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!