An awakening of the Kundalini energy: A yogic journey through the Azores and Algarve, Portugal, Summer 2019
This summer I spent five weeks travelling through four islands of the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores and the Algarve in Portugal. The Azores are an autonomous region of Portugal, situated in the middle of the Atlantic, first colonised by Portuguese settlers in the fifteenth century. They are unique and spectacular part of the cultural and historical heritage of the sea faring and powerful Portuguese empire.
Yogi JanNaam, a Kundalini yoga teacher based in Worthing, West Sussex decided he wanted to bring the Kundalini experience to the Azores and as part of his seva (giving to the community) he had organised several workshops across the islands to introduce as many people as possible to the powerful spiritual effects of Kundalini yoga.
I travelled with Yogi JanNaam and attended his workshops in the Azores. We finished our journey in the Algarve, mainland Portugal. Yogi JanNaam also wanted to give to the people living in this highly touristic part of Portugal the flavours and beneficial effects of Kundalini awakenings.
We started in the most populated of the Azorean islands, São Miguel in the commercial capital of Ponta Delgada, a stopping off point for the large trans-Atlantic ferries during the spring months. This small, yet busy town is home to a well-positioned yoga school, above an attractive vegetarian restaurant, serving homemade healthy vegetarian meals and delicious vegetarian deserts. But enough of the food, back to the yoga! Yogi JanNaam had contacted the yoga teacher in the school and offered to teach daily classes for a week to see if the people of the town were open to flow of the Kundalini energy we all have but have forgotten about through our busy lives.
Our first class, with Yogi JanNaam was the yoga teacher from the school and myself. Immediately the energy lifted and together we created openness for the sharing and developing of the flow of energy through our nadis and out and around Ponta Delgada. The teacher, who had not experienced the effects of the Kundalini practices before was visibly affected by the power of the exercises, mantras and breathing guided smoothly and expertly by Yogi JanNaam. Unsurprisingly, numbers of students started to increase as the energy dissipated around the town and more people became aware and called to the practice. Yogi JanNaam worked through the different energy centres, chakras on different days and the impact on the energy flow increased exponentially. Indeed, on one day the energy was so physically apparent a strong and visible field of energy, similar to the heat hazes we see on a beautiful summer’s day radiated from the shoulders and head of Yogi JanNaam.
From São Miguel we moved to the most westerly island of the Azores, the semitropical and verdant island of Flores. The stunning scenery and magical ambience was the perfect setting for the next series of workshops. We arrived to beautiful sunshine and high humidity and were quickly followed by downpours of rain and cloudy days, covering some of the most spectacular steep mountains and cascading waterfalls. The energy we brought with us from the previous classes quickly affected the small town we stayed in on the west of the island and we started our classes purposefully and heartily. Here the local people really engaged with Yogi JanNaam’s enthusiasm and passion. Keen first time Kundalini students, with experienced yoga teachers, tourists and even local children all joined in as we used Sat Kriya strongly and effectively, amongst other exercises. Yogi Jan'Naam shared his knowledge with all and guided the energy purposefully so we were singing and chanting together an emotional and uplifting Guru ram Das mantra. Students were overwhelmed by the energy shifts they experienced and our impact was felt across the town and island. As we left this wonderful and picture perfect place many locals asked when we were coming back, not wanting us to leave, so powerful was the energy we co-created with the islanders.
Our next step was São Jorge and here we stopped and integrated the work of the previous ten days. We sat and viewed the majesty of the highest mountain in Portugal, Pico. We meditated to remove the fear of the future to Dhan Dhan Ram das Guru and bathed in the power of Pico whilst enjoying the fantastic scenery, crystal blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the abundant clean and oxygenated air. Here we settled and enjoyed the moments as they came from source.
Santa Maria Island, the most easterly of the isles and geographically and geologically different to the rest gave us the most wonderful welcome. Diving with Manta rays and swimming in open seawater, packed with life was a memorable and wondrous addition to the journey. Here the Kundalini Shakti was at its highest, we had just passed through the Lion’s portal and energy movement was felt everywhere. Within a few hours of arriving Yogi JanNaam had arranged with a local lady an extra class to the schedule. This ended up being the largest work shop, the power of face book swiftly coordinating an eager group of students. In this class we focused on all ten bodies, in a special class that reverberated around the island. The local library lent its beautiful space to the class incredibly well. We sat amongst evocative images of the islanders practicing their Catholic faith. The presence of Jesus, the yogi, ever present within our Kriya.
One more visit, in transit to the Algarve, back to São Miguel gave us another chance to connect with the people we had started our yogic journey with. In this last class on the islands Yogi JanNaam lifted the energy of our spirits in an inspirational and provoking class. The students clearly wanting more and asking Yogi JanNaam to come back next year.
We continued on to the sunny beaches of the Algarve, now a cosmopolitan holiday destination for many Portuguese and other people from further afield. Yoga ashrams and classes have been the realm of tourists for along time in this part of the world. Yogi JanNaam worked closely with a few students over the week we were there. For me, the energetic shift was at a deep personal level and has stayed with me as I write the story of this journey a month later.
I thank Yogi JanNaam and all the people I met in the Azores and Algarve for the opportunity to connect with them and myself.
My yogic journey continues and the wonder of getting to know the real me is a joy and a journey that will continue until I move on to wherever we go.
Waheguru Ji Ka khalsa
Waheguru Ji Ki fateh