Today I attended a class with Swamiji Joytirmayah. I was not really sure what to expect. I thought maybe 2,5 hours of hard core meditation.
When I came, I unpacked my travel mat and meditation cushion and sat down. A bunch of people were already in the room, and a man was playing guitar. After we had been welcomed, the guitar man led kirtans. The atmosphere in the room was very relaxed and comfortable. Suddenly, Swamiji Joytirmayah entered the room. He had a certain charisma – I am not sure if it is because of his Indian look in the Danish context, the expectations for the class, or a third. He sang along and clearly enjoyed the music.
The first exercise was that everybody had to get up and introduce themselves followed by a “I belong to you”. Then we did some simple yoga exercises that still were physically demanding (Paripurna Navasana, raise and sink legs slowly while lying on the back, standing side bends, cobra, cat-cow with raised leg followed by knee to chin etc.)
We then did what to me is a very new way of doing yoga. We had to jump around the room on one leg, and then we had to find two partners to form a chain and continue to jump on one leg. We did an exercise where he said a number, and we should hurry to find that number of partners. The partner game ended in a big group hug with Swamiji in the middle. We also had to jump into the fire, meaning move or shake every limp of the body.
He introduced me to some playful ways of doing pranayama: pull a rope up from near your feet, down from the roof (bend knees), and from the side, and coordinate it with forceful exhalations. And finally, several minutes of laughter followed by savasana.
We ended the class by singing kirtans
Swamiji continuously reminded us to smile and spread happiness. This was no problem, because he made the exercises so funny that it was hard not to smile.
I liked the class because it gave me the feeling that I was in a room with other people searching for happiness, joy, peace and harmony. I got a feeling of belonging to a group due to the kirtans and group exercises which connected people physically as well as spiritually.
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