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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Camella Nair will be at Uttara!

I’ve brought a lot of other people’s teachers to Roanoke to do workshops. This month, I am excited to be bringing one of my teachers to Uttara.

Camella was my advisor during my Hatha Teacher Training program through the Temple of Kriya Yoga. It is not an understatement to say that her guidance helped to significantly shape my path as a yoga teacher, and as a person.

Camella is a Kriya Yoga Swami, which is a yogic priest, in addition to being a yoga teacher; ordained through the Temple of Kriya, she’s also one of those rare people who live their yoga 24-7; she lives in an Ananda community in California; she teaches yoga for a living; and is also an accomplished author and recording artist.

Her special gift is the way that the teachings just flow through her; her vast knowledge of yoga, and specifically Kriya yoga, are just a part of her nature. She also has the most beautiful chanting voice and a total no-nonsense way of bringing forth the teachings. Honest, forthright, blunt, true; Camella lays it all out, and in a language that you can actually perceive and understand.

Yoga is an oral tradition; it was never intended for written material or books; something is always lost in translation when you write the teachings down, in the same way that a picture is worth a thousand words. The teachings are organic, and as the teacher’s experience changes, and so do their teachings. So actually being in a teacher’s presence is an important piece.

In yoga we call this concept of “darshan” -- the blessing bestowed by being in the presence of someone who has done the work, and is ahead of you on the path. Just their very vibration in proximity to yours allows a shift in consciousness.

The workshops will be focused on the three “bodies” – meaning the physical body; the astral (energy) body, and what is called the “causal” body – your spirit, which is the never-born-will-never-die part of each of us. The yoga poses, meditation, philosophy and discussion will connect back and weave into this theme, and will be accessible to student of all levels. Don’t be afraid to learn more about who you are, or to seek to deepen your practice. Each workshop stands alone, and you can take only one or all.

Call or email me with questions!, 540-309-0071. For more on Camella, check out her website, Info on the workshops is below!

Saturday, October 22 and Sunday, October 23:

Camella Nair: Yoga of the Three Bodies -- Join us for a special weekend immersion into hatha yoga, meditation, mantra and discussion on navigating the chakras, nadis and koshas of the subtle (energy) body. You will also learn techniques on how to purify and balance energy from the Kriya Yoga tradition. Workshops can be taken individually; all are accessible for students of all levels.

Camella (Swami Nibhrtananda) is an ordained Swami within the Kriya Yoga lineage, author of two books, recording artist and mentor. She has studied mantra with Russill Paul and Ayurveda with the California College of Ayurveda. She teaches yoga, meditation and offers Ayurvedic body therapies in the South bay area of California.

Saturday, October 22:

9.30 am - 12.00 pm
Kriya Vinyasa Flow Class
-- Camella has developed and taught this series of asanas (yoga poses) over the past decade that has helped many people develop greater self-awareness and discipline in their lives. Class will finish with some breath/prana exploration and a brief meditation. Accessible for all levels of students, $25/$30

2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Subtle Anatomy; Chakra Hatha Yoga
-- You are more than a physical body. To understand and learn about subtle anatomy and the energy body is to delve deeper into the science of yoga and take more control of your life. This class will be a discourse followed by asanas (yoga poses) that specifically affect certain chakras. $25/$30

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Kriya Yoga 101 (with nada yoga and meditation)--
In this class Camella will share balancing techniques from the Kriya Yoga lineage, as well as lead some group chants and meditation. $20/$25

Sunday, October 23:

10:00 to Noon
-- A complete yoga practice incorporating Kriya hatha yoga techniques, breathwork, and meditation; create your Kriya sadhana. $20/$25

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My New Teacher

Meet my new teacher; it's a Cannondale mountain bike.

Like many synchronistic meetings in my life, I didn’t really go looking for it. Was thinking of getting a road bike, now that all three children can ride. Went to Just the Right Gear in Salem; they had been so patient and helpful when I bought a bike for my daughter. After a talk with the owner, I chose a mountain bike with tires that would let me occasionally road bike.

Now, I’m not unfamiliar with bikes; but it’s been 20-some years since I road regularly. Bikes have changed! And, mountain biking is different from road biking; the first time I came upon a rock, I squished my eyes shut preparing to get dumped; and instead, just flew right over that sucker. Wow!

I’ve been meeting friends and riding out at Carvins Cove (which is a little slice of heaven) about once a week. REALLY fun; like I’m 12-years old again and so brave and so free.

Mountain biking gets me out in nature; gives me a feeling of freedom and ease; is great exercise; and there are no worries of traffic or crazy car drivers. It’s so fun trying to jump the bike over piles of logs and flying down hills. It reminds me of those days of building ramps out of bricks and old boards with my brother; doing crazy stuff I’d probably never let my kids try now.

On my very first ride I was sucking wind; not used to riding; and two of my friends zipped off in a little friendly competition. Another rider hung back with me, introduced himself and we started to talk. “This is my therapy” he explained. Now, I totally get that.

There are so many amazing metaphors between life and riding the bike. Like if you focus on the obstacles, you’ll steer right into them, so be sure to keep your eyes on the path you want to choose, and not what’s in your way.

Remember not to be gawking at the scenery while riding; sometimes I want to look around, it’s so incredibly beautiful! But don't let the mind get distracted, or think about your grocery list. Out of nowhere obstacles appear; a root, a rock, a low-hanging tree, and BAM, down you go. So if you’re gonna ride, RIDE; and if you’re gonna rest, REST. Multi-tasking is overrated.

It also helps me to remember when facing a steep hill, or a place in the path where I’ve gotten stuck before to just put my head down and pedal; because if I obsess, or look far ahead, it’s too daunting. If I just put my nose down and deal with the little bit of the path that’s right in front of me, then it’s just not so difficult. You just get on through it, and keep moving.

Riding with my friends has helped me to see how often I put myself down (in my mind and out loud); apologizing for not keeping up, or for struggling with a portion of the path; or for having to get off and walk the bike up a hill or through the mud. We have a running joke about how often I have said “sorry” – something I have struggled with for years. They are my friends; they don’t mind waiting up for me, or helping me out. Why do I struggle to accept their kindness and their help?

Recently while making several attempts to jump a log pile, I got a little scraped and bruised up. Showing them to my friend with a laugh, he said “It’s all about quality of lifestyle . . . .”

Yeah . . . riding may occasionally leave me with a bump or a bruise or a cut; but each time it happens, I’m a little wiser and a little stronger; and it’s WAY better than staying home on the couch and missing out on the fun.


Uttara Yoga Studio, LLC. Blog design by Jessica Hedrick