This is quite possibly the most personal piece of writing I will ever upload on the internet.
21st May 2016 I have experienced the most powerful and defining moment of my life.
Over the past week I have spent time pushing myself to my absolute limit with people from all over the world. We eat together, we chant together, we fall down together and we get back up together. We all have such humbling and unique stories about why we are here. This is my Yoga family and I love them, every single one of them.
They told us during induction day that it is normal to cry during meditation and things we thought we have dealt with in the past and thought we have moved on from may arise. The first few days of meditation I was agitated, I could not sit comfortably and I had a lot of thoughts. Nothing sinister, just thoughts, something along these lines:
“Alright heres the deal, I know we have never been good at this before but were trapped in this room for an hour so we really have to work together on this, so just chill and chant” ….“Okay my legs are really numb now” ….“Its okay just think about your cats, you love your cats, thinking about cats for a full hour is so fun, when do you ever have time to do that?”….”Now I’m kinda sad, I really miss my cats”…”Okay just shut up were supposed to be meditating”….”Om Namah Shivaya. Om Namah Shi—“ …..”I wonder what the translation for all this chanting is?”….”Far out is that my stomach grumbling?” ….”Alright can you please be quiet now, were trying to meditate…”
Every day I wanted to give up, I wanted to lie down in Shivasana and sleep instead. My mind exasperated from my thoughts, my back aching, my knees burning, My posture collapsing over and over. But I didn’t, Our Guru told us on the first day that we should never allow ourselves to give up because it becomes a tendency and it will happen over and over again. This thought alone allowed me to at least stay sitting in a meditative position if nothing else, my spine straightening and collapsing like an elevator for the full 60 minutes. I walked out of every class so proud of myself even if I didn’t achieve a meditative state simply because I took control over my very assertive and dominant thoughts that would feed me endless reasons to give up…Not today mind, you did not get the better of me today.
Meditation in the Western world is described as various states of consciousness or mind but in all its complexity it is known as Kundalini which I do not fully understand so I wont go further into this with the risk doing injustice with my juvenile words. On the fifth day something incredible happened to me. After chanting I felt a pulsing through my entire body, I was filled bottom to top with a vibration of my own chanting and the collective chanting in the room. This feeling was incredibly euphoric and I felt like I was in a half dream/half awake state and lasted only for a minute or so. It wasn’t until I “fell out” of this state that I realised I was meditating. BOOM! I crashed back into the room with my thoughts and my numb legs. This experience can only be described as absolute bliss. When I say meditating, this is a very dry way of explaining as there are many levels of consciousness, I mean to express that I felt as though I was elevated to the next level.
The next day I walked into the meditation hall absolutely ready and devoted to getting back to this place again. I sat with the straightest back that my spine is capable of in a relaxed meditative position just waiting for this magic to happen. Our Guru always starts our Meditation with some soothing words to ponder, He started speaking about our collective energy and words about how the journey we are all on has brought us together. I remember thinking “Wow, that is such a beautiful message.” He continued to speak these words to us explaining that within these walls of the meditation hall we are safe. In fact this is the safest place to be with our minds and thoughts. Then suddenly our Guru flicked on the lights. I remember feeling insulted like “How DARE you! I was just getting relaxed. Im trying to meditate here!!”. He then made us sit in a big circle facing each other, one by one we were asked to share our experiences from the first week in the Ashram and what it has done to us. This is where the most unexpected event of my life happened. I have never been caught so off guard.
One by one my Yoga family opened their hearts and became so raw expressing how this past week has affected them and changed them. The power of this session circulated through everyone. We opened our hearts, we cried tears of beauty and joy and also tears of pain for each other, we laughed with each other and simply listened to each other. An intensely powerful love vibration filled the room, ricocheting from every person, amplifying with every bounce. Amongst the silence as we each spoke these things out loud, we were all connected, we were one and I learned what pure intent to share love meant as these people who were strangers just one short week ago radiated with the meaning.
As my turn to speak neared my heart started pounding, it was painful like a hammer to the chest. I became aware that my posture had changed, I was leaning up against the wall, knees to my chest, curled into a ball with my arms crossed over my chest as if to protect myself from whatever this is. All of this “stuff” started bubbling within me and I was facing this head on, worst of all, in front of an audience where I would have to speak these thoughts out loud exposing such vulnerability. This moment in the Meditation hall was the first time I had everything coming at me point blank and there was nothing to soften the blow. I am becoming stronger than my mind with the support of my Yoga family to hold me up. The patience and love I felt while I collected myself was immense. In that moment I knew exactly what I needed to say.
