Monday, March 24, 2014

Blisschick Redux: Interview with Kundalini Yoga Awesomizer, Ana Brett

I just realized that a lot of people now following my work were not necessarily followers of Blisschick, my first web presence. I did a lot of good writing on that blog, and I feel like it's a treasure chest that deserves some diving into.

So I decided that every Monday, I'll post something from the Blisschick archives.  This makes me happy.

First up, I offer the first interview (there were follow ups) with Ana Brett, the main person that made me fall so deeply in love with Kundalini Yoga. This was first published on May 20, 2008. The original post starts after the picture!

Cat Bridge by Marcy Hall!
The first Ravi Singh and Ana Brett yoga DVD I ever did was their 90 minute Journey through the Chakras. I was already somewhat familiar with Kundalini and felt certain it was the right yoga for me.

Yet Singh and Brett still completely surprised me. The sequencing of the movements, the speed of them, the pauses all felt amazing and rhythmic, like poetry.

And then there was the giggling -- on my part, that is. I kept giggling. Which felt strange while I was doing yoga. It was supposed to be serious and slow and methodical, wasn't it?

No. Not if by "serious" I meant the denial of fun and spontaneity and joy -- three of the main ingredients in any Singh and Brett DVD.

Take a moment in time to be sublime.

It took me many times doing that DVD before I wouldn't laugh out loud when Singh said this line. It seemed so silly, so "sacrilege," so perfect.

Ana Brett is a beautiful yogi, filled with light. She practically glitters on the videos. And in the last few DVD's, we've started to hear her voice too.

Literally. She does quite a bit of the talking lately, but my favorite way to hear her voice is chanting. There is nothing pretentious or trained about it; it is innocent and ebullient, and even when I'm supposed to be focusing on my breath-work, I can barely stop myself from joining her.

Singh and Brett have, happily, told me they are putting together a CD of their mantras, which is to be released later this year.

For now, we'll have to settle for her spoken/written words:

1. Describe the PrimeBliss of your life, including how you came to discover it.

Movement. Using my energy through moving, whether its dance or yoga, connects me to the earth, to life, and to myself. My earliest memories all involve movement. Even when I was 5 and growing up in Australia, I was fascinated by traditional dance forms performed by the aboriginal people in my area and had to learn all I could about their movement rituals. I love to watch people move whether its babies or professional athletes to glean the primal source of movement and encode it in my body.
I love to figure out ways to pass along this information. I want everyone to experience joy in moving!

2. What types of choices and sacrifices did you make to be able to craft this bliss-filled life?

Since movement is something you can do anywhere anytime (you can even choreograph dance in your head) I feel I have not had to sacrifice. I do miss my friends and family when traveling but I make it up with extra calls and emails. A choice would, of course, be a larger living space so I can dance. We don't have this yet because we've been too busy traveling and teaching to build a house! Also, I guess I had to "sacrifice" my modeling career, because it wasn't inspiring me. I remember how, on shoots, I felt tired all the time. Sometimes our bodies aren't so subtle when letting us know we're on the wrong track. (emphasis blisschick)

3. How does your PrimeBliss radiate out into the rest of your life?

Our DVDs hopefully give others the same joy I feel when I am moving my energy through Kundalini Yoga and Dance. I also feel when you are doing what you love you inspire other people to find the joy in their lives. Some people need to see what is possible through someone else before they can believe it is a possibility for themselves. (emphasis blisschick)

4. What are some of your secondary bliss activities? Things that make you lose your sense of time?

Meditating and hiking with Ravi (Singh). We tend to get lost in more ways than one!

5. What is your daily or weekly spiritual practice?

Every day I do a yoga practice. I mix it up according to my mood so it is always different, although I always work "Kundalini" style from the ground up. No matter what else is happening, we meditate every evening for 31 minutes. Right now the meditation we are doing is a Kundalini one for brain balance and joy (and much more). On a practical level it is helping me sleep like a bump on a log and when I am well rested I seem to be in a constant state of bliss!

6. What music is your bliss?

I like everything from "I Am So Open" by the Cowboy Junkies and Led Zepplin, to Madonna. Fun dancy stuff or soulful. We've compiled some amazing music for our upcoming DVD's.

7. Name books or authors/poets or people who are your bliss, who influenced your bliss.

All the books I read as a child, especially fairy tales essentially taught me to be prepared for life's surprises and how to make the bliss last! Right now I'm reading a book called Bones of the Master. We like poetry. It represents to us spirit in evidence. Some of our favorites are: Pablo Neruda, Walt Whitman, Cesar Vallejo, and the list goes on!

8. What advice would you give to someone who feels they have not yet discovered their PrimeBliss?

Do what you love everyday. Don't get lazy, push through the fear, and never stop believing in yourself. Always keep moving forward and remember when one door closes another opens. Create a relationship with energy. Save some for great efforts. Do Kundalini Yoga and meditate so you stay open to life and its endless possibilities. That technology is designed to help one live one's potential.

9. Do you have a favorite quote you would like to share?

There are so many great quotes, unfortunately I have no memory for them. I feel this is a good one by Yogi Bhajan:

It's not the life you lead; it's the courage you bring to it.

I could read this interview over and over and probably will! Brett points out so many essential elements to living a bliss-filled life -- both on and off the mat. And her Yogi Bhajan quote is one of my favorites.

If you want to explore more deeply how to create an at-home dance sadhana (spiritual path) practice, you could join my super secret Facebook group, Inferno of Awesome. This group is invisible until you're added. FIRST, make sure you are my friend on FB, and SECOND, ask me to add you.