ashok tree design arunachala tiruvannamalai india yoga meditation retreat

Coming Full Circle

chakrasana urdva dhanurasana wheel pose yoga ashok tree india tiruvannamalai arunachala

It’s winter solstice, the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Although the days are not so short where I am in South India, and it does not feel anything like a Maine or London winter, it’s still an optimal moment to go inside oneself, take some extra time for meditation and self practice, and reflect on the last year, the last rotation around the sun.

How are you coming full circle this year? How are you attending to self-care during the busy holiday season? Are you making time for your yoga practice or adjusting it to the seasonal shifts? Take a little time to check in with yourself about these things this week; be compassionate with yourself if you’re not where you want to be in terms of your yoga or self-care practices; and think about the shifts you’d like to make in your next rotation around the sun. Maybe it’s a as simple as doing a few sun salutations every day and expressing more gratitude toward the sources of light in your life.

For me, the year ends where it began – at Ashok Tree, the ashram where I’ve done my yoga training in Tamil Nadu, India, and where I hosted my first retreat this autumn. It feels so nourishing to be back at my yoga home, diving into my self-practice and teaching practice, and planning where I’ll take them in the next year. I am flooded with feelings of gratitude and well-being, immersed in this peaceful yoga paradise.

 

yoga ashok tree dhanurasana bow pose retreat yogini arunachala

Beyond the blue skies and glorious weather, I feel immense gratitude for all of the gifts, the lovely students and amazing experiences that yoga has brought to me this year. Reflecting on the year past, I set my intentions and solidify my schedule for the next . Although I cannot yet share all of my exciting teaching plans for the next year (watch this space!!), I can confirm that I will be offering another retreat here in Tamil Nadu, for I want to share this brilliant yoga sanctuary with more and more lovely souls.

Additionally, for anybody who might be in South India in January/February (or has a hankering to follow through on a New Years resolution or just escape the depths of winter in the north), I’ll be teaching the yoga component of the Ayurvedic Cooking and self-care course at Ashok Tree (27 Jan. -5 Feb.), which I can highly recommend.  The kitchen here is renowned for their fabulous sattvic fare, and the ayurvedic treatments and daily yoga sessions on top of the cooking and ayurveda classes makes for a truly unforgettable and wonderfully educational experience.  There are still a few spots remaining, so book soon if you’re interested, or contact me for more information.

Wherever you are geographically, physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, I wish you all the best in these last dark days of the year and beyond. May everything come full circle for you and may I see your beautiful face on the mat soon!

Om shanti shanti shanti.

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Prana Kriya Yoga comes to midcoast Maine this week!

Om shanti. I’ve been waiting all year for this and finally the moment has arrived: Prana Kriya Yoga of the Yogi Ashokananda School comes to US shores beginning this week in midcoast Maine! I’m so pleased to be able to share this practice with such a fabulous local yoga community.

You may be wondering, first of all, what is Prana Kriya Yoga, and next, what’s the big deal?

Prana Kriya is a dynamic practice that works to harmonize the physical movements (kriyas) with the energy flows in the different layers of the body. A process of awakening dormant energy (kundalini) in the body, Prana Kriya Yoga has long been regarded by yoga masters in India as a powerful anti-aging technique that works to oxygenate and decarbonize the blood, thereby rejuvenating the brain and spinal centers and preventing tissue decay.

The kriya practices involve active exercises to strengthen the heart; breath work to expand the lungs and train the mind; and meditations to align the body, mind, breath, and consciousness. The result over time is a calmer and clearer mind, deeper and more even breath, a stronger and more detoxified body, and a more balanced emotional body, leading to a greater sense of confidence and creativity in one’s life.

Maybe you have heard people talk about the ‘yoga high’ experienced after an intense yoga session – or perhaps you’ve felt it yourself. In my experience, Prana Kriya gives you a yoga high like no other. But no matter what superlatives I might use to describe the practice, you really have to experience the effects for yourself.

And, alas, here’s your opportunity, Mainers: Classes start at Thomaston Yoga Studio at 8:45 a.m. on Wednesdays from  June 1. Drop-ins are welcome, although it is advisable to email in advance to kathpullumyoga[at]gmail.com to book a place.

Then, from next week, June 10th to be exact, Friday Prana Kriya classes come to the Dancing Elephant in Rockland starting at 9 a.m. All welcome; no need to book in advance.

Come to one or both – 2 Prana Kriya classes in a week will leave you feeling like a new person. But don’t take my word for it; come try it yourself.

Prana Kriya Yoga is a great compliment to hatha, or other asana practices, as well as meditation. Peruse my full teaching schedule, and find the class that works best for you. This summer, I highly encourage you to expand your yoga horizons – and why not begin by trying out Prana Kriya?

prana kriya yoga teaching yogi ashokananda maine thomaston rockland

teaching prana kriya at Ashok Tree Ashram, Tiruvannamalai, India

2016 Prana Kriya Yoga World Tour

January – Prana Kriya Yoga teacher training with Yogi Ashokananda in Tiruvannamalai, India

February – Teaching yoga in Sri Lanka

March – Teaching yoga & meditation in London, UK

April – Taking Prana Kriya to the USA!

 

It’s been quite a year so far and packed full of yoga practice. After finishing last year on a high note teaching meditation, the new year began in South India embarking on an intensive 200-hour Prana Kriya teacher training with Yogi Ashokananda at Ashok Tree. I stayed on after the course ended to get some additional experience teaching ashram guests before departing for Sri Lanka to teach yoga on the beach.

Yes, it was as idyllic as it sounds and yes, its was incredibly difficult to return to a cold London in March. However it has been gratifying to be able to share my experience and the practice with friends, family, and colleagues upon return and to continue teaching (even if it is not accompanied by the sounds of waves on the beach).

I look forward to taking the practice to the U.S. when I return in April, and am beginning to plan my first retreat for later in the year. Keep checking this site or my Twitter @kathpullumyoga for the latest updates on my teaching schedule.