My first yoga retreat
I never wanted it to stop. It was a wonderful feeling of joy, love compassion and connection to everyone who was there with me. This was despite fact that I had only met these people just three days ago. But at that moment, it felt like I had known them all my life.
This was my first yoga retreat. Four days of total immersion in practice, philosophy and life of hatha yoga. We practiced yoga twice a day. Spent several hours in sitting and walking meditation and learned about philosophy of yoga through talks and discussions.
We helped prepare and ate most delicious home-made vegetarian food. I was on an energy high. I had so much stamina. It was best short break I had ever had.
So why did it effect me so profoundly?
Our subtle energy body
Yoga works on our bodies and minds at many levels, and in a way that traditional medicine fails. Infact, many of alternative therapies and practices, that have become so popular, work on our mind and body in powerful ways.
You may not realise it, but your body has a network of unseen energy channels. They follow pathways of our nervous system and provide a constant supply of subtle energy that keeps us alive.
This complex mesh of energy channels, or 'meridians' as Chinese call them, focus around 7 energy centers or 'chakras' that are vertically aligned from our crown to our abdomen. Yoga, and many alternative therapies and practices, increase, balance and harmonise this energy network.
Lao Tsu, revered Chinese sage and chi kung master, said,
"When human beings are born, they are tender and soft. At death they are stiff and hard. All things, grass as well as trees, are tender and supple when alive".
It's this hidden energy system that keeps us alive, vibrant and healthy.
Shiatsu, acupressure and acupuncture
The study of our energy bodies can be seen in shiatsu, acupressure and acupuncture. These are just three of many practices that originate from East.