Read Maya Fiennes' September 2009 interview in The Source Asia.
Maya Fiennes, the Pianist-Turned-Yoga Instructor
Kundalini Yoga for a Real-Life Approach
The multi-talented Macedonian born Maya Fiennes has a wide range of skills to tap into. With her positive outlook on life and her uplifting personality, the classical pianist-turned-yoga teacher has become one of the most in-demand Kundalini Yoga instructors worldwide. She went to London in the early 1990s and married record producer Magnus Fiennes in 1995 (brother of actors Joseph and Ralp). Besides dabbling in fashion design, her career skyrocketed from playing for the Royal Family and The United Nations Assembly to doing yoga DVDs and workshops all around the globe, teaching celebrities such as Elle Macpherson, Goldie Hawn and Sienna Miller.
There are specific mantras for Kundalini Yoga, she says. Its almost like a science. It works with the smallest particles of the brain, and it sends a message to every part of the body to reunite and to be neutral. The whole point is that when were neutral in our mind, we dont worry. We dont go into negative or positive, were just neutral.
Maya has studied all types of yoga and eventually went on to train to be a Kundalini teacher in 2003, studying under Shiv Charan Singh and the Karam Kriya School in London. But instead of just using ordinary mantras and postures for a yoga session, Maya brings in her expertise of music to reach new levels of alignment.
The music drives the workshop. I spend a lot of time choosing specific music to match specific postures, because Im aware of what kind of emotions are released by each posture. So when I combine music and posture people get absolutely amazing results. All the students say, Oh my god, the music really hit me right in the heart. And I know that thats going to be the effect. So I work on different playlists, and every class is different in Kundalini Yoga. We have thousands of different sets. Then I work a lot with the gong at the end and the crystal bowls for deep relaxation; sound healing.
Maya, who also has two daughters, is very familiar with the daily hurdles one has to overcome, juggling work and career. Her initial goal is to help people balance and face their everyday challenges, and through her DVDs she has already touched numerous people, who have had major life changes. Everybody is struggling, and were not supposed to struggle, she explains. We need to be more at ease about it, and not worry about the little things. We get so sucked into our ego and our little world. We just have to wake up and say, Well, wait a minute. There is a bigger picture. We get ourselves so worried and we plan and organize Just let it be. Be more, rather than do more. And allow the universe to show you the way and guide you through it.
Maya has a very clear message and a strong view when it comes to peoples fear-based thinking and behaviour. She actively makes a point in helping her students to move beyond the negativity into a space of abundance and bliss.
Lots of people are now concerned about survival and the economic situation, says Maya. I dont see it as bad or good. Its all one. Its all part of the whole picture. So Im trying to change the attitude towards thinking through yoga, meditation, postures, asanas and specifically mantras. Its all about celebrating life and having fun. I see people that all start believing in the same fear, instead of reversing it. Its almost like people create a hype about it. So Im trying to say, Forget about fear. So we work a lot on the first chakra, which is related to fear and survival. I work a lot with the chakras. My seven DVDs feature one chakra each. I work with them energetically and physically because they represent the whole body.
From only one class you can really feel it. Its such a direct type of yoga, youre working with that raw direct energy. Its not about asanas and how you can push your hands and things like that. Its working with your mind, body and spirit all at once. It really aligns you.
Besides DVDs, a TV series for the Body in Balance channel in Europe and a retreat workshop in Hong Kong, Maya is also launching her first book in January. Yoga for Real Life will be the first part of a trilogy. The second one will be about relationships, and the third one is about family.
Mayas real-life approach brings Kundalini awakening into the present, showing people that enlightenment isnt something that well achieve someday, but something that one can and should experience on a daily basis.
When I started this work I thought it was very exciting, because we all want to be enlightened, she recalls. Then I realized that there is no such thing. You make enlightenment yourself, you create it. For me enlightenment means that every moment is a miracle, if you see it and allow it to be that way. If you practice yoga, breathing, meditation and mantras, then it will lead you to that place in your mind where you feel fine, where you dont have to worry about everything and where you dont have to get into the whole hype of peoples fears. You realize, Well, life is ok. Life is great. Life is a miracle. And you start feeling like that. Thats what enlightenment means.
Maya Fiennes will be leading a retreat and two workshops in Hong Kong between October 29 and October 8. See below.
Teacher Training Course, Oct 29 - Nov 5
Celebrate Abundance & Joy, Nov 7
Finding Your Ground So Your Spirit Can Fly, Nov 8
Please contact Chan Cudennec for bookings atchanwellness _AT_ gmail.com. or call (852) 9189 8050.
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