Attending Aeven's class/ article review
From the moment I walked into the Golden Bay Community Centre for Aeven’s Restorative & Relaxation Yoga Session last Sunday evening, I felt I had stepped into a beautiful, nurturing & safe haven. The curtains were drawn, the subtle yet welcoming smell of incense pervading the air and the beautiful altar, adorned with sacred items illuminated by candle light - the perfect ambiance for a deep Restorative & Relaxation Yoga Class. Arriving into this space, I hardly recognised it as the usual Community Centre hall.
Lying down on my mat, I immediately felt held by Aeven’s presence and the sanctuary she had created. Aeven’s calm & gentle guiding voice exuded a skilful combination of direction and spaciousness, inviting us to surrender to the floor, closing our eyes and reminding us to take care of our bodies at all times.
The class opened with supported reclined butterfly pose, a wonderful hip-opener, whilst Aeven read us the "10 commandments to reduce stress". Upon hearing these words of wisdom, I reflected on how easily I forget this and simultaneously, felt my body, mind & heart soften, with compassion for self & others, dissolving my habitual fight & flight response.
The class continued with a carefully constructed sequence of yin and restorative stretches including the banana or the rainbow stretch as we like to call it in Golden Bay, for the side body & some de-stressing poses for the deep-seated psoas muscles. These important flexors, which connect our torso to our lower body are particularly sensitive to emotional states, contracting during periods of stress, so no restorative class would be complete without releasing these muscles, bringing us back into equilibrium and into our para-sympathetic nervous system.
With our psoas released, we flowed into some forward folds, giving us the opportunity for a humbling of the egoic self with the third eye coming into communion with the earth beneath us. We closed the asana part of the class with the sublime cosmic egg pose, bringing us deep into our own internal universe, into complete stillness and timelessness before shifting into our practice of pranayama, the deliciously relaxing Humming Bee Breathe (Bhramari). Inducing a meditative state by harmonising the mind & directing the awareness inwards, the vibrations of the humming sound have a soothing effect on the mind & the nervous system making this practice a fantastic way to alleviate stress, cerebral tension, anger, anxiety & insomnia.
Throughout the entire class, Aeven redirected the mind’s tendency to wander off into the past or future scenarios and remain in the present moment through connection to body sensations and our own breathe. Applying mindfulness, meditation and visualization techniques, with various imagery, such as a candle flame, she also assisted us by bringing our awareness to a single-pointed focus to improve our concentration.
To conclude this nourishing relaxing class, we had a wonderful finale lying in Shavasana. Aeven offered us an optional eye pillow, delicately infused with calming Lavender oil. Aeven is not only an experienced & highly qualified Yoga Teacher (see below for full details) she also brings so much more to this class, with all her unique & well-thought out special touches. Giving us a whole shamanic alchemy, she takes us on an inner journey, deep within our own bodies and I left feeling spaciousness, relaxed & content in body, mind & spirit. She brings grace, authenticity & an inner knowing of her dharma to service, as well as a sublime ambient sound track and her great sense of humour. Would I come again? Absolutely, without hesitation, this divine class is “booked” on REPEAT in my calendar! A great night’s sleep ensued and I was ready for another busy week ahead, feeling nourished, refreshed, & revitalised.
Review by Katya Heeramaneck, Founder of The Lotus Seed Collective