I have taken the Jivamukti Chakra Balancing class from four different teachers now, from the originator of the class herself Sharon Gannon, and from Advanced Certified Jivamukti Yoga Teachers Jules Febre, Giselle Mari, and Will Lau. Although the class content is the same, I got something different out of it each time, and for that I will always be grateful.
The first time I encountered this class, I thought I had myself figured out. Mostly. I didn't have major dramas in my life anymore. Or that's what I thought. The reality was that at this point, I had decided to cut my father off from my life- out of anger and indignation, and out of what seemed to be a justifiable need for self-preservation. Then I took this Chakra Balancing class and I realized some very important things.
I realized that even as I protected myself by creating that distance, I did not protect myself from my own negative emotions. I realized that whatever it is that others have done to us, however justified our anger may be, we only continue to hurt ourselves by holding on to it. It does not mean that we invite ourselves to situations where we will be subjected to hurt; it does not mean we become dormats; it just means that we no longer let our past be the present. I realized that healing does not necessarily mean that I needed to get an apology from someone who may not be ready or willing or even capable of asking for it, but that it means we value our freedom more than our anger. I realized, quite simply, what Sharon Gannon said in this class: Everyone is just trying his or her best at any given time.
Shortly after taking this class, I went to visit my father. He was changed by an illness. He was a different person and I knew at this point that it was the last stage of his life. I did not know how long he had left at this point, but it felt like the beginning of the end; and it was through seeing death so close that it became increasingly clear to me that he was not a bad person, just someone with a lot of fear and pain and unresolved issues who did not know what to do with them. The last few months of his life, he had lost much of his memory. It was in many ways a blessing because he largely forgot his own anger.
One time, I got a Chinese-language newspaper, and asked him if he remembered teaching me how to read the characters. He smiled then, because he remembered. My father was not a perfect person by any stretch of the imagination, and the broken version of me saw his flaws and only his flaws. But the healed part of me was able to see him in a different light. I saw him for whom he tried his best to be- someone who wanted to care, to love, to show affection, someone who wanted to act like a father.
Yoga has healed me in many ways, and allowed me to deal with injuries far deeper than the physical body could reach. I am grateful for the opportunity to share a practice that was so instrumental in my own healing. May our hearts be open to accept the love that we all deserve.
I am teaching this workshop at Yoga+ Makati this January 31, 2015 from 2pm to 4pm. It would be an honor for me to guide you in your own healing journey. Previous yoga experience is not required.