Why is it important to keep play alive? Bringing play into our lives keeps us young. We are transported back to that place in our childhood where we were present to the mystery and joy of life. We are removed from our busy agenda and released into being with the game at hand. By creating space for play in our lives we stimulate qualities of youthfulness, creativity, curiosity, trust and joy. Seeing life as a play is empowering as we learn to be fearless and strive for those dreams we all have of harmony and connection.
Every time we teach I am reminded how valuable this practice is for everyone. We aim to create a safe container for play, trust, contact, communication, and sharing loving kindness. Each class is completely different based on who shows up and what they bring to the group. Here is some feedback from our last playshop in Chico that sums it up well:
"...so energized by the workshop. It awakened something in me that I want to nourish and explore. I layed in bed and felt the moon on my face in a new way..I couldnt sleep..I was awakened and full of joy. Thank you and Alok for sharing this beautiful way of being and coming together. My heart is expanded. I want to share it with everyone I know. "
If you have never heard of Pilobolus check out this beautiful performance! Worth watching how smooth and controlled movements can be. Very inspiring.
As we enter the new season, in balance between summer and fall, the new moon enters Libra a day after the equinox (Sept. 23rd). Equal day and night as we head toward the harvest season when the fruits of the earth are celebrated. Quite a convergence with Libra representing the scales and the autumnal equinox.
How to find balance in life? Balance between work and play; effort and surrender; strength and flexibility.
“Enlist this Equinox/New Moon portal with honoring and ceremony, at the least a private review of where you have been and where you now want to head. Present your open heart and your intentions to the invisible world, so it may align and serve the divine manifestation that you are.”
A simple lighting of a candle with some tratak (candle gazing) will quiet the mind enough to be able to listen to your heart - the true energetic center of the body. The heart is 100,000 times electrically stronger and 5,000 times magnetically stronger than the brain. The heart is the center of intuition, compassion and loving-kindness. Tune in.
Ahhhh....Big Sur. Always a treat! Ancient redwoods, steep canyons, endless wildflowers, the refreshing Big Sur river and of course Sykes hot springs. This place is one of my favorite and one of the few I will come back to consistently. Having the privilege to facilitate Contact Yoga here was very inspiring and fulfilling. Dancing with the elements and guided by the breeze. The sacred waters here nourish our being and wash away thoughts of separateness. Exchanging breath with the trees and plants I feel completely content. Time slows to a pace where there is ease and creative energy flows. Much gratitude and thanks for all the beings that made this trip possible!
Waking up to the sunrise each morning is a blessed feeling. The ocean waves our constant soundtrack. Watching dolphins surf as the pelicans skim the crest of the wave in perfect unison. There is an underlying harmony beyond thought where nature sings.
Baby golfina turtles (olive ridleys) are in their peak hatching period right now. We and the guests have the very fortunate role of bringing the newly hatched babies down the shoreline where they bravely march towards the vast ocean. Once swept up a wave, they paddle with the strong determination that flows from the wisdom of their ancestral intuition. WIthout such focus, they would surely be pushed back to shore. Each time it is a joy and an honor to witness their initiation into the ocean.
What beauty is left after the flesh is gone? The sharp outline of bones that supported this adult Golfina turtle to traverse thousands of miles in its long lifetime. A strong shell whose contours and patterns contain the adventures, tragedies, and joys of a lifetime at sea. The cool, clean bones whisper the stories softly now as the remnants of this turtle's life are slowly composted back to the earth. The cycles of life remind us how precious each breath is.
After traveling in the high mountains of Mexico it was such a treat to finally arrive at Plava Viva on the Pacific coast of Mexico. Feeling the tropical breeze off the ocean made us feel at home in our skin.
With a secluded beach at our doorstep and the ocean waves our constant soundtrack, we settled quickly into a content and peaceful state. Knowing that we will be here for the next two months brought up in us the pure child-like delight. Here one can really feel the pura vida and disconnect to reconnect. The land is a turtle sanctuary and the only other people on the beach are local fisherman.
Morning stretching on the beach with the sand between our toes.
The coast is facing south, so that we see the sunrise and set over the ocean.
We are part of a turtle sanctuary, and get to participate in releasing baby turtles after they hatch in protected nests, increasing their chance of survival.
Each day is a blessing here.
The beautiful circular pavillion above the kitchen where we teach yoga and offer massage.
All the structures here were made with sustainable and recycled materials with an artistic eye. Playa Viva was designed to revitalize and nurture the land and community it's surrounded by.Playa Viva serves up a beautiful array of local cuisine-- you can always count on warm hand-made tortillas, queso fresca, and fresh salsa on the table to complement your meal.
When traveling you have to be prepared for the unexpected. This day we heard about a portal for Quezalcoatl (The feathered serpent deity that has been worshiped by many different ethno-political groups in Mesoamerican history), and that we had to visit. So after two mini buses we arrived at the town of Amatlan and asked around for "la puerta" de Quezalcoatl. They pointed us in the direction and told us to look for tipis. After a short hike, we found a purple door in the wall and saw some tipis peaking over the wall. We entered and found a tipi village next to a huge cliff wall. There was a large crack and small cave which we were told was 'the portal' and next to it was an ancient amate (similar to banyan) tree. It is said that this portal was a sacred vehicle for Quexalcoatl to travel to other places and dimensions.
As we took in the beauty of the rock face, we met a man who offered us to "make a walk" with he and his girlfriend. We agreed and three hours later were far up in the woods in a sacred cave with pictographs doing a beautiful mediation. Leo was a man of two worlds: he seemed to work a regular life in Mexico City and twice a month would stay in Amatlan working with elders and learning from nature. He brought his sacred drum and we offered chants together in the caves, sharing together a deep connection with the elements surrounding us.
So at the end of the day, "la puerta" seemed to have worked her magic. She transported us to a totally different dimension, one that we could not have expected to experience. A big thanks for our dear new friends Leo and Caro for bringing us into their world and sharing the sacred energy of this place.
As we start our journey in Mexico we found this magical place in the mountains outside Mexico City called Huehuecoyotl. There are amazing volcanic cliffs everywhere covered with cactus and other tropical trees. It is a unique ecology here at over 8,000 feet elevation. This artsy eco-village was started over 30 years ago by a group of traveling performers who fell in love with the land. Tonight at sunset, we were led by a sweet perro that we named "El Jefe" up to this beautiful view above the eco-village.