How to describe Womad?
It was like an all-day x 3 day-long yoga class. Or a resort holiday. Combined with Christmas Day. Physical exhaustion mixed with bliss, mixed with the energy from thousands of others mixed with intimacy from the lazing around with your friends and family in shady trees with nothing to do (if you so choose).
Russell Chan’s Unlock Your Body yoga was like that too.
3 classes over 3 days. At times funny, frantic, soothing, slow, crazy. Pushing your boundaries then resting in acceptance. (And maybe just being outside contributed to them being such lovely classes too…….)
Woah, mad it was.
We’d never been to a music festival before (but that’s another story for another blog one day). The yoga is what drew us into the festival every morning at noon.
Under ancient boughs and clear skies with the mixed songs of dozens of types of birds, it was blissful right there. Drawing strength from the ground, our standing yoga asanas were energetic, strong and kind. Russell’s voice was perfectly-timed and humble. The sivasanas were tear-jerkers as we melted from the heat into the ground and let go of everything. I really loved his technique of scanning the body during relaxation and naming each part of the body as it is released. Mmmmm. A sure sign – my kids and husband joined in too.
What was most lovely was how people drifted in and out of the class – mostly in. In flowy skirts, without mats, with yoga newbies and piled up picnic baskets. There were some real tight bodies and some major “keeners” like us. All were welcome.
That’s the piece, the gem.
Everyone is welcome to yoga. We all have unique geometries, like our fingerprints. There isn’t a yogi alive that can perfect all poses, all ways, all of the time. What makes us retreat in fear in our personalities is the same as what we retreat from in our bodies. I presume that’s what Russell means. When you unlock the parts of you that aren’t functioning optimally you unlock parts of your heart. And we all benefit. I can’t imagine why anyone would avoid yoga due to judging themselves as being too inflexible.
You can find Russell at Stomping Ground Studio
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