I am not going to share this here. This moment will be encapsulated in the meditation hall to preserve the beauty of what unfolded that evening. But I will share some background with you.
I came to India to do Yoga, yes this is true. I thought Yoga was the answer to my deep rooted inner conflicts and I would Cure myself from my own mind but now I realise that this process is so much more complex and holds so much more beauty than simply doing yoga for Serotonin and Dopamine release. Something much more beautiful and powerful has unfolded since day one. The day I arrived in India I stopped taking Anti Depressant Medication, something I had been dependant on for the past three years. I have tried to come off them in the past but all I did was push myself into an unrecognisable state where I would retreat from the world and disrespect my body until the rollercoaster would become too intense and I would give in and start to take the medication again which would force me into phases of Mania and then Depression. This Bipolar affect would put me in a state of psychosis where my rational mind had no part in my life. The cycle would repeat itself and I would further disconnect myself having no connection with who I am and no conviction over my life.
Since I landed in India I have been so uplifted, elevated, and just happy. Maybe it is because India is the most humbling place I have ever visited or maybe it is because the intensities of my environment are a good distraction from my mind, Maybe it is because I have not even the slightest amount of focus on myself while I am here as India demands attention from all of your senses in every direction you look and from every surface you stand. From awe to unsure, from caution to beauty, from colour to spice, from warm smiles to toothless smiles, from children to the elders, from cows to cars from live sewerage to the Mother Ganga. Everything demands your attention. My dependence on my medications have not been even a slight fleeting thought in my mind and although the physical symptoms were still there, Brain zaps, dizziness, irritability. etc. for the first time in my life I did not rely on a little white pill to face the day.
Since I arrived in the Ashram this beautiful feeling further unfolded. It’s as though I have cleared the gunk from a dirty mirror or as if the fog had lifted. It dawned on me that I was smiling, laughing, striking conversations with strangers. I was curious…Did I mention smiling? my cheeks burn most days. Amongst my Yoga family, so warm and welcoming, so nurturing and supportive I was able to express my thoughts without fear. No longer was I suppressed or or influenced by other peoples Ideals. I AM ME and it is so nice to meet ME. It is like the ancient sanskrit Mantra Ham-sa which translates to “ I am That” has flowed through me with such meaning. When this hit me it was like a glorious smack to the face. I have met myself for the first time and you know what, this girl is pretty awesome and full of love to share. This girl cares about other beings and most importantly herself. It all tumbled down on me when I realised, I am meant to be here. All of this talk about destiny in our philosophy class, I never really understood, until such a striking feeling flowed through me. I am exactly where I am meant to be. Nothing else matters. Ham-sa.
THANK YOU FOR READING
You are loved, no matter how alone you feel, you’re never alone. If you feeling truely alone, you’re not, I am here, I care and I have love for you and whatever you might be going through. You are strong. My soul honours your soul. I know it is hard, I have been through days where I wish the sun wouldn’t rise, true strength is taking another breath and waking up another day. This too shall pass and I promise you dear one, there is sunshine, there are worldly experiences waiting for you when you’re ready and these beautiful things cannot wait to heal and nurture your soul. Breathe in, and Breathe out. Take some time in nature, put your feet in the grass and take care of yourself.
These are some resources that personally helped me during my times of need. These are resources that can assist you to understand your moods and your emotional and mental wellbeing. There is no shame in finding your health. If you have other resources that others might find helpful from your part of the world please send them to – firstname.lastname@example.org
Lifeline Australia – Crisis Support and Suicide
Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services. 13 11 14.
Mental Health Online
What are anxiety disorders? … Mental Health Online is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Self Help and Web-Based Support Programmes.
Australian organisation provides information about depression to consumers, carers and health professionals. Includes causes, treatments, personal stories and forum.
Depression and anxiety are among the most common mental health problems experienced by young people. Often, the symptoms aren’t recognised and therefore young people don’t get the help that’s needed. Sometimes, the signs can be ignored or passed over as “just part of growing up”.
Headspace – Australia’s National Youth Mental Health Foundation
Help and support for young people aged 12-25 at centres, online or over the phone covering mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, self-harm.
Black Dog Institute
The Black Dog Institute is a world leader in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder
500RTY Journal entries are posts about my raw experience of the highs, lows, challenges and lessons during my Yoga Training in India. I have a diverse range of posts here on A Wander Lust Soul. If you’re looking for something a little different I recommend checking out the below posts…
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