Detoxification ~ Transformation ~ Rejuvenation
January 28/29, 2017
I came across Akhanda Yoga during a weekend workshop with Yog Sundari about three years ago and loved both the practice and the way that Yog Sundari guided us. When the online Akhanda Yoga classes were created and released I subscribed the very first day and have loved it – and practised it – ever since. For me Akhanda Yoga is everything I hoped yoga would be. It takes yoga to a whole other level- and makes many yoga classes I have attended previously feel like a one dimensional fitness class.
It was with some considerable excitement that I received the news of Akhanda’s delightful Vishvketu coming to do a London workshop. I booked immediately and counted down the days, until finally I arrived at the Trinity Laban Dance Conservatoire one cold January Saturday morning, not knowing quite what to expect, but feeling that nevertheless it was sure to be wonderful.
Upon entering the workshop, I found a large, light and warm room with several friendly looking people, some in groups of two or three who seemed to know each other, all talking and hugging and catching up. I headed over to the far corner where there was some space left and introduced myself to my new neighbours. Interestingly, we discovered that we were a pocket of four amongst a majority of previously trained Akhanda teachers. I have often been intrigued at how this can happen at workshops, almost as if an unseen hand guides you to kindred spirits.
It felt a little like the first day of a new school, in a good way, and one I was keen to become a part of. It might have been intimidating that so many of my classmates seemed to know each other, but as the class began, Vishva-ji quickly dispersed the apprehension of being a newbie by calling us all over to sit with him and asking us to introduce ourselves. With those introductions made and our intentions set, the class took on a calmness as everyone settled into following the practise.
A lot of Akhanda Yoga is done with eyes closed. This I find not only helps to concentrate the energy and help you to focus inwards, but also encourages your ego not to compare your agility with your neighbours! It can be challenging enough encouraging your head to even remotely visit your knees and your heels to stay on the floor without ego pointing out that everyone else appears to be able to complete the asanas with effortless ease. Quieting that awareness really helps make it a more personal and self-supporting practice. And always Vishva-ji’s melodious voice guiding us.
The rest of the weekend carried us along, asanas, call and response, meditation. Each stage leading on to the next in a wonderful flow and all with happy toes. On the Sunday we were treated to a Gong Bath – a properly powerful experience! Yog Sundari lead the group into a deep meditation and then began to play a beautiful, huge gong. The next thing we knew we were waking as if from the deepest of deep sleeps. Phenomenal! The day progressed and before we knew it we were all sitting in the final circle. By this time, it felt like we sat amongst friends. There was such a wonderful sense of openness and camaraderie between us and I felt the most enormous sense of bonhomie to all, and in particular to my lovely neighbours, as we had fallen into an easy friendship as the weekend had progressed.
In all, this was a wonderful and profoundly moving weekend and I would encourage anyone considering joining an Akhanda workshop to sign up immediately. You are guided through so gently and expertly that even beginners can feel encouraged and the energy of those around you is so supportive and welcoming there is no sense of being assessed or judged.
These are surely the signs that you are in the presence of great teachers.