April, 2015 I was asked to video & photograph a 200 hour immersion yoga teacher training in Maui, Hawaii, put on by the lovely folks at Yoga University (fb, instagram). To be more exact: I was living in an ashram in Haiku, eating, breathing, and practicing yoga in every form of the word with 12+ humans who would very quickly become my ohana (family).
I have created a video to accompany this photo series, which can be found here (or on Vimeo).
Thinking back over the month, the first thing that sticks out in my mind is the intimacy and immediacy of daily check-ins. As we became more open and used to each other, these check-ins would become incredibly powerful, allowing the group to be supportive instead of judging so that each of us could have verbal dialogues with what was going on in our minds. The value of creating this space has exponential returns, both for the giver and the receiver, somewhat similar to reading a blog might: I write and get my thoughts clear and sorted out, you read and share my revelations!
I came back from this journey both mentally and physically stimulated like I haven’t been for years, one might say I was transformed. Every day in Maui I found myself learning, being guided, sharing, and committing to true love; discovering my body through satsangs of anatomy teachings with Alana, cosmic visualizations of chakras and pranayama discussions with David Lopez, Blue Mountain’s blessings, mangoes, and seva. Allowah & Sufey, the two guides on this beautiful journey, were instrumental in provided the space and the teachings for this Journey to Divine. We would typically spend over 14 hours a day in some form of yoga (these are the yoga sutras):
- yama – ethical guidelines,
- niyama – behaviors,
- asana – physical practice,
- pranayama – breathing life force,
- pratyahara – detachment from ego,
- dharana – meditation,
- dhyana – meditation to god,
- samadhi – peace, bliss, and happiness without end through the absorption of god.
Like I said, imagine the sense of awe, awareness, inspiration, and beauty when you walk into a sacred space of worship. Now make that a place you live and explore every day for a whole month. Meditate on that for a while.
Ok, fine, there was a lot of fun too.
If you’re interested in learning more about Yoga University, I’d be happy to talk about it, or head over to their site and see when their upcoming 200 or 300 hour teacher training and retreats are.
Large bunyan tree, Ioa Valley State Park
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