You’ve heard about how there’s so much in store for you at Murfest. If you haven’t, just look at the website www.murfest.com, and then you might be able to excuse us for unapologetically saying that ‘there’s something for everyone here.
But that phrase has been used to the point of being clichéd, and like all clichés worth their salt, there has to be proof. You’d probably know by now that Murfest’s key message is about wellness. Which is wonderful if you feel the same way. But what if you’re one of those people who works from 9am to 5pm or worse- you know, where your office becomes your home- and who wouldn’t think of going out of your way to eat properly or exercise? For starters we’d suggest re-evaluating your lifestyle. To use another cliché, your health is your only true wealth so if you’re not taking care of yourself, then there’s no better time to start than the present. Regardless of whether you make it Murfest or not (although we hope you do!), your health truly needs to be your top priority. Of course not everyone lives at the extremes and a majority of us lie somewhere in between. So coming back to the question above, which of these five people are you?
A yogi/yogini, or an aspiring one
Obviously yoga occupies a significant portion of your lifestyle. And we aim to please. The wonderful organisers of Murfest have truly gone out of their way to bring in some of the best of the best in the world of Yoga. To whet your appetite a teeny-tiny bit, we’ll run through a few here. From the land down under, we have Simon Borg Oliver who is currently the Co-Director of one of Australia’s most well-known and respected schools, Yoga Synergy. But not only has he been in immersed in yoga since the age of six by his own father who taught him how to breathe underwater- pranayama or yogic breathing- he’s also a registered physiotherapist, a research scientist, and a university lecturer. In his workshop you’ll discover the difference between the word ‘core’ and the word ‘abdomen’ and how to use them both effectively. We’ve all been told that we should walk straight and be aware of our posture, but if you’ve always wanted to know how, this could be a workshop you’d want to attend. His workshop is on Day One (Friday) and Day Two (Saturday). The Body Fly Initiation goes beyond yoga, and incorporates a little dance and pilates in. This could either rev up your regular yoga routine or just add some fun to it. As we said a little earlier, it combines the best of traditional yoga, pilates, dance, and even aerial acrobatics.
What does it do for you?
The workshop description says that it “…integrates and profoundly mobilizes your full body and mind in a holistic way…and you empower yourself to maintain your physical fitness by balancing your mind.” Our immediate takeaway from this is that you learn how to make both your mind and body work together in tandem, which is definitely a skill that will come in handy everyday as you find yourself balancing tasks on your schedule.
Who’s it taught by?
There are actually two instructors for this series of workshops, occupying both morning and afternoon slots on all the three days. Patricia Duchaussoy – and one of the things you might want to learn at her workshop is how to pronounce her last name – is currently based in Bangkok where she has a studio called the “Pilates Station”. Besides learning from one of the foremost masters in Pilates, she’s also well-known for her immense passion in body movement, as well her unique teaching style and her commitment to excellence.
A commitment which has helped her pioneer and bring Pilates to the people of Bangkok. The Body Fly Method was her spinoff on the YogaFly method, which is the quintessential combination of Yoga, Pilates and aerial dance. The second instructor was actually one of Patricia’s students in her very first Body Fly Instructor course; Siree Vongruen or better know as Fai. She was then so inspired by what she learned that she decided she wanted to learn more and got further certified; after which she returned to the Body Fly Studio and now conducts Body Fly Instructor Certification herself. She also performs in acrobatic shows.
So if you’ve always wanted to learn how to fly, this workshop might be your initiation.
If you’re a music lover…
Besides the dance and music workshops, if you’re a true music lover you will want to attend the Urbanite Concert. Or should we say THE URBANITE CONCERT!
It truly promises to be an evening of heart-stirring music; even clichés fall by the roadside when it comes to attempting to describe what the evening might be like. Instead we’ll share a little more about a few of the performers, and trust us when we say it’s a hard choice. Talented doesn’t begin to describe Katie Holland; a lady who’s danced before both high-profile government officials as well as celebrities in India. If you’re at all familiar with the Bollywood industry in India, you’d know that to be regarded as one of the best foreign dancers in India by them is indeed high praise.
