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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What is the Core?

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What do we mean when we say "core"?

Everything stems from your centre. Who you are, what you do, all that makes you unique starts from the very core of who you are. Our movements should be the same! Therefore, we define the core as the centre of our body, that which encompasses the area around the spine. 

When we take a deeper look at the anatomy of the core we will see that it’s much more complex than thinking it’s just our 6 pack muscle, or rectus abdominus. When we peel back that layer we also see that the transverse abdominus, pelvic floor, diaphragm, multifidus and obliques all play a big role as well, along with a few others. 

Why should we care about moving from the core?

Because this allows us to move with efficiency and in a way that keeps the spine safe. By having an awareness and access to these muscles we can properly stabilise the spine to take us safely into backbends, arm balances and to flow with grace through our postures. Also, functionally speaking it’s important to have stable core so we can move, run, play and engage in life without worrying about putting our back out. For those of us with back pain, understanding the core and strengthening our stabiliser muscles can really help ease any discomfort. 

Benefits of strengthening your core include:

Improved posture and balance

Help with back discomfort 

Graceful yoga transitions 

Arm balances

Inversions

Functional movement 

Running

Weight training 

And much more! 

 

Why is yoga so good for the core?

In yoga we do many postures that help activate our deep core stabilisers such as plank, cobra, locust and side plank. Almost all of the postures require some sort of core stabilisation so it’s hard to get away without doing core in yoga! 

We love and appreciate the core so much we have dedicated an entire class to it called Core Flow. What to expect in this class are exercises designed to help strengthen your center. By combining practices such pilates, ballet and yoga you will be sure to leave feeling strong and empowered in your centre!