South East U.S.
I am embarking on my dream, inspired a few years ago, to soon: lead a yoga practice as an accredited instructor, 200 hour RYT, to help all levels of yogis, through yoga and meditation , inspired to teach a community-centered, donation-based class for all levels of experience to help those who come discover, and "shore-up" their unique path to a sense of balance, health, and inner peace in order to live a strong, calm life.
My calling, it really was so, came when I had been asking God for it, then knew it would appear before me. It was to be something that helped others as my yoga had helped me; I wanted to learn as much as possible about this practice and its' ancient history, as well as attend an accredited school if I was blessed to complete and then see if the calling indeed unfolded. I am now at that point, and it has indeed been the same inspiration for sharing how yoga and meditation helped even healed me through life's beautiful and hardest moments imaginable. It has also taught me much about myself, and strengthened my heart's desire as well as my self knowledge that there is truly thousands of years behind yoga's history, that has lead me on my path through all things, unveiling the way to continue on it my entire life.
I went to India with a group from Wilmington Yoga Center, where I am being certified as a yoga instructor, that donates money to the very orphanage where we were heading, to meet, work and play with, "our" girls. This began through the owner, now the Founder, Kristin Cooper Gulak *, learning of Homes of Hope. Mr. Paul Wilkes is the founder and happens to live in the same town as our yoga center. My "home" yoga center of practice, and where I began and am now completing my education to become an instructor, donates 5% of the money contributed to W. Y. C., through the donation-based Kunga* classes, as well as a 20% given through the actual amount paid to make the journey to India, to "our"orphanages. Now there are 7 orphanages, (there were 3 when I first moved here, and started practicing yoga at this center, 2012), as the foundation, Homes of Hope, has many supporters who have discovered this incredible cause that creates safe, clean, housing, and much more (with the Selesian nuns at "our girls" orphanage who are responsible for them at all times, and who themselves have brought many children found left on the streets, literally, into their care). What began as a visitor on a trip to India, Mr. Wilkes and his wife, witnessing the extreme poor conditions even within the walls of safety of the orphanage we contribute to, is now a Foundation that brings in millions of dollars to do the work that quickly grew, and change happened within even in the initial years. There is more support growing , which has and does provide basic shelter, which is also enhanced and added onto with new dorms for the girls, real beds and mattresses, clothing, proper dress for school, including shoes, so of course school, clean water, and more, of course enough food. The young girls who Mr. Wilkes saw sleeping on concrete floors, and a lack of everything needed to survive and thrive despite the nuns' efforts, now indeed thrive. Go to homesofhopeindia.org for more.
Now the rest of my About Me seems un-important in comparison, as I now know that one person can make a difference in the world. I have seen young Indian girls and women have a better chance if people find a way, any way, to contribute time or funds. Every one of us counts.
I am married now 35 years, with children although they are quite taller than me now, so I am doing some things to alter my independent new lifestyle without excluding my family, oh quite the opposite! My dream is to all be together and yet mutually accepted, and respected as individuals especially for my sons, young adults, one in college and one who is a graduate, now running his own website company....this way of being whole, is the dearest part of this existence next to my God and my own self.
I am honest and a yogi; I want to teach others about yoga as it was passed down through many thousands of years to others to interpret, and to follow for it will possibly lead students to a healthier, happier, and more at peace, truer person. There may be many different types of yoga brands, in the West, perhaps, yet I have been taught that Yoga is Yoga, no matter what else it may be named. We learned from a variety of incredibly educated instructors, following all of the guidelines established by the National Registry for certifying yoga instructors at all levels offered, at an accredited RYSchool.
My path to yoga and meditation began about 17 years now. I started practicing with intention and mindfulness, not really understanding initially, I only knew that it was Time for Yoga for me!
I have had stones in the path to my completing my certification, effecting how I carry out in my own practice, in my normal way! I see this as a great source for lessons, although a complicated one, I know I am learning that it brings humility, strengthens my Faith, thus also hope for my self-work will bring positive results, and compassion for others as well. I believe this carries over into my life through all venues, on the mat as I practice, and off the mat into my daily life.
I am working through it, and wanted to journal as well as use my blog site to communicate with others about different subjects as they arise.
