Wednesday, September 16, 2009

First week update

So here's the low down- this place is so beautiful and completely freeing (minus the <30 hours a week of work). It has been the most incredible experience so far, but I'll start with the basics to keep it simple.

Where? The center is close to Lenox, MA in the Berkshire Mountains. There are all kind of cute towns around. The place was an Ashram (and is still very commune-like [Ashram= Commune+Yoga]) but now not only has Yoga, but three professional schools and all kinds of rest and renewal programs.

Roomies? Are awesome. I live in a place called the Hill House with about 25-30(?) other people. In my room there's Lia, a tattoo artist from Toronto, and Caroline, about to start PT school from Connecticut by way of Tampa. Just to throw this out, there are about 60 volunteers from all different backgrounds (mainly female).

What do I do? Mainly go to Yoga and the educational classes. Today I went to a class about Yoga and Shamanism (quite interesting!). My job is to wash dishes which is quite a bit different from what I was doing. It was rough and humbling at first, but I have come to enjoy it and love my schedule; I work 4 days a week, 1:30-9 for 3 days and then a short morning/ afternoon shift on Tuesday.

Food? The food is fantastic! It's mostly organic and there is even some meat (we had fish two times for dinner already). This week I have been experimenting with my diet by way of excluding gluten, so basically no wheat, oats, barley, rye, and spelt. I did this because I was having some issues with constipation and gas and those problems can be linked to gluten. I also did it because it's easy to eat healthy and tastefully and leave it out HERE, not so easy and tasty in the real world. So far I feel a little better. I'm going to add it back in next week and see what happens.

Revelations? Yes, I think I've already had two significant ones. First, the soul is eternal. I feel like I've always told myself that, but I really felt and embraced that thought this week. It felt so freeing. Second, whatever job you have in life, you can practice your values and karma yoga (karma yoga is the yoga of action). I was ready to get on the boat of I need to teach to practice what I believe, but I'm not feeling that so much anymore; I can show compassion in everything I do and I know if my heart is open and I'm willing to listen I'll walk the path I'm meant to tread.

Ok, well I hope that suffices as an update. I miss everyone and can't wait to bring some of the things I've learned back home. Thanks for reading and I hope everyone has a wonderful rest of the week!

"Happiness is a continuation of happenings which are not resisted." - Deepak Chopra

Friday, September 4, 2009

On the launch pad

So it's about take off time and I feel more at ease today than I have any other day this week. I have been more nervous about this than anything else in my life, even more than moving in with my first college boyfriend (not a mistake, just a hard learning experience)!

I said good-bye to Bob this morning- that was tough. At the end it was kind of spontaneous tears; I just don't know where they came from. *Note: for those of you who don't know, Bob is my Grandmother and pillar of stregnth.* But I know I'll see her again soon.

The car is packed and I'm getting ready to head downtown to spend my last night in the 'Ham with one of my favorite people. It should be a wonderful way to go out; I'm excited (imagine me doing the happy dance right now).

Anyways, lots to do so hardly any time to write! But as I touched on earlier I hope to keep it real here and I can't wait to write about whatever breakthroughs I may have during my trip. We're all human and have demons we deal with.So until I post again, have a great Labor Day weekend!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My first post!!

Blogging is one of those things I always wanted to do but just never got around to it. There is a purpose to this blog (other than allowing me to check something off the list): share my experience at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. I'm less than a week away from a four month seva (selfless service). They do yoga teacher trainings, massage trainings, Ayurveda stuff, and tons of other workshops-

So I guess I should write about why I signed up for this. First, yoga has changed my life for so many different reasons. Through the practice (which is mental moreso than physical to me), I have started to develop a sense of awareness which allows me to be appreciative and notice some good of whatever situation I may be in. I feel like this has given me a great deal of happiness over the past years and surely for many to come. Teaching has also given me a great deal of joy. Yoga is a wonderful practice and needs to be shared! I have enjoyed everywhere I've taught over the past 3 years and I'm really going to miss everyone at the YMCA. But I'm looking forward to taking classes in this unique enviroment and I really, truly hope to comeback with a new perspective and lots of information to share. I guess the last and most profound thing I've gained from practice is peace of mind. Life isn't always sunny and I had let some of the dark days cloud my mind for a while. But I feel like recently I had this breakthrough that I should be thankful for everything (even the shitty stuff) that has happened because without all of my past experiences I wouldn't be where I am now. There is no need to deny, lie, or cheat- be truthful and accepting. The peace that comes after you shift your intention is life-changing. So to be able to give my time and live at a place that emphasizes karma yoga is a dream. I feel lucky to be able to have this opportunity and I hope I take advantage of every minute.

Ok, I think that'll do it for the first post. Hopefully lots more to come!