I just spent the last 5 days in the beautiful Berkshires region of Massachusetts. Ahhh... the mountain air and crisp chill of the mornings and evenings... it was heaven!
I was at Kripalu Center, studying with my teacher, Shiva Rea. The training module was Chakra Vinyasa and it was eye-opening on many levels.
I hadn't realized how much I was missing that sense of community that I rarely encounter in my day to day life. Time at Kripalu always renews that sense of completeness within me.
I started out the week in a state of exhaustion - physical, mental and spiritual. I wasn't sure that I was actually going at all until a couple of weeks ago when I decided I needed to attend the training and not put it off for a year. For a few weeks, I'd been dragging myself back and forth to work, training and teaching... experiencing little to no joy in my everyday existence. Luckily, I decided to go with my gut instinct, which was to attend Kripalu.
Once again, I met 'strangers' on Monday, who, by Friday, were friends, kindred spirits, brothers and sisters on the path... I am profoundly grateful.
We started our group sharing with me opening up to the fact that I felt completely spent - with nothing left for myself or for others. I was feeling completely flat. I didn't have my voice... but was content to just smile at others most of the time without wanting - or being able to offer - deeper engagement.
Days began at 6am with chant and meditation, followed by 3 hours of physical practice, lunch, then more tuition in the afternoons before and after dinner. The days were long and my sleep was not as long or as restful as I would have preferred.
We worked with marma points to attain deeper release in asana. I can't wait to share it with my students and friends tonight!
I learned to abandon my inhibitions and chant like no one is watching (not easy for a girl who is always off-key when she sings...) and experience the powerful vibrations that only mantra provides... this will be incorporated into my daily practice from now on. This is exciting :)
As the week went on, I had the privilege of being in the presence of one of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard: Benjy Wertheimer. He and his partner, Heather, together with John de Kadt and friends, were at Kripalu for a concert on Wednesday night. Shiva talked Benjy into helping us (her students) access the shakti within. It was magical. When Benjy sang/chanted the Sri Raga, I was spellbound. I cannot remember ever being so moved by live music. My heart opened up... My spirit began to sing...
By Thursday morning when we had our Fire practice (that's a type of practice designed to ignite your inner fire... it doesn't involve Smokey the Bear...) I was a new woman: we experienced sahaja yoga in the morning and danced with abandon a la spontaneous trance dance... I never wanted it to end.
Friday came and following a vigorous 3 hour practice, I was back in my car, headed for home in a driving rainstorm. Sweet, renewing rain - how I love you!! So many people seem to shrink from rainy days but for me, I come alive -- like a little daisy that's wilted until the rains come and once again I can spring forth, renewed and refreshed!
Now, I'm back home and after a day of regrouping... I've discovered that I'm now truly back in the game. Although I didn't wake up in time for my 6:30am swim session, I had a fabulous 2 hour spinning session with the triathlon club and emerged sweating, tired and... rejuvenated! I think I'm ready to begin anew...
Bring on winter training... !!