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Flowing like a River

Updated: Nov 17, 2018




My time at the ashram approached in an unexpected way. This wasn’t a place I thought I would ever end up. Not for any particular reason, it just never came up in my first 24 years of life. I was raised in a Christian home with relaxed values but always had come to know God as vengeful, spiteful and “judgy”. My experiences with yoga and meditation were few and far between. Some YMCA yoga-pilates fusion classes years ago and an ignored worksheet on “mindfulness” practices through my university therapist’s office but that was it.

My experiences with yoga and meditation were few and far between. Some YMCA yoga-pilates fusion classes years ago and an ignored worksheet on “mindfulness” practices through my university therapist’s office but that was it.

My mind was a busy one, creating concepts and ideas that became repetitive, obsessive and often self-destructive - some might call it psychosis but I sometimes called it mania, many different words for much of the same scary and overwhelming thing. From this place, I lacked the perception of any space or distance between one thought and the next, between material reality and the other versions. My awareness became hyper obsessed with specific concepts and this drove me into what I would now call a spiritual crisis - my soul so buried by a myriad of conditioning and negative patterns and habits. Upon a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder and a doctors write-off to ever be able to exist without proper medication, I was told one day to google “shamanism and mental health”, which changed the course of my life. I lacked the perception of any space or distance between one thought and the next. Through a beautiful intertwining of webs of universal chance and friendship, I was directed to inquire about the ashram. Upon doing so and making the commitment, things felt scary but they felt as though I was being pushed down a river. There was no control over where the river might lead me but I had trust that I would be safe floating down it and enjoying the view along the way. I had spent so long trying to control my life, this was the first time things had gotten so bad in my own space that I completely surrendered to what might happen next.


I became aware of something that had existed all along, around me and inside of me, becoming awakened.


Upon arriving at the Ashram and settling in for my first stay as a Karma Yogi, I became aware of something that had existed all along, around me and inside of me, becoming awakened. The knowledge shared there through various teachers, practicing teachers and visitors offer a vast landscape of sharing - the opportunity to delve deep within a community and learn about each individual and what they can teach you. Anuttara Yoga offers a wealth of knowledge in the Yogic sciences, taught through an authentic traditional lineage. The Westernized version of “yoga”, the quick and rushed sequences, the focus on physical fitness has never sat right with me - it felt as though there was always something missing. My experience with Anuttara was more than learning yoga poses- I was offered a new chance at life - the opportunity to breathe within each space of myself I hadn’t met for years, to sit with myself in noble silence and to have gratitude for each moment -  something it felt I hadn’t done since I was a small child.


My experience with Anuttara was more than learning yoga poses- I was offered a new chance at life - the opportunity to breathe within each space of myself I hadn’t met for years, to sit with myself in noble silence and to have gratitude for each moment - something it felt I hadn’t done since I was a small child.

The joy came back, the wonder and the spontaneity. The existence of this space is such a beautiful opportunity to live in a yogic community - with like-minded people who are travelling, volunteering, working, learning, living, floating, anything - really.

It has been approximately 3 years since my first visit to Anuttara Ashram, since then, I have visited another two times - welcomed always with warm arms dedicated to the service of Spirit and Love, ready to hold space for what you need, whether it be to teach, to learn, to listen, to share, to spend time with and to laugh. The energy that emanates from a place like this is more than relaxing or positive. It is in itself, a sacred and powerful space. Sacred in your experience of it and all it encompasses. The kind Spirits who walk through it’s old-growth forest, the animals who bless the great Nass river, the babbling creek which rushes through, the life of this space - it is TRULY an oasis, here to hold you to heal, to play, to work, to live, to nourish it and to learn from it. There is a real connection here - it will call your soul home and wake you up to all that you are capable of.



...it is TRULY an oasis, here to hold you to heal, to play, to work, to live, to nourish it and to learn from it. There is a real connection here - it will call your soul home and wake you up to all that you are capable of.

I am so grateful this path has been interwoven with Anuttara’s, I foresee a beautiful relationship with that space and the people who call it home, always and I will devote my life’s work to holding space for others to discover it and the teachings that come through, in whichever way that fits for them. My life has shifted in many ways since spending more time at the ashram - I am finding reasons everyday to cultivate gratitude, to foster positivity in my thoughts and actions and to continue to find Truth through a regular yoga and meditation practice and giving appreciation for the Sacred which surrounds me. The ashram gave me more than practical tools to walk away with, they gave me a family and the opportunity to cultivate a life I am proud of. I am forever grateful I took the leap of faith years ago to surrender and show up to this place. My life has blossomed in the most beautiful and harmonious way since. I no longer fear this scary version of God I had cultivated out of religious experience, for I have found Her in everything and everyone. Formless in essence and always holding us, grounded and strong.

My life has blossomed in the most beautiful and harmonious way since. I no longer fear this scary version of God I had cultivated out of religious experience, for I have found Her in everything and everyone. Formless in essence and always holding us, grounded and strong.

If you are feeling drawn to spend time in a space like Anuttara, or the space is calling you in anyway - listen to the heart and go if you are able. It is ready to hold space for you so long as you hold space for it <3

Blessed be each and every one of you.

Namaste.

Syd



Nass Valley, BC, Canada
250-999-9182

 anuttarayoga@gmail.com

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