On Halloween night, while walking my dog among the ‘trick or treaters’, geese flew above me. The geese appeared to be headed in different directions, yet we know that they are headed north, on their way home for the winter season. The geese reminded me of my very first yoga teacher training in 2006 which was a 160 hour YogaDance course at Kripalu Center in Massachusetts. Each graduating class was given a group name and ours was Wild Geese after the poem below-
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees for one hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
Tell me about despair – yours – and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile, the world goes on.
Meanwhile, the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and deep trees,
and the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile, the wild geese high in the clean blue air are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese,
harsh and exciting, wondrous, over and over.
Announcing your place in the family of things.
by Mary Oliver “Dreamworks”
After this first yoga teacher training experience, I began to fall in love with myself. I felt nurtured, honored, confident and also a sense of strong healing emerged. After experiencing, depression, anxiety and chronic pain for years, more than anything, I wanted to share this experience with others in hopes that in someway others would begin to see their true selves and experience more joy and freedom. That is the reason that I eventually opened Blissful Yoga and that is the reason that Blissful Yoga is moving to a slightly larger location directly on Main Street in Mullica Hill.
This weekend, I returned from my second module of the 500 Hour Advanced Yoga Teacher Training modules at the Himalayan Institute in the Poconos. This module consisted of ten hour days for ten days in a row. The training is intense and invaluable. So much information was covered from advanced anatomy with a medical doctor, to asanas for specific health issues, to Yoga as a Healing Art with Dr. Rolf Sovik, President and Spiritual Director of the Himalayan Institute.
We are meant to be healthy, yet each of us suffers, experiencing sorrow and pain. Pain takes us like an enemy gripping so tightly, limiting and blocking us in many ways. Vishoka is a Sanskrit word which translates almost as without sorrow. Most of my studying during the past ten days was focused on going within, transforming sorrow into knowledge and joy; thereby, restoring health.
Using readings from the Upanishads, as well as, the Bhagavad Gita, both are ancient texts on Yoga, Dr. Rolf Sovik went into detail, reiterating the following:
Yoga as a Healing Art with Dr. Rolf Sovik
1) Enlightenment and or self realization and healing begin on the same path.
2) The paths of enlightenment and healing separate from one another when the automatic desire to be free of pain becomes a struggle against pain rather than a search for balance.
3) Reversing the thought of the dislike of suffering is the foundation for turning suffering into the path of enlightenment.
When we get trapped in the struggle of pain from desires, we lose our way and choose struggle over joy and healing. Yoga is a path of self-realization. It can only be achieved through keeping one’s own practice. It can only be taught by teachers who are doing their practice. Remember, we are all in this game of life together.
As we gaze at the sky and watch the geese seemingly headed in all different directions, maybe it can be a reminder that at times our own lives can appear to be moving in different directions, yet to be gentle with ourselves, to turn our thoughts around so that we are not so harsh on ourselves or others, knowing that we are doing our very best as we continue on our journey flying more consciously into the homes of our true selves and into self realization.
Through this gentleness, our exciting worlds flow and open up to wondrous lives.
Remember the date! 11:11
On Saturday, November 11, please join us at our current location 43 South Main Street as we honor our little cottage that has been our home for the past three years with a small closing ceremony.
Then we will walk together, with some surprise guest from Safe Haven Farms to our new location at 21 South Main Street and celebrate the grand opening at our new location with a party.
(Option to bring food or drink to share.)
In Love, Service & Wisdom,
Victoria Purcell-Goodwin, E-RYT
Master Practitioner of Yoga & Intuitive Healer