Rewind to Wanderlust Tahoe 2012.
After six flights all alone from Jamaica and meeting up with my three awfully-cool-weekend-roomies (thank goodness, because our room was pretty small!), the Wanderlust weekend was a blur of inspiration, utter awesomeness, scenic beauty, exhaustion, adrenaline, and all that good stuff.
I remember wearily stumbling into a Shiva Rea class and feeling a bit surprised to find her yoga-dance-mix-up welcomingly freeing. Before I knew it, the madness of dancing around wildly had rejuvenated me. BUT, that wasn’t the highlight. The massive amounts of reggae music pumped into Shiva Rea’s class soundtrack stole my heart. Just what I needed – I was right at home, proud as could be.
So, when I spoke to Shiva Rea this week I was even more thrilled to hear that she loved Jamaica and had spent a short stint living there studying Kumina (a traditional Jamaican dance form, which Shiva says is also trance) on a research grant. She adores the African-rooted Nyabinghi drumming, indigenous to the Rastafarian culture, because, as she explains, “It’s the rhythm of the heart”. And, she positions Ital food (veganism Rastafarian-style) high on her list of favorites. Sweet.
“I believe there is more that unites us than divides us…” – Shiva Rea.
Shiva Rea knows a thing or two about the world and its people. She calls herself a global adventurer and has not only travelled to, studied, and taught around the world, but has actually lived all over as well. With a background in studying culture, music, and dance therapy, Shiva has explored the heartbeat of many nations. Today, she integrates that understanding with her spiritual and yogic work to create an offering that includes a unique take on vinyasa yoga, trance dance, culturally immersive yoga retreats, and yoga teacher training programs, along with various events and global activism projects.
She’s super-busy. She’s uber-successful. Still, she’s also deeply grounded and profoundly spiritual – seemingly effortlessly tuned in to the human condition, and always fervently pursuing global change.
Living Your Dreams
Shiva Rea believes that our hearts are the vehicles to living our dreams.
“It’s absolutely a miracle to be alive on planet earth. A part of that miracle is our hearts. Listen to your heart. To have a meaningful life is to navigate this journey through our heart. The rhythm of your heart is giving you feedback every moment”, she says.
She notes that it’s important to tend to our connections to our hearts. This can be done through yoga, meditation, and movement.
“Anybody who does service has a moment when they say ‘Wow, maybe I am actually receiving more than I’m giving’.”
Shiva Rea encourages us to look around, both locally and globally, and start doing what we can to activate change – which can simply be by changing the way we do things at home, or by giving time and energy to global causes.
“A life without meaning is not easy to live”, she reasons.
Successes & Challenges
According to Shiva Rea, if we keep close to Source/God instead of being led by our ego-minds, we will struggle less in our lives.
“Anything that has come from my life, has come when I have surrendered to God and released the idea that I am in control”, she recalls.
“Live love in all ways. It doesn’t matter what activity it is, if you do it with love, it will transform.”
To find out more about Shiva Rea and her upcoming yoga teacher trainings and retreats in places like Costa Rica, Greece, and India, as well as her many global activism projects and her Samudra Global School, visit www.shivarea.com.
Photos courtesy of Shiva Rea