On the delight of yoga practice

There are some places in this city that showcase yogi “all stars” without the pomp and the pretentious claims. These places often fly under the social media radar, by choice or by design, and discovering them becomes extra rewarding.

That is what happened on my first visit at Yoga Anker studio – not a new place, not a fancy studio, not a marketed offering. It was the first time I practiced at this studio, but I already knew and wrote about two of the excellent teachers there: Barbara of Yotree, and Sarah of Planet Yoga and her very own YogaTrapeze. This time I decided to try out Shaktini’s class on a Thursday evening.

The few minutes before class were a great opportunity to chat with Shaktini and learn about her work, in Switzerland and Australia. Having been a teacher for 17 years now, she has seen *a lot* of developments in the yoga world and could also observe so much in the Swiss yoga landscape. She used to run a yoga school in Lucerne, attracting a colorful international crowd. Funnily enough, among her previous students from Lucerne is Erica, the owner of Soul City which is located 5 meters away from Yoga Anker! Small world indeed 🙂 Now Shaktini also teaches and hosts events at nandalayoga and Ayur Yoga in Zurich.

Our Thursday class was a compressed collection of what makes yoga so beautiful and authentic. We started with the physical element: no funky flows, complex poses or creative transitions – just pure yoga asana practice, in smooth, conscious movements. Out of the 5 of us students, all but me were regulars, and I could see how Shaktini provided each of them personalized guidance and support adapted to their level and challenges. At any rate, the class was nicely paced so that each of us could get attention and support with proper alignment.

As we were flowing through the poses, Shaktini said something authentic that stuck with me: “we practice for the delight of the practice” – isn’t that a beautiful thought! And wouldn’t it be lovely if we could apply this to everything we do, not just yoga? 😉

Our “physical” practice that evening was complete: from activating warm-up, strengthening standing poses, balancing postures, intense stretches and final inversion. But I was not aware that there was more in store, on a deeper level: as we sunk into the ground in final relaxation / shavasana, we even received a brief massage and an eye pillow (my favorite thing!), and probably a few minutes later the most soothing mantra concert started. Accompanied by the harmonium, Shaktini sang softly and beautifully, while we enjoyed pure bliss on our mats.

Still, the most blissful part was joining in the mantra chant after shavasana: we slowly returned into the dark room and sang along the Om Namah Shivaya mantra, with Shaktini’s lead on the harmonium. I felt the whole room, including my entire body, vibrating to the power of the music… A feeling of lightness, connection, radiance, even in the darkness of the space.

As I mentioned before, Skaktini’s class encompassed all the beauty of yoga – not as a workout but as a way of life – in one complete class. We moved the body and nourished the soul. It was indeed something to delight in, and something to take away for the evening and beyond.

Namaste! ♥

Yoga Anker Studio Art

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