Well I enjoyed a lovely last few days in Vancouver, practising lots of Anusara Yoga with some seriously inspiring teachers in YYoga in Yaletown. I happened to attend a class on the the Mahashivaratri festival, so we practised strong, a dance of grace perhaps, in honour of Shiva, On Namah Shivaya.
What I loved about these classes was not only their honouring of Shiva, their strong and heart opening emphasis with precise principles of alignment to keep you conscious of every movement and feeling in you body, but also their infusion of a philosophy that celebrate life. Om Namah Shivaya.
It never ceased to amaze me - a little like on my Yoga therapy course - that after I had sat in silence for a few moment, centering myself, connecting with the breath and the body, awareness of life that day, that my arising intention would be neatly reflected in the philosophy of the class for that day. So that at the end of the class, sitting in integration, I would notice what had stood out for me from the class, and the wisdom would enthuse that understanding...in a real and grounded way. Heaven and Earth, in spirit and in matter.
Here's the invocation that we chant at the beginning of the class, which I learned from listening to Deva Premel's CDs some time ago:-
Om Namah Shivaya Gurave: I offer myself to Lord Shiva,the Auspiscious One, who is the true teacher Within and Without.
Saccidananda Murtaye: Who Assumes the forms of Reality, Consciousness and Bliss.
Nishprapanchaya Shantaya: Who is never absent and is full of peace.
Niralambaya Tejase: Independent existence, the vital essence of illumination.
Got to love it!
So I guess - in a non-attached way and open hearted way - I was a little sad to leave YYoga after my final class knowing it would be some time until I return again. While the rooms may have been warm and we may have been spaced about 10cm apart from each other, I am thankful to the teachers and thankful to the other students, who kept the energy heightened so that I would often leave the class on a real natural high - amazing how much the energy of the class is affected by those present and how the teacher almost glides on that current. I learned loads about myself and about life generally, on and off the mat. Om Namah Shivaya.