Maya Fiennes is internationally renowned Kundalini yoga teacher and musician.
What is happiness for you?
We all find happiness in different ways. You can definitely get it from external factors, and when things go well for us, we feel happy. For more permanent happiness, you need to work with yourself on a spiritual level. With spiritual work, you get less angry and annoyed when things do go wrong and so you don’t allow your happiness to be affected as much. I know that things can be worked out, whatever it is. Joy, however, is a different story. It’s more of a state of mind where you can be for a long time; whereas happiness can be moments, joy can be a more permanent emotion.
How did you come to your current level of positivity? What did you have to overcome?
I started all on my own, coming to live in London from my native Macedonia. I had so many things to learn and overcome. My spiritual life started when I joined a group of people and we practised yoga and meditation. After trying several types of yoga, I eventually chose to stick with Kundalini because it was much more powerful for me and it pushed the right buttons immediately. It’s also important to remember that when you first start doing yoga it might feel worse or uneasy because of the emotional cleaning that takes place; and only after that can you get to the place of happiness.
How can Kundalini yoga help with stress, anxiety, depression?
All of these things, depression, anxiety, etc., all it is, is a chemical and hormonal imbalance which can affect anyone, so if you address the imbalance, then you can heal those problems in natural ways. I always recommend people to get their hormone levels checked out by doctors and see what can be done to bring them to balance. Kundalini gives you results very quickly – through certain movements, mantras, breath techniques, etc. That is what I teach and I love seeing the results and improvement in my students.
What do you do when you feel upset or angry?
I try to look at the situation and understand it better. What is the cause of it, what is at the bottom of it… But first I try to come out of this negative state with the help of certain mantras, breathing techniques, or even a cold shower to bring down the heat in the head. Only then can you analyse what’s going on. You need to catch yourself when you are in the state of strong emotion. If you are with people, excuse yourself, go to the bathroom, do a quick breathing technique, move, shake your body, count to 10, say a mantra – and then just go. You need to move from that negative space. Literally stand up, get yourself out of that energy.
Do you think where you live may play a role in your wellbeing?
No. If you are in the prison of your own mind, no matter where you are, you may still not feel good. The best thing to come out of a negative state is to move your body – do yoga, shake, sweat, run, swim. If you feel depressed, just go for a run. Running can be a very powerful dynamic meditation.
Find more yoga, meditation and wellness tips, visit: www.mayafiennes.com