A day of yoga in the Black forest
more than just a day of stretching in the open air
The clouds parted to just the perfect degree that enabled 10 of us to enjoy a day of togetherness and yoga outdoors, whilst sensibly bumping elbows in lieu of hugs.
Ralf led an intensive extensive practice in the morning, drawing together elements of asana, pranayama, meditation, and sacred sound.
I was cooking and chanting in the kitchen and was happy to notice the increasing glow and upliftment in everyones faces as they emerged from the practice.
After our hearty meal of Dhal, coconut, tofu & veggie curry, we had a walk up the hillside overlooking the valley. It started off in excited chattering but we all then agreed that we might miss it all if we continue to talk and talk, so entered into a comfortable silence, proceeding up to the top through the forest. Immediately as if in celebration of our silence, the birds sang louder and louder, and the wind and sunlight rustled encouragingly. 🐦
The afternoon began with a tiny piece of cake each ( as more yoga asanas were to come!) and a short but profound group consideration on the power of yoga to alleviate our daily tensions.
We considered the issues of physical pain, as well as mental stressors that many of us experience, and that some of us have discovered ways other than yoga asanas like flowing water, running and even jumping up and down on a trampoline… to bring us back to the present moment.
Ralf shared beautifully his experiences where opening up also to a sense of community outside of individual yoga practice; being supported and supporting others on the journey can help to bring the inner work to life and a new meaning and depth.
And what is this inner work? and why don’t we all just find a lasting sense inner peace by sitting in a river or sharing our problems with our friends
The meaning of yoga- (roughly translated as ‘union’) – feels to me like a deep process of integration through introspection. Body, mind, emotions which are not separate from the world that we live in. So it needs a different approach, a different space to be able to access our inner dimension.
Asanas (physical movements), and a time of dedication and discipline give us strength and courage as well as a healthy system which is in needed when we start to observe our deep rooted tensions and knots.
One participant shared that she has witnessed the direct impact of high mental stress on shutting down her immune system. And perhaps many of us experienced that ourselves too.
And when we start to look into our own shadows, it can feel intense and lonely – hence through the ages – a sangha or spiritual communities have come into being to support this process. Or, just as in our sharing, the feeling of sitting with friends who listen with a non-judgmental mind and an open heart.
Its not a case of spilling out our emotions and burdening each other, but more the cultivation of seeing one another through our layers, and connecting on a heart level with one another despite our quirks and baggage…
To be able to hold one another in a space of love, understanding and conviction that they are more than the sum of emotions standing there is a the work of deep compassion.
We entered the final part of the afternoon – first by chanting a mantra of remembrance and longing. Longing to know and touch the mystery of the heart which lies beyond the grips of our mind.
A meditative yin yoga session, and Om meditation left us all feeling uplifted, connected and enriched but the whole day together.
And THEN we ate a proper piece of cake each
Thanks to all who participated at that day.
There are just a few places remaining for the next yoga day in Gutach – on July 18th so please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to join us.
More details on the website somayoga-freiburg.de/workshops.
There are also a just few more mats left as we reopen, starting with yin yoga with Christina. You can book the remaining classes via www.somayoga-freiburg.de/kurse-info.
If you want to explore more with us how you can deepen your inner connect through yoga, meditation and Ayurveda, then do email us…