Creative Embodiment Guide
In gratitude towards my embodiment, martial arts, and Veda teachers and mentors, I offer authentic lineaged and ancestral teachings. I was born into the Vaishnava Sampradaya, listening to Sanskrit chanting and talk of the grahas (planets) and their impact, learning our dharma through our itihasa from childhood, placing importance on the lunar calendar, and observing the daily puja, as well as taking part in rituals throughout the year.
Growing up in London (UK) and being from the Indian diaspora, naturally
I am drawn to decolonial healing and value indigenous sovereignty, seeing so much capitalist-colonial distortion and harm towards the many
somatic and embodiment practices and philosophies from
indigenous traditions across cultures.
Yoga for the Hindu is a way of life. It is part of our living tradition and culture; the Bharatiya Samskriti. Asana practice is important for physical health, however this tiny fraction of yoga is part of a deep context and root which is Sanatana Dharma. Yoga is one of the six darshanas, an embodied and metaphysical teaching and way of seeing. It is considered a moksha sadhana. We practice for the goal of karmic liberation.
Indigenous wisdom traditions look to nature to understand life and articulate how best to live in harmony with the planet and the wider universe. There is a wholeness to the dharma traditions, and we cannot separate the Vedic knowledge of, for example, Jyotish and
Ayurveda with Yoga, they inform one another.
Taking and erasing what we like from cultures that are not ours, without respect and integrity towards its source, is a symptom of the Western colonial psyche, which is predatory and fragmented and wired towards narcissism, whose key trait is entitlement. Practicing indigenous spiritual and somatic methodologies out of context causes harm to the practitioner and are therefore rightly protected until a student displays a level of
discernment, integrity and most importantly, humility.
Commodified and diluted forms of indigenous practices can only take
student so far; decolonization honours the living community of
these practices and their needs. This living community has carried
these sacred traditions forth through cultural memory and body,
despite violent attempts at erasure.
I work with spiritually conscious, artistic womxn, who are moving
towards uncolonizing body, mind, heart and spirit, who are seeking rooted and embodied teachings that support growth and transformation as well as those who share a desire for an authentic like-hearted community.
To re-connect you with your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual
body from the harm of a colonial culture and its generational impact
is a big purpose of mine. It is my mission to support you in reclaiming
your innate power, your shakti, so that you can live your
most authentic life and highest vision.
For us gentle yet fierce hearts this requires the warrior's spirit!
I use the creative process and resources from my heritage
for our inner work and transformation. Over a decade in traditional
kung fu training has also played a vital part in my mindset shift,
offerings and embodiment work.
Move in alignment with dharma, resolve your karmas,
and live your soul's purpose and desire!
As well as leading 'Prana and Poetry,' I am a co-coach and assistant
for the Divine Dharma Circle created and led by my special mentor and friend, Saraswati Milller who grew up with Vedic knowledge, and with whom I began my Vedic astrology study and whose body-centred work and mentorship led me back to reclaiming my connection with my
wholeness and that includes my ancestral wisdom tradition,
Sanatana Dharma (the Eternal Path).
In January 2022, I undertook a rigorous training in indigenous yogic knowledge under lineaged teachers such as Luvena Rangel and Uma Subramaniam, where teachings were transmitted through the traditional Gurukula methodology (the Oral Tradition). Subjects I've been studying include: Sanskrit, Veda Chanting, Women in Yoga and the Vedas, Culture,
History and Socio-Politics, Embodiment and Study of Yoga Scripture.
As well as holding an art therapy diploma, coaching and editorial skills certification, I hold a First Class BA (Hons) degree in English and an MA in Creative and Professional Writing. I obtained a further MA in Gender, Society and Representation from University College London (UCL). I have also audited 'The Origins and Development of Yoga in Ancient India' - a course in the MA Traditions of Yoga and Meditation at The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) where I completed a year of my PhD (in Yoga), until I awoke from the grip of avidya and into my true path.
Payal Patel is a registered Hatha Yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance
Professionals. This accreditation demonstrates excellent standards
as set by Yoga Alliance Professionals.