Two years ago I led a journey (guided meditation) on Imbolc to seek advice from the Celtic Goddess Brigid. Brigid has a sacred connection with fire and crafting…the advice we sought was simple, “What do I need to ignight my internal fire?” Her answer was also simple….Yoga!
I contemplated the answer and thought how I would have to dig out the old dvd’s and start a home practice. I also thought how home practices and I were not always a good match as I could certainly find other things to do with my time. Within the week though Brigid was pushing me toward my goal. As I drove through town I noticed a yoga studio had opened on the far end near the laundry mat. In truth it had opened 4 months prior and I had just never noticed. I wrote down the number as the studio was closed and began a dialog with myself about how I needed the teacher to be male as I didn’t think women pushed me enough. Sure enough when I got a call back it was a man who ran the studio. It seemed that Brigid was aware of what I needed and was determined to see me get moving. As most of you know my job involves alot of sitting. I drive an average of 1.5 hours one way to get to peoples homes where I do my Psychic parties and Seances. When I get there I sit my butt down and stay there for an average of 4 hours, only to get back in my car and drive home again. A career of this kind could certainly lead to ‘secretary ass’. *No offense meant, but to much time sitting is not all that good for your hind end.
My first day of class I got up, drove my kids to school planning on making the 9am class. On my way to dropping them off my car broke down. I had to have it towed to the shop, as the transmittion had gone. My sister came and picked me and my kids up, we dropped the kids off at school and then I dropped her off at work. She let me use her car so I could figure things out. After dropping her off I drove to Satyaloka in Lyndonville and went to my first yoga class before dealing with my car problems. I thought to myself that if I didn’t get there the first day, I would never get there. My first month of class was one of borrowed vehicles and chaos…but I went. As I started in February when most people are suffering from serious hybernation I had the benefit of being the only person in class for most of my first month. This gave me the benefit of private yoga without the cost. I truly have contemplated often how perfect the set up was. As I believe in direct interaction from the Divine, I was very thankful to Brigid for her hand in my journey.
Satyaloka is an Ashtanga Yoga studio. ((Ashtanga yoga is a dynamic and challenging form of hatha yoga. Each pose is linked to the next through a series of connecting movements called vinyasa, allowing the body to create heat and leading to more flexibility. Smooth, deep breathing (ujjayi), gaze (dristi) and locks (bandhas) are synchronized with the movements. This powerful and vigorous practice purifies and realigns the body, cultivating a feeling of inner peace, and leading to a natural state of meditation.)) I believe I can say I fell in love with Ashtanga yoga pretty quickly. My original goal of going 2-3 times a week soon became 4-5 times a week. Yoga not only fed my body, but my soul as well. I have approached it as something that is sacred, something that is for me alone. If I am feeling stressed or out of balance I find that I can claim my balance by simply stepping onto the mat and breathing. The other amazing thing that Yoga has given me is a serious relationship with my body. I have never been athletic, I didn’t do sports growing up, my hobbies were all art and drama based. As my relationship with Yoga has grown I have become stronger and more agile. One of my first goals met was standing on my head, which took me 7 months. The process there was not simply one of physical strength, it was one of the mind. As I worked my body for strength to hold myself up, it wasn’t until I engaged my mind that I was actually able to do it. I was reading a book called Trance-portation by Diana L. Paxton, and came across a section on how athletes often visualize over and over in their mind a physical act they are trying to achieve. This helped me tremendously…I was suddenly able to get out of my own way and see myself standing on my head, with balance and strength. After gaining the ability to stand on my head I have continued forward to standing on my forearms and now have begun my work toward standing on my hands. My love for Yoga and what it has given to me is without words. After 2 years of practice, I couldnt imagine not doing it. I feel that it is a valuable componant to my well being. Helping me to stay balanced physically as well as mentally and emotionally. I often tell people who I read for that it is vital that you find something you love, to feed your soul as well as keep your body healthy. I truly believe that our bodies are temples that hold our soul. Excercises like Yoga, Tae-Chi, Qigong, and marital arts…are good for more then just the body. They are good for your energetic body as well. They work to balance the Chakra system, helping the practioner to move energetic blocks that effect our emotional and physical well being. This is similar to the way that Reiki works, although it seems to be a bit slower in its process. Life is filled with infinate things one can stress over, finding something to counter that stress is priceless.