After an injury, a fall, I was first working with my P. T. primarily on my shoulder as it took the brunt of the fall, no breaks obvious on x-ray nor torn parts, rather the shoulder joint is a very complex area with many many attachments that keep our socket joint together. I injured some and to the point of a lot of pain, that even woke me during the night. Eventually I had a customized home yoga practice to work through, and was about ready at one point a few months ago to return to my practice in my school/studio.
Another part of the lesson: the new stone in my path. My back is my new challenge, as discs are acting up and preventing me from doing many things, especially my yoga practice. Yoga is the actual physical activity that will help me stay strong, keep my spine from damage, as it strengthens almost every muscle and connections like our tendons, ligaments and vital nervous system are better-protected if one practices yoga, following qualified and dedicated instructors, with one's own positive intention , and commitment to their daily practice.
It is vital to start learning in a practice that will demonstrate and encourage all levels , including beginners, to move into a pose, or asana, keeping in mind the number one "rule" we follow: Ahimsa, which is a Sanskrit word, for "non harming". This becomes a basic guide for anyone who is just beginning to learn, and is always our guide as all levels of experienced yogis. As one is moving into a pose that creates pain is missing the opportunity to rather move w/ intention, practicing Ahimsa, to reach for your edge, stopping short of any symptom of pain, and being in that moment of knowing one's body and mind. There are always various alternative ways to create a posture to be comfortable and still achieve the benefits in the asana presented. We keep in mind that yoga is 5 thousand years old, translated from the ancients and Sanskit, into other languages including English, which we studied through writings including primarily The Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali, A New Translation and Commentary, by Georg Feuerstein. Along with the ones who practiced yoga primarily in India, China, and other Eastern countries for centuries, we are now learning in the Western culture how to maintain the form of its origins and respect yoga as it was intended to be.
I am very respectful of learning patience, how to handle pain, movement, depression (it comes with the territory but is not necessary for it to be permanent), all of which as I have witnessed in the past, increase my gratitude for what I am able to do each day. I also re-visit how blessed I am now daily, and vow to meditate and pray more as well as practice healing myself, loving myself, and sending this out to others and into the Universe.
God is ever-present, my Faith guides me , rooted through my life with my parents and siblings in our church where we truly were workers of service, and much more as my Dad was always active, living his life both on and off the church premises. It was with him at home ,and as a healing, beloved M. D., who died when we were young, far before his time. he was an Elder, Deacon and a well-known leader in our home church. He also kept the 3 of us kids in touch despite house calls, late-night emergencies, as young ones, with God. I remember how his book of religious stories written for children was shared once a week, together, as a family. That takes such a dedicated person , knowing the gentle ways for us to also find our strength in our Faith. It has lead me to a stronger spirituality and Faith, Christian yet I accept all religions as under one God who one day, we will better understand how this comes together. I could not imagine life or even a day without Faith.
I know we all will face loss, grief, pain, suffering even when there is hope to not suffer. The answer is always to move forward, even while in grief, though I know very well one must also pay attention, listen for answers through God, and to do the work required along this path in order to move on.
I still am able to sail as long as not in the open ocean. The rough waters are too challenging for my spine and I know that like riding a horse, I am choosing not to take that risk of further damaging my back.
I also love scuba and am certified; I know that once in the water, someone could help me secure my air tank rather than even attempting to carry anything heavier than ten pounds. This is difficult for me, as I am an active person.
My latest project for the environment and animals, sea creatures, insects, birds, and butterflies, is to turn my yard(s) into safe and healthy habitats. The NWF certifies such gardens, and I await my little flag to hang within my garden saying I have fulfilled the necessary requirements to achieve this goal. I never have used chemicals as we lived on our own farm raising our children, and had a well, so knew that whatever goes into the ground may go into our well and also others'. Our farm we still keep, is within a close distance of a huge reservoir that is the source of drinking water for nearby towns and cities; our land is precious to me. I am aware in a personal way, of how we impact our environment, water soil air.
Now that we are living on an island, near the ocean, in a coastal town that lesson about how we live effects our surrounding area is even larger. It has expanded to the ocean, and beyond.