To an outsider, it was an unlikely stop on my recent trip to the Bay Area: The Southwest YMCA in Saratoga, CA.
But I went with purpose, to go to the source of the Aqua Kriya Yoga movement that infused so much meaning into my life and work last year. This is where Camella Nair, swami in the Kriya lineage and the guru of Aqua Yoga, took yoga off the mat and opened up the practice to people in the pool.
Although Camella was on holiday during my visit, I took a class taught by one of the first people Camella trained to teach aqua yoga. Rosie is a 60-something woman who has suffered from fibromyalgia, and taking Camella’s aqua yoga classes gave her a rejuvenated body. I had heard Rosie’s story during my own Aqua Kriya Yoga teaching certification course, and it was a joy to meet her in person.
Rosie led a 50-minute class that was both relaxing and invigorating. We did a series of planks and twists, and it felt wonderful to energize my spine. Rosie used some of Camella’s favorite phrases that I’ve also adopted for my teaching; it made me feel like part of a community of teachers that is infused with a rare but valuable positivism. Taking the time to breathe deeply throughout the class and during floating savasana was just what I needed. Both my body and my mind knew it was such a treat to be the student for a change!
I was also fortunate enough to finally meet in person Nancy Britton, Camella’s office manager. Nancy and I have been exchanging a lot of emails as I’ve been (slowly) progressing through the Prenatal Kriya Yoga Teacher Training home certification course. Nancy is radiant– her passion for supporting Camella’s work and the desire to bring about more goodness in the world is evident. We had a lovely conversation easily meandering from personal philosophies to business practices. I look forward to seeing her again at my summation retreat later this year.
If you’re interested in spending time basking in the positive energy of Camella and Nancy, treat yourself to their upcoming yoga retreat in Mazatlan! I can’t make it this year, but I can only imagine the excellent quality of instruction, superior companionship, and full sense of contentment and peace those who attend will enjoy.
I am grateful for the friendship and support of Camella, Nancy, and Rosie– and the whole Aqua Kriya Yoga community. You women make my job no work and all play.