One of the highlights of this year’s edition of the BYC will be on Monday July 7th as part of the post-conference activities. Shiva Rea, from LA, is going to give a full day session on Prana Flow® and we will be flowing through the amazing music of Jai Uttal. I can already feel goosebumps!
Last year I had the privilege to get to know one of Shiva Rea’s protegés. Her name is Delamay Devi, and she is truly a wonderful yogini and teacher, as well as Shiva’s assistant in many of her teacher trainings and courses. She came to Barcelona for five weeks to teach Prana Flow® and I fell in love with the beautiful flows and the shakti energy that emerges from the practice.
Delamay is originally from Byron Bay, Australia, but she travels the world teaching in yoga studios, retreats and trainings around the globe. One can really feel how her heart is devoted to the practice of Prana Flow® and that it is her vehicle through life. I really hope that she can join us this year assisting the Prana Flow® Post-conference sessions.
After her stay in Barcelona we became good friends and she took care of us when we visited them in Byron Bay. During my time there I had the chance to talk with her a lot and this is some of what Delamay shared with me about her, Shiva Rea and Prana Flow®:
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
As far as I can remember yoga has always been part of my life, growing up in Byron Bay I was exposed to different and alternative ways to express myself and constantly encouraged to listen to my heart’s calling. I studied, taught and performed dance for many years and throughout this journey yoga has supported me.
When did you meet Shiva Rea and what was it that attracted you about her and the Prana Flow® style?
I first came across Shiva on Youtube and a few years later while living in the UK I signed up for her yoga trance dance workshop, which was incredible and exactly what I had been searching for! The following year I traveled to LA to begin the Prana Flow® teacher training and since then have had countless adventures to different corners of the globe assisting Shiva on retreats and teacher trainings. I feel so blessed to continue my studies with her and love the fact that each year the trainings evolve and change but continue to be so rooted in ancient wisdom.
At the time I was looking for some sort of structure and deeper meaning to my own classes. My yoga classes were very fluid and felt like a contemporary dance class on a yoga mat but they lacked a formula and direction. Like a choreographer a yoga teacher also needs a formula / a story / a reason behind why they chose that series of asanas / postures in that order. One of the things I admire most about Shiva is she has created a total science which makes Prana Flow® different from all the other vinyasa styles and the best thing about it for me is it makes total sense! From our first collective inhale and exhale the journey begins and the body responds so beautifully to the pulsing, body and rhythmic vinyasas that follow. Along with the eclectic music mixes and Shiva’s wave sequencing, my cells fell in love and now I can’t imagine practicing or teaching in any other way.
In what ways did your practice and your teaching change after you met her?
I feel in love with having a free flowing structure that had a direction and a purpose. I looked forward to planning sequences and got excited about choosing a peak pose and breaking it down to create the flow which proceeded it. It made me feel empowered knowing that I had found a teacher who gave a deeper meaning to my offerings as a teacher. I felt motivated to look beyond text books and gave myself permission to start experimenting with creating a “dancing through yoga” workshop which is a fusion of contemporary dance and yoga. This was a dream come true for me and I still offer this at different studios a few times a year.
Prana Flow® is a very Shakti power practice. Where do we find these feminine aspects of the practice? and, in what way do you think this is a positive addition to a still very male-dominated world?
In my opinion and experience there is a yoga for everyone and looking from the outside in Prana Flow® may seem very feminine and graceful but when you are on the mat deep in your practice, dripping with sweat it really does meet a lot of people’s expectations – male and female. Moving in a fluid way comes naturally to a lot of people but I have witnessed many students who are challenged by the idea of expressing the expanding and contracting movements of prana in the body while in a Warrior pose. Practicing with Shiva in LA is totally different to practicing with her in Europe or elsewhere. In LA her classes are pretty much 50/50 when it comes to men and women ratio. In Europe there are less men attending her workshops / trainings. Over time I think this will change, some say we are moving more into the feminine para-dime so if this is true we will see more and more shaktified empowered practices being offered which can only be a good thing.
How would you describe people’s reactions after they try Prana Flow® for the first time?
Peoples reactions always vary! The important part is they feel a freedom of breath and movement, ease and strength, ability to experience a peak asana from the intelligence of the alignment and sequencing transmitted through movement verses more verbal instruction.
Music is a big part of the Prana Flow® style. In what ways do you think it supports the practice?
Music is a vital tool in a Prana Flow® class. From live music to recorded music it all plays a part in the collective flow. It sets the bhava (state of being) and speaks to the nervous system kinaesthetically. The tone and rhythm of the music is carefully selected depending if it is a lunar or solar practice. Just like our breath the music is there to support us and is a totally different experience without it. I rarely teach without music and when I do it can be a spontaneous challenge but that is how we grow as a teacher, as in life we have to learn to adapt to what is available to us in that moment.
Like Shiva Rea, you travel the world. How is it to have this nomad life? Where do you find your peace and stability when moving around?
I travel because I like to experience different community groups, cultures and languages and feel very fortunate to combine this with sharing my passion for yoga and movement. I find peace in nature, wide open spaces, natural beauty, creativity, movement and sky gazing so if I have at least one of theses things I feel at home wherever I am.
You stayed in Barcelona for a few weeks last year. How did you feel in the city? Do you think you will make to the BYC this year?
Teaching for 5 weeks in Barcelona last year was awesome! I have visited a few times over the years and each time I come across different areas to explore and most recently came across the amazing array of vegetarian / vegan / macrobiotic and raw cafés and restaurants. For me it is the people and experience that make the place, Barcelona is a great city with lots of greenery and funky street art, the vibe is like no other! Yes, I hope to be returning this year to teach at the Yogaroom and fingers crossed I have time to come to the BYC too.
What would you say to the people who are going to meet Shiva for the first time?
To be your authentic beautiful self!