I begin my last day of the Omega Institutes’ Being Yoga Conference w/Nischala Joy Devi, a lifelong yoga teacher & healer. The session was called “The Healing Path of Yoga” just like the book. She was a part of the team that created the first yoga/healing program accepted & reimbursed by an insurance company. She was the director of Stress Management for the Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease & also co-founded the Commonweal Cancer Help Program. A gentle, warm, loving woman who spoke to us about the benefit of spiritual practice & healing work. She recommends yoga to facilitate both realms.
Joy spoke of th critical place we are in the health crisis. So many people on prescription drugs & unhealthy, dis ease ridden bodies. She believes it is necessary to become more natural & use self healing practices whenever possible. She says most of our illnesses come from stress a result of fear & anger.
She points out that first there is an emotion, then feeling which leads to thought or action. Try not to put your mind or heart in a negative place. This can only harm your health! Use a bubble of love at your heart center to meet people & your life will be full of love & joy & health as your mind controls your body!
Next, Jivamukti Yoga uses yoga as a path to enlightenment. Sharon Gannon teaches the yoga of spiritual activism. I went to the “Chakra Purification through Asana & Mantra” workshop. We learned about what chakras are, what they contribute to ourselves as a whole, what organs are connected to each chakra, what types of relationships they each encompass & the chant & asana/posture to balance & purify them.
From the root up the sound vibration for each chakra is Lam, Vam , Ram , Yam, Ham, Om , Om. We did a series of posture where we focused on clearing out the old energy that holds us back from our true, loving self. We aligned ourselves into postures that corresponded to chakras & used the mantra or chants to cleanse & clear each chakra. We put a focus on to a person whose relationship was not finished, healed or positive & sent them loving kindness, blessings & love & then focused on seeing them as Buddha-like to resolve our past karma. It was very effective! Also, a great physical practice.
At the end, she helped us reach a state of true relaxation. Did I feel relaxed when I left the space! Also, the amazing energy in the room that all 100+ people created together through our “work” there together! Pure bliss!
Finally, I wanted to find out “Becoming Strong as Steel w/Kundalini Yoga ” was all about. Can you imagine becoming strong as steel? Well, go to Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa’s classes & you will be strong as steel, no doubt! We began by focusing our minds to the concept of becoming strong through selflessness. Steel is achieved through service, commitment to serve & steady practice. She asked us to , “Ask G-d what is your purpose if you do not know!’ She says it is imperative you know what is your purpose in your lifetime!Also, that you must love yourself & sit with yourself.
We did certain postures & small flows for 12 minute intervals. Wow! How challenged I felt in those minutes that passed. We were to concentrate on G-d & forget our own self. Transcendence for a greater purpose. So, I never gave up. She cheered us on w/words of encouragement, music & reminders of why we were there. The reason- to clear away the old energy, the stuff that gets in our way, our minds.I really enjoyed the physical work we did there b/c it was for a clear higher purpose to become fortified without a physical goal. It was so taxing, my arms were breaking, my body aching & calling to me & I tried never to stop. Letting the mind control the body. I have to admit after an hour or so I did let my hands fall a time or two.
The hard physical work was followed by dancing. Jubilation, setting oneself free to be your own true, natural self not some self you might not feel connected to or in control of at times.When our time came to an end I was transformed. I felt almost like I was floating! The deep physical & spiritual work had saturated my being. What a mix of emotions I felt when I left the space.
So, my Being Yoga experience had just about come to an end. It was a mixed bag of being completely exhausted & then filled with such wisdom, technique, energy. Every day I left the building I felt this huge wealth of knowledge reminding me I would never be the same.I feel completely immersed with new life, love & teachings to behold in my mind, body & spirit. I am so thankful for the opportunity to take part in this exceptional experience! Being so thankful for the gifts that were given to me & for the presence of these hard-working masters & teachers & staff that bestowed their gifts & efforts on me! The people or new friends I met & bonded with in this time. I am truly blessed & ready to share all this with those I encounter & teach & learn from each day in the walk of my life.