We have been anticipating this moment for two years now. And yet, now that it is here, I almost have to pinch myself.
Our work at Blissology over the past decade and more has been to host powerful in-person experiences for people and help them lean into the transformative power of Yoga. Since the pandemic, this is our first in person program; and I cannot think of something more powerful and healing for our nervous systems right now!
It feels surreal that we are finally sitting in a yoga shala by the ocean here in Bali sharing a circle with 24 other beings from around the world. People whose journeys to get here have involved everything from rebooking flights because of positive PCR tests; to sleeping on an airport bench as they couldn’t make the right flight connections… to some who have still not arrived. And yet, now, in the pre-dusk light, we are together, on our first evening to commit to a journey of clarification, expansion and bliss.
It is surreal. But it also feels exactly right.
As we go around the circle, sharing our intention for being here; and a little bit about ourselves, I find my inner voice repeating itself, “Oh wow! I love this person already” – and I don’t even know them, though I know some of their stories as I’ve combed through their applications!!!
I am literally bowled over by our student’s stories. They share why they love yoga, why they’ve decided to choose this path that is probably one of the more challenging ways to make a living in our modern world.
The stories are different, but what I hear over and over again is this – and honestly, it is true for me as well, in my own experience of why and how I came to yoga.
Here’s that common thread. You dip into the river of Yoga. Either through meditation, a yoga class with a teacher you connect with, or perhaps a book, or a video. In that, you have an experience. And through that experience, you have an awakening. You are opened to a feeling of unbridled freedom in your body and mind, coupled with a deep joy. A joy that feels very different from the high you get, when you buy something, or get a promotion etc.
This feeling is something innate. Something deeper. And you return to yoga because you want to feel that spaciousness in You again. Some describe it as peace. A contentment that exists beneath the surface. Some describe it as a bubbling over. Some describe it as love. Some describe it as connection to community. For all of us. Yoga has either rapidly, or consistently, shifted how we choose to live. We have through our practice, started to become kinder, more aware; more intentional in how we live. We have begun to step into our power, so we are no longer tossed around by the waves of life, but have begun to consciously chart the currents we choose.
The days are hot and long. This is not a yoga retreat. We are in school, studying the yogic texts like the Gita and the Sutras; we will practice yoga daily for up to four or six hours – learning how to share our voice without fear. We will feel the asanas from the inside out, while protecting our joints. We’ll also make time to dance, to be silly – our evening beach games on the first full day – make us sandy and happy; while the ritual of the Balinese Agni Hotra, the Hindu yagya ceremony that offers us blessings on a new journey; gives us time to reflect and receive.
We’ll share more stories from the training on our Blissology Instagram and here. Thanks for following along.
All Photos by Joao Tome ig @_joao.tome_