July 29, at the age of 19, when I officially “initiated” my yoga practice this life. Never heard of yoga. My first teacher, special spiritual guide in my life who taught me for the first time what love meant, introduced me to yoga, Juan, founder of this center. I was curious. Every evening he would sit down, quietly meditate; practice/teach weird (yoga) exercises. My curiosity was going to change my life.
My path started as silent mantra yoga, in combination with hatha yoga (exercises). A month later I became a vegetarian (including eggs! I know!) My transition continued through the years to be more conscious, peaceful eating (vegan), and now, gluten free! Yoga, in all its forms and ways, has helped me be here today…alive.
Yoga did not prevent very dark nights. Life still challenges me to many deep places, as I believe, it may do to many of us; a common human story. The blindness of the “dark nights” were brighten by yoga, many times. Life almost ended at more than one occasion. The constant was the knowledge of having the mat, and people counting on me to show up to sessions. Usually, that is all I needed to do: show up. I did, many times unsuccessfully. The moving mediation, the processing of emotions, guided by my body wisely, was enough for the moment; it cleansed me every time. Sometimes, it appear to be only that, a cleansing of the moment. I learned with constant practice, the minimum I had to do, is simply show up. Love (God) takes over after…I (tried to) surrendered. It is not my expectation, but my intention what matters…
The most brilliant moments of my life have been provided by yoga. Some of my spiritual experiences showed my soul what is also possible. My soul will not stop at small pieces of love; that is not enough anymore, it wants true Love. Meeting my guru, Sri Kripalu Maharaj, was the most significant event and graceful moment in my life.
He gently offered answers I had been looking for since childhood. Being able to create a relationship to Love personified, in the most attractive way I can conceive – that is what He taught me yoga to be. Seeing a form, the most attractive form I can imagine with my limited senses and mind, removes my mind from the little “loves”, and brings it to the big Love. Maharaji, as we lovingly call him, teaches only 2 rules: 1) Always remember (Love). 2) Never forget (Love). Simple, not easy. The more I think of Love (or God), and how He/She/They (I get to choose!) looks like, moves, smiles and laughs, smells, talks, dances and sings, the more my mind gets closer Love. This is not work of one life, it is a long walk.
As I move through my emotions, and my thoughts, my bad feelings, or stress; as I struggle with my humanness, in the back of my mind I know these are temporary. Maharaji explains I am sitting in this pot of gold. I just need to clean my access to it of uncountable “dusty” layers, created by distractive actions. All I need to do is show up, clean it up, surrender, and fall in love over and over. The rest is Grace. It is my experience my spirit becomes stronger with every sincere breath, even though I realize or not notice the difference. It is not for me to judge.
It is Maharaji’s teachings that humans return to who we really are, feeding from the deepest, ever-lasting, always present, pot of gold living within us, next to our soul, in eternal relationship to our Divine Love partner.