“All practices that are designed to dissolve our solid sense of self and open us to the transformative power of awareness are on the rise. Be it meditation, energy healing or yoga”- Evelyn Underhill
The present moment is the place from which your entire reality is created. Each moment has in it a thought, emotion or belief that affects your relationships, work and happiness and an awareness of these is the key to taking back power in your life but it can often be really difficult to take notice of these moments in the hectic and pressurised lives modern day humans live. Londolozi is a place though that even just hearing the word causes your shoulder to drop and by communing with nature here, you automatically feel your body relaxing and exhaling. As BeJay Watson, Londolozi’s dedicated Yoga Instructor says, “it was therefore the most natural thing in the world to introduce yoga as a practice here when Londolozi was returned to a stand-alone, family-run operation in 2007. It just ties in so naturally to what the energy of this place stands for. It is an avenue we provide so that people can sink into themselves and connect more fully.”
Amy: What is it that Londolozi Yoga can give guests on their safari?
BeJay: When one goes out on a few drives at Londolozi, you start to realise how you form a part of nature. And when you arrive on the yoga deck you’re offered a second opportunity to really be with yourself in nature and to deepen this experience.
Amy: What types of yoga do we offer?
BeJay: We offer a Sivananda Hatha yoga, Ana Forrest yoga and Kundalini yoga.
Amy: How do these forms differ?
- Hatha yoga is the awareness and following of the breath. Breathing is both the first and last things we do in life and yet we take it so much for granted. With this form of yoga we become more aware of it and it becomes the tool that heals us. It is quite a static yoga but with a very strong foundation on chanting and breath work and the vedanta (teachings).
- When you’re stressed or busy, you tend to tense your body and Ana Forrest is all about creating space in the body to take the breath and to open and renew and therefore strengthen the body mentally, physically and emotionally.
- Kundalini yoga is a very subtle yoga that derives its name through a focus on awakening Kundalini energy. It works on the nervous system and the movement of the energy around the body to heal yourself. It uses lots of different breath work, chanting, and various postures.
Amy: Do you have a favourite type and why have you chosen these various forms of yoga to practice?
BeJay: No I can’t say I have a favourite. I really enjoy the practice of all three. Each one had its place in my learning and it just felt like a natural progression that I took. Hatha yoga was a really good basis for me, whilst Ana Forrest taught me strengthening and really made me fall in love with yoga in general. It taught me how to go inside and marvel at my own body and the miracle of it. Kundalini then followed from this and after the third class I was already in love with it. It definitely feels like a more gentle energy than a ‘strain-is-pain’ kind of yoga but the effect and the ability to feel the energy moving through the body and to feel it clearing blockages is astounding. You also learn to love the chanting which has a huge opening effect on any blockages, especially in the throat or in the heart.
Amy: Do you have to have any sort of experience to do the daily class?
BeJay: No, absolutely not. Essentially in every moment we are all beginners being given the chance to learn something new and I would really encourage people to just show up. I hear so many people say they can’t do yoga because they not flexible enough but I urge you to show up anyway, at whatever level you’re at and we can bend your knees to touch your toes if needs be. The idea here is not to see how flexible you are but to commune with your body at whatever level it is at. What I have found over the years is that yoga tends to lead people to more than you think it will so I invite you to just show up and see what it has to offer you and what journey it can take you on.
Amy: Do you reckon we have the best yoga deck in world?
BeJay: Absolutely. At this yoga deck, there is no music needed because we have a chorus or birds, elephants, monkeys and fish eagles. The nyala feed all around us and sometimes the monkeys even arrive to watch and simulate the class. The energy is just phenomenal.
Amy: I’ve heard this referred to as ‘surrendering to the intelligence of life’. What are your thoughts on that?
BeJay: When we do Savasana (a relaxing pose done at the end of the class) people often drift off to sleep. Although I’d like to think it’s as a result of my hypnotic voice (or possibly the 5am wake up call), it’s definitely got more to do with the permission that people have given themselves to relax. It really is so important. The mind has stilled, there’s nowhere you have to be, nothing you have to do and that’s what we’re really hoping to give everyone. “You are being cleansed of everything you think you are so that you can become what you are.” It allows all the armour of everyday life to fall away so that you can find you underneath it all.