The lady on my computer screen has her eyes closed, and her face radiates serenity. In a deep, soothing voice she says, “Breathe in healing and acceptance. Breathe out fear of the virus, stress, tension and anything else you don’t need.”
I am at a free online webinar called ‘Q’undalini Plus To Reframe And Rewire During COVID Times’. And that voice is familiar to me, as it will be to many, though in a very different context. Avril Quadros has been a well known name in music and showbusiness for over two-and-a-half decades. Leaving a flourishing music career, she transformed herself into a life coach, founding the Q’undalini Plus system in Bengaluru, which blends kundalini Yoga, Tibetian meditation and energy arts such as EFT (emotional freedom technique).
Claim to fame
It is a far cry from her days of Kingfisher events, Magna Sound and Archie’s music. With hit singles like ‘Want My Chocolate’ and ‘Sab Chalta hai Bhai India Hai’ to her name, she went on to perform all over India, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, the US, Canada and Turkey with stars like Remo, AR Rahman, Usha Uthup, Louis Banks, Shaan and British blues singer, Dana Gillespie. She has also opened for Michael Learns to Rock and the Jamaican reggae band Inner Circle when they performed in Bengaluru in 1993-94.
“My debut in Bollywod was in Subash Ghai’s Kanchi : The Unbreakable, where I sang the song ‘Adiya, Adiya’ with Sanchita Bhattacharya in 2014,” says Avril, adding that she has done over 2,000 concerts all over the world. Her career highlights, she says, were “performing for Princess Anne and Princess Margaret in Sri Lanka in 1995, and for Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu in 2013”.
However, she adds, “Two incidents that stand out in my mind is presenting my recording of the ‘Heart Sutra’ to the Dalai Lama at the Gaden Jangtse Monastery in Mungod, Karnataka in 2014 and subsequently being invited to sing the same to an audience of 5,000 monks at the Sera Je Buddhist Monastery in Bylakuppe, Karnataka in 2018, thereby becoming the first lay woman to sing in a Buddhist monastery.”
Now, though she still performs at big corporate and Government events like the Tata Marathons at Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata, and the National Road Transport Awards, her main focus is the Q’undalini Plus system, which she developed in 2017 and which she now teaches to more than 300 students in Bengaluru.
“I came in touch with Buddhist meditation and kundalini yoga 12 years ago, when I was getting a bit disillusioned with the glamour and glitz of showbusiness. The endless chase for money and fame seemed so superficial and futile,” says Avril. She adds, “I was also having hormonal issues and had put on a lot of weight. I had no energy and my health was spiralling. In 2016, I decided to train in the kundalini tradition with Gloria Latham, the director of Yoga Teacher Training at Semperviva International College of Yoga, Canada, and Guru Jagath, an internationally-renowned kundalini yoga teacher and author.”
It helped, she states: “I started losing weight, feeling energetic, calm and focussed, and people around me started noticing this. A few of my friends asked me to take classes for them, and from then on the word spread.”
On body and soul
Explaining the Q’undalini Plus system, she says, “It is a mind, body and spirit workout that combines the benefits of aerobic exercise, kundalini kriyas (sequence of asanas), Pranayama and meditation into a concise package.”
Amid the COVID-19 lockdown, she says, “I offering Q’undalini classes online free during this period. I have about 5,000 thousand followers for Q’undalini Plus now and have been invited by two Manhattan studios: Kundalini Yoga East and Light In Yoga, to teach their clients in October. I’m also curating a Q’undalini Plus online course for Tablet Wise, the San Francisco based wellness company.”
Has she learnt anything from the global lockdown? There is a long pause before she says, “The one thing I’ve realised during these troubled times is our shared humanity. As Pema Chodron says, ‘Compassion becomes real when we recognise our shared humanity.’ And what better reminder of our shared humanity than this virus?”
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