MORE than 30 people have taken to their mats to welcome the first Hare Krishna Shala to North Wales.

The village has become the new home to the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), with six monks marking the occasion at Yoga Shala North Wales on the High Street.

To usher in this "auspicious" new, monthly series of ISKCON spiritual practices - popularised by the Beatle George Harrison's use of the Hare Krishna chant on his1970 track My Sweet Lord - monks and yoga enthusiasts joined Shala owner Yogi Lee Das for music, 'Kirtan' storytelling, chanting and a sanctified 'Prasadam' vegetarian dishes.

Mr Das, 38 of Prestatyn, said: "This is a huge deal for our community, to have six yogi monks in our area was striking and a uplifting moment.

"It will bring positivity and a genuine connection in the community and with ourselves. We had about 30 people there, the feedback has been exceptionally well, way beyond our expectations.

"To live with Krishna consciousness means to love everything because ultimately we are all connected. We want to bring that yoga is far more than the physical body that true yoga is about how you live not the style of your yoga pants"

Until the first ISKCON event on Saturday, January 11, the nearest centres for practitioners were Chester, Liverpool and Manchester.

Mr Das, a former pupil of Ysgol Emrys Ap Iwan, opened his first yoga studio in Prestatyn - after more than eight years studying the various disciplines across the world - before relocating to Rhuddlan.

The incorporation of ISKCON marks a significant expansion to the Shala - which differs from a studio in its focus on the spiritual practices underpinning the physical exercise associated with yoga - and was grown from his time studying at the Soho Temple in London.

Mr Das added: "We will have at least a monthly meeting with a devotee of Krishna, also weekly meet-ups to practice the Hare Krishna chant which is extremely peaceful and uplifting and calming."

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