BeJay Watson started yoga at Londolozi eight years ago. Those of you who have visited the reserve may have experienced one of these special bush classes. A rare teacher, she’s qualified in Sivananda, Ana Forrest and Kundalini Yoga. Her yoga is suitable for all types from beginners to those with more experience and combines the powerful elements of nature with the elements within. Londolozi is always about continuous learning and with this in mind BeJay took on the challenge to learn a new type of yoga.
BeJay writes: I recently ventured over to India to learn Kundalini Yoga on a teacher’s course in Rishikesh on the foothills of the Himalayas. Not only was I reminded of the importance of the Breath, but I also learnt how to heal the nervous system and change the energetic field of our bodies through Yoga. I discovered that amongst all the noise, pollution, people and chaos of the day, everyone takes the time to stop when the sun goes down for their daily ritual (aarti) to show gratitude to a deity or in this case, a divine element, Ma Ganga (Ganges River). The ritual of stopping in your tracks to give gratitude and to reflect on ones day and to watch the sun set is an important part of the experience while the energy of the river cleanses you in preparation for the next day.
At Londolozi we have the Sand River, an endless source of wonder that is the lifeblood of our home. Each Camp overlooks the river and it is here where elephants wander and animals gather sunning themselves on granite rocks. Our new yoga deck, in the process of being built, will look over the Sand River, an important natural element in our own community.
In India before the sun rises there is an early morning ritual that is known as Sādhanā (a spiritual daily discipline and practise). To start the day as the sun is rising allows you to connect not only with yourself but with the natural element of Ma Ganga. Since my return to my home at Londolozi I have come to the realisation that we too have a natural element – the bushveld – where we connect with something that is greater than ourselves. As we go out in the early morning for our drive to observe and be part of the wilderness, we too have the ability to find gratitude and grace – this then is our meditation – our Sādhanā. Our evening drives, watching that African sun go down, is a time to reflect and connect with the people and animals that we have shared our day with. It is a rare place in the world where one can greet the dawn and in the same moment say goodnight to the sun.
With those two rituals on either side of the day it allows us to live in a state of acceptance and grace knowing that there is Ubuntu, ‘ I am because of you’ but even deeper, ‘I recognise me in you.’
So by the time 12 noon arrives at Londolozi, the time for our daily Yoga class, I love the energies and people that show up. During our class we celebrate the miracles of body, mind, breath in nature (Spirit) connecting.
On the deck we are all teachers and students and we share a group consciousness. It is a time of wonder, letting go of ego and sharing in a common rhythm, the sound of a fish eagle calling as it glides about the Sand River and our own collective breathing while nature is doing the healing.
I look forward to sharing time, space and energy with you.
Meditation Bar Music to listen to for relaxation:
Written and Photographed by: BeJay Watson, Londolozi Yoga Master