Under the guidance of Awakened Spirit, I ROSE in love with life…
During a month as Sacred Earth Yogis, 17 of us from around the world spent time engaging fully with the Yogic path - which means a whole lot of deep introspection, expansion on all levels and constant realisations, away from any distractions. It was something I'd been longing for for quite the little while.
At Bambu Guesthouse, the sun rose over the lake every morning as the water melted into the sky... We were super blessed to have such a glorious view meet us each dawn as we gathered for morning meditation on the deck in the purity of silence, tiptoeing around with our cups of teas in our own bubbles of mindfulness. Having been a night owl for the majority of my adult life, meeting with sunrise was a rarity for me and I couldn’t believe the energetic boom I’d been missing out on every single day! This ritual in itself set me up on a path of realignment.
These days Yoga can be presumed to be simply 'stretching', as taken in by the Western world. It is SO very much more than that! My own knowledge beforehand was of meditation, the postures and the philosophy... Yet I was about to embark on an epic journey that went further than I had ever even realised. Once you begin to go down the rabbit hole that is Yoga, you realise the lessons are neverending, spiralling back round on themselves in a mischievous manner and epiphany-provoking way all the time. I now see Yoga as an exploration of our existence, a way of life and a means of realising and obtaining our truest potential.
Based on the 8 limbs of Patanjali, the teachings can be summed up in this illustration:
And so we delved into this never-ending exploration of our existence, going into an interpretation of the yoga sutras (an ancient writing, still relevant to this day), along with daily meditation and different techniques to send peaceful rays of loving light to ourselves and the universe, the meaning of mantras (invocation of particular energies), the power of Kirtan (devotional singing), understanding and contemplating our Santana Dharma (purpose in this life) and the effect of movement on uniting body, mind and spirit, with insight into anatomy, breathwork and postures.
Amongst this we spent time within nature, a super important aspect of our course. In fact, we were always out in nature, reminded that indeed we are a part of it ourselves. Our time on the Bambu deck was watched over by the massive bamboo tree beside us, along with the constant soothing sound of the running river below. The Awakened Spirit community is passionate about our connection to the Earth and the impact we have upon it. We got involved in nearby projects at La Granja farm and built water trenches to hydrate the land, planted avocado trees, learnt about permaculture, farming and sustainable living at its finest. We integrated in this community and learnt about the Mayan lands we had been so warmly welcomed into... These were eye-opening and love-embracing moments that were honey for the heart.
We were looked after well with three hearty, delicious vegetarian meals a day (plus desert!) by our radiant chefs who took pride in nourishing us through their own love of food. My mouth waters even thinking about it.
Our 3 prime guides, Julia, Rachelle and Kristine embodied different aspects of the course for me, a real balanced trinity of energy. I completely bloomed under the space they held for us. As an immersive experience, we were following our own inner guidance from the first week. Reminders that we are only human; it is natural to have emotions; feelings and thoughts are bound to arise through the intense processes we were undergoing, all kept us grounded and supported as we went along. We also had a number of guest guides who taught alongside our trio, each in their own right an inspirational wisdom sharer. On the student end we poured over their words as we soaked in the information like a sponge. Through interactive, in-motion and amusing mediums, we'd be comprehending all that we'd taken in with equal participation and having a real time whilst doing so.
There were so many delightful surprises along the way... too many to count and honestly, too precious to share.
Embarking on such a journey with the unique and genuine souls I was surrounded by was such a pleasure amongst these teachings. As one of the most wholesome periods of my life thus far, it set me up on a path to places I can envision with so much clarity in the future. One of my intentions was to find more direction and I now know I'm becoming ever closer to my calling as I seek to maintain that inner peace we're all so fond of.
After arriving to this course by mere chance (like the most surprisingly aligned things in life), not quite knowing what to expect yet intrigued by yoga practise, what I came away with is something more than I could ever have imagined. A realised sense of home within myself. A growing resilience and willingness to dive into the depths of my own being, shadows and all, and love who I am unconditionally. A reignited spark within me to share teachings I am truly passionate about. A deep respect for my intuition and a newfound trust in my voice as a powerful tool to create real and positive change in the world.
And that's only the beginning.
For those that choose to embark on an Awakened Spirit journey, be prepared to grow. Be ready to shatter any illusion you had of holding yourself back. Be ready to embrace your full potential and above all else, know your spirit will very much so be enlivened by the realisation and wonder of life, as it truly is.
Read more about the Sacred Earth 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training program