ON TOP OF THE WORLD: “It’s a purification tool that gives me the opportunity to declutter and walk around as the light that I am,” says Subhadra, now 46.
FOR the past 22 years, Sandra ‘Subhadra’ Griffiths has turned to yoga to boost her stamina, cure her kids’ aches and pains and help her evolve into a more driven and productive human being. To help others do the same and achieve that elusive life-work balance, in 1997 she started Yoga Angels International, her company that now has branches from Kingston to California, where they’ve established the City of Beverly Hills programme to get the schools involved. “It’s grown beyond what we’ve expected,” says Subhadra, who also trains and certifies yoga teachers, including fit, gorgeous daughters Radha, 27 and Kali, 12, who run the Beverly Hills programme.
The recent inaugural staging of Kingston Yoga Fest has been their biggest coup to date – a well-supported event (pictured below) that gave the 46-year-old mom, her girls and the rest of the Yoga Angels team a platform to spread their awareness message and woo new followers to the movement. On a golden Thursday morning, we sat down with Subhadra, Radha and Kali at Lady Musgrave’s CPJ Courtyard for an open and reflective talk on how the yoga lifestyle can significantly improve and transform your life.
“We live in a stressful society, but yoga lets us know that we don’t have to choose that life. We have the ability to choose something else,” explains Subhadra. She adds that those who enroll in release-the-peace classes Yoga Angels are taught how to make conscious eating choices and how to effectively de-stress. What’s more, instructors demonstrate how yoga’s healing techniques can help in curing everything from headaches, back aches and common colds to thwarting asthma attacks. “Most importantly,” Subhadra hastens to add, “yoga strengthens your nervous system and tremendously helps with digestive issues.”
For Subhadra, yoga lends clarity to the mind’s eye when it comes to life and work matters. “Nothing is permanent. I am what I am because what you believe matters,” she argues. “I don’t see boundaries, but it’s important that you do everything in moderation. I consider myself self-full, not selfish, because in addition to giving of yourself and your time, you have to learn how to receive. Learning every day and applying those lessons regimentally is crucial.”
“I think it’s the best thing you can get from it. How to make better choices,” declares Radha. She should know. “Because yoga has was introduced to me from so early, I know how to do better. I’m always checking myself. What am I learning? Am I living my life to the fullest? Because of yoga, it’s one of the words I’ll always revisit.” Yoga also introduced her to the philosophy of great thinkers like Abraham Hicks. “He teaches that as you become more focused, more disciplined and grow into your God-like self,” she shares, “you appreciate things more.”
Yoga’s athletic component can greatly develop your physical attributes and boost endurance levels. “Certain yoga styles are great for dancers, athletes and patients because the muscles are lifted and engaged. Lots of neurological workings,” Radha tells us. “Inside out. You gain a lot of strength in the core and upper body.” Subhadra concurs, drawing attention to the liberating energy she consistently gains. “It’s cleansed and purified a lot of my blockages, so I have more energy,” she reports. “It’s a purification tool that gives me the opportunity to declutter and walk around as the light that I am.”
It all comes together here, bolstered by the fundamental necessity of proper breathwork. “You understand and appreciate the vital importance of having air flowing through your nostrils. You can’t do anything if you can’t breathe,” Subhadra emphasizes. How you choose to deal with the obstacles you face also comes into play. “Pay close attention to the choices that you’re making daily; how you decide to live, what you do with your energy. That’s why a mirror becomes so important because it provides you with a reflection of yourself.”
> To learn more about the work of Yoga Angels Intl, visit www.yogaangelsintl.com.