I am sitting on a balcony in front of my Sri Lankan room, and even though it’s midday on a hot day, it’s windy and pleasant. The view from here is amazing; the ocean, blue sky, palm trees, Ben Howard playing on my laptop buffered by the sound of ocean. Swell is picking up today and the sound of waves braking on shore is pretty loud. Noise to some, but music to my ears.
As the last days of my Sri Lanka trip are coming to an end, different feelings arise from moment to moment and there is no time like the present to observe what comes up. Right at this moment it’s a mix of feelings really, but I guess it is normal for ends to feel bittersweet. However, bitterness is eased by knowing that ends are also beginnings.
Looking back at the beginning of this journey one moment comes to mind first. On the day of my arrival here I took a walk down the beach. With my bare feet buried in the sand and warm breeze caressing my skin I looked out to the ocean checking the waves, already excited to go for surf next morning at sunrise. I looked around me with a smile of contentment and happiness, the kind that makes you say ‘thank you God’, but instead I said ‘thank you heart’. This thought surprised me, for a moment it even felt like someone else had whispered these words into my ear, but then I realized it was my inner voice talking, telling me that it was my heart I need to thank for the joy and happiness I felt in that moment. It was my heart that brought me here and it is my heart I should always follow.
And that is exactly what I did in the last three weeks. I allowed myself be guided by what I felt was right and not by what I thought was right. I changed the retreat location a week before the retreat guided by what I felt was right, and it was amazing. I made a spontaneous connection with beautiful Eva in Sri yoga shala and taught a magical full moon yoga class there. I let myself be guided by intuition on the waves. I surrendered to all which came my way. I let my fearless heart guide me.
This was a theme that weaved through every yoga practice in a week of our retreat. We explored all that makes our hearts joyful and worked on letting go of all which doesn’t. The retreat was crowned by a full moon eclipse on our last day when we left all we needed to leave behind in a fire ceremony on the beach. It was magic.
Living from the heart is the essence of yoga. Patanjali defined yoga as a practice of quieting the mind, and the purpose of quieting the mind is so we can hear our Soul speak, so we can live from the heart. And this is no easy task as we live in a noisy world, one full of distractions, one full of inherited believes and ideas of right and wrong. First step on the road to freedom is quieting the chatter of the world around us and of others telling us how we should live our lives. Even those who believe they speak out of love. Next step is quieting the mind and recognising the tricks of the ego. Only then, in this stillness and quiet, we can hear the subtle whisper of our essence.
If you look for answers listen to the silence between thoughts, stillness between breaths, pause between waves and you will know which way to go.
Thank you all who participated in the retreat, photos coming soon, and next year is definitely on. Love you all!
Thank you Reebok Croatia for dressing me for the occasion.
Cover photo credit: Bojan Markicevic