Suncokret's 2017 Visiting Teacher Blog Series, Part 1
I am sitting on my bed overlooking the huge trees surrounding the Hindu temple in the wonderful Chinmaya Ashram in India (Kerala) just some days before my Advanced Yoga Teacher Training starts. Sometimes I wonder why I always come back here, every year I feel the need, the urge to come back “home”.
Home to India, where the air is full of Prana, the people still believe in something, where the spirituality is tangible and the atmosphere is charged with an intense amount of energy. You can feel it, the energy, and it has an instant effect on my whole being. I start breathing slower, walking slower, perceiving everything around me; I feel all the elements surrounding me, I feel myself again. I am home.
The same happens when I arrive in Croatia to teach my wonderful Yoga Retreat weeks at Suncokret Body & Soul Retreat. Then I feel so blessed to teach Yoga at amazing, stunning and special places, to introduce new ideas and topics to the retreat participants. At Suncokret, I find there is plenty of time to get connected to nature and to all the wonderful people I meet on retreat.
Where was I for the last few months? Was I just working and functioning on autopilot? And why do I feel the need to travel and combine my Yoga training and teaching with it? So many questions cross through my mind...
Every year I need to work hard to make time for some time-out - these one or two months away from home. I need to find a substitute for all my adult and children’s Yoga classes; a lot of organizational effort is involved. Many of my Graphic Design clients panic about my being away for such a long time, although I tell them all in advance that I go to India every year in February or March…
And every year I rent out my apartment during my time abroad, which also involves a lot of time and effort. Funny enough, for the last two years, I’ve always rented it out to Indian couples. It its like somehow I am helping them to get settled and find a home in Germany, and they are helping me to get back to my core and come back home and to myself in India in order to refresh my knowledge and get new impulses for teaching.
Renting house is like moving house every year: you empty your cupboards, you look at everything twice. Do I still need that? Is that still necessary for me? And then you find yourself with loads and loads of boxes marked “fleemarket,” “donations,” “friends,” and so on.
Like this, I empty my life, bit by bit, from the things I do not need any longer. A wise person once said, “a hiker only needs what he can carry.” And that is what I feel like. Emptying my apartment and myself from loads and loads of old deposits.
Is that the reason why I travel so much? Why am I taking my Yoga courses mainly in India? And how is travelling influencing my Yoga practice and teaching? Am I getting prepared for something? Maybe, subconsciously, it is just that.
Every year coming back to India - and that stands for all the travels I do throughout the year - is like pressing the reset button of my computer.
Travelling brings me back to zero, back to my starting point, back to my every day Sadhana, back to myself.
I admire people who get on their yoga mat every day doing their Asanas and meditation, their daily practice. They seem to have an inherant Tapas, or discipline, that helps them keep up effortlessly.
When I return back from India, I have that Tapas, too; I am reset, doing Meditation every morning, taking my time to get reconnected to my source. I feel connected.
And then, as they year passes and as life kicks in each day, I find myself getting lazy with my Sadhana, doing my daily Chakra cleanings while on the train on my way to work or just before a Yoga class, in a less focused and disciplined way.
It is as if, by the end of each year, I am just functioning, like on some kind of auto-pilot, not living my life consciously. But I know that this will change again with my next journey to India (or next travels to a warm, sunny and spiritual place like Suncokret).
And so Yoga and travelling help me to get reconnected.
By being in beautiful nature, when I can feel and see the sunrise through the window of my bedroom, I feel the instant wish to get up early, lay out my Yoga mat and get started.
In such places it just makes so much sense to sing the Surya Namaskar Mantra, thanking father sun for his light and energy, and to do a wonderful Pranayama out in the fresh air. And doing meditation at the beach is just amazing! And that is what I take back into every day life, images of singing the sun mantra with my closed eyes, visualizing the rising sun, feeling the warmth on my skin and listening to the sound of waves rolling yet again and again.... All this I bring back with me into my classes and to my Yoga students, too.
My students benefit from my experiences, from the new and inspiring lessons I have learned, they profit from the wonderful teachers I have met on my travels and the new influences flowing into my own Yoga practice and classes.
So my life is a curve, a spiritual curve, from the more connected days to the less, but in the end it always swings back to the right measure, thanks to my time abroad.
And the curves get less steep, more balanced and less like too high or too low, as this is what life brings with, that is how life goes. It is polarity, it is ups and downs but with Yoga the waves get less troublesome.
We can encounter the depths better, look at them consciously, standing back like a witness and observe what is coming up. Yoga helps us to enjoy the highs in a better way, to be aware and grateful for the beautiful days in our lives.
Check out Daniela's upcoming events:
1 - 17 June, 2017
Divine Yoga - Journey to the God-dess Within
18-24 June, 2017
Inner Beauty Blossoming with Yoga & Nature - a yoga summer solstice event
25 June - 01 July, 2017
Yoga & Creativity - Unleash Your Creative Potential
Learn more about Daniela in our 2016 and 2015 blog interviews!
Return to the 2017 Visiting Teacher Blog Series Introduction page and menu.