Believe it or not, since I started doing yoga in November 2010, I’ve never done any other type of yoga but Sivananda yoga. I mean I had a go at something at the Yoga Show in London, where I met the Sivananda lot, but since then I’ve been a Sivananda boy through and through. And let’s be honest, when you’ve found something that works, why would you try something else?
But, since there is no Sivananda yoga in Australia (yet – and even that statement that needs more qualification than you know), I’m going to have to have a go at other things. That’s why, while I was in Dunsborough, I thought I’d head over to Samudra and have a go at one of their yoga classes.
Samudra was interesting for me, because it not only is it a yoga studio, but a restaurant as well, very much the sort of business I’d like to run one day.
I’d eaten in the restaurant a few days earlier, a very tasty tempeh burger and mini side salad with nut milk hot chocolate on the side that was absolutely delicious and rather expensive at $25 for the lot.
They know how to make a buck, so I was not surprised when I turned up for the class and was charges $20 for one lesson. Now I’ve no idea if that is a lot of money for Aussie yoga or not, but it seemed like a fair hunk of cash to me. But anyway…
They’ve got a nice hall to do asanas in, a good size and very cosy. I plonked my mat down and grabbed a bolster (as that seemed to be what you were meant to do) then I chilled out in Sivasana. I didn’t know what the big cushion would be for. The class was meant to be hatha yoga, the same as I do (‘Sivananda’ is more a complete system than a type of yoga – the yoga they do is really just hatha), and cushion and that is more of a Ayengar kind of thing, so I was intrigued.
In actual fact we just used the cushion once, at the beginning, lying on it as we did the opening relaxation to help us open out bodies more. I have to say, I kind of liked it, but I’m not one to turn down a seat, a cushion, or a bed if it’s offered to me. (When I start my own yoga centre the slogan will be – “Come for the yoga, stay for the relaxation.”)
They also played music, which was new to me too. Just softly, in the background, most the time you didn’t notice it. Now I’ve heard people talk disparagingly of using music while you practice, saying that if you learn to relax with music, then you can’t relax without it. I don’t know if that’s true, personally I think you do get more out of practicing without music, but that being said I enjoyed having the music on. It was nice, and I don’t think it interfered with the experience at all.
The class was very similar to the yoga I do, though many of the poses were done slightly differently to how I know to do them, and there were some I’d never done before (which is always good). Whereas I normally do half a dozen sun salutations to warm up at the beginning of my practice, we only did one, very slowly, at the end. And when we did the breathing exercises we hummed when we exhaled. All in all it was a very interesting experience, not to mention a very beneficial one.
The teacher, Merja, an Icelandic lady (pictured above) was generous, and humourous, and a little bit punishing: All the qualities you want in a yoga teacher basically, lol. 😉
I thoroughly enjoyed my class, and felt very much relaxed and invigorated afterwards. It made me miss my regular Wednesday night classes, but made me more determined to keep up with my regular practice, so in the end it’s all good.
Who knows what I’ll try next. Off to Adelaide tomorrow. Should be something interesting there to have a go at I reckon. I’ll let you know (either way, lol).