If you know me well enough, “quiet” is probably not the adjective you’d use to describe
me. If you go to a temple, or meditation hall, that silence can be intimidating. The more you
practice, the more you are able to spend time quietly(at least this is how it worked for me).
I WAS ONE DAY INTO BEING 27 YEARS OLD IN CHIANG MAI, THAILAND
WHEN I ATTENDED MY FIRST SILENT RETREAT.
Vipasana, it is a profound and life changing experience really. This practice asks you to be
silent for 11 days straight. To turn off all the noise, gadgets, and to go inward. The temple
I was in, was so stunning, just at the bottom, of Doi Suthep. The grounds were truly
inspiring with jungle and the view of the mountain and hundreds of plants and flowers.
We all wore white, and we all had a very strict routine. The one rule I kept breaking was
I sang when I washed my clothes, I searched hungrily for peoples
eyes to look at me, so if they would engage in chitter chatter...
I even called my boyfriend from a payphone hahahahaha. I didn’t
have a clue what I was doing. It really was so intense.
And of course, when it was over, I was a different person for it.
Even if I hadn’t spent the entire time in silence, it was the most
silent I had ever been up until that point. I realize that if you are
a single child, that maybe silence or quiet/alone time come more
naturally then to others, but for the most part of my life, my older
sister and I shared a room. My younger sister on the other hand
had her own room. I was used to chatting every night in bed,
I was used to talking to someone all the time!!!!
THE SILENT RETREAT, NOT ONLY ASKED US TO BE QUIET,
BUT IT ALSO ASKED US TO SLOW DOWN.
We altered from seated mediation to walking. Standing so that it
was intentional which leg lifted, lengthened, was placed on the
ground, your weight shifted then you did the same with the next leg.
Honestly, never in my life had I slowed down to that degree.
It was fascinating.
Since then, I have done another Vipasana in Canada. In Canada,
you really didn’t talk. The walking mediation was not part of it, and
well, so much of my life had changed from 27 years old to 34 years
old. The major change was that I was really immersed in the yoga
world. I was teaching yoga full time.
I was now in the position to ask people to be quiet when they enter
the studio. It was a major transformation for me. The silence before
class and after class it is golden. It is so generous of all of us in the
space when we offer this silence.
MANY PEOPLE DON’T HAVE SAFE, SILENT SPACES TO GO TO.
And when we pay for class what a perfect package that we hold
space for silence. Obviously, I am still loud! I’m a blabber mouth.
I love to laugh, and share stories. At Yoga Garden, we have
specifically created such a huge and gorgeous hang out area
where people can lounge around and talk, drink tea, and BE.
The actual hot room and main room are there for silent use and
practice. We can cultivate a supportive community this way.
There are lots of opportunities for you to step on your mat all month
long. We have 10 classes a day for you.
COME GET YOUR YOGA ON!
Cultivating compassion, strength and breathing consciously does
wonders for you, and those around you.
We are so excited for you to come, check out the schedule, see what
works for you, bring a friend! Sometimes the most special relationships
allow for you both to be together quietly, in silence.
MY INTENTION THIS MONTH IS TO BE SLOW.
It is very much a work in Progress. I invite you to slow down and
observe all that has already happened, and what is happening,
be it on or off your mat.
BIG AUTUMN HUGS TO YOU.
STAY WARM, COZY AND ACTIVE