A new month is here and as we open the door to October and welcome the fresh, cooler breeze in, with it comes some changes. When I embarked on this path of Yoga seventeen years ago, my main focus was for relief of chronic pain. In 2000, I began experiencing severe chronic pain that was disabling. One of the doctors I went to told me that my life would always be this way and that the best thing I could do was to take pain medicine, accept it and I should compare my life to a half glass of water in which I can either perceive it to be half empty or half full. I decided it was half full and time for me to get a new doctor!
I found an alternative doctor that prescribed an eight week course for mindfulness and stress reduction at Jefferson University in Philadelphia. This course included a twenty minute gentle yoga practice that I was to take home and practice daily.
My morning routine began to include an hour practice of meditation and yoga. I treasured this time alone and began to notice small changes which turned into bigger more powerful changes for the better.
When I began this journey, I have to admit that I didn’t really know what mindfulness meant. At that time, I was actually a bit shy at times and I remember it taking me a lot of courage to ask the instructor what was the difference between meditation and prayer. I don’t remember what the teacher’s answer was, but personally, I’ve found that through prayer I feel like I’m talking to a Higher Power and that through meditation, I’m listening to that Higher Power that resides inside of me.
Yoga is a spiritual journey of self-realization. It is not a religion but a spiritual philosophy that can be practiced with any religion if one chooses to do so. As we go deeper into this path, it brings us both joy and pain, the yang and the yin, as life always does. Swami Vishnudevananda talks about this spiritual path of yoga in his translation of the book, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, where he states “You might say that it is an uphill climb. There are ups and downs. We climb up and then once again go down. There is no straight path to the top and there are many obstacles. In some places the road is wide but then suddenly it narrows. We come to a bush through which it is very difficult to penetrate, and even though we continue, we do not know where we are going. So, it is a spiritual journey.”
This past summer, I found my path obstructed so I went deeper into my daily practice of yoga. I would arrive at Blissful Yoga in the early morning and clean, chant, practice asana and pranayama, then meditate. Through this daily practice, the opportunity to move the studio presented it self to me. At first, I thought, oh no, why? I love this building, but I followed this guidance and quickly, one door opened after another, and now I feel as though a Higher Power had this planned all along.
So, on Saturday, November 11, or 11:11, which is said to be a number representing messages from Spirit or from the realms of Angels, Blissful Yoga is moving just a few doors away to 21 South Main Street in Mullica Hill. The numbers 1111 represent the beginnings of stepping into a portal which is beyond limitation and into surrendering to a higher power.
Ishvara Pranidhana is a Niyama, which is one of the limbs along with asana/poses on the Eight Limbed Path to Yoga and it means to surrender to a Higher Power. “Ishvara Pranidhana the jewel of surrender, presupposes that there is a divine force at work in our lives. Ultimately this guideline invites us to surrender our egos, open our hearts and accept the higher purpose of our being.”, Deborah Adele from her book, The Yamas & Niyamas.
Below are some pictures of how our new location currently looks. Can you imagine on how it will look after it is transformed into Blissful Yoga’s new space…
Current view of Blissful Yoga’s new location – 21 South Main Street The owners put a parking lot in the back and there’s also plenty of street parking and some public parking available nearby as well.
Soon to be transformed Reception Area
Beautiful Tree in our new back yard where we can practice yoga & meditation outside. Imagine this on a Full Moon night!
We never know where the path of yoga, union of our body, mind and soul, can bring us.
Your invitation this month is to bring in more meditation into your own life along with the practice of the Niyama, Ishvara Pranidhana, surrendering to a Higher Power. Surrender does not mean to give up. It’s an invitation to ask a Higher Power to join us in each moment.
In addition, there’s an invitation to please join all of us at Blissful Yoga’s current location on Saturday, 11:11 at 4:00 p.m. as we do a small closing ceremony at this location (maybe 10 minutes long) and then walk together to our new location, 21 South Main Street and celebrate the grand opening at our new location with a party.
Hope you can join us!
In Love, Service & Wisdom, Victoria Purcell-Goodwin, E-RYT Master Practitioner of Yoga & Intuitive Healer