I just got back to DC from a week long yoga and ceremony retreat with Ana Forrest and Jose Calarco. To say that I’m still processing is an understatement. There is so much Beauty in ceremony and I’m excited to continue to learn/practice and share with my students. As I watch the rain come down, I thought I’d share one of many attributes about what ceremony is – it’s connection.
We connect to an intention. The intention may be something we come to the room with or it may become more evident as we connect more deeply to the greater powers. While both work well, it’s important to know that if we come in with a specific intention and the Sacred Ones start guiding, it’s time to let them.
Connection to something greater than us. In Forrest Yoga, we call that the ‘Sacred Ones,’ and they represent the Great Spirit that resides in all of us and those that have gone before. The ancestors we can connect with go back to the beginning of time – that’s so much power. Imagine what strength or knowledge they can share with us when we choose to feel and listen to them.
We connect to the Four Directions. I think the Directions and Sacred Ones are tied together closely but I’m learning that most, if not all, indigenous populations call in the Directions. Here, the directions may represent elements, animals, colors, traits, etc. Element wise, East is Fire, South is Water, West is Earth, and North is Air. These represent how I first learned the Four Directions during my Forrest Yoga training and those resonate with me greatest. I’ve done some study on my own and have learned that other cultures and peoples have them assigned differently.
We connect to each other in Ceremony. We as a people are broken. It’s evident in our interactions, or lack of. We spend more time looking at phones than seeing a person. We listen primarily as a means to craft our response and don’t actually feel the words. Ceremony is a way to see, feel, hear another. And to not turn away.