Saturday, January 21, 2012

Treasures from Todos Santos

While I was in Mexico, I met a very nice man named Ivan who was selling handmade jewellery in the plaza across from the church. He had a big cloth spread out on the grass, and many amazing pieces ~ most of which included beautiful stones and crystals. Some of which I actually didn't recognize. One of the things I have a great passion for is stones. Always have, since I was a child. I ended up purchasing an amazing Labradorite bracelet, and Ivan gifted to me an Orthoceras pendant.  

The Orthoceras is a curious stone, and I had never seen it before.  He told me it was ancient, full of wisdom.  Only today have I been researching it's qualities.  All I know is that it is curious, unusual, and it seems to have a primal energy to it.  I have since discovered that it is a fossilized mollusk, and is the ancestor of the modern day squid. 

On a spiritual level, Orthoceras allows for recognition of accomplishments.  This stone can stimulate the thymus ... the thymus is the "educator" for the T-cells in our bodies that fight foreign substances.  It is all so fascinating to me.  It is amazing to feel the power of such a stone, knowing that it carries some of Mother Earth's secrets, and that it could truly help us.  That is why I rarely leave the house without a stone or a crystal.  I simply love the energy of them.

 This is the Labradorite bracelet ... Ivan told me the stone was his favourite, and it is from Canada.  It really resonated with me, and I just knew it was for me when I saw it.  Apparently, Labradorite can be found in meteorites - how cool is that?!  According to an Eskimo legend, the Northern Lights were once imprisoned in the rocks along the coast of Labrador. It is told that a wandering Eskimo warrior found them and was able to free most of the lights with a mighty blow of his spear. Some of the lights were still trapped within the stone, and thus we have today the beautiful mineral known as labradorite.

This is what else I discovered about Labradorite:
- a highly mystical and protective stone, a bringer of light
- deflects unwanted energies from the aura and prevents energy leakage
- clears, balances and protects the aura
- strengthens intuition
- calms an overactive mind and energizes the imagination, bringing up new ideas (perfect for writer's block!)

There is so much to learn about the complex planet we live on, and I figure that my part is to enjoy and appreciate everything I can about her.  I believe it is the energy that you tune into that will help you heal yourself, and ultimately, the Earth. 

Resources:  "The Crystal Bible" - by Judy Hall;  "The Encyclopedia of Crystals" - by Judy Hall

Friday, January 20, 2012

Middle of the Night

In the middle of the night there is a sound that occurs.

It wakes no one.

In fact, it puts them to sleep with the reverberating silence that it makes.

A peaceful sound, but to me it is unending, deafening, loudly interfering with my own peace of mind.

It is the sound of my inner voice, and yet the Universe, all at once.

It creates, it destroys, and it tortures one with the idea that Change is really All. There. Is.

Like the soft, white blanket of snow outside my window, it should insulate me ...

But taken in the wrong context it is cold, unforgiving, and slippery underneath.

Is there one thing that could ease this landscape in my mind? 


Anything at all?

I look to my heart for answers and it is painful.

But the pain comes from resisting the truth of the answer.

Nothingness is not all it appears to be.  I know this.

It is the gateway to possibility.

It is the pure potential you hear about.

It is all a matter of perception, they say.

 ~Written by Nicole Aracki

Monday, January 16, 2012

Yandara Yoga Institute ~ Review Part Two

I must apologize for the length of time it has taken me to write this next part of my Yandara review!  Life has been busy around here, with the kids, running, yoga and figuring out my classes ... not to mention the challenge of integrating everything I learned at Yandara into my "householder" life! 

Being at Yandara was a gift in so many ways.  I learned so much about listening to my own body, and understanding what it means to do so.  It was important to me to use my special time at Yandara to truly get a taste of Yoga, or Union.  For me, the way to Union was through meditation, and I was given plenty of opportunity to get there.  Sitting on the floor almost all day was difficult during those first few days, but once I got used to it, I was able to really feel that silence during meditation.  Something happens when you tell your body what it must do, and that there is no way out of it.  Over time, your body begins to either accept the discomfort, or it finds a way to be comfortable.  We were shown many different methods of meditation, pranayama and asana, and there were a number of things I had not experienced before.  Kate and Shane have experienced so many different ways of practicing Yoga, and listening to their background stories was inspiring.  They were both very honest with us about the practices, which I greatly appreciated.  Kate had said, many times, that because we would only be together for a short time, they were trying to offer us absolutely everything that they had. 

Some of those lessons are still sinking in, and some of them are ingrained already.

Yandara is very near to the ocean.  It was only a few minutes to walk to it from my tent, and there were some mornings that the waves were crashing so loud it was like a thunderstorm overhead.  Except during the full moon.  The ocean was completely calm then.  There were many mornings towards the end of the training that I awoke at 4:00am, not able to fall asleep again for the waves were calling me.  I would walk to the beach in the dark and just feel myself being there.  On one night, in particular, the moon overhead was hidden by strange black clouds, and as they shifted the water would change ... from inky darkness to a shimmering black and silver liquid.  The moonlight spilling herself onto the great expanse of water.  And me, absorbing that feeling, knowing that I would have to go home soon.  I like to think that the feeling will be reserved inside of me for all of my life, waiting for me to draw upon it. 

You could see the ocean from the main pavilion, where we spent most of our time.  Some mornings we could see whales making morning rounds.  There were always birds chirping, and huge bees buzzing around.  And the cacti are unreal.  And all of this is part of Yandara's magic, because you see it and feel it more clearly.  My own personal sentiments about nature were amplified by Sarasvati, when we would do walking meditations on the beach.  She would remind us to allow nature to draw us into the present ....

The grounds were meticulously cared for, the food, as I have mentioned, was amazing, the bathrooms were clean, and the showers were always hot.  I only have one complaint, and that is:  I didn't want to ever leave!

If you have questions about anything about yoga teacher training, Yandara, yoga in general  please send me an email ~ I would love to correspond with you!

Sat Nam, Nicole