Journey to yourself – 2
4 years ago, I took a big step towards starting a new life… I had enough courage to stay on my feet in the middle of the storm and ask myself the essential question: “who am I?”. Questioning yourself is never easy, but it’s even harder when you’re about to leave a long and overwhelming relationship behind.
And sense of taste awakening in joy: delicious and healthy food
In the ashram, we followed the yogic diet, which is lacto-vegetarian and prepared with love by the people in the Karma Yoga program. Based on the ancient science of Ayurveda, which contributes to the practice of yoga and progress in spiritual life, our diet was geared towards health, balance, vitality, energy, and joy.
Our buffet-style meals were served daily at 10:00am and 6:00pm after our yoga sessions.
Here’s what our plates looked like:
A smorgasbord of vegetables, legumes, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds in both raw and cooked forms, delicious bean dishes and soups. Also, homemade granola and baked bread with freshly made yogourt…
I really enjoyed having my brunches by the ocean and my dinners in the main dining area among other yogis, socializing, sharing spiritual experiences and exchanging knowledge with them while sipping my herbal tea.
During the first days of my stay, I ate a lot, but the amount decreased with time. I believe that with daily and regular yoga practice and satisfying healthy food, I was eventually able to taste the balance in my life.
In this realm of prosperity, my five senses were in absolute joy. I already felt deeply relaxed and free of fears, concerns and anxieties of urban life, after two days at the ashram.
Still, it was only the beginning of a deeper awakening, called sixth sense or intuition — the sense beyond the five senses, where no time, gravity, thought or pain is accessible, but only the pure joy of existence.
Awakening to reality (Intuition): importance of the rituals
In order to be able to hear your peaceful and resourceful inner voice and to let it guide your life, it’s essential to relax and nurture your five senses. You love your body inside out, you honour it and you offer your gratitude to the Universe, so you become more receptive to what the Universe generously offers you every second.
“Patient and regular practice is the whole secret of spiritual realization. Do not be in a hurry in spiritual life. Do your utmost, and leave the rest to God.” SWAMI SIVANANDA
Being receptive requires some conditions: you must prioritize personal discipline, follow the daily rituals in and be consistent in your effort.
That’s why we had a Daily Schedule in the ashram which applied to the whole community and helped us to improve these skills:
Satsang: meditation, chanting, and lecture or silent walk
Satsang means being together with the truth and it is the heart of the yoga practice. Every morning, a big gong woke us up at 5:30 am. After half an hour of silent morning meditation, which started at 6:00 am, we had devotional and meditative chanting of mantras and kirtan (see link below). The spiritual lectures about yoga philosophy and psychology after chanting were very helpful for finding peace. We also did two silent walks on the beach and watched the sun rise; it was unforgettable!
Yoga Class (asana, pranayama, and relaxation)
My uncle introduced me to traditional Yoga when I was 10 years old. I often saw him practising head stands and I started asking him questions. Fortunately, he took time to explain Yoga and satisfy my curiosity. Since then, I try to follow the Yogi lifestyle, not always regularly, but I already knew asanas and pranamaya. However, I decided to do my daily yoga practices in the beginner class during my stay in the ashram. First of all, I loved the teacher, Arjuna, and also I learned more about the asanas and the right way to practice them thanks to him.
“Yoga aims to remove the root cause of all diseases, not to treat its symptoms as medical science generally attempts to do.” VISHNUDEVANANDA SARASWATI
Delicious! Delicious! Delicious!
10:30 am-4:00 pm
Workshop and course time
I chose my reservation dates for the Yoga Vacation program carefully, especially these dates, since I wished to join Brett Bevell’s energy healing workshops during my stay. These sessions were amazing. Consequently, I decided to take more healing sessions and to take Reiki lessons after coming back to Montreal. I also had the chance to join Sacred Painting sessions with Mavis Gewant. The rest of the time, I enjoyed swimming, taking long walks on the beach and practising asanas on the beach platform.
Yoga Class (asana, pranayama, and relaxation)
These yoga sessions gave us the opportunity to meet the different yoga teachers who adopt authentic approaches. One thing is indisputable; they were all remarkable.
I mostly preferred having my dinner in main dining area since I needed some socializing in order to exchange with other yogis. Discussions around spiritual knowledge and personal experiences were very precious and unforgettable. Memories of the generosity of these dear souls still encourage and motivate me after my return to urban life.
Satsang: meditation, chanting, and a talk or performance
In the evening Sansang sessions, we also listened very good musical performances. I miss collective evening meditation while feeling the gentle evening breeze on my shoulders and contemplating smiling faces.
to be continued
Proofreading credit: Steph Smithson
Duygu Özmekik / Bizim Anadolu / January 2018