not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Awake. Aware. Alive.

Hope and I, lunch break on the bay in OC Maryland

The Bay

Hope and I, after a weekend of Enlightenment!


Awake. Aware. Alive.
This is how I felt after my weekend @ the AFPA Fitness Conference.

What an amazing, enlightening weekend I had. On Thursday evening, I picked up my Yoga Instructor {of the Ocean City Fitness Center}, Hope. She is a wonderful teacher, and noticing my ever-growing passion for yoga, she invited me along to the conference. We stopped at Lucky Bones on the way for some mussels and then hopped onto the Cape May Lewes Ferry. We arrived in Ocean City, Maryland a little before 9pm. Took a dip in the hotel's pool {Princess Bayside Hotel: I would highly recommend by the way!} and then got some shut eye. The next morning our first day of classes began at 8am and wouldn't be through until 5:30 in the evening. Friday I took ... Yoga Fundamentals: Poses by Pose, Yoga I.S. For Alternative Healing, Yoga of Heart, Living Yoga & Loving It, and Yoga I.S. Primary Series Analysis. Saturday consisted of Yoga I.S. Vinyasa Mat Training, The Secrets to Sequencing in Yoga, Yoga I.S. Intention, Yoga: A Journey Into Self, and Yoga Posture Assisting Techniques. Wow. Talk about a zen weekend. We had two presenters, Lauren Eirk and Laura Warf. Lauren Eirk is a personal trainer, MAT {muscle activation technics} certified yoga instructor. She's from Kentucky and she's ripped...think Madonna from her Hard Candy album. She was pretty intense, and most of what I got out of her classes were fitness based. Laura Warf on the otherhand, a soft-spoken French Canadian, opened my eyes and heart to what YOGA truly is. Her lectures were heart-felt and sparked me to reassess my way living and thinking. She put emphasis on BREATH which is the MIND-BODY connection, and we talked about spirituality in a sense of it being what your relationship is with YOURSELF. "Yoga is a way of moving into stillness in order to experience the truth of who you are. The practice of yoga is the practice of meditation - or inner listening - in the poses and meditations, as well as all day long. It's a matter of listening inwardly for guidance all the time, and then daring enough and trusting enough to do as you are propted to do..." -- Eric Schiffman. Power of the mind was so essential in both her lectures and workshops. "Your mind is in every cell in your body" {--Bill Moyers}. Laura's WORKSHOPS were out of this world. I cried twice while practicing yoga. I just felt overwhelmed with happiness and a feeling of being alive, it surged through my fingertips all the way down to my toes. Most of the time during our yoga sessions I would go through the whole session with a smile from ear to ear, my eyes closesd, and the mantra in my head "I am ALIVE". When she would talk us through yoga and meditation, she would sometimes say "What makes you thrive? Where is your happiness" and I would get a crystal clear picture of a day I had with Pat and Ozzie in Costa Rica. The three of us were sitting on my friend Billy's porch in Dominical, having coffee and talking. This image visited me many more times over my weekend during meditation, and it made me cry once. So lucky. So happy. So thankful, for all that I have and all that I have been blessed enough to encounter. Laura would always emphasize the qualities of being FULLY PRESENT. Mindful meditation is living in that moment. She asked what our "Sva-Dharma" was {your "life purpose"}. She said What makes you feel alive inside? Are you thriving or surviving? What lifts you up? What brings you down? Life is like a garden that you must tend: plant the good and help it grow, and weed out the nonsense. Her lecture left me with a really REAL realization, thanks that I felt with my whole body and mind for: the support and love I receive from my boyfriend, clamming on the bay with my dad, family dinners at my parents house, the unconditional love from Maude {shawns black pit-lab mix}, my unique and wonderful friends in Costa Rica, and the small things which are much bigger than I give them credit for: cooking, surfing, music, writing, the beach, wine and movies!

Energy. We have it, others have it - and we have the ability to pass it from one to another. Mind. The most powerful thing that we have, with the ability to heal us, help us, and motivate us to lengths we didn't think possible. Living Yoga Daily: self-study, identify your values and priorities; be guided by them, live your passion, share your knowledge with others, make commitments to live your life fully, empower those around you to do the same. As Laura Warf says, "Awaken the DANCE". Thank you to Laura for sparking my inner "goddess" and helping me to come into the person I truly am. I hope that you all do the same.


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