture these waves, whether physically, mentally or spiritually, I do believe that I will have missed out on some very transformative experiences. Talk about a life-changing hour-and-a-half!

Moving forward  I am going to try my best to be more mindful about the ways in which I limit my own growth by clutching to methods that do not always serve my highest good. This does not mean I’m going to flip my busy life upside-down and become a Yoga instructor. But rather, I endeavor to create a healthy space to honor and nurture the tiny waves within through movement, both physically, mentally and symbolically. I would also like to give special attention to Arli Liberman, who orchestrated some of the most beautiful music I have ever heard during the class.

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