Sighs in Savasana

Somehow there are only four days left.  I can scarecly believe that “Yoga Camp” as we seemed to have coined the term, is almost over.  Nor can I figure out how to convey this experience to all of you with words.  I hardly expect you to believe my stories or fully understand the transformation.  It’s a Care Bear version of Lost (and then Found) and I don’t blame my dad for calling me Moonbeam in his email responses.  I suppose the “proof is in the pudding” and though I’m not sure I feel confident or knowledgeable enough to go out and start teaching yoga, I do feel confident to share myself to the world as a person.

We burnt our fears in a bonfire, watching crumpled up pieces of paper inked with our disappointments, regrets, demons and sadness turn into ash and then float away into the sky like the ghosts of lost souls.  I screamed out my anger at the waves, alone on the beach, my voice a mirror of their thunderous rhythmic crash, until I was empty, hoarse and light.

We spent one full day in silence and during this day we were scheduled to have a 5:15 am sunrise yoga class on the beach.  It was raining when the alarm went off and words were not needed to see “This is BULLSHIT!” written all over my face as I got dressed.  Trudging in a silent procession like a funeral march, we made our way through the cold and the damp to the shore.  I can’t say that I have ever practiced yoga in a bathing suit and rain coat until now.  My grumpiness and unease started to dissipate with the poses and rising sun and as it peeked its blushing face into the one patch of blue in a cloud-speckled sky, our instructor silently pointed behind us.  From end to colored end, a full and enormous of not one, but TWO rainbows arched across our village.  I have never witnessed a complete rainbow before, seen it in its entirety or marvelled in its end.  Though there was no pot of gold or dancing Leprechaun, nor did I react like the Double Rainbow Guy in the YouTube video, I did silently weep tears of gratitude.

I have been humbled repeatedly.  We make first-impression assumptions about people we meet and I have never been more acutely aware of really how little we know about someone.  Trish, with her sexual abuse.  Rob, having seen his buddies blown limb from limb in Afghanistan, found yoga to deal with PTSD.  Jen, a chemical engineer at the tender age of 22 , nearly died from Crohn’s disease.  She started taking yoga classes five years ago to help, only to discover recently that she has the same degenerative disease as her brother, which could eventually lead to the fusion of her spine.  We categorize, we rate and we judge and we know so little.  My tattoo means “strength through humility” and I have never fully grasped the importance of its meaning.  The importance of not making assumptions.  That the only really safe assumption is that usually when a person acts or reacts a certain way, it almost assuredly not about you.  Proud heart.  Humble chin.

I found my smile.  It comes easy, free and from the heart and doesn’t feel like my cheeks are glued to my gums.

For once I experienced true love on Valentine’s Day.  Love that doesn’t come from a Hallmark card or a lover or chocolate (although there WAS chocolate and I ate loads) but from that visceral, bloody beating muscle in the center of my chest.

I learned how to release a diaphragm–a technique developed by one of the top osteopaths in Canada and then taught to us by him.  Ask me to do it and you might take your first real breath of air.

I meditated.  I levitated.  Navigated from the psoas to sanskrit, peace to the patella.  I Yin ‘ed and I Yang’ed.  I Warrior One’d and I Warrior Two’d.  I took five minutes to mindfully walk a circle.  I mudra’d and I Mulabhanda-ed.  I travelled into the mystical tales of Shiva and Vishnu and pondered the rise of Kundalini.  I had my aura read and though she told me that in my past life I was a male fire-spinner in a circus circa 1851, I’m pretty sure that you all have clearance to call me Moonbeam from here on out.  Those hippies were really onto something.

Imagine all the politicians and CEO’s, the thinkers and the leaders, the scientists and the skeptics traded their black socks and their pressed business pants for a pair of fisherman pants and bare feet and went to Yoga Camp.  HA!!  Giggle.  I hope, at least, not to wear a bra for the rest of my travels.

As eager as I am to start teaching, I can’t imagine returning to reality before I’ve had a chance to process…to digest.  And I’m not talking about the lentils, chickpeas and brown rice that I’ve been eating for days on end.  Not to mention the cabbage farts that we all share.  This has to sink.  To take root.

So I’m grateful for the second leg of this adventure.  To surf and salsa my way through Central America with sharp perception and an open heart.

And until I can properly and adequately convey the magic of Yoga Camp, you’re going to just have to take my la-la word for it.


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