Bill Donnelly is a true pioneer in the field of yoga. Along with co-creating and co-hosting the yoga-reality series Guru2Go, Bill is also the creator and founder of Practical Yoga, an energizing practice designed to heal and uplift the body, mind and soul.
Practical Yoga is the latest addition to Kalani's schedule of 50+ weekly classes and activities.
Having experienced the amazing high that comes from attending a Practical Yoga class, we decided to sit down with Bill to gain further insight into the practice.
Aloha Bill! Congratulations on joining Kalani's team of yogis. I was buzzing for hours after attending your Practical Yoga class last week. So that our readers know what to expect from your class, could you explain to us what Practical Yoga is?
Aloha Cameron! I am very happy to be a part of the Kalani team of teachers! Many visitors come to Kalani for healing and rejuvenation, so the styles of yoga that we offer are a very important component to their positive experience here.
Practical Yoga is, first and foremost, a healing yoga. My class experience is centered around the ancient and powerful tantric-based Kundalini Yoga & Meditation (as taught by Yogi Bhajan Ph.D.)™, which gives students a deep experience of healing. I like to think of this style of yoga as a very helpful "energy management system". It is useful to anyone searching for meaningful ways to improve the quality of their lives.
What kind of an experience does a Practical Yoga class offer?
We start each class with light stretching, and continue with core-strengthening, aerobic-inspired exercises and a brief Hatha-flow series to build heat and warm up the body. Then, we experience a full Kundalini Yoga set.
To finalize our work, we do an 11-minute active meditation to help focus the mind and expand our potential. We end class with a luscious deep relaxation to "let it all sink in" maybe the most important step! Evocative, healing music is used throughout class to heighten the experience. I offer a non-dogmatic, approachable spirituality in class.
Can you share a couple of Practical Yoga techniques with our readers?
Sure! There are literally hundreds of videos and techniques that people can access on the Practical Yoga Website.
For example, BICYCLES is an excellent exercise to help connect with and strengthen the core.
FROGS is a great technique people can use to stretch the back, strengthen the legs and buttocks, and balance their energy after a long day. Yogis also use this technique to prepare for deep meditation.
What are some of the benefits people will gain from Practical Yoga?
People who are on a conscious path of wellness, creativity and healing tend to appreciate the many powerful benefits found from even just one session of Practical Yoga. As you mentioned, you were "buzzing" for hours after attending. You had stimulated some inherently powerful life force in your body, and the healing and awakening process had been activated.
Some of the benefits include:
- Improved physical fitness and strength
- Improved well-being
- Spiritual growth
- Clearer thinking
Kundalini Yoga™ recognizes the importance of glandular balance in relation to physical and mental health. In addition to increased physical strength and improved mental focus, each of my classes works to elicit the Relaxation Response.
Is Practical Yoga designed to be a little more rigorous than other yoga classes?
Practical Yoga is designed to give all levels of students an invigorating, yet approachable, workout. Exercises can be self-monitored by the student, so you can easily meet the yoga where you are physically and mentally.
The music helps participants move through any moments of challenge, and within weeks students find themselves stronger, happier and more energized, or "in the creative flow". Hatha yoga, in general, takes years to learn and perfect. Yet with Practical Yoga, even after just one session, students have an amazing experience and so many of the benefits the class has to offer.
Practical Yoga is about tapping into your inner strength and steadiness, and anyone with a sincere desire can do it. You don't need to be a pretzel to take a Practical Yoga class!
Did you create Practical Yoga yourself?
My partner and I developed the idea of Practical Yoga over a 10-year period of teaching yoga in top Los Angeles yoga studios, privately with in-home sessions, and on our television show, Guru2Go on fitTV. I received formal training at the renowned Golden Bridge Yoga Studio in Los Angeles, studying under the Renowned Gurmukh. After personally healing from this yoga, I concurred with its founder on the urgency of bringing this personal wellness technology to the larger community.
It was after filming our show that we realized how practical this yoga really is. It was then we developed our Practical Yoga for Everyday People DVD, which has sold internationally and has helped countless students get into shape in the comfort of their own homes.
Bill teaches Practical Yoga at Kalani each Thursday from 10:30am - 12:00pm.
Bill will also host a special Holiday Yoga Retreat from Dec 20-27 at Kalani. Each day will feature two sessions of practical yoga and meditation in one of the most stunning environments you could imagine, surrounded by fiery lava, invigorating ocean, tropical foliage, and people celebrating the spirit of aloha. Celebrate and honor yourself and your spirit through the winter solstice and Christmas. Click here for more information on Bill's Holiday Yoga Retreat.