Her background comprises a repertoire of many dance styles such as Ballet, Samba, African, as well as Sufi whirling. She’s also a professional teacher and choreographer who’s traveled widely across India, Asia and Europe and performed with many other famous renowned artists. If you want to see passion, heart, and technique combined, the Urbanite concert is where you’ll find her. The other band that might have you awestruck is Flame of the Forest; a Singapore based band that originally comprised a father and his two sons. Perhaps one reason their music is so inspiring is because of their vision behind it. They seek to preserve traditional art forms of music in Singapore; a highly developed city and a country that is hurtling toward modernization and globalization. The brothers Krsna and Govind Tan, together with their guitarist Christopher Johann Clarke combine a fusion of sounds bridging the musical traditions of the East together with Western sounds. But more than just making beautiful music they have a hunger to keep experimenting and learning, while having a solid foundation in their roots.
Which is in fact the message underlying Murfest itself.
You’re a ‘chill-er’ if you
Just want to find a place to chill. Nothing too strenuous, nothing too taxing; just chilling. If you’ve been reading to this point you might have already decided that it’s not for you. After all you really just want to chill.
So what’s in Murfest for you?
Location might be one of them, especially for those of you who live in Kl. Murfest is a great place to escape within the city itself- three perfect days of spending time doing a few novel activities either with your friends or your family. In fact it’s perfect for getting to know your friends better; because there’s no bonding that is forged better than laughing through novel experiences. Seeing each other falling over while attempting a yoga pose, or being impressed by something you never knew your friend could do. If you’re a parent and you have young children; you’d be delighted to find that we’ll keep your kids creatively busy. There’s yoga for kids, dance workshops, even a workshop where your kids can build their confidence by learning how to speak in public. A skill which many adults haven’t even come close to mastering. So we have your little ones covered. And then sometimes you create memories with those special people that last a life-time; memories which you might look back on years later with fondness, and then bore your grandchildren in the telling and the re-telling.
A sampler is simply someone who likes to sample. Someone who likes variety; to taste all that life has to offer. Of course that statement could apply to most people in general, but then again not everyone is curious. It’s like saying there are two kinds of people in life; those who love buffets and those who don’t. A person who loves buffets is not necessarily a greedy person, it could be that they just love the variety and the adventure. Maybe even risk. Although at Murfest the only risk you might encounter is the risk involved in learning something new. A little mental re-programming so that you can live better. Which leads us to our next and final kind of person.
Are you someone who just wants to ‘be better’?
We hesitate to use the word self-development in case you might have actually developed an aversion to it. And it’s understandable with all the books and information on the Web about how to develop yourself and be a better person.
So let’s keep it simple and stick to the basics.
You might be the kind of person who wants to get better, has every intention of getting better, and even puts in a little time every day. And we applaud your efforts because consistency in good habits is the one thing that sets apart the good from the great. But then you might want to do a little more. And while there are no true shortcuts to getting better, Murfest just might be one of them. Think of Murfest as a jumpstart, a mini crash course to getting where you want to be in your life. It’s not just all about wellness, and yoga and health. It’s about living holistically, in every area of your life. We’re not just physical beings, we’re also very much spiritual, emotional and mental. And it’s safe to say that Murfest touches on all of these areas. We’ve already talked about the physical above, but how about the others?
Yoga practioners and enthusiasts would say that yoga is as much spiritual and mental as it is physical. And no doubt they’d be right; after all they’ve spent much of their lives around it. Feel free to have a chat with any of the yoga instructors you meet at Murfest and they very likely would agree with this.
But apart from yoga, there are a few other workshops you might want to check out that deal with developing the non-physical areas. The very lovely Masumi Lacoste will be hosting her workshop where she’ll share about how you can be more aware of the positions of your chakras, and how you can activate and align them to increase your life force and thereby your life’s purpose. After all, we’re each of us here for a purpose, and it’s our duty to find out what it is and fulfill it. If you don’t even know what chakras are, or you’ve heard references to them being made here and there, this would be a great workshop to find out more.
Another possible workshop you may want to attend is by Shalini Joshi Yamdagni, the founder of Magical Pain Free Living. In her workshop ‘Tune In, Tap Out, Turn On!” she talks about how powerful our thoughts can be, both our good thoughts and our bad thoughts. And while you might already have read that in any decent self-development manual that the trick is to manage our thoughts and that those thoughts create our reality, do you actually do it?
And if you’ve been trying to do it and finding that you haven’t been successful the answer could be that you don’t have a system, or a method. This workshop, as Shalini herself will explain to you is about getting rid of your emotional debris, the harmful emotions that have been blocking you from reaching your highest potential. In other words- your best self.
The best part is that she shows you how to do it, yourself. Imagine being able to do all that you want to do, without feeling any fear, or guilt. It’s certainly worth at least finding out more about. If you find yourself falling into any one of these categories, then let’s be honest, you really have no excuse not to be at Murfest.