Whilst travelling abroad with her husband Shaa Taylor, Sjha’ra was inspired to meet and spend several months in Guatemala, working with “The Chocolate Shaman”, who she believes is a reincarnated Mayan in disguise. Through his guidance Sjha’ra discovered the divine union between chocolate and yoga, and launched her first ever Chocolate Yoga class in January 2011. It was such a yummy, huge success that something in her heart fluttered. It was the milestone moment she knew she’d discovered something wild and amazing, that she wanted to share with the world.
For now, she’s bringing Chocolate Yoga to her hometown… where else but the Mecca of Yoga, Byron Bay. Here she is inspired to share with all, regardless of experience, the divine union of the ancient lineage and sacred teachings of Kundalini Yoga; with the profound and delicious deep journey of Chocolate Ceremony. Sjha’ra sees this as the yummiest way to assist you to take the journey home to your heart and deepen the connection to your divine nature.
How did you get into Chocolate Yoga™?
Actually it’s quite a funny, accidental story. My husband and I were planning to go to England to live for a while, but I was literally refused entry at Heathrow Immigration for not having the right visa. (It’s a long story, but in a nutshell my husband’s from the UK originally and was travelling on his British passport, while I was on my Aussie passport. At immigration, he innocently mentioned we were looking into the possibility of settling there, so they refused to give me the standard tourist visa and wouldn’t let me come in without a settlement visa). Having all our plans shattered in an instant, we weren’t quite ready to head back to Australia so soon, with our tail between our legs, so we thought where to next….? On a whim we decided Guatemala. Why not? We had both separately visited there ten years prior and stayed in the same small village as each other, within the same month or two, without actually having met. We’d often joked about going back there together some day. So when I was refused entry and we didn’t have the heart to go home, we thought, why not?
While we were in Guatemala we met Keith the “Chocolate Shaman” who we spent many mornings with, on his front porch, drinking Cacao and doing ‘Chocolate Ceremonies’. Although he is not a traditional Mayan Shaman, he’s not even Guatemalan, after working with him extensively and experiencing his profound wisdom and deep understanding of the Cacao, we used to joke that for a ‘gringo’ to know so much about the medicine and magic of Cacao he must be a reincarnated Mayan elder!
At the time of working with the Chocolate Shaman we were renting a house on the Lago de Atitlan & I was teaching yoga in the afternoons, at a local hostel. It was at Keith, the Chocolate Shaman’s, bidding that I tried my first Chocolate Yoga class. He’d been insisting how well the cacao works with creative and meditation practices, how it enhances the experience etc. Finally I tried it myself and loved it. But I still wasn’t too sure how other people would like it, so I tried it with my husband and he also loved it. Ok so finally I thought, what could go wrong? What’s the harm in trying it for 1 class? So I put a flyer up and it was the biggest yoga class I had the whole time I was there! The yoga shala was full; we were bursting out the sides. The response was overwhelmingly positive and encouraging.
Before running them in Australia, we had the ultimate opportunity to trial our ceremonial Cacao on an Aussie audience – at our wedding! We brought back as much ceremonial cacao as we could, and served the cacao to 85 people as a “Love Potion” at our ‘Big Day of Love’ and it was a hit all round.
So finally, we started running Chocolate Yoga™ classes here in Byron Bay and the response has again been incredibly encouraging. People are lapping them up and asking for more! Each class has doubled in size and now we are looking for a bigger venue…