In March, Todd Norian, cofounder of Ashaya Yoga, came to Bermuda for a special three day yoga workshop, which led students of all levels through an exploration of "Yoga for the Five Elements". Bermuda's own Kerri Howland of Island Shakti Yoga has been taught by Todd over the years and was the brains behind bringing him down to the Island for so many local yogis to learn from his wisdom and practice. I had originally planned on attending all the sessions throughout the weekend, but on the Friday morning before the first evening session, I woke with severe hip pain and couldn't even walk! So sadly, I couldn't participate in most of the workshop, though I was lucky one of the sessions was a therapeutics session for the hips, pelvis and lower back so I benefitted greatly from the one session I had originally considered skipping. These images were taken during that healing session so although not the images I had dreamed of taking, with rows and rows of perfectly aligned feet or hand details, they tell a story of how yoga can help pretty much anyone, in any state of disrepair!
The workshops were held at the Fairmont Southampton and Kerri Howland was thrilled with the turn out - it was a real case of "if you build it, they will come" and everyone took home so much from their sessions. It is not often that our tiny island gets the opportunity to learn from such practiced teachers and much of the yoga community took advantage of this special treat - wish I had been able to participate in the other classes but suffice to say I heard they were mind blowing.
Todd teaches yoga with the heartfelt intention to awaken others to their inherent potential for unlimited joy, vitality, and fulfillment. His style is one of precise biomechanical alignment infused with heart. He excels at making deep philosophical teachings accessible and relatable. With warmth and humour, Todd creates a space of sublime transformation in which students can step into the power of their own heart and spirit.
I loved that his theme for the weekend was the five elements and how when they are balanced, one feels great. When we are out of balance, we can feel heavy (too much earth), emotional (too much water), irritable )too much fire), scattered and fearful (too much air), and aloof or spacey (too much sky). I find it fascinating that at times I feel all of those things but am inspired by the fact that a good yoga practice brings about a flowing integration of all five elements that can leave one feeling strong and on purpose, passionate, open hearted, peaceful and ready to engage with life in positive and uplifting ways. I was sad not to have experienced all the balancing I had hoped for that weekend, but cannot wait for him to come back and hopefully then I will get the chance to practice his powerful rainbow of grounding, flowing and expansive postures!
Much of the three hour session was helping individuals who had injuries and using their issues as an example before we partnered up to help each other work through similar issues. I luckily partnered with a yoga teacher the entire time so I definitely gained even more out of the workshop that expected.
Julia has suffered from severe back pain. She is in my regular weekly classes with Kerri and we could see she was in a lot of pain just standing there.
Todd helped her work through her body to realign each area using props and a lot of guidance.
It was one of the most inspirational moments of the day when the look of agony slipped away from Julia's face and we could actually see relief in her expression as she announced that she suddenly felt pain free. The whole room erupted with elated laughter and applause at this remarkable achievement.
Todd - thank you for an incredibly healing workshop - although it was not what I was expecting that weekend, it is amazing how life throws at you what you need in that moment and so I am grateful to have had my injury and to have experience the healing teachings that your therapeutics class shared.
Kerri - thank you for believing in both yourself and Bermuda's yoga community enough to take the chance at bringing someone so special to the Island - we have all benefitted and it is so wonderful to have met someone who has had such a transformative effect on you and your teaching which in turn keeps us all healthy, inspired and coming back for more! xxxx