Many of you know that 2013 was a foundation shattering year for me. Every label with which I identified myself, every idea I had concerning my future dissolved into thin air quite suddenly. When I say I know Kali personally, I am referring to direct experience with powerful dissolution. Kali is that movement in our life that shows us what is indestructible by destroying all that is destructible. She represents periods of unknowing, depth, and infinite potential. It is a rather frightening place to be.
I survived by moving deeply into yoga. My meditation practice (which focuses on the use of mantra), my asana practice, and my study of mythology were my lifelines. Mantra helped calm my mind and emotions. Meditation helped me connect to that which is scared in each of us, that which I name Goddess. Asana helped keep me strong and flexible. Mythology helped me externalize, universalize, and interpret my experiences.
My Rhythm of Shakti workshop series was designed with the clear intention of sharing these tools with others. It is intended as an aid for those wishing to deepen their personal practice and bring about transformation in their lives. Shakti is the term for the energy of creativity and manifestation in Hindu mythology. It pulses and dances through us and the events in our lives, hence the name Rhythm of Shakti.
Rhythm of Shakti is a series of five workshops. You are welcome to attend any of them individually, and I encourage you to sign up for the entire series. Johanna Beekman, George Beekman and Lyris Cooper will join us to lead chanting. Other extraordinary local teachers will join us throughout the series.
The first workshop is a special, by-donation workshop. All money will be donated to start Live Well's newly established scholarship fund. Live Well has already received a generous donation of $2000 for the fund. Let's join as community and match that sum. If you can't come to the workshop, please consider a contribution.
Dates: Jan. 25, March 1, March 22, April 26, May 24
Cost: $45 per workshop or $189 for the series
Suggested donation for Jan. 25 is $45; no one turned away due to lack of funds
Location: Live Well Studio
If you and I were having a conversation about Kira Ryder and her February Anatomy of Love workshop, it might go something like this...
You: Who is Kira Ryder and why would I want to take a workshop from her?
Kristina: Kira Ryder is my teacher. Kira is an experienced Yogini, owner of LuLu Bahndas in Ojai, California, rider of bicycles, owner of a loving cat, friend of many, and student of love. Kira will be teaching the Anatomy of Self Love at Live well in February. I invited her to teach here because I love what I have learned from her and I experience joyful expansion of self everytime I play with her.
You: How has studying with Kira affected you?
Kristina: What a huge question! There are so many answers! In short, it’s created more joy, play, connection, ease, and love, both for myself and for those around me. These are traits Kira embodies and generously shares along with the practices she’s used to cultivate them.
Experimenting with Kira has deepened my awareness and acceptance that ‘Connection already is, love already is, quiet already is, affection already is, whatever my heart desires, already is’ – my job is to tune into their existence, to align within my own heart, to let go of my defenses, and to allow my hearts desire to thrive. Kira graciously creates a space for me to explore practices that bring this reality to light.
For those who know me, this may come as surprise, (or not!). It’s common for me to not be at ease, to have my to-do list running in my head, to have a sense of anxiety about honoring my obligations, to want things complete and accurate and on and on. The moment I heard Kira whisper, ‘Sweetheart, show her some affection,’ my heart softened, my eyes teared, and ease crept through my being. A simple notion delivered with such love and care that I easily made it my own, a mantra I carry with me and a sense of ease I can find when I need it, (with practice of course!).
You: Tell me more about Kira’s teaching style:
Kristina: Perhaps my greatest attraction to Kira and her teaching is her sense of levity, simplicity, and play. I hold deep respect and appreciation for the ancient texts, yet they are not easy access points for me to learn or apply to today’s realities. While Kira’s teaching is grounded in a vast and deep knowledge of the Yogic and other wisdom traditions, she embodies and inspires a sense of playful experimentation and acceptance that resonates deeply with me. This has allowed me to touch and understand parts of my inner landscape that were previously unknown to me.
You: How does playing with Kira change you?
Kristina: It’s always makes me happier, my heart somehow grows larger, I’m inspired to shed useless patterns, carry more joy forward into my life and community, and be connected to my hearts desire.
I invite you to learn more about Kira’s Anatomy of Love workshop here. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me at Kristina@livewellstudio.com and we’ll set up a time to visit, I’m happy to share more of my love and respect for Kira and interior treasures she’s helped me discover.