"The yogic practice of satya (truth) focuses on carefully choosing our words so they do the least harm—and most good.“
We gathered for Satya 3 times a week on the beach with Christopher, Nikolena, Amber, and Sarasvati. We sat in a circle which was quickly coined, "The Dirt Circle”. Everything that transpired and what we speak about is sacred and not to be repeated but let’s just say things can get pretty personal! In this safe and supported circle we explored truth on all levels outside of us and within, some of use showed our vulnerability and pain, but all showed love. There was self-realizations achieved, love, support, and some tears. Some days it was a bit much to handle but in the end I think the experience and emotions and truths we worked through, witnessed, and were inspired by were well worth it.
It wasn’t just about serious yoga knowledge during my 200 hour Teacher Training. One night for Satsang we were divided into groups and had an hour to put together a dance routine to our own music. The only rule was that we included 3 yoga poses in our dance. With a diverse group of women, and one man of course, it was a mix of various dance moves and music from the ages. Lots of laughing and cheering was heard during both practice and performance!
"Satsang (Sanskrit सत्सङ्ग sat = true, sanga = company) in Indian philosophy means (1) the company of the “highest truth,” (2) the company of a guru, or (3) company with an assembly of persons who listen to, talk about, and assimilate the truth. This typically involves listening to or reading scriptures, reflecting on, discussing and assimilating their meaning, meditating on the source of these words, and bringing their meaning into one’s daily life.“
I knew nothing about Satsang before coming to Yandara and we were introduced our first night. Both groups of teachers in training gathered to listen to, sing, dance, meditate, and enjoy the words of our Guru’s, Christopher, Alison, Craig, April, Bolo, Mercy, and Shiva Das. At first I needed to be coaxed out of my comfort zone during these nights by participating in dancing, singing and playing instruments but soon my inhibitions were shed and I looked forward to participating whole heartily!
Faces of Yandara - Everyone at Yandara holds a special place in my heart!
First off there is Christopher who we spent the post time with learning assists, philosophy, sitting in Satya, meditating, and spending time in nature. Each day I was amazed at how much Christopher gave to us, not only his seemingly unlimited knowledge, but his compassion, support, and love were never ending. He’s a very intuitive soul and he somehow knew exactly what to say and when, even when you didn’t know you needed it. I think everyone experienced this on some level during our time there.
Next to Christopher we spent a great deal of time with sisters, Saravati and Amber Young. Amber was 8 months pregnant when we arrived and by the time we left she was less then 2 weeks away from he due date. Even at this stage in her pregnancy she gave of herself completely to us and was totally present in her time with us. Sarasvati was mature beyond her years and even at such a young age was an amazing and knowledgable yogi to learn from. The lovely sisters taught the teaching workshops. We learned the proper yoga sequencing, how to build a class, the proper language and etiquette, how to cue in and out of poses, everything you would need to know to be a mindful, present, and well rounded teacher. During these classes we got to partner up and teach 20 minute class sections starting from the very first day! As the days progressed our knowledge and confidence grew leading up to teaching a full class. I went to Yandara to learn about the proper techniques and alignment to help with my back issues but I left there loving teaching!
Sweet Nikolena, her quiet but confident and accepting demeanor balanced out all the different teaching styles and personalities of the other instructors. Originally from Sweden she is also a Physical Therapist and I found her insight to be very helpful for me to modify my practice to accommodate for my injuries. Nikolena is a Yin Yoga instructor, Yin Yoga is something I had never tried before but after taking Yin with Nikolena and learning about and understanding the benefits of this style of practice I realize that this is something I need to pursue to help with my deep tissue and fascia pain. Nikolena also expanded our knowledge on Yoga Anatomy.
I have never met a sweeter couple then Bolo and April! They were part of the band that played at Satsang but they also taught us once a week about different breath techniques and of course we sang or listened to their sweet music. On top of that they prepared our lunch once a week and it was always amazing. You know they prepared it with love!
Amber and Sarasvati’s mother Mercy and Stepfather Das Runk were also in the band that played at Satsang. This tiny women with a sweet voice and tender disposition guided us in singing mantra’s and kirtan along with her husband who was like the gentle giant. I think we all wished they would adopt us and we could have them as parents. You know that Amber and Sarasvati have been surrounded by deep true love and you can see in their reactions the love and respect they have for them.
We didn’t get to take any classes from founder and co-owner, Craig Perkins, and Alison Eaton as they were teaching another group but we got to spend time with them at Alison. Alison has a very calming and nurturing nature that was so beautiful to be around and I looked forward to feeling her energy at Satsang. Craig is quite the character! It’s amazing to see someone that has been involved in the yoga community for so long to still have so much passion and excitement for yoga. There was a lot of experience and knowledge we could draw from him but I also really enjoyed his humor, honesty, and quirkiness!
I loved the kitchen staff! I was so impressed with the variety of vegetarian food they served us while were there and the time they took to create a modified version for me and my gluten-free friends. I really love making and preparing food but it was nice to be served healthy food prepared fresh daily!
What an amazing group of Women and one guy, ya Denise! I feel so fortunate to have met everyone in this group and share in such a unique and powerful experience. I think of them often and hope that they are all happy and healthy yogis!