A couple of people asked me how I felt and what I thought about my first “international” yoga retreat and workshop. I think I was still not done savoring the experience and cannot answer the question well.
First, I was so amazed at how the practice of ashtanga yoga binds people from all over the world! Swiss, Germans, Americans, Brazilian, Filipinos, Japanese, Thais, Singaporeans — all have the same practice! I cannot believe that a single man was able to influence people around the globe to take on the discipline to practice yoga!
I was mesmerized by Tiwariji. His presence was comforting, his words were encouraging and uplifting, I have not really met anyone in the past that had the same effect (maybe Fr. Reuter during my high school years). He always had a smile on his face! He looked really happy! My friend Berta says maybe that’s how enlightened people look — I might just agree with her!
It took quite some time for me to understand how four women, who were devoted to their families would leave for more than a week! What will make them do that?! The trip wasn’t about getting or running away. I believe it is about touching base with the teacher, being close to an “energy” source, finding ways to enrich the self so that there can be more to share. It was an affirmation of the person you have become. It allowed me to look back when my practice began and where it can go — how my life was before yoga, when I started yoga and yoga in my life.
Yoga is literally translated to “yoke” – a bond. I understood myself more through the practice of yoga. It allowed me to bind my whole being — weaknesses, strengths, potentials, unaccomplished goals. I opened up myself to people I would never have met if not through the practice. Yoga binds people; people close to you, people new to you, people who live far away.