Off the Mat into the World, Philosophy, Practice of Yoga-Uniting, Self Realization, Spirituality, Travel, Uncategorized

Traveling Yogini Adventures Final Part- Integration

It’s been seven months since I returned from my trip and I am finally getting a chance to sit down and write a post, after much needed time of reflection, integration of what was experienced and learned.

I recently have been reminded on how shocking changes can be to the body. Changes in seasons, environment, weather, diet, even changes in relationships can shock the whole body even when we think we may be ready for the change, the body may not be. It may take time for the energy and the physical body to adjust.

When we decided to travel we are leaving the security of a stable home where we have roots to go explore the world and that sense of stability, security safety gets lost. When we travel abroad we can literately be up-rooting ourselves in our root chakra, creating imbalances in our energy body and symptoms in the physical body.  As some of you may have learned from my restorative yoga classes, when we are being fully supported in a posture we can really let go and relax. Well that goes the same for all things in life. If we feel like we are grounded and being supported we can more easily let go, relax, and go with the flow of the present moment. When we travel alone we may not have support of the community, of the environment, or friends or family, and the only one to turn too is the self and maybe the people we meet along the way. When we go more within we can find that empowering support that is needed, to become more grounded. Meditation, chanting using a mantra helped me tremendously on my trip to India. Its remembering to remember to use it is the difficult part. Other travelers that I met have said that I was brave to be traveling alone in India. To me traveling alone wasn’t scary at all. Perhaps though if I did have someone to travel with then maybe I would have felt a little more secure, safe and supported and more grounded and may not  have gotten sick in India. It all  happened the way it was suppose too, for these valuable lessons to be learned.

When we travel the opportunities for growth are endless. We may do things we never did before, we go out of comfort zone, go into fears, and growing every time we do so. When we can be comfortable in the uncomfortable, then we know we have grown and we have really made a change in our patterns. Perhaps we have a pattern of running away or avoiding what’s scary or uncomfortable. We may avoid looking within ourselves in our thoughts, perceptions and beliefs that are bringing on this uncomfortable or scary feeling. We may blame the outside world for what we are feeling instead of taking responsibility for our own feelings. What if we stopped avoiding the uncomfortable or scary and go right into it, then transformed it into something empowering? That’s when we can bring a sense of peace and strength into the uncomfortable situations or feelings.

Rock climbing and riding a moped were just some of the activities on this trip where I was able to go out of my comfort zone into my fears and felt stronger more empowered afterwards. I never thought an activity like rock climbing would be so powerful. At first it really is a mind game. Thoughts of falling, being high up, not being strong enough or whatever the fears you have just rise to the surface. Focusing on the breath, being present while taking the next step up I turned those fears into empowerment and confidence. Getting to the top and letting go, trusting in my gear and climbing friends is like letting go and surrendering to the present moment. Trusting that everything is occurring the way it’s suppose to. At the top I hung there and spun my self around, and how beautiful the view was from this state of being, so much gratitude. As I gently pushed into the rock, as I descended, and my feet hit the platform I felt so alive, very connected to the earth, grounded and centered.

I would have to say that 2012 for me has been all about becoming more aware of the victim energy and transforming it into something positive or empowering, by being at choice. As some of you know from my yoga classes that we do have choice if we want to be the victim, or if we want to be the lion the king of our own lives. Lions breath is a exercise we do in my class to evoke the courageous lion energy to be the king of our own lives, instead of being the prey or the victim. We do have choice on how we want to feel, to react, and to act and being in the present moment we can choose more easily without suffering or harm to ourselves or others. When we are projecting in the past or the future though its more difficult to be a mindful chooser.

I suppose in order to know what its like to be an empowered lion we also need to feel what its like to be the victim or the prey. Often times though we get stuck in the victim energy and its hard to get out to empower ourselves. This society rewards us for being a victim in so many ways its too long to list. We may get sympathy, attention, advice, help, money, fame, gifts, and what we think is love and caring. We are also a society of caregivers to those victims or those who are suffering. We try our best to care for our children, the sick, elderly, poor, trauma affected. At what point does the victim become empowered enough to say NO to suffering and start to take responsibility for what they are feeling and choose something different? At what point does a caregiver stop and hand the responsibility over to empower them to be the king of there own lives? This might be a topic for another blog entry.

On this trip, I saw the victim and the caregiver within myself, in the environment, and in the people that I met.  My dear friend Mark had a nasty fall while rock climbing in Thailand and shattered his cervical vertebrate but his attitude about it was truly empowering and inspiring. I am sure he had moments of suffering but he didn’t let the victim energy take over him and has recovered with so much wisdom and grace. Thanks for being an inspiration Mark.

I also felt the extreme. I felt what it was like for the victim energy to take over. When connecting to Julie’s energy in April, I felt all the physical emotional pain, despair and the feeling the only way out of the pain, is to give up. Only if I would have gotten a hold of her, maybe I could have helped, I thought. Even if we don’t want to admit it, it all happened perfectly and the way suppose to. Everyone that got to spend time with her was touched by her light, learned something, even from her passing. I thank you Julie for helping me with some important lessons. I often dedicate my classes to you, because I know how much you loved them. Even when someone is half way across the world we can still connect with there energy and feel them, we are energy spirits living this human experience. Even though someone we love drops there body, and goes into a different dimension, we can still connect with there energy if we want to.

In India, I saw extreme poverty, pollution, segregation. I saw that as spiritual as the people were in India that they were not respecting and in-tuned with the Earth and eachother. Going to a country like India does make you see your own country differently, it brought much gratitude for the USA after this trip. I am grateful for the laws that we have that keep us safe and our environment clean. We may complain about the traffic laws o laws in general but its those laws are there for a reason to keeps us safe. I also remembered history of the USA on how we were once like India, with its segregation of women and race, how we polluted in the name of progress, how many of us still are fighting for survival in poverty.  Over time the USA had progressed in becoming cleaner and more aware of pollution prevention and cleanup. We still have a long way to go to really learn how to live with in harmony with the earth, its seasons, its resources that will not harm. Over time the USA has come a long way from being divided by sex or race to accepting eachother as people. We went through these growing pains like a lot of countries do after receiving there independence from another country.

So would I travel abroad again, yes I would there is too much growth potential. I am not sure if I would go to India again, alone and if I would go to the same areas that I already went too. Thailand was amazing and would go back again, if I am not feeling drawn to going someone where else. I am feeling drawn to go to South America next. I think I will stay grounded here in Buffalo NY for awhile though.

3 thoughts on “Traveling Yogini Adventures Final Part- Integration”

  1. I’m Julie’s mom Helen and would like to contact you for more info on your time together.

    1. Hi Helen, I am so glad you contacted me. I have been wanting to reach out your family for quite some time and didnt know how to reach you. I would love to talk with you more. I had sent you an email with some photos that i think you will enjoy. Hope to hear from you soon! Namaste

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