First, let me say that the folks at White Lotus know what they are doing. They’ve trained somewhere between 1000 and 2000 yoga teachers (Ganga didn’t give us the exact number) and they know what folks tend to go through and when. Smart cookies, those folks. The first week had ups and downs like you wouldn’t believe. Some days seemed to go on forever and then there were days that vanished right after breakfast. I told someone that 16 days was a time warp – shorter than a second, longer than a lifetime. Ganga, Tracey, Sven, Beverly, and Beatrix managed to always give us exactly what we needed when we needed it. That place is magic, I’m telling you. I wouldn’t have been the least bit surprised to see gnomes and wizards popping out from behind the white sage bushes along the trail ….
We got to White Lotus on Saturday the 16. By Friday of the next week, we were all in some sort of transformative gelatinous state. We were changing physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, dietarily … completely. Completely changing, and yet still not set yet. Like Jell-O that’s only been in the fridge for an hour, see? We had completely checked out of real life, were wildly looking forward to our free day in Santa Barbara coming Sunday, we were tired, sore, and eager and desperate for more. What we were not expecting Friday night was to hear that, from the moment we opened our eyes on Saturday morning until the end of lunch, we were to be silent. Not only silent, but also NOT miming to people and trying out for America’s Top Marcel Marceau! We were to be on an inward journey, avoiding phones and computers and communicating with anyone or anything other than nature, spirit, and ourselves.
Let me remind you, this applied to POLLY AND ME!
(I’ll wait for you to stop choking and wiping hysterical tears from your eyes.)
WE DID IT!
While everyone had their own experience, as was the point, we ALL went through something and realized a few things. For the most part, we’ve kept our realizations to ourselves as they did seem to be profound. Well, at least mine were profound to me. By the time we were able to start talking again, however, we had all changed a wee bit. The change in me is still apparent. It’s likely you’ll hear me start a conversation or even a reply and then stop midway and say, “Never mind, I think I’ll let that thought develop a bit more.”
Again, stop choking.
You have probably heard me say in class something along the lines of, “We spend all our lives talking to others and listening to others, use your practice as a time to dive deep and listen to yourself!” It’s so true! It’s amazing what you can hear yourself saying when you slow down and listen. To that end, our practice Saturday morning WAS in silence. How do 30 people do a 2.5 hour yoga practice together in silence, you ask? We experienced Intuitive Flow Yoga and it was INCREDIBLE! You know when you feel a little stiffness in your shoulder and somehow know that if you move just right something will pop and the stiffness will leave? And then you do it and it does, in fact, get better? That is intuitive flow. Without knowing how, you know what your body needs and you obey. Alignment and balance play no part in intuitive flow. You may do 15 things on the left side and only 2 on the right. You may never get off the floor. You may spend the entire time in Balasana or doing Chaturanga pushups. You listen, you honor, you move, you heal, you grow, you learn. You change. You love. You believe.
The lessons are all there inside of you. You just have to hush up so you can hear yourself.