Finally, a fitness post! We promise we haven’t been avoiding it. Bev likes fitness and food in equal measures, and Lora doesn’t completely agree with that statement.
We donned our best yoga gear and headed to Charym Yoga in the town of Litchfield. Confession, Bev has been calling it “charm” yoga for the past 2 years until a friend gently told her, it’s pronounced “shar-eem.” We’ve since learned that the word is Bhutanese for beauty. Now you all know, or maybe you already did.
We met with Amy Allen and Brian Pontolilo, husband and wife (so many husband and wife teams working harmoniously together in Litchfield County!), and new managers of Charym. They were instantly welcoming and radiating yogi-ness, which to us, equals kindness, caring and warmth.
The space that houses Charym is simply beautiful. Located in a historic lumberyard, it reminded us of a Western movie set. Once inside, we immediately feel serene and peaceful. It’s funny how yoga studios do that to you. This one does especially so; cathedral ceilings, exposed beams, doors opening on to gardens, cream-colored cotton blankets; we feel like we have stepped into a chic European resort. Ahhhhh, or Ohhhhhmm.
Amy informs us that we will be joining her in a Kundalini class today, which she tells us is a very spiritual practice, using mantras and sound, meditation and fire breath. That GULP you hear is from Bev, she thought she was a pretty seasoned yoga class participant, but not so much in this kind of practice. Lora is all in; mention some chakra work and she’s there! Here you have it:
I’ll admit, fitness and flexibility are not my strong points. Next to Bev, who is a Jazzercize instructor and all-around great example of fitness, I was a little intimidated to take a yoga class. The only other time I attempted it was about 10 years ago and I only did 4 of the 10-class package. It just wasn’t my “thing.” But here we go, let’s try it!
Amy’s aura radiated the word “welcome” and I instantly loved her. We claimed our places with our mats on the floor and said hello to other class members as they entered. My nerves melted away when class started. A breeze drifted through the open doors, birds sang beautiful tunes, and Amy’s calming voice guided us through poses and meditation.
I had an amazing experience through the mediation portion. It released a lot of stress, which I guess I had been holding in, and surprisingly, I held back tears a few times. Maybe it was from the beauty of letting go and the giving in to deep relaxation. With my eyes closed, I saw vibrant indigo and purple colors that were so beautiful! I asked Amy about it afterwards and she said that happens to some people. In my further research on seeing colors during meditation, I’ve read that purple means connecting to your higher self. Fitting…
Will I come back again to Charym? Absolutely. I’ve already scheduled my next Kundalini class. If you are looking for a way to relax, be at peace, and let go for a little bit, please go. You won’t regret it. As Amy said as we left, “May we walk in grace.”
Ok, I must confess, I was slightly distracted to fully appreciate my very first Kundalini class. As we all surely know, it can be pretty hard to switch off, tune out and become focused, and for me, there was so much “new” going on. I didn’t feel like I completely gave myself over to it. Wouldn’t it be interesting if we could record our thoughts during a yoga class? My recording would go something like this:
“Ahh, lying on my back, so rested already. Oh those birds outside sound so lovely, sounds of traffic far away also very soothing…shut my eyes and breathe deeply…uh oh, falling asleep, no, stay awake, stay awake…ok time to hold some poses…oh this feels good, outstretched arms while sitting upright, I’ve so got this, I’m pretty fit…um Amy, have you forgotten we have our arms out, oh really, just one more minute…oh thank goodness, arms down.”
“I’m feeling so stretched out already, I really must stretch more…new week resolution, I will stretch more. I think Lora said we’d stop for ice cream on the way home…ice cream…hmm what flavor shall I get?”
“Time to sing a mantra, OMG I can’t sing. Lora’s going to hear me sing…just going to take a quick peek at Lora to see if she’s singing…she’s singing. I’ll sing. What the heck, everyone is in their own yoga world, no one is listening to me…ahhh-singing feels really nice. Gosh I’m feeling so balanced. Ok, I could get into this…will start to come to Kundalini classes every week to work on spiritual balance.”
And that was only 5 minutes worth.
Oddly enough I don’t think I fully appreciated the class until a good couple of days later. I guess it takes a while for some things to sink in. Seeking peace, balance and a stretched out body seems a worthy pursuit. I’ll be back.
Kundalini is one of a variety of class types held at Charym. They also offer Kripalu yoga flow, Ballet yoga flow, power yoga, gentle and restorative and modern dance to name but a few. Full schedule can be found here.
After class is finished we were offered tea, time, and space, to slowly acclimate and ready ourselves for re-entry into the world outside. Perfect.
Sat Nam everyone!
Address : West Street Yard, 174 West Street, Litchfield, CT 06759