Today I finished up an intense 11 day retreat with my teacher. (Just in case you missed me during classes, I am back as of Tuesday morning). I am so grateful to have had everything in my life fall into place and allow me the time and resources to be able to attend the whole session. (Thank you so much Yoga Loka Staff and my ever-patient family!) This was an unusually long stretch of time spent together as a Sangha. We were finishing up year 2 of our training and began our final year, year 3, in the same block of time.
The training has so far included pujas, fire ceremonies, hours of sitting in meditation and hours of asana practices, reading, homework, attending lectures .... just like for any one who strives to learn something in depth, it takes a lot of time and effort. There were many years of practice and study that led up to participating in this training which included the same elements, just at a different level of understanding.
If you asked me what was the most potent thing we have worked with so far, it would be mantra. Chanting, chanting and more chanting of mantras, out loud or silently, while sitting, standing, doing asana and even dancing. The power of mantra is real, effective, and powerful, and vitally important in this lineage. It is funny in a way to have done so much, and find that it was simply the mantra after all.
It is never too late, or early, to start chanting, and there are so many wonderful ways to do that. Give it a try! You can start this Thursday at 7:00 pm with the yoga class I am leading with Girish. He will be chanting mantras for you while you move, or just sit. This is a great way to feel the mantras in your body. He will also be offering a Kirtan at Sky Island in Upper Black Eddy PA on Friday. That is when you can chant along while sitting. These two experiences are the best way to quickly feel mantra power! You will know what I mean at the end of the event. There will also be more classes in the fall that will give you the opportunity to practice, learn about, and understand the power of mantras! Stay tuned....