Florida Retreat: Day 3

It’s been another powerhouse day and has been packed full of experiments and experiences. “Experiments in Yoga?” you might ask. Absolutely, Yoga is the science of inner stillness and peace. Being a science, every aspect of Yoga is actually an experiment. Postures aren’t just to make the body healthy and strong but are experiments that help us develop the skill to be at ease even when our body is shaking or our ego is fretting that we aren’t getting it right. Back to the experiments of the day, we first took a long hard look at ourselves. Are we more willful or are we more surrendered? Almost everyone is one or the other but rarely both. Having both in balance, willful-surrender, is a complete expression where being only willful or surrendered is lopsided. After seeing where we each stand on that spectrum, we practiced being willful for nearly two hours and then we did the same with being surrendered and, finally, we focused on combining the two.

As we broke for lunch, I was sure that the teachers must be mistaken about the time. I could distinctly remember having eaten lunch already but when I looked at the clock, it was only 12:35 pm. Iveda10 wondered how this could be as morning practice seemed like it was weeks ago and not only five and a half hours. As I sat and chatted with a couple of friends, I realized what had happened. I was so fully engaged in every moment of the morning’s events that I had actually lived each second rather than simply letting them rush by unnoticed. I watched through the afternoon session and again time seemed to slow down. It never dragged but was full of life, every moment. Veda, one of the beloved senior teachers here and is actually a student in this program, was eating lunch with me when I shared my thought of living each moment fully. She said, “Yes and isn’t is amazing that people can be bored?” I was reminded of a quote by Death in the movie Hogfather, “Human beings make life so interesting. Do you know, that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to invent boredom.“

Here’s another update on my back: Wonderful! I had a deep tissue massage from Jen Specht, one of the amazing massage therapists here at the Healing Arts Center.donate-healing-arts I am so very grateful for what she has been able to do for me. For nearly three years now I have lived with an extremely tight psoas on the right side, tight enough that sleeping on my belly—my favorite sleeping position—hasn’t been possible. I’ve lived with that for so long and become so accustomed to it that I completely forgot it was there. There is no tightness in that muscle at all now and my back feels so very alive. Her unique combination of massage therapy and training as an Amrit Level I and II Yoga teacher gives her great insight into what’s happening with a body and how to move a body fully into the edge and just let it sit. If you are visiting the Ashram, trying to find time for a session with Jen. If you have a massage therapist who is also Amrit Yoga trained in your area, such as Nitya, I highly encourage you avail yourself of their services.

I need to leave now. Tomorrow I’m giving a presentation on stress and I need to make some notes for it, something I do not often do. As part of our time in this program, we will each be giving 45 minute presentations to see how these three days . . . Wow! only three days! . . to see how what we’ve experienced has impacted our capacity as teachers.

Here are a couple of pictures of the grounds.

Jai Bhagwan!

The lake and the back of Gurudev's residence hidden under the oaks. Click to enlarge.
The lake and the back of Gurudev’s residence hidden under the oaks.
Click to enlarge.
The front of Gurudev's residence, the office and cabin #2.
The front of Gurudev’s residence, the office and cabin #2.
Click to enlarge.