KANGA YOGA HISTORY
Kanga Yoga is an energetic, alignment‐based flow yoga practice using music, gravity and breath to rediscover and rejuvenate the body and mind. The practice is inspired by the teachings of Swami Sivananda, Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar and Sri Krishna Pattabhi Jois.
According to the Ayurveda system (“Life Science” in Sanskrit), people have different biological body types. A relaxed Yin Yoga practice may be good for one body type, whereas an energetic Yang practice may be best for alternate body types. Our biological energies vary according to our lifestyles.
Ayurveda views illness as a result of an individual’s imbalanced physical and/or mental constitution, and therefore seeks to gently bring a person’s body and mind back into a healthy balance. Kanga Yoga adapts the practice to the individual. Each class deepens the student’s yoga practice, whilst providing a practical understanding of yoga and offering the opportunity to focus on specific postures, benefit alignment and breath control.
The path of devotion (Bhakti Yoga) is the easiest and the surest of all the ways for attaining emancipation. The science of music goes hand in hand with Bhakti Yoga.
The music itself is Hatha Yoga Sadhana; this involves disciplined control and regulation of controlled breathing. Moreover, the various musical notes have their own corresponding nadis (subtle channels in the vital sheath of the body) in the vital centres .within the Kundalini chakra’s vital centres, and music vibrates the nadis as well as purifying them, which in turn awaken the psychic and spiritual powers that lay dormant.
Kanga Yoga integrates sound, asana and mudra to bring the body and mind into balance and harmony.
THE MEANING OF KANGA
Emma Bonnici first fell in love with the Kanga cloth in 2006, when she was first living and working in Kenya. The African material itself is alike to a giant social poetry performance; an enormous living book of poems bound by the body and by all who read, interpret and live by its words and numerous meanings. The multi-faceted and functional Kanga cloth is not only astonishing to one’s eyes, but it is also a fabric that doubles as a ‘message in motion’.
Emma once made earrings laden with beautiful spotted feathers, but later fell in love with the patterns used to compose those of Kanga. Later, she surprisingly traced these feathers back to the bird, which is called the ‘Kanga’ in Swahili. The spotted patterns of the African Kanga cloth instantly reminded people of the bird’s beautiful plumage, and with this in mind the chatty, sociable songbird with it’s elegant spotted feathers and popular name, inspired the birth and creation of Kanga cloths.
Emma began living and working in India, and her yoga practice was very much inspired by her Indian teachers Ashtanga Vinyasa, Sivanada, Iyengar Yoga & Ayurveda. Whilst sharing the teachings of yoga in Madhya Pradesh and writing a yoga column for the Hindustan Times, Emma discovered the true essence of adapting yoga to the individual and also learned the positive healing power of music.
“Even inanimate objects are moved by the music. Through music the soul learns harmony and rhythm and an even disposition to justice. Rhythm and harmony find their way into the secret notches of the soul and keep it entirely oblivious of the outside world, in sublime peace.” ~ Sivananda
Emma believes our energy changes according to the environment we exist in, along with connected seasons and lifestyle. With this in mind, Emma focused on the energy of her students, whilst also incorporating music and elements of different yoga practices into each class.
Upon her return to the UK in 2009 when running Kanga Events (a wellbeing events company), her classes became remarkably referred to as ‘Kanga Yoga’ by studios and events in London. Soon after, Emma then followed the advice of a wise women in the Sivananda Centre in Putney, and ‘went with the flow’.
In 2010 it was fate that guided Emma back to the magical land of Laikipia in Kenya, to a camp where she decided to plant the seeds for Kanga Yoga and Ayurveda retreats. When Emma arrived at the camp, she discovered it beautifully decorated with the elegantly, spotted feathers of the Kanga!
“If you believe in the magic, you will see the magic” ~ Emma Bonnici