I have a friend, who tried yoga—once. He didn’t like it. With terms that have been simplified from the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit and linked to English animal words like downward-facing dog or cat-cow, to sessions of prolonged controlled breathing through alternating nostrils or bending like Elastigirl, it’s easy to poke fun. Yoga is a very complex subject and its practice goes several degrees beyond a mere 24-fitness class.
Take it Full Circle
Full Circle Yoga, 1719 Main St., SLC, 385-528-2950.
“Your friendly, affordable neighborhood studio” co-owners, Steve Jones and Jennifer Rohn of Full Circle Yoga get it too. Gaining insights from other studio spaces and listening to what people were looking for, Steve explains, “We have no interest in getting rid of the spirituality but there are aspects of yoga culture that can be off-putting to certain populations. Our intent is to consider those sensitivities and then work within the remaining framework of yoga to help people access their benefits.”
As a studio space, they go to great lengths to ensure a safe space. What does that mean? Full Circle Yoga is set up with a student’s bill of rights, to fully disclose their intention that all should feel supported, safe and yes, loved. From Nidra to Vinyasa, Full Circle offers a variety of yoga classes including a once a month Sound Immersion class, and being curious, I recently joined one.
Prior to class, our instructor, Jenn Roney lit several candles around the large and dimly lit room. Once everyone was settled, she went on to explain that during class we were welcome to make a cup of tea, get water or take a bathroom break. She also called out that all doors were secure to inhibit disruptions and windows were also safe from incoming eyes. And, from a newbie’s perspective, her words put my mind at ease.
Take a Sound Bath
“When we give ourselves the chance to let go of all our tension, the body’s natural capacity to heal itself can begin to work.” -Nhat Hanh
West Wind Sound Sessions: Tarek Weber, 262-496-9659
In the back of the room, Tarek Weber of West Wind Sound Sessions set up on the floor a plethora of different sound-immersion instruments, such as the didgeridoo, hand pan, crystal bowls, rain sticks, drums, tablas, gong and more. Tarek is a musician but views his work as therapeutic, sighting several scientific studies on his website.
The class went as follows: Jenn led us through a series of simple and slow yoga postures and stretches for sixty-minutes, giving permission to participate or opt-out as needed all while Tarek performed. The last 30-minutes were spent in savasana or “corpse pose” while Tarek continued his sound “play” (as he explains how it feels like to him). The combination of both yoga and music brought together something truly wonderful, and without question, I can’t do justice. The surround sound bath experience was mind-blowingly beautiful.
When it comes to things like this, many may question its worth and wonder, “Who in the world does this type of thing?” And while talking to Tarek and asking questions about the various instruments and more about his work, he shared a simple but meaningful response, “Sometimes you can’t explain why something works, but you’re happy, so that says it best.”
And after my sound immersion experience, I can’t explain it either, but things just went really well for me. Running into old friends, great day at work, overall just felt super positive. So I agree with Tarek, even with sound therapy being backed by science, the explanation doesn’t really have to matter, the happiness factor does.
To read more of our first-person experiences around SLC, go here.