It is an absolute pleasure to introduce you to Dal Kular today. I love the humor sprinkled throughout her writing. Dal has a beautiful down to earth view on life and she is a joy to connect with. You can read more of her soulful writings over on her blog. Now it’s time to settle down, get comfortable and enjoy Dal’s interview.
Tell us a little about yourself
Namaste all. Thanks to Nichola for inviting me as a guest in her blog series, Yoga Love, I’m honoured to be here.
I’m a soulful blogger, laughter yogi and mentor from the North of England as well as having a background in social work. I love hugging trees, laughing, writing, taking photographs, creative loafing and mischief making amongst many other things. I love chips.
Born in the UK, I hail from ancient Indian roots with parents who believed in ghosts, astrology and all things mystical and often used to find my beloved Dad, aka the Sofa Sage, doing headstands in the living room. I once had to procure porcupine quills for my Dad who’d been advised by a Sadhu it could heal his constipation. Hmmmm.
Everyone who has ended up on a yoga mat raising their arms in their first sun salutation has a story of what led them there. What’s yours?
By chance, I happened across a leaflet for the amazing Dhanakosa centre in Scotland, promoting an ashtanga yoga retreat in the late 90’s. Knowing that Madonna did Ashtanga and not much more, I drove up in my rusty little micra with screaming arms and wrists from all the case work I had to do as a frontline child protection social worker. I was burnt out and on the edge.
My first moment on the mat, I felt like a tight lump next to my fellow svelt yogis. My sun salutation was stiff and slow compared to the gazelles leaping next to me. I was bemused by all the bodily fluids and strange noises that a yogi could emit and think the pure spectacle of being in the yoga room with them kept me going.
By the end of the week my body had been stretched, strengthened and lightened. I felt renewed. I drove home without a pain or a twinge and that’s the moment I truly felt the power of yoga.
What keeps you returning to your yoga mat?
The sheer power, depth and wellbeing that I feel from a regular yoga practice keeps me going back to my mat, even when I’ve had long breaks. And creaky joints. At the very least, I keep up my sun salutations. My mat is always unfolded near my bed so I can bust out a downward dog when I need to. Yoga has the power to keep me sane during the wildest of times.
How has your yoga practice filtered through to your everyday life?
Yoga has made me more mindful of what I eat, how I am breathing and gives me a greater sense of ease in my physicality. It has made me more aware of how I use my body in both positive and destructive ways. Yoga has this incredible way of slowly weaving its magic that impacts all areas of your life before you know it.
What is your favorite yoga pose, breathing practice or mantra?
My favourite breathing practice is alternate nostril breathing. It immediately calms me down and I feel so wholesome after.
What advice do you have for those just starting out on their yoga journey?
Try lots of different types of yoga and different teachers to find the best fit for you. Don’t give up after one class. Don’t be scared off by skinny yogis in leotards who live off green juice. Keep searching. Commit to it long term, even if you stop for a while – it will seriously change your life for the better and it will buffer your body in your older years. You can still eat chips too.
How has your yoga practice evolved over time?
After my Ashtanga years, I tried Iyengar Yoga and have mainly stuck with that on and off including some fantastic Iyengar holidays in Greece. It seemed to suit my body’s needs more at that time and I loved the precision, props and ropes. Presently, I am exploring restorative yoga having attended a day workshop and found it profoundly nurturing and relaxing. It’s what my bodymind needs.
What are you loving right now?
Right now I am loving my nutribullet. It makes the most amazing whole food smoothies and nut milks with minimal mess. I can’t love it enough! And the glorious Peak District, just super love this rugged, moody landscape, it is a total escape from everything.
How do you nurture yourself?
I love nurturing my bodymind with really wholesome, organic food, discovering new creations and ways to feed myself. Current loves are nutmilk lattes, raw chocolate truffles and sweet potato chips, bliss. And saying NO to more work to enable myself to play and loaf more.
What wisdom has your yoga practice revealed to you that you’d like to share with us?
My body and mind are totally flexible, no matter how ‘stiff’ I get, yoga has had the power to heal, reveal and release the stiffness. And it can dramatically improve your sex life too…
Thank you Dal for sharing your yoga story and inspiration with us.
Now go check out her website for ways to work with her and find out more about her offerings.
Dal is a Laughter Yogi, soulful blogger and mentor living Up North, UK. She believes life is a beautiful journey, even through the tough times. Her work is inspired by her own challenges, from struggling to find work she loved and frequent burn out, to the long and ongoing journey back home through laughter, soul and creativity. You can find her blog at www.dalkular.com/blog. Go say hi!