One of the most amazing experiences of my Prana Flow teacher training with Shiva Rea was our morning meditation and lecture sessions with Chris Tompkins, something I’ll go into detail about in a future post.
I’ve long wanted to establish an early morning practice, and having to be there most mornings at 7am for 12 days has done this.
I was able to witness the effect of just sitting and connecting to the Self, the effect of using bija mantras every morning, and the way it set my entire day up.
This morning’s practice, back in my home in Dunedin NZ, was a little different. Samuel was wide awake when I got up, so he was crawling around me, exploring, chattering away, and joining in with some of the bija mantras as I worked my way up the chakras.
It made for less of an internal practice and more of an inclusive practice, but one of the most beautiful aspects of Tantra practices (as this one is) is that Tantra is life-affirming. It’s not about taking our spiritual practice away from the ups and downs of daily life, but about practicing while immersed in that daily life.
It’s perfect when you’ve got kids, and a partner, and a job, and family, and friends, and work… and who of us doesn’t?
I took great delight in being in meditation while observing not just myself, but also Samuel – as a ten month old little boy, he’s naturally in a state of meditation, completely absorbed in moment to moment delight.
And nothing delighted him more this morning than me slowly lifting him above my head as I OMed. He chuckled with delight, laughing and giggling, kicking his legs and waving his arms in freedom as my OM enveloped him.
Meeting Chris Tompkins was one of the highlights of my trip, as was meeting many other creative, knowledgeable and inspiring people cruising the yoga world over in America. Over the next few months, I’ll be writing about and interviewing all of these people – people like musicians Steve and Anne-Emilie Gold, writers Lorin Roche and Camille Maurine, musician Momo Loudiyi, and of course Chris.
All of them are following their passions in life, pursuing a path of awakening and of service. It was heart-affirming and just plain delightful to spend time with them.
Now, sitting at home in my office, looking out at a gray, overcast Dunedin day, my challenge is to continue to embody the understandings and way of being I was immersed in over in LA, so I can in turn transmit that goodness to my students.
It means being very clear about what my priorities in life are, about how I want to spend my time and what I choose to expose myself to. We live in an energetic world where boundaries are illusions – everything flows into everything else. Just as Samuel’s great delight and joy this morning infused me with a similar feeling, so too are we negatively affected when we spend time with people who are still mired in anguish and misery of one type of another.
It’s not that we suddenly cut off people who are having difficulties with life – because don’t we all in one way or another? – simply that we are conscious of who we’re around and how it affects us, being protective of our energy, knowing when we are absorbing and when we are radiating.
Cementing my early morning meditation practice is a big part of this conscious energy management. It allows me to check in and see where I’m at, and to consciously raise my vibration through bija mantras so when I do go out into the world, I’m strong, centred and radiating.
And boy am I ready to go out into the world!
Shiva’s got me all fired up because damn can that woman teach yoga! I’m stoked on taking her understandings and using them to teach my next Monday night class at The Dunedin Yoga studio, plus I’m really looking forward to the half-day workshops I’ve got lined up to teach later this month, Awakening Your Inner Sun – an exploration of Surya Namaskar.
The first workshop is in Invercargill on November 20th, and the second is in Queenstown at Studio Sangha on November 27th. I can’t wait to meet the yoga community down in Invercargill as I’ve never done yoga down there. And I can’t wait to go back to Queentown and teach, as that was where I began teaching five years ago or so.
Spending ten days with Shiva Rea, and the other students/teachers has deepened my understanding and knowledge of yoga enormously, and it’s going to be fantastic to be able to put it all into practice during these workshop.
Shiva has the most creative and divinely connected way of exploring Surya Namaskar that I’ve ever come across, and learning direct from her has certainly turbo-charged my own practice. Mixing her dynamic and creative style of approaching yoga with the depths of Tantra that we explored with Chris Tompkins has given me insights into the underpinnings of yoga I never really got before… and that is just so cool.
If you’re keen to do the workshop in Invercargill, get in touch with Linda Ryder on firstname.lastname@example.org. To book for the Queenstown workshop, talk to Peggy at Studio Sangha, email@example.com.