So much has happened this week at beautiful Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat Bahamas, and not surprisingly, there are still struggles in the adjustment. My world has been turned upside down!
Yet the petty little annoyances are having less and less importance - finding time to take my herbs and make teas;
bug bites; being tired, sweaty and hot without deodorant; a couple tough nights of sleeping; still unable to sit still for 25 minutes of meditation; waking before the sun and quite literally stumbling to the shower some days; waste elimination irregularity - transitioning to a new normal.
I point out these minor irritants, as they relate well to the typical daily lives we all live, whether in cities or rural areas or suburbia - discomfort and irritants consume much of our thoughts throughout the day. Cranky bosses at work, children who do not listen to us and do what we'd like them to do, slow traffic, high prices, too little time to get our work done, too many bills using our money, tired from too little sleep and the list could go on and on.
I say my challenges here this past week are of little importance because the benefits of this past week have surpassed what I might have imagined. What I will be challenged with in weeks and months to come is how to keep a focus on the positive healing and growth, while minimizing the impact of the minor irritants.
What is exciting to me is that I now clearly recognize this! The medical guidance of KP Khalsa, the quality herbs from Banyan Botanicals, and this amazing place of spiritual healing at Sivananda Ashram Bahamas are all impacting the very fibers of my being, and I am noticing different things about myself than I did before.
I am learning daily by being in the presence of my devoted and loving supervisor, other staff here, an others that I encounter. Each of us interested in journeys of healing, health and spirituality. I Love it!
Practically speaking - You may be asking, why no deodorant? Really just because it was the one natural product I forgot to buy before I left. The boutique/store here was out of the product. One benefit or blessing I realized this week was the kindness that is possible from complete strangers, if we open up.
A Teacher's Training Course student I've just met was almost joyful in sharing some of her deodorant paste with me. Problem temporarily solved, and today I took the boat over to Nassau for a trip to the pharmacy and post office.
Bug and mosquito bites also yielded a blessing, as another karma yogi who I've just met shared her Tiger Balm, and yet another karma yogi shared her anti-bug cream from India with me that helped tremendously :)
Then there was the matter of a couple of nights of not much sleep - once my own fault as I checked my emails and Facebook after satsang and right before sleep. One of the amazing findings I have experienced first hand with Ayurvedic lifestyle changes is limiting technology right before bed makes a tremendous difference in the ability to settle the mind and fall asleep. You may find the article by KP Khalsa on sleep interesting.
The second restless night here was due to a later bedtime and much stimulation from the joyous dancing and chanting the whole Ashram experienced with Gauravani and As Kindred Spirit, an amazing mantra group here for the Bhakti Yoga (Love and Open Heart/Devotion) Retreat.
I was reminded that for me, even spiritual chanting, if it is accompanied by dancing and clapping and raising the heart rate, will yield a restless sleep and difficult time falling asleep. It was great fun, and I'm glad that I experienced it, but I was carried away by the frenzy of it. I am learning about the consequences of my actions and getting more in tune with my own body rhythms. It is an interesting process for me.
The next night of the chanting by Gauravani and As Kindred Spirit moved me to tears and such pure love that it is difficult to explain in words. It was a calming and wonderful path to sleep.
I believe that my heart had been opened more during the day by an incredibly powerful Bhakti Yoga practice that one of the senior staff here led.
The practice was filled with gentleness and heart opening postures and reminders of being loving to ourselves in devotion to God. I came into the 4:00 class feeling hot, sweaty, bug bitten and generally a bit depleted. By the end of the practice I was uplifted and energized and had joy radiating out of me. This teacher of our Bhakti Yoga practice is like being in the presence of a gentle ray of sunshine that embraces you with love.
Trying to explain this feeling and the transformation that came from a mere 2 hour yoga class is difficult. The closest I can come to explaining the purity of the feeling, is comparing it to how I felt when each of my children were born and recently the births of my grand babies - the purity of the love is without thoughts of anything else and can be felt deep in the heart with a warming and almost expansive feeling of the heart. It is an overwhelming presence within.
Explainable or not, it is a feeling I want to feel much more of, and I hope for everyone to know and have more focus on this Love.
WHAT I AM TAKING THIS WEEK:
My Prescriptives are much the same as last week, with the exception of not drinking the poppy seed tea before bed. It worked wonderfully for me at home, as I would drink it about half an hour before bed. It helped be fall asleep quickly, but here, the timing of drinking tea has not worked well with satsang until 10/10:30. It is too late for me to be drinking the tea without having to wake and trek to the bathrooms in the middle of the night.
I drink fluids all day long though, and still drink the Coriander, Cumin, Fennel tea after meals.
A Taboo Subject that is SO IMPORTANT -
I'm also watching a possible linkage for my bowel waste regularity with eating beets. I've learned to not be concerned with a bit of red in your elimination if you eat a good quantity of beets.
Beets are recommended as good for the digestive tract, and I really think that they are a tremendous help in the elimination function for me. I'm also taking Triphala daily, as an herb supplement. I'm still tracking the beet impact at this point and will let you know if this is confirmed over time.
Sending You Love from the Bahamas💗
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