Day 84

Style: Teacher Training
Teachers: Mark Laham, Louise Sattler, Todd Lavictoire
Studio: Greco

Gratitude, the most powerful energy in the known Universe? Today's teacher training was all about the energies of forgiveness and gratitude. Class began with Mark leading us through a discourse on the effect of appreciation and how that energy affects our lives. We talked about different philosophical theories, considering for a moment that "God" or "Life" or "Source" or "the Universe" or whatever you want to call it is actually an all-encompassing, impersonal electromagnetic field that responds to the vibration of thought. Our discussions were absolutely intriguing. Through years of curiosity and wondering about the bigger questions life has to offer, my own personal views have lined up more and more with concepts such as these and I found everything easy to relate to. I feel strongly that thoughts create, that you are the creator of your own reality, that a law of attraction exists and so on. Eventually we came to a point in our discussions where we paused to write down things we felt grateful for, elements of our own lives where we felt appreciation. As I centered myself and pressed my pen into my journal, letting the ink seep into the paper, I teleported inside myself. What am I honestly grateful for? I feel unbelievably grateful for a loving family and quality friends who surround me, simultaneously willing to allow and challenge me as I walk my path, seeking whatever it is that I'm after. The relationships in my life are so special, so sacred. I feel gratitude for an evolving awareness, for a deepening understanding of life. I feel appreciation for this gorgeous weather and for this gorgeous planet. I feel gratitude for the freedom of choice, for both physicality and infinity, for nature, for replenishing soil and for the magic of creation. As I picked up speed and got on a roll, I began to realize just how much I have to be grateful for. There is so much love in my life and I feel utterly blessed.

As the afternoon passed by we did more exercises about appreciation, studying and analyzing ways in which we block or diminish gratitude, its effect on our experience and ways in which we could shift our energy, allowing for more positivity. All this work led into our first practice of the day. I should have known Mark had a trick up his sleeve. The idea for this posture work was to hold various poses for extended periods of time. As we held each pose for much longer then usual, sensations would definitely arise, feelings one could label as uncomfortable or, um, painful. The goal was to create and hold on to a feeling of gratitude in these moments, to feel happy and appreciative when things began to feel unbearable. Through one challenging and extended position after another, I felt my body reacting more and more. Time bled away and stretched out in all directions. As the torment spread through my body, I reminded myself that it was nothing more then electrical signals interpreted by my brain. Okay, that didn't work so well... they still felt pretty damn real in the moment. As things got more intense, I turned inward and tried to summon feelings from deep inside. Even though it was hard at the moment and things were getting even more difficult, I locked my mind onto some fleeting fragments of appreciation. I felt thankful that my body was able to meet my demands, that I have the health and vitality to do what I'm doing. I also know that afterwards the benefits of these postures are always apparent. I started to literally thank my muscles for their hard work, thanking the struggle for its gifts, thanking my lungs for drawing in life-giving air. I thanked my connective tissue for softening, I thanked my bones for their stability. I eventually found myself thanking the pain and unbearability I was feeling and I thanked it truthfully from the bottom of my heart. The more grateful I felt, the more power and strength seemed to be given back to me. I felt newfound energy in the poses, an inner support and a confidence that I would indeed make it thorough the process unscathed. I believed in myself. In the end, as the dust settled, we all agreed that it was one of the most challenging practices of our lives, but also one of the most rewarding.

Today's training was slightly shortened because it happens to be Easter Sunday, but we used our time to the fullest. We ended the day studying the energy of forgiveness. After another lengthy and nourishing conversation, we went into a guided meditation which focused on the energy of forgiveness. The technique we used is a healing process from the Hawaiian tradition known as Ho'o Pono Pono. Awakening back into the room twenty minutes later, I felt a lightness that was hard to describe. Heading home to spend the evening with close friends and family, I felt such an intense appreciation for my life. It's simple. I felt happy.


Anonymous said...

For some reason this entry brought me close to tears. The power of forgiveness and gratitude is immense and finding the gratitude through the hard postures must have been enlightning. On and upwards jess.


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