The Karma Experience
“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”
— William Arthur Ward
It is with an extremely grateful and joyful heart and spirit that I thank everyone who was a part of my Karma Yoga Project this past January. I am thankful for the love and support I received, the incredible turn out of Yogi’s who shared this experience with me, and of course my wise and gracious teachers who led the way to self discovery, encouraging me to finding my path and practice along the way.
My Karma Yoga project was a key part in my 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification. This was an opportunity to take everything we have worked on and use it as an opportunity to experience what it is to teach/lead a Yoga Practice. My classmates and I started this journey back in September and with just one weekend left of our journey together, it’s really amazing to see all the time, heart, effort, and practice coming together into completion. As a group we have grown so strong – supporting each other in and out of the classroom and as individuals I feel that we have all found something within ourselves that we can nurture and share with our students in the future.
I am so thankful for all the student’s who made their way to the mat these past three weekends. My intention for my Karma Yoga series was to bring healing, peace, and resilience to those who live with anxiety, depression, PTSD, and grief. As many of you know, I live with all those symptoms.
I have found the more I practice, the more I read, learn, and share, the less and less I have experienced all that comes with mental/emotional illness. The mind is a powerful thing – and if I can take what I have lived through and share my experiences to encourage healing and rediscovery, then in a way, it has all been worth it.
I never knew how any of those feelings/emotions felt until I experienced them in my body, mind, and life. Because of that, I am now more compassionate and understanding to the fact that we all have this life and during this life we experience beautiful highs and terrifying lows. Through losing what I thought was my life, I have slowly been able to rediscover a new normal, one where I feel stronger, healthier, and more in control than I ever imagined, and that’s all in thanks to Yoga, gratitude, and of course, Love.
Every weekend during our Karma Yoga sessions, we practiced through a different moving meditation. I wanted students to move with joy and love and to take an extra breath or pause when it felt good to in their body. I was able to weave in my knowledge from my Yoga to Transform Trauma Leadership Training this past July together with my Yoga Teacher Certification. I feel very fortunate to not only have the gracious Heather Otterbine as a teacher and guide, but also Catherine Ashton, both E-RTY500 instructors and strong, beautiful, compassionate women. I am forever thankful our paths crossed and for their mentorship and support.
Our first theme for my Karma Yoga project was all about the Lotus. A powerful, resilient, beautiful flower that grows out of the darkness, deep down in the mud. The Lotus flower takes it time when it blooms, gracefully opening one petal at a time when it makes its way to the surface. How many of us can relate to that feeling of being stuck, deep down in the darkness that is mud? But even in that darkness, there is beauty and resiliency in each of us, we just have to find the light. We created a mindful flow and made our way up to strong, standing poses and let our bodies flow to the rhythm of our breath. It was a beautiful experience and weekend and gave me so much healing and love.
The second weekend we met we talked about transitions and changes. I lucked out with a full and powerful moon that weekend – the first full moon of 2017 – which helped encourage release and gratitude for all the phases we go through in life. We used Lepidolite stones to help keep us grounded and strong as we flowed back and forth on our mat to Chandra Namaskar, or Moon Salutations.
And we finished off our Karma Experience with a weekend dedicated to resiliency and joy. Fusing together our breath work, meditation, and movement, we flowed with joy and love – encouraging students to receive the love they so generously give to other’s day in and day out. And with our exhales, we let go of anything and everything that didn’t give to that joy. We used strong standing poses and ended with some restorative poses to let the heart rest as she opens up to receive. We felt the unique rhythm of our own heart beats and experienced the unity of our breath. I encouraged students to leave with a compassionate, loving, open heart and to share that heart with all they come in contact with.
I am so thankful for everyone who made it to the mat to share this experience with me. I am looking forward to completing my 200 Hour training and being able to continue to share mindful, moving practices within our studio.
I look forward to continuing my healing and moving forward on my journey. I will continue to share my experiences with you with every intention that you, too, find resiliency, hope, and reconnect with the light that is you.
“Healing takes courage, and we all have courage, even if we have to dig a little to find it.”
Thank you for being such a huge piece of my peace.
Light + Karma Love,