There are some moments in life, when you can feel the heart blossoming to the Divine. Certainly, the greatest wish for most beings is for this feeling of bliss to last forever. Through spiritual practices we strive for that bliss and extend to achieve it.
Having practiced many styles of yoga for many years, I have learned that there is no end. Its an ongoing journey in which one is always a beginner.
My journey with yoga began with a very soft style. Eventually this led me on a quest for something more active to balance out my practice. This quest led me through many styles. Certainly I was working the body, but there was a lingering feeling that something was missing. Imagine being hungry and eating as many of the best Dosas and Veg burgers you could and still not feeling full or satisfied at all. This was my state. Finally, I began to realize that the missing ingredient was DEVOTION and a more heart-centered practice.
The “sequence”, that we learned in the Amrita Yoga Beginners Retreat at Amritapuri, India is based completely on devotion. Every action, every breath was full of devotion. Each asana was a direct expression from the heart and provided a deep experience of the heart.
At the beginning of the four days retreat, I was really struggling and saying to myself, “Oh God, I hope these four days pass quickly.” It felt so slow and boring, it was not physically challenging compared to what I was used to. But I pressed myself to keep a ‘Beginners Mind’ and tried to be content and attentive. After the 2nd day, there was something going on inside of me. I was feeling kind of sad and unhappy. Questions arose in my mind like, “what am I doing here,” “what am I doing in this world?”
While this little reflection was going on, my connection with Amma seemed like a distorted phone call that was gradually becoming clearer. Somehow, sorrow was bringing me closer to Her and I was enjoying it. I could feel Amma’s presence so much in me like never before. It was like Amma was spreading Her love and light through each cell and making every breath, every asana a prayer, an offering in my journey and search for truth.
While practicing the whole sequence on the last day, tears began flowing drop by drop from my eyes. There was no need to stop myself from crying. I was just enjoying the ride, the joy and the bliss unfolding towards Divinity around me and inside me.
I offer my humble gratitute for having taken this Amrita Yoga Retreat which allowed me to discover so much internally and externally.
From the Retreat Participants – September 9-13, 2014:
As a beginner, I learned a lot about myself. With the opportunity to go deeper within to find my strength and with the loving guidance of the instructors, I was able to reach my personal best. I have never been a keen meditator, but Amrita Yoga has helped me to love and look forward to meditation. – Seema Dwivedi
I found Amrita Yoga a ‘real, true practice of yoga’. I found it very devotional and at the same time it gave me a feeling of deep peace and happiness. Thanks to the instructors who teach this in a traditional way. – Anurati
I registered for this course to achieve fitness through yoga as I do in Japan. I got a totally different experience. I gained so much for the mind along with the physical aspect. I finally understand yoga a little more. It gave me a whole new idea and understanding of the purpose of yoga. – Sera
Author: Sugata Duygu Akartuna