Newsletter May 2011
In March 2010, Swami Muktidharma visited South Africa, sharing successful programs and inspiration. After he returned to Anahata and began to share stories from his trip, his face and voice gave away what an amazing and powerful experience the trip had been. Writing up this interview, I think that in the same way that negativity can feed on itself and drag you down in a vicious circle, positivity can bring everyone up in an uplifting spiral. And I think how lucky we are that Swami Muktidharma finds his inspiration by inspiring others.
Q: Why did you decide to go to South Africa?
Swami Muktidharma: Every year I would see Swami Kamalavidya in Rikhia and she kept inviting me. Finally I said okay, I am coming. This was my first visit to South Africa. They organized a very nice program for me in Johannesburg, and Chaitanyananda and Sangeetananda also invited me to Cape Town.
Q: Tell us about the program you did with the children from Soweto.
SM: There was a havan and meal at Swami Kamalavidya’s house. Her home in Johannesburg is very beautiful. And I went to Soweto, a very poor and dangerous area. I went there and did a program – Nada Yoga and kirtan – with children aged 7 to 16. And then we played a game where I was drumming and they were dancing, and then the drumming stops and they freeze their positions – for over an hour I was drumming, drumming and they were dancing, dancing...
And the havan was a very powerful experience with these children who have suffered so much. During the havan, chanting the Mahamrityunjaya mantra, I felt a hand on my shoulder and I looked back and the girl behind me was looking at me asking is this ok and I said yes, of course and then I realized that the children have made a chain with a hand on the shoulder in front of them, connecting themselves to each other and to the havan through me. They understood instinctively the transmission of energy and the power of the healing mantra and the fire ceremony. Very strong.
Q: How was Cape Town?
SM: A very beautiful city. Chaitanyananda and Sangeetananda took very good care of me. We went to Cape Point where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet – one warm and one cold – and you can see the different colours of the water. We also went to Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. And the meditations - chidakash dharana, hridayakash dharana, and dahara dharana meditations – were clearly enjoyed by the yoga students and yoga teachers who were there.
Q: What else stands out for you?
SM: The Zulu dancers – my God. So amazing and relaxed in their movements. And their energy and ability to make music on their bodies! I was also taken to a show – Umoja! – a story of South Africa. The performers on stage were so relaxed and so free. I felt such a strong connection in my body I wanted to go up and join them on stage! We also went to the animal reserve – and I was taking so many pictures with my Blackberry from the window of the car.
Q: How was your program received?
SM: The inspiration was very strong. Devangi, who helped to organize my visit there and who is now at Anahata, said she felt the inspiration and that it was like Swami Satyananda was there with me! Satyananda Yoga South Africa is really doing some very good work there.
Q: You would go back then I take it?
SM: Yes. Definitely. I plan to go back very soon. I discovered a very deep connection to Africa.
In May 2010 Swami Muktidharma began his travels in Barcelona, Spain. He then spent nearly three months giving lectures and yoga seminars on Satyananda Yoga in eight different countries throughout Europe, with a stop in Vancouver, Canada on his way back to New Zealand.
One of the highlights of his tour was joining Swami Satsangi at her international symposium in Brittany, France, where she discussed the theme of “Ecorituality”, or the science of yoga and ecology, for an audience of 200 people. Swami Satsangi explained the subtle connection between the individual, the outside world, and the cosmos or Mother Nature.
Swami Karma Karuna and Atma Sundari joined Swami Muktidharma in Mallorca, Spain, sharing their knowledge and experience of yoga. Swami Karma Karuna presented a workshop on Yoga for Women to 20 participants, and Atma Sundari was busy throughout the weekend giving yoga classes to local children. As Swami Karma Karuna and Atma Sundari continued on to tour several locations in the US, Swami Muktidharma continued his tour in Europe, finishing in Sofia, Bulgaria, where 180 people came to learn about the theoretical aspects of prana and to participate in the practices of Prana Vidya, as well as satsang, havan and kirtan. From Prana Vidya and meditation techniques, to the science of mantras and Nada Yoga, Swami Muktidharma shared a blend of inspirational stories and scientific explanations.
From June to August 2011, Swami Muktidharma will again be touring Canada and Europe. With his depth of experience he is able to present on a wide range of topics based on the needs of each location, including Yoga and Ecology, Chakras and the Human Personality, The Art of Living and Dying with Yoga, and The Science of Mantra. In Bulgaria he will be following up last year’s workshop with an advanced Prana Vidya workshop. This year in Canada he will be returning to both Vancouver and Toronto, and will again have several stops in Germany and Spain, as well as adding the cosmopolitan city of Zurich in Switzerland. In addition, as the Satyananda Yoga presence and interest has been growing rapidly in Eastern Europe, this year he will be touring Romania. Details of Swami Muktidharma's 2011 tour is posted on our website.
Swami Karma Karuna and Atma Sundari will be touring the US and Canada in June, with topics including The Joy of Being, Prana & Pranayama, Honouring the Fire Within celebrating the summer solstice, and in Canada Nurturing Positivity. Atma Sundari will be offering her always popular Yoga for Kidz by Kidz classes. For details of the tour take a look at our website.
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