Seriya Cutbush is a Byron yogini, whose exposure to her mother’s yogi and healer lifestyle, has left strong impressions on her being.
Her journey guided her to practising and studying meditation and healing throughout Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Central and North America, deepening her knowledge and understanding, and realising her own intuitive relationship to herself, her community and the divine. She is one of the many featured presenters at the Starlight Festival of Healing at the Bangalow A&I Hall over 5–8 January.
What is a yogini?
A yogini is a female yogi. A yogi is someone who has dedicated themselves to living a yogic lifestyle by practising yoga on all levels, not just the physical.
How did you find yourself on the yoga path?
I grew up in the Byron Shire with my parents practising a lot of meditation, yoga and chanting at home. From when I was born until my teenage years I was travelling a lot to India and also living in different ashrams with my family in different parts of the world. This was my foundation. And then I rebelled against it all as a teenager, only to rediscover it within my own direct experience as a young adult when I was living overseas and fractured my tailbone. That period led me to seriously reflect on how I was living my life and guided me to spend my twenties travelling the world in search for the answers about who I really was. Over time I was led to the Sivananda tradition where I began to study and practise the asanas, philosophy, ritual, chanting and power of breath within that lineage.
From then on I kept opening more and more, studying with different teachers, different traditions and, most importantly, unleashing more of my own practice.
What do you offer to people in your workshops?
I have so many passions. So I just simply share these within my workshops. I share what works for me and if it has helped me along the way then I trust it may also help others. Working with crystals, mantra, sound, yoga, chakras, and meditation are some of the focuses within my retreats. It’s important to me that I offer a space where people can ‘experience for themselves’ rather than feel like someone is ‘teaching’. I love to empower others in using tools to discover more about themselves. If we just listen to what our heart resonates with then that in itself will often crack us open and increase the desire for more!
Who, how often and why should you meditate?
I believe everyone benefits from meditation. However, different personalities resonate with different practices. What I do is offer various techniques which people can then adopt what they like and leave what doesn’t work for them. A daily practice of some kind is ideal. And to find the balance. For example, being disciplined when it gets challenging but not judging yourself if you don’t meditate on another day. Meditation nourishes us when times are running smoothly and supports us in the challenging times.
How can yoga practice and meditation help people in their everyday?
Meditation helps us in so many ways. Our minds as humans are usually incredibly busy. Meditation helps us in quietening the monkey mind and can assist us to take a pause before we go into a reaction in our lives. It helps us in understanding our emotions, our ways of being, our patterns and fears. It gives us an opportunity to look deeper at why we might be feeling or acting in a certain way. For people who live a hectic life it’s an opportunity to find the stillness. Practising yoga supports us in being more in tune with our bodies. When we take the time to listen to what it is communicating to us on the mat then we can begin to understand our own limitations off the mat. When our body is nourished in this way we naturally support ourselves healthily in all other areas of our lives.
What effect do you believe yoga practice has in the big picture?
Yoga, meditation, chanting, sound, indigenous traditions and the yogic philosophy are all guiding forces for me to really learn, open and discover my essence and what I really want, not just for myself but for our global community. At the same time there are numerous paths for this discovery and no-one is better or worse than the other. Quite often, however, they are all journeys into deepening our self-awareness. I strongly believe that the more we understand ourselves the more we can be conscious in our actions in the world, which in turn can help bring peace to the planet in a bigger way.
What will you share at Starlight Festival?
A nourishing Crystal Bowl Sound Healing journey for deep relaxation and balance. A guided chakra meditation journey to discover more about our own energy system and how to keep it in tune. A heart opening yin yoga class to support us in opening to love for self and others.A kirtan chanting session, which is a meditation that activates the devotional parts of ourselves that are ready to just let go, surrender and sing!
For tickets and session times go to starlightfestival.com.au.