Monday, 6 February 2012

and then yoga saved my life

I got in touch with the studio and immediately reserved my spot for the workshop.
I was really excited about this!
I remember how at the end of the first and second sessions, in February 2011, something happened. When I was walking to my car I was literally jumping on the street, making my way feeling happy. I wasn't used to this feeling anymore. For the last past weeks, things had got darker and darker and I was growing used to pain and misery; this was new. This was good.
I realized once again that Anusara Yoga really touched me, maybe because I really needed its wisdom regarding the good and positive thoughts on life and people. It was such a dark place for me that anything that seemed to pour a little light into my life was a very precious gift. And I took it. 

The physical aspect of Anusara Yoga felt perfect because it was complex enough for me to get out of my head and be able to enjoy that time without the constant agonizing thoughts that usually wandered around in my mind. I drank all the words and the practices, always learning more and more about yoga and myself.

I soon decided I wanted to do a yoga teacher training in 2011. And I wanted to go deeper into Anusara Yoga. I was already grasping the basics, as the five sessions progressed. Bel built the workshops in a way that allowed the students to connect the Anusara teachings. The first session that took place on February 5th 2011 (one year ago!) focused on Opening to Grace, Muscular Energy and Organic Energy; the second session focused on Inner and Outer Spirals and Tantric philosophy. On the third session we went into fine-tuning skills, the energetic loops and some more philosophy. The fourth session was focused on inversions and my teacher invited the other Portuguese Anusara-Inspired teacher, Manel, for that session. What a blessing, to know the only two teachers in my country who teach Anusara. Bel & Manel together are  absolutely wonderful; with them I could understand that these two people had a more profound knowledge on yoga and the practice than I was used to, they knew so many small details that could change every pose, making even the most advanced pose available to us. The way they both taught and the things they told us made such a blissful ressonance within me, everything was connecting me more and more to Anusara Yoga and I wanted to absorb all of its teaching and sweet sweet magic.

 (Anusara-Inspired teachers Manel Rodrigues and Bel Janela and me)

The last session was a conclusion of everything we had learned, Bel led us through a sweet practice where we could once again experience all of the teachings that had been given the previous sessions and she explained to us the meaning of the Anusara Invocation, the mantra we usually sing at the beginning of each class. Now, here's a funny thing about mantras. I absolutely love to have them on my iPod and listen to the fine music and singing, but other than the sweetness of the melody, mantras don't really resonate with me. But after Bel explained to us the Anusara Invocation, I noticed that whenever I sang the Invocation I could feel my body slightly moving, as if I was slowly dancing. 

(this version is the one presented on the Anusara Yoga website)

Two amazing things happened: Bel and the awesome studio owner who is also a yoga teacher, Jean-Pierre, were thinking of putting together a YTT. Perfection. I could learn directly from my very inspiring and inspired teacher and in a place that was feeling very much like home. Things were yet in their very embryonic stage and I had already told them to count me in! The second thing was when I decided to actually meet John Friend, the founder of Anusara Yoga, for a workshop in Europe.

But how would I do  it?
I had never travelled all alone.
The only options were countries I had never been to.
I didn't know anyone there.
How could it be done?
Could it be done?

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