Sacred Sweat - Yoga and Heat as a Practice to Deepen into Soul

We all know yoga has a profound effect that runs much deeper than the physical body. For thousands of years, we have turned to yoga as a practice of deepening into the complexities and beauty of the human experience. Through this practice, we use the physical body as a portal into understanding, appreciating and honoring the many layers of our Self. Today, yoga gets recommended for a wide range of matters including stress, anxiety, pain, grief, injuries, mobility, pregnancy, focus and much more. We know, through anecdotal experiences and now through science that yoga affects us physically, mentally and emotionally. 

Running alongside the tradition of yoga, many cultures around the world have been using sweat as a form of ritual and ceremony for hundreds of years. Spanning from the indigenous people of the Americas to the Turks, the Russians, Scandinavian, Finnish and Japanese, sweat is an effective way of communicating to a deeper part of the Self, which is our primary intention with the yoga that we offer at The Kali Collective.

From saunas, to steams, to sweat lodges, sweat ceremonies which were lead by local guides, were used as a way to heal, purify, pray, and reestablish a connection to the deep Self, ancestors, and collective wisdom. Once the door was locked and the ceremony began, the heat allowed for emotional guards and walls to be broken down so true vulnerability could emerge. Deep emotions that were locked away could be felt, gratitude for the body could be experienced, and connection with the community was created. 

The ceremony of sweat created a sacred space for people to come together and experience something deeply personal within a loving community. Experiences such as release, purification, strength, healing, and deep presence can be expected in the heat, and when combining that with the power of yoga, a potent space for transformation can be born. 

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Being in the heat while practicing yoga offers a space for you to be challenged and encouraged to face the limitations you may have placed on yourself. We can peel back the layers to see what arises in us when we are uncomfortable, challenged or tired and then have the opportunity to confront those limiting beliefs. 

We have no doubt that a profound physical experience can occur while practicing yoga in a heated room. However our aim is that by infusing several sacred traditions together, we can create an experience that runs below the physical and will take you into a deeper connection with the essence of you. 

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What is a Yoga Community?

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By Steph Wall

COMMUNITY. A word I’ve thrown around for years without understanding the depth of its meaning. What and who makes up the “yoga community”? I always thought of it as the width of my social circle, or the yoga teachers or students who I knew of in Glasgow or Kelowna, but I’ve come to understand it’s actually the depth of people brought together, regardless of length of time we’ve known each other, if we know how each other earns a living, the stories of our past....all that “stuff”, the layers, are irrelevant and instead we are brought together through things like yoga, empathy, understanding, pain, similar transformations...

During my time in Kelowna, Canada I’ve fully felt the power of community. Being H E L D by people who don’t care much about me except for who I am deep down, my soul and essence. And will hold the space for me to experience life whether I’m hurting or laughing. AND me to them. And to know deep inside that when I’m experiencing hurt, transformations, highs, it’s for the greater of the community. My experience is theirs. Theirs is mine. No separation, never ever. All connected. Always always”

Join Steph for her Vinyasa Yoga Classes Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 6:15!

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5 Ways to Invoke the Energy of the Goddess Kali

Written by Steph Wall

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I will confess when my friend and I decided to name our studio The Kali Collective, we didn’t fully understand the depth of this goddess or exactly we would call on her for, other than the obvious which is self empowerment and transformation. I didn’t even understand the potency or power that would be brought forth by invoking the energy current of this archetype into my life. But my goodness did I ever find out hard and quick shortly after creating a community space in honor of Her. She wasted no time with me. Here is a brief description of her, but do not be fooled, a few lines of description only scratches the surface of her depth, complexity, and power. 

Kali is the Goddess of time, change, and destruction. She is the energy current inside of you that is wild, empowered and all loving.  This energy is deeply involved in the life/death / life cycle to keep you growing and transforming, as does the rich practice of yoga.
The Dark Mother in all her love and ferocity will guide you through transformation by dissolving all forms and time. She will tear things up to help you see what is needing to die inside of you, such as self limiting beliefs or attachments to the past that prevent you from moving forward. These deaths then create a fertile field for growth and creation of the new.
She’s the darkness most of us fear. She is fierce. She is loving. She will transform you.

Kali is not an energy to invoke lightly but from personal experience, I can say she will make changes in your life where they are needed. Examples of how she transformed me were the following:

  • Destroying lifelong beliefs that my voice is not worthy or valuable 
  • Dissolving intense bondages guarding me against vulnerability and authenticity 
  • Opened me up to find a deep, meaningful love for myself 
  • Transformed my habit of living in fantasy and instead helped me find a true love rooted in truth and reality
  • The courage to follow my dreams and run a yoga studio and yoga school in a far away, magical land 

Not bad! My life has been completely transformed but don’t think for a second it was easy. Who I was even 1 year ago is completely different to who I am now and the person I was for so many years was hard to let go of. My life as I knew it completely changed and the pain that came with it was intense. So make no mistake, it’s not as if I named my studio after her, meditated on her a few times and that’s it. It took much more work than that!

Here are some reasons why you would invoke her:

  • Dissolving limiting beliefs
  • Self empowerment 
  • Facing fears
  • Releasing egoic constructs/beliefs
  • Changing perspective on life and death 
  • Liberating yourself from old attachments 
  • Invite the wild, divine feminine into your life 

Ways to invoke Kali:

  1. Meditation - visualise her image and see what arises
  2. Self reflection - ask yourself questions like, where are you suppressing your wild, feminine self? Or, is there somewhere in your life you are playing “nice” instead of expressing a more truthful, angry, enraged self? 
  3. Asana - Take goddess squat and let out several primal roars from the belly 
  4. Offer your negative beliefs to Kali. Visualise bowing down to her and offering her your limiting beliefs for her to destroy. 
  5. Journal with Kali - ask her the following questions: What do you have to teach me? How do you express yourself in my life? How are you suppressed? What do you think needs destroying in my life?

Remember, Kali is not an energy to take lightly but she is loving. If you are ready to come alive, wake up and live your life fully, She is a necessary force to guide you there. 

Who is Kali?

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Kali is the Goddess of time, change and destruction. She is the energy current inside of you that is wild, empowered and all loving.  This energy is deeply involved in the life / death / life cycle to keep you growing and transforming, as does the rich practice of yoga. 

The Dark Mother in all her love and ferocity will guide you through transformation by dissolving all forms and time. She will tear things up to help you see what is needing die inside of you, such as self limiting beliefs or attachments to the past that prevent you from moving forward. These deaths then create a fertile field for growth and creation of the new. 

She’s the darkness most of us fear. She is fierce. She is loving. She will transform you.

Transitioning into the New Year

On Jan 3rd, our belied teacher, Zac and Hollie taught a beautiful 2 hour class themed around transitioning into the new year. A challenging practice to help us move through blockages, shake the dust and come into this year brighter and firm on our feet.

A Thank You doesn't cut it! Our thanks will be embodied action that will ripple through our communities and beyond. 

We love you Zac and Hollie!