Friday, February 10, 2012

Yandara Yoga Review ~ Part Three

Ganesha, Remover of Obstacles
To me, Yandara's program set me up to gain the confidence, self-worth and connection I needed in order to truly become a yoga teacher.  I now feel qualified, and not just because I have a certificate in my hand, but because they guided me through the process of accepting myself.  I know that everyone in my group probably had a different experience, but this was mine.

As we went into the first week, we were advised that we would be going through the layers of ourselves.  We would focus on the chakras one by one, again going through layers.  We had Satya or Truth Circles every other day, where we went through our emotional layers.  Everything we did in that first week ~ Asana class, meditation, pranayama, qi gong, even sitting down to eat breakfast in silence ~ focused on working our way through our beliefs, fears and judgements.  It certainly wasn't always easy working my way through all the things I have built up in my mind.  But it sure was liberating to feel that I made some great gains towards a freedom I haven't experienced since before I had kids.  Our instructors had obviously gone through this experience, and it showed through the ways that they each supported us.  They also seemed to know the process well enough to predict when one of us might need additional support, and had the wisdom to offer that support in a gentle, loving way. 

I personally experienced several shifts in my awareness, and there is one experience in particular that I'd like to share ...

We were working on the solar plexus chakra quite a lot, through being asked to dance alone in the middle of a circle of nearly 30 people, to quietly meditating in that space, to being asked to accept ourselves for who we truly are.  The solar plexus chakra is all about self-worth, self-acceptance, personal power, and our sense of belonging.  It is also the area where I was holding anxiety.  It happened during asana class.  We had just gone through a standing/twisting series, and when I came up to standing I felt really dizzy.  I just stood there with it for a moment, but the feeling seemed to linger ... everything around me slowed right down, but seemed shaky and unreal at the same time.  Then I felt a vibration coming from deep within my solar plexus, and it went right through the chakra ~ I could actually feel it!  It came out of me like a shockwave, and I literally saw ripples cascading out of my energetic body and into the physical scene in front of me.  It was an amazing feeling of breakthrough for me, as I had been trying to work through those issues of self-acceptance and self-worth for so long.  Perhaps my issue was that I never truly accepted myself for who and what I was during those difficult times just three short years ago.  When the experience was finished, I just continued with the asana class, and when that class was over I felt different.  I no longer felt myself holding tightly in the solar plexus ... I felt lighter in all ways, and calm and ... at peace.  When I started this blog I titled it "Woman At Peace" as a future hope ... a seed that I planted and nurtured and loved.  I know there will always be work that must be done, but I feel so much gratitude for this feeling.

During the time of all this deep personal work, I did cry a lot ... I would say several times a day. I wasn't sad, I was crying tears of gratitude, acceptance, and unconditional love. Just being in contact with these feelings is life changing. There was nourishment everywhere ... from the beautiful yogis who attended class beside me, offering a hug or a kind word or a smile. The cooks offering amazing food to nourish our hard working bodies ~ always fresh, delicious and vegetarian. The ocean, constant with sound and movement ~ a visit to her waves was always greeted with joy and a feeling of smallness and greatness at the same time. Yandara is truly a magical place.  I don't know if I will ever have to opportunity to go back to the Yandara in Mexico, but I do know that when I teach yoga, I feel Yandara all over again.

Whenever you begin to work on your issues, ingrained habits and behaviours, always finish with an intention, or a vision, of what you want your life to look like.  There is a real power in setting an intention ... they eventually always come to fruition.  When you stop and take notice of that fruition, you give yourself Faith.  Faith can heal the whole world.  Faith in people, Faith in yourself, Faith in God or the Universe, Goddess or Godd"Us" (as April of Jaya had said) Allah, Buddha, Mother Mary, or whomever you resonate with. 

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