When one goes through a transformative experience, whatever it is, I believe that the shadows of our lives come forward like hungry children staring through a restaurant window, waiting to be acknowledged and given sustenance. I believe these hidden but never forgotten experiences are what cook us, and we can choose to allow them to either teach us or kill us. I will not say yet which yoga therapy training I did (maybe some of you can figure it out) because it is still cooking me, but in all my years of yoga, it was by far the most potent, profound, and transformative experience I've had, even compared to my India training, and this was only Level 1.
It confirmed and validated for me what I already knew, but maybe don't listen to as much as I should: that I am not "just a yoga teacher", but am a teacher of the dharma and holistic science. I feel like I've been energized, that my intuition and energy (my kundalini) has risen exponentially. all day yesterday it felt like there was a little energy engine inside me that was going full blast -- I had a vision of a cartoon engine held together with spit and baling wire, pumping pumping pumping almost to the point of exploding, the pistons almost popping out of the top.
the training also confirmed what my personal life Path (other than yoga) should be.
For four days we partnered up and worked on each other, learning certain postures, where to place our hands, etc. and the last session on the last day was the icing on the cake for me. my partner sat back and said "you have a true gift." he told me how when I placed my hands on his heartspace, front and back, my energy felt like an "electric wire" going through him. he said "you've probably heard this all before." I must say that when I've heard talk like that before it always made me deny myself, that maybe I did not deserve to hear things like that.
I will never again deny my truth.
I told him yes, that I've heard it all before, but that usually with most people it translates to my just being "weird", not "healing". for most of my life many people actually can not handle being in close proximity to me (and it's not because I don't take a shower! :)) I've been told that my energy enters a room first and it takes a secure, strong person not to be intimidated. after she did my natal chart, my own astrologer told me that 10 years ago she would not have been able to have me as a client, my energy would have overwhelmed her, but her own spiritual path has cooked her to her essence. this is why I stopped doing thai yoga massage. the images that the energy in my hands brought to my mind's eye were too frightening for me, and I had enough of my own demons -- but not any more.
This training again confirmed for me that asana is such a small part of yoga, yet here in this culture yoga has become purely asana based. as yoga teachers we come to our classes with a "fixer" mentality, some teachers enjoying how many adjustments they can give their students instead of allowing them to just "be" and to go inward and feel what is going on (I'm referring to the style of yoga I teach, vinyasa.) in this training, we had to let go of the fixer mentality in order to allow the student/client to heal themselves.
The training also reinforced what I already knew: that a meditation practice is an essential component of an asana practice. speaking only for myself, yoga is not yoga without a meditation practice. the teachings in this training were firmly grounded in Buddha's Four Foundations of Mindfulness. if we can not master our own minds, how can we master anything?
we don't do yoga -- yoga does us.
I truly feel called to continue with this training, but timing is everything. I don't think I can do Level 2 in early 2009 so I am planning for June....and Shiva/Buddha/Kali willing I will live for two months in an ashram in South India one year from now studying yoga therapy with a swami. I think that also will be icing on the energy cake for me and will add to my yoga therapy toolbox. half of this training class said they were jumping right in to finish their training as soon as possible, but I will wait to let it all digest, because in March-April 2010 I will return to India for the Kumbh Mela, the largest spiritual gathering in the Universe. there is much to be said for the power of place and Ma India is my healer.
It is said that the only difference between us and the ancient sages and yogi rishis is that we have forgotten we are divine, they did not.
I will never again disavow myself.
"In ancient Egyptian mythology and in myths derived from it, the Phoenix is a female mythical sacred firebird with beautiful gold and red plumage. Said to live for 500 or 1461 years (depending on the source), at the end of its life-cycle the phoenix builds itself a nest of cinnamon twigs that it then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix arises. The new phoenix embalms the ashes of the old phoenix in an egg made of myrrh and deposits it in Heliopolis ("the city of the sun" in Greek), located in Egypt. The bird was also said to regenerate when hurt or wounded by a foe, thus being almost immortal and invincible - a symbol of fire and divinity."
The Keys to Your Life
Anything good in your life comes from boldly confronting the darkness.
Illusions are dangerous, and you benefit from seeing the world as it truly is.
Anything bad in your life comes from not being true to yourself.
Trust your instincts and follow them. Only you know what's best.