spahealer PLANETMAYA - writer Kate O'Brien
From Buckingham Palace to the hippest resort in the Caribbean, Mexico and Bali, in just three years the powerful energy of Maya Fiennes has opened chakras and won hearts worldwide.
Those who attend her refreshingly upbeat yoga classes can't help but fall in love with the clean teaching style and contemporary ambience that is in perfect harmony with her own original music, and leaves students feeling completely energised and deeply inspired.
Macedonian-born Fiennes is passionate about kundalini yoga. She came to England in the early 1990s on a classical music scholarship to London's Royal College of Music. Having played for audiences as diverse as The United Nations Assembly, members of the Royal Family and private recitals she was searching for something deeper. "I was searching for answers and all my songs related to this. I was practicing many forms of yoga, from ashtanga to hatha and martial arts. I tried them all," she says. Then she discovered Kundalini. "It was amazing. Every time was different and I didn't know what to expect and this is how life is. Life is too safe, but Kundalini just drops you and picks you up."
Today Fiennes combines her seriously powerful talents as a classical pianist, composer and performer with he bubbly personality to create a unique style of yoga and meditation for modern living, based on Kundalini yoga. She studied under Shiv Charan Singh at the Karam Kriya School in London for the obligatory 12 months. Ironically she was given the yogic name Har Bhajan Kaur, which means 'praise the name of God, Divinity and Infinity, through Sound and Mantra'. "I therefore feel destined to teach Kundalini with the help of my musical background."
"Kundalini," she explains, "is the mother of yoga. It is the oldest form of yoga that remained secret for many years because it's working with the body's raw energy and if not practiced correctly, is easily misused." Unlike yoga's many other guises, Kundalini is the sexual energy, the creative energy that rests in the chakra on the fourth vertebra of the spine (close to the reproductive region). It remains dormant until awakened when it quickly moves through the chakras and completely invigorates both body and mind. With other yoga asanas it takes far longer for the kundalini to kick in.
As soon as her training was complete, Fiennes was taken into One&Only Resorts for the opening of their uber-cool Reethi Rah in the Maldives. There she spent five months performing in the evening and teaching in the morning. She then moved through the other One&Only properties to ignite and invigorate guests with her superb sounds and magnetic dynamicism. "I wasn't even going to teach," she interjects. "But teaching is performance and its what I do best."
Perfect timing too it seems, as her kundalini teachings are in tune with the forthcoming Aquarian Age commencing in 2012. "We are now in transition to a heart-centred world," she explains, where people will take their power back and fulfill their Dharma, their purpose in life. With kundalini you are not relying on others. Teachers are just vehicles to share the teaching. We say, 'Don't follow the guru, you are the guru. You have the power so learn, realise the power within yourself and use it." This is what the Aquarian age is all about, realising this innate power that comes to life when Kundalini is awakened.
Maya advises students to start slowly and life will soon become less stressful. In other words, don't sweat the small stuff - a very fitting mantra for a woman who calmly juggles music, yoga and motherhood, all in a day's work. She is married to composer Magnus Fiennes, brother of Hollywood's best, Joseph and Ralph, and has two daughters aged nine and eleven. She has numerous CDs, DVDs and her first book due for release next year.