Newsletter May 2014
Tanmayi and Sri Priya reflect on their recent trip to the heart of Satyananda Yoga in the ashrams of Munger and Rikhia, India and their experiences on the Prana Vidya course. For more info on the 2014 India retreats click here:
After four hours of bumping along through fields and villages, dodging buses, trucks, bikes, people, cows, goats, and other cars along the way, familiar landmarks began to appear: a long concrete fence, a familiar road, and then the unmistakable white buildings of the ashram at Rikhia Peeth. And I felt that 8,000 miles away from my native Baltimore I had come back home.
Back in 2010 when I made my first trip here I wondered what had possessed me. I had never really wanted to go to India. It seemed too much of a trendy thing that yogis did just to be able to say they had been. Swami Karma Karuna changed all that. She had come to Baltimore for weekend workshops a few times and won us over with the depth of her knowledge, her warmth, and her good humor. In 2009 she showed up with a slide show from one of Anahata’s India retreats and challenged us to come to her next time. Word went out: who wanted to go to India in the fall of 2010? Fifteen people signed up and I was one of them, swept up and pulled along by the group momentum, though still not sure why I was going except for a sense that my life had become too comfortable and I needed some kind of a jolt to move more deeply into my yoga practice.
Once in India the jolts came. I went not knowing what to expect but with some vague idea that since this was called a retreat, it would involve lots of leisure time for silent meditation and reflection. It was anything but. Our days were a whirlwind of scheduled activities and andI resisted them at every turn. Waking at four a.m. for pre-dawn asana class? No! Mile long walks to have lunch and dinner? No! Chopping vegetables with dull knives and cleaning toilets with no toilet bowl cleaner? No! Devoting what free time I had to taking cold showers and trudging to the roof to hang laundry? No! All that resistance drained my energy. That year I slept through most of the Prana Vidya course. I counted the days until I could leave for home and I was sure I would never return....read more
If you are interested in joining Anahata's annual India retreats, the dates for 2014 are as follows:
Mantra and Meditation 30th Sept - 4th October (Munger)
Chakra Sadhana 6th - 16th October (Rikhia)
Prana Vidya 19th - 25th October (Rikhia)
The festivals are:
Lakshmi Narayan Mahayajna 8th - 12th September (Munger)
Sat Chandi Mahayajna 22nd - 26th November (Rikhia)
Yoga Purnima 2nd - 6th December (Rikhia)
Hope to see you there! If you require more information about our annual India Retreats please contact Atmabhava
On the way to the first ashram, travelling by train, from Kolkata, I opened the curtain to see some of the following images: buffalo bathing in swampy pools of water, with a herder standing nearby with her stick; a father reaching towards his son to provide a bindi on his young boy’s forehead; people going about their early morning activities. Some homes are old buildings no longer entirely used - part tent in places. The people seem to move through life with a lyrical pattern, one where air and grace surround them with ease. People are getting by within our worldly existence. Still, in India, the people know a connectedness to the world of duality. They know that innately we are all connected. I felt it strongly in India and it will stay with me in the purest of ways. My Yoga kept me in the observation seat and I found that a large part of me fell into the rhythm and life of the country of India.
In Munger, at the Bihar School of Yoga, we watched families wash their clothes in the River Ganges, the women still carried baskets on their heads walking through the town, or while helping within the ashram. During the World Yoga Convention, I listened in a meditative state to the ancient Vedic chanters. Their songs seemed to move to a space beyond time....read more