The Shiva Shakti Yoga workshop from the 7th to 11th of January 2015, Amritapuri, India was a therapeutic retreat open to a diverse range of people, from their early twenties to their late seventies.
Amrita Therapeutics focuses on linking movement to deep, rhythmic breathing with an emphasis on relaxation techniques. It is an inherently holistic approach, simultaneously working on the different layers of the body, mind and awareness.
The yoga postures melt away physical and mental tension and deeply relax the mind and body as they move towards balance and inner rhythm, offering benefits to both body and mind.
“Surrender” was one of the several themes chosen by our teacher, Brahmacharini Shobhana, in the 5-Day workshop. Bri Shobhana quoted from Amma:
“Surrender and living in the present are one and the same. Surrendering to a real Master is surrendering to the whole of Life-existence.”
Elisabeth Laschinger from Germany said: “Indescribable—a deep surrendering was happening.” Also, while the teacher was reciting the mantras and slokas from the scriptures as students were doing yoga postures, she was going deeper into her very being. It was a rare and precious experience and left her with a feeling of quietness and gratitude.
Elizabeth also said that, when Bri Shobhana related a personal story of forgiveness by Amma, she so identified herself with the story that she cried. Elizabeth was responding from her heart centre, which is what Amrita Yoga aims to cultivate.
In fact, many who experienced the workshop described an opening or as Katarina Stanisavijevic Tapasya from the USA said, “It was deeply healing. Something opened up in my heart. The therapeutic yoga brought forth clarity from within. The mantras created a sacred space within.”
Walter Kaspar Sridev from Austria was left in wonder at the level of healing he experienced in the state of relaxation through this yoga workshop. “I came to realize that I was using my body as an instrument to long for God.” He felt an authentic call to the Divine positively resonating within. Sri Dev said that hearing the Sanskrit poetry about surrender at the same time as we were twisting our legs and arms brought tears to his eyes.
Anne Engler Mahima said, “I experience this yoga as a prayer to look into my heart, to have a deeper and deeper connection and realize the profound peace within.”
Susanne Grad Susilla said, “I now stand differently, walk differently and have more strength. Two different people approached me to tell me that I was standing differently, walking differently and that I appeared stronger. They told me that I had inspired them to do the workshop in seeing the difference in me.”
Many commented on the power of reciting the slokas and mantras and also the synergy created through the power of the group chanting of veda mantras and Ma Om that accompanied the breathing instructions of the postures.
Everyone loved the use of mudras. The Abhaya mudra, a gesture of protection, where the right hand is brought forward in a raised position evoked in many the desire to protect others and Mother Nature as well. The Varada mudra with the left hand in a gesture of giving, or granting a boon, was also powerful.
Lilia Lizeth Duran Nevarz from Mexico said that the yoga classes she had attended in Mexico were more like physical exercise classes and she now realized what it was like to be taught yoga as a spiritual experience through taking this Amrita Yoga 5-Day Therapeutic Workshop.
Pushpa, a long term devotee from Finland, shared her experience too. “Many years ago I learned Iyengar yoga that taught me perfect alignment in yogasanas and how to use the mind to go beyond the limitations of the body. But, I did not learn how to uproot the deeply rooted pain in the thoracic spine that I already knew had something to do with fear. Approaching this fear and other tensions was beautifully made possible through the 5-Day Shiva Shakti Therapeutic Workshop at Amritapuri. Integrating yogasanas with values like acceptance, patience, unity and compassion, along with the help of veda mantras, mudras and visualization, was a powerful experience. In that gentle, loving space we created, letting go became a beautiful dance.” Pushpa is also pointing at some subtle aspect of the practice, giving her some deeper insight into herself and her own healing.
I have done some more retreats at Amrita Yoga, Amritapuri and had experienced huge benefits. I have a significant scoliosis that Amrita Yoga’s approach feels the best thing to do correct. A realized Master like Amma will definitely help you to experience the things that you truly need to. I am infinitely grateful to Her.