The heart that gives, gathers.
– Tao Te Ching
I lead a yin yoga workshop on the first Friday of every month for weSPARK guests. Cancer patients, survivors and their caregivers are all welcome to attend this workshop. For the month of November I wanted to develop the themes normally associated with this time of year. Most often we focus on gratitude in the spirit of Thanksgiving. I speak about gratitude extensively in the women’s support groups I facilitate here at weSPARK so I was motivated to explore the theme of giving instead and see how this aligns with healing, the eight limbs of yoga and specifically with the practice of yin yoga.
We opened our practice with doTERRA essential oils. Each guest was given several drops in the center of their hands and encouraged to rub them together and place the hands gently over their face and begin with deep inhales and exhales. We then went around the room to introduce ourselves. Guests were asked to provide their name and share one thing that they felt they needed at the moment. Guests offered requests for love, support, compassion, self love, kindness and physical health.
We joined voices with a slow and simple version of the metta prayer focusing on the “I” to establish a strong foundation.
May I be happy.
May I be at peace.
May I be free from suffering.
We repeated this prayer over and over until our voices softened.
Our candlelit practice wove in themes of giving and how this process of giving is also the process of receiving. The real inquiry is how do we practice this off our yoga mats and outside the walls of a meeting room?
At the end of a deep savasana I read the following from Paulo Coelho’s “Warrior Of The Light.”
The Warrior of the Light gives before he is asked,
Seeing this, some of his companions say: “If someone wants something, they’ll ask for it.”
But the Warrior knows that there are many people who simply cannot bring themselves to ask for help. Alongside him live people with such fragile hearts that love becomes a sickness; they are starving for affection and yet are ashamed to show it.
The Warrior gathers these people around the fire, he tells stories, shares his food, drinks with them. The following day, everyone feels better.
Those who look on other people’s misery with indifference are the most miserable of all.
As our practice came to a close we shifted the metta prayer to focus on “You”. I encouraged each of the guests to sit in silence before they joined me in slow chanting and to remember what the people seated around them had said they needed at the beginning of the practice. I asked them to share loving energy as they said the words.
May you be happy.
May you be at peace.
May you be free from suffering.
Afterwards many of the guests came up to me and explained that they were broken open once they heard an entire class full of voices send them these blessings. In that moment of openness they felt ready to receive the goodness from those around them.
I am so grateful for all who attended!
The light in me sees, recognizes, admires, adores and kind of wilds out about the light I have always seen in you.
weSPARK offers completely FREE programs, workshops, classes and individual therapies to cancer patients, survivors and their loved ones. Remember to take a look at our December 2016 Schedule for more information about the services we offer.
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