London, 2001. Living in a flat in Elephant and Castle with the most amazing view to the London Eye on the Thames, all the way up to St.Paul's Cathedral, for a while I used to wake up every morning with a few rounds of Suria Namaskar or the Sun Salutation, courtesy of my flatmate who had been practising asana for some time. This was the first time in my early twenties when yoga crossed my path.
After a while I wasn't living there any more and my interest in shamanism took over and I didn't follow through with yoga – apart from the occasional yoga class with a friend few times a year.
Until now. Prior to my birthday this year, my partner, Gammadian and I were in Rishikesh leading one of our retreats in Recapitultion. Rishikesh is a very special place, not just because people say it is, but because it was chosen by the Rishis (sages) a long long time ago as a place of high vibration where silence happens effortlessly and naturally.
Gammadian himself stayed there for over 15 years when he first got to India as a teenager in the '70s. Many others did too. It has this captivating effect on you. Once you get there, the place enchants you. Meditation is easy in Rishikesh. Silence is home.
So, after our retreat we were planning on spending some more time in the mountains before we hit the beaches in Goa. As my birthday was coming, I thought what a lovely place for my birthday in the skirts of the Himalayas. I was born in the mountains in Bulgaria so I've always had a soft spot for them.
Yes, and then Gammadian decides to present me, for my birthday of course, with a one month Yoga Teacher's Training. Yes, in Rishikesh. With our lovely host for the recapitulation retreat – Chandra Yoga International!
My first thoughts were, wow! Waking up every morning before 6am for pranayama and meditation doesn't appeal to me that much. I love my sleep!
And I haven't really been practising yoga that much, aren't you supposed to have been practising like all your life to want to become a yoga teacher? I know Gammadian has and he was a yoga teacher! So then he explains that yoga, just like shamanism, actually helps one find a union, their inner seer and eventually can lead to a knowledge of eternity. And I was in!
One month into the yoga journey, I developed strength in muscles I didn't know I had! And it was intense yes, but also fun and very enjoyable for me. The beautiful beings on the course made it even more fun and I realised that shamanism and yoga can walk hand in hand in my life complementing each other in amazing ways.
At the end of the course as I was already picturing myself lounging on a sun bed on the Goan beaches, our yogi instructors at the course, Dr.Sushil and Rachel, asked Gammadian and I to stay for an intern-ship and teach pranayama, meditation and philosophy. We readily agreed for we have found out that Chandra Yoga is a place of growing and evolving where teachers learn just as much, if not more, than their students.
The following four weeks were a time for great learning and sharing for both of us and for everyone on the course. The students were all extremely dedicated, very open and driven. We found deep understanding and appreciation in them for all the practices and teachings that were presented. It was a magical coof. mbination of energy, skill and talent that brought to fruition everyone's personal transformation. Such a delight to witness and be a part
Now, with all of it behind me, I feel content and abundant. It feels like there is more of it to come: more opportunities, more interactions, more inspiration, more power to be claimed in terms of self-knowledge. What an expansive life we all live. Let's share it, in love and light. Thank you, Spirit! Namaste!
Open Wing has had a highly enjoyable month in Colombia for our workshop tour. Both the workshop on The Fundamentals of Energy and Rallying the Abstract were well supported as were our individual sessions of massage and shamanic healing. The high point for me was delivering the guided dreaming with live musical accompaniment from Malu and Rodrigo and their band and the feedback from those that had an OBE. From the start collaboration with the musicians was fun and high energy and they quickly got everything I wanted to do. I also recorded several of the guided dreaming with the musicians and these should be available on our website soon!
Whether guiding OBE's, exploration of dreaming gates, chakras and organs or revisiting healing lucid dreams of my own, they are a powerful tool for well-being.
With a small group at Chia we navigated into inner silence together with shamanic movement and Pramayana. It was our first taste of the countryside since we'd arrived, it was a beautiful traditional house and Yoga Sala and a splendid evening.
A good crowd came with us to Sesquilé. We stayed in a comfortable farm house and it's annexe. I always enjoy residential workshops, especially when the food is prepared as well as eaten by attendees.
After an invigorating morning session we hiked into the hills to see the Muisca, indigenous people that have been reclaiming their culture that had all but been taken away from them by Colonisation. It was great to see them celebrate their culture and share it with us. Although it had rained most of the morning before we said goodbye the weather changed and we were able to walk down in the sun.
After a RAW lunch Ena and I shared a presentation on Nutrition and Energy, and a guided exploration of the digestive tract, followed by another session of RAW food preparation. The RAW pasta was delicious!
Another seven people joined us and were richly rewarded by a practice and a dinner that included home made RAW brownies.
On our third day, after breakfast and the morning session we drove, then hiked to the sacred Laguna Guatavita. It was well worth the trek. The lake is both an amazing geographical wonder and a place of power.
On the hike we found a clearing in the forest and entered into an impromptu inner silence session. We were all deeply touched by our experience together.
After a RAW lunch we went into the closing session. It was really touching as everyone recapitulated our activities in Colombia and shared their experience with the group.
The ancient teachings and practices of shamans and yogis that Open Wing presents in our modern world enable us to potentiate and enjoy richer lives, they were appreciated by all who joined us, as was obvious by their warm and heartfelt responses.
Open Wing is very grateful for the response to their tour and treatments. We intend sharing more of our work when we return next year.