I went with a friend to the Wellbeing Show last weekend. We started the day with a ‘sound bath’ meditation, by Anne Malone, which took place in a cosy yurt filled with rugs and cushions, a beautiful coccoon-like setting. Having never done anything like this before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Anne is a lovely warm Irish woman, who has an interesting collection of instruments – Tibetan bowls, a rain stick and a hang – a mini steelpan played with soft beaters. The idea was that the sound vibrations of the different instruments would enhance the guided meditation. I left the yurt feeling calmer and ready for the festival.
Next I went straight into a ‘hatha yoga flow’ session. The teacher Denisa Nenova was lovely, and made a real point of explaining that yoga is way more than asana practice.
We wandered round for a bit, sipping our kale smoothies and looking at the stalls – there were a lot of ‘psychic reading’ type stalls, which is a bit ‘out there’ even for me.
We ended the day with a session on the heart chakra with Yogi Ashokonanda. Expecting this to be a gentle session, we were rather taken aback when we had to jump from Warrior I pose changing legs in one breath for about 5 minutes continuously! Even as someone who practices ashtanga yoga, this was the hardest yoga I have ever done! I guess the purpose of it was to get your heart pumping and your lungs breathing fully, so that you can really tune into the heart chakra. Some people clearly hadn’t expected this either, as they were removing layers of sweaty jumpers to keep up. The essence of the workshop was that chanting mantras can help to keep the heart chakra open (we chanted the Radhe-Krishna mantra).