“KamaDeva” is the god of heavenly passion, which perfectly defines the energy at KamaDeva Yoga (Lumber Lane, Easthampton.) Upon entering the bright, bold, newly-painted studio, an invigorating tone was set and I just knew I was ending my afternoon right. Evelyn instantly made me feel welcome, at ease, and excited to begin class.
We began by initiating our awareness of the breath, consciously inhaling deeply into the core and exhaling powerfully, as if we were getting rid of any negative energy. Breathing in the good and letting go of the bad. Since I consider myself a beginner yogi, and have been for some time now, I SO appreciate the effect of a good yoga breath. The busy world around me settled a bit as my body relaxed and my mind focused on the moment, the moment of heavenly passion: KamaDeva.
“Learning to breathe consciously,” Evelyn explains, “is greatly beneficial in times of great stress, because if we can learn to breath slowly and deeply, no matter what is going on, we then stand a chance to think clearly, act from the heart, and move forward with confidence.” This practice was especially pertinent during the week of recent crisis following the Boston Marathon. Evelyn referred to the traumatic events in Boston and we set our intention for the class to open our souls and extend our hearts, especially in times like these, to be able to stay strong. We performed numerous poses to open our hearts and offer compassion; pushing our chest out and reaching our arms to the sky to accept the love that can overpower and conquer the world’s anger.
Equally important is establishing a foundation and stabilizing a strong connection between our feet and the ground. The combination of intentional breaths and a sturdy foundation, feeling that we are right where we’re supposed to be, gets us through life’s challenges. We stretched long up to the sky as we kept our feet planted strong, acknowledging the power we have when we’re one with the earth, and each other. Acknowledging this power and togetherness was a great gift Evelyn gave me that day, one that will last long beyond the time limit of the class.
Following our ‘opening poses,’ we moved to sun salutations, warrior, and hip openers to actively loosen the stress in our bodies and welcome tranquility. Evelyn seemed to predict exactly where I needed an extra stretch, incorporating a challenge that felt more like an opportunity for growth than a workout. The class flowed seamlessly, allowing us to settle deeper into each pose. I didn’t even think about time as I was truly focused in each moment and was surprised when it was already time for Savasana.
Evelyn’s calm voice, genuine nature, and consistent smile brought another level of serene optimism to the practice. We opened our hearts, planted our feet, and welcomed spring with open arms. I walked out of class that day knowing that I could take on more, somehow the weight on my shoulders did not seem so heavy. I’d definitely recommend KamaDeva and Evelyn’s classes for your yoga needs. The studio offers classes for all skill levels, interests, and intentions, from “yoga dork/basics” to “rock n roll flow,” which I am definitely looking forward to trying.
One Healthy Breakdown: Yoga with Evelyn at KamaDeva is nothing but heavenly practice, in a heavenly place, with one goddess of a yogi.