Thursday, 14 March 2013

Trip of a Lifetime yoga in the Maya Lands

We have just recently returned from our Holiday in Mexico. A group of 23 of us including Jan and myself headed to the Mayan Riviera for a week.  The trip was hosted and organized by the Tao Centre for Inspired Living.

This was not your average yoga holiday on the beach- in fact we spent more time in the jungle. This trip was about connecting with the ancient rhythm of the earth, challenging personal perceptions, and transformation.

We feasted like royalty, did yoga, walked , swam,  snorkeled, floated, hiked, walked, zip-lined, canoed, rode bikes, climbed pyramids, and ventured into ancient caves called cenote’s.
A different aspect of the journey spoke to each of us, awakening of some deep part of our being and asking us to step forward a new.

We began the trip with a ceremony led by a Mayan healer.  In this ceremony we honoured the 4 directions and the elements and set our intentions. From that moment on, the transformations began.
 Perhaps it was the stark contrast of leaving the deep hibernation state of Winnipeg winter and arriving into the lush and vibrant tropics that was so powerful, but, there is definitely something about the Maya lands that wakes one up and shakes you out of your everyday reality. It is the ever present energy of the ocean, and the vibrant  pulse of life that is felt walking through the jungle. Without a doubt the energy of mother earth and rebirth is palpable in the abundance of  hidden water caves (cenotes) which literally connect one to the feeling of being in the womb of mother earth. These limestone sinkholes are often pitch dark, with bats and stalactites, and stalagmites. Visitors must often travel down a little ladder and swim or float through the cave to experience them fully.

Sometimes the Maya lands would teach us to step out of our notion of time and to relax into the moment- when the shuttle did not show-up on time, or our adventure took us hours longer than expected. Somehow it all worked out, helping us to trust the flow of the universe!
 This lesson about time was mirrored in an experience we had on our last day- floating down a mile long canal. In this canal one could not really swim, infact it was counter productive (a little like worrying). Instead, we had to surrender to the flow of the water. Occasionally we bumped into the waters edge or one another but ultimately the current took us where we needed to go and each of us got their in our own time.

 My own transformation took a literal turn when I lost my travel purse containing everything from cell phone to passport. I literally had to replace my identity.  The process was not one I would recommend, but like any transformation involved a feeling of resistance, struggle, doubt, letting go, acceptance, patience and ultimately resolve.
Walking around without the important documents, credit cards & the precious "iPhone" was remarkably freeing!

A number of us chose to participate in a Mayan sweat lodge ceremony called a Temescal. This ceremony was spiritual equivalent to letting go of one’s identity and cherished notions of self and coming out reborn. Impossible to describe, beautiful, challenging and freeing!

The people we met were friendly and loving with, hearts wide open. We were fortunate to have several ceremonies with Mayan elders, as well as touring the area with guides who were deeply connected to the land and the people. We learned so much- not just about the maya- or the land, but about life. One of the messages of the traditional Maya was the honoring of the present reality but also the heavens and the underworld equally. This understanding of nature and the cosmos led them to honor death and life equally.  Our guides reminded us that we are all part of an intricate web of life, and that what one does effects the whole.
 I can only speak for myself, but I have a feeling that most would agree- the blessing and transformation of this trip was a visceral knowing that change is an essential part of life and that we are deeply interconnected  to each other and all of life.

 I am so grateful to my fellow travellers, and the beautiful people we met who  facilitated & guided us on this journey, the ocean, the jungle, and all that came together to make this trip a reality.

In Lakesh, ( I am a reflection of you)