Friday, September 28, 2012
Review: Maya Fiennes A Journey Through the Chakras
When I developed ulnar impaction syndrome and a TFCC Complex tear in my right wrist (a common yoga injury, it's similar to traumatic arthritis), I couldn't do anymore vinyasa for awhile... in fact, I couldn't type, let alone do anything with my hands for awhile. I went through a low period, not really knowing where I would go, feeling depressed that I could barely do a chaturanga, let alone any headstands or arm balances.
Then, a friend recommended that I read Maya Fiennes Yoga for Real Life. Great book, with great recipes, and all these Kundalini sequences that to me, looked simple and really relaxing. Upon further research, I chanced upon A Journey Through the Chakras. It's a 7-DVD box set, and it briefly describes the function of each chakra before going into a series of kriya for that particular chakra. The poses look deceptively simple, perhaps because Maya executes them with such ease and grace. They are in fact, very vigorous.... one warmup involves spinning around in circles with arms outstretched, which got me very dizzy... admittedly it wasn't my favourite warmup and I don't attempt it much.
The beauty of kundalini is the use of mantras. Every set is interspersed with a mantra, and after a Kundalini sequence, you would be asked to sit and meditate. I thought this was a beautiful thing to practice. When the exercises became more physically challenging, she would normally ask for you to silently vibrate particular mantras, which I now apply to any other physical activity I am doing when I struggle, such as crunches. I love how Kundalini is described as a moving meditation. It makes it sound so peaceful and calming.
The exercises become less physical and more of a mental and ... for lack of a better word... pranayama (or more of the creation of a life force) exercise, as you climb higher in the chakras. My favourite DVD though is still the one that tackles the base chakra.
Best of all, every kriya sequence is unique. Nothing repeats, all the warmups have been specially drawn up to well... warm up that particular chakra. This is by far, my favourite yoga DVD.
Retail: Approximately $95 through Maya Space, possibly cheaper through other alternatives.