Dipping into the Abyss~My Yoga training experience

Trying to get in between these thoughts and figure out how to put into words, my stay at Shoshoni…

Three weeks in the Rocky Mountains definitely puts things into perspective. Add on releasing your karma in the fire temple, meditation in sacred temples, beautiful organic meals, kind souls everywhere you turn and yoga, yoga, yoga!!

To describe in words, my experience seems almost impossible but here goes: My days began at 5am and ended between 7-7:30pm everyday, excluding the two Sundays off during the training. It was disciplined, physically demanding, emotionally trying but most of all peaceful, so peaceful. Like most humans, I have always had a strong desire for belonging, for connecting with others on a spiritual level and I found that at Shoshoni.

Just being in the presence of all these souls who are there for the same reason as you creates a very high vibration that is undeniable and I relished in it!!!

My group consisted of six amazing people from all over the world, one male and five females and two main teachers. From day one, we clicked. Our teachers even commented that they had never seen a group bond so quickly. I truly felt we were all going to be connected long after this three week training. Our schedule consisted of morning yoga and meditation, breakfast at 7am, class from 8-12, lunch at noon, class time from 1-4, a much needed break from 4-5, dinner at 5 and meditation from from 6-7:30, with an occasional study hall here and there. Some of the wonderful things to do at Shoshoni during your free time were hot tub, sauna, miles of amazing hiking trails or simply sitting in nature taking in the beauty of the Rocky Mountains. The hiking trails are beautifully groomed and marked, making it easy to find your way.

One of the hikes lands you at the Buddha Rocks (hand painted Buddha and deities on the mountain side) which in my opinion was a little slice of heaven. A place where life and all it’s problems don’t seem so big anymore, a place to reflect.

My accommodations consisted of a small hut with a twin bed and a nightstand. No electricity and no heat(I chose this purposely by the way). I wanted to unplug from the instant gratification world and dive head first into nature and being transformed. After the intense days, it was divine to retreat back to my hut and envelope myself in the stillness. I loved it!! I found it quite easy to stay in the present moment and was praying this awareness would follow me home. Before coming to Shoshoni, I had had a daily meditation practice. In my mind I had built up somewhat of an ability to quiet my mind. But as the weeks went on I was experiencing things in a whole new light.

In our training we were learning all kinds of meditations, some with mantra, some without, some guided, some silent. With consistent practice, meditation begins to peel the layers of tensions from your psyche system.

Reactions can be anything from physical cleansing to emotional breakdowns and each of us had our share of both! The Shambhava yoga I was being trained in was fantastic! Such detail on alignment, body awareness, mantra, chanting and meditation. It is “authentic yoga” and I was like a sponge, absorbing it all.  Keep in mind, I had been teaching for two years before going for this 200 hour training however, I knew I needed more. I tried from the beginning to wipe the slate clean as though I had never taught, knowing this would be to my advantage, and consequently, it was.

Swami Shambhavananda is the leader and teacher of Shoshoni, a spiritual community.   The people who live there study Shambhava yoga and kundalini meditation. They take care of the grounds, buildings, gardens, etc. These “people” are some of the best people I have ever had the privilege to know; in conclusion they are kind, welcoming, patient, loving and humble. The lineage of teachers is quite impressive such as, Rudrananda, Muktananda and Nityananda (who is a fully recognized saint in India). The teachings are authentic, which is why I chose them for my training. They are the “full monty” in the yoga world (at least for me they are).  Teachers teach from the heart, not the head. I am absolutely joyfully grateful and honored to have met and and studied with all of these amazing souls.

I have vowed to myself to continue what I learned there and practice everyday. Whether my day is a train wreck or a blissful breeze through time, I will keep up with my practice.

To my peeps at Shoshoni, thank you for the bonds of friendship and all the freaking fantastic laughs!! To my supportive husband and children who lived through three weeks without the queen of the household, I love you and thank you all. As for the one who made it all possible, well, you know who you are… you are my gift.

Until next time peeps,
Over and Out–

Lisa Shaul

Writer

Lisa is a yoga and meditation teacher, who also specializes in Reiki healing. She loves hiking, music, writing, traveling and being with family and friends. She is an honest forty something woman who speaks her own truth. She believes yoga is for absolutely ANY body and works with all different abilities to help them find their place on and off the mat.

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