On Friday evening, I participated in a Recovery Yoga class sponsored through the Transformation Yoga Project at The Light Within Yoga Studio in West Grove. I was a little hesitant because I had no idea what to expect- how many people were going to be there? Would I have to share my ‘thoughts and feelings’? Was it going to be more meditative than yoga? Was I going to be surrounded by hardcore drug addicts? I had no idea.
I found out about this specific class through an email I received by my local yoga studio and it intrigued me- I had an especially rough weekend/week and the class was said to be helpful for people going through anything needing recovery (depression, anxiety, alcohol/drug addiction, etc.) and I’m all about spiritual healing, so I took the bait.
Before I went to the mysterious class, I looked into this Transformation Yoga Project and learned that it is a non-profit dedicated to healing and empowering individuals through yoga. They have workshops for instructors that specialize in trauma and go to different yoga studios to teach these Recovery classes. I was becoming more and more intrigued.
When it was time to leave, I was full of anticipation and positivity. However, all of that dissipated a bit when I saw the circle of candles in the room. Was this a cult? A seance? All about expressing our feelings and nothing about yoga? I was scared. And becoming nervous. The instructor, Alexis, seemed nice enough and there was only a 40% chance she was a cult leader. There was about a minute to go and only one other individual was there. I wasn’t sure how I felt about this- did I want this experience to be that intimate? Well, I was about to find out.
We started reclined, which was great since I was pretty tired, and all of my worries melted away once the instructor read the Native American story of the two wolves.
Now, I immediately became comfortable because this is one of my favorite stories. It also applies to what is going on in my life currently- I am trying to focus on feeding the good wolf. I think this old tale is important because it is short and to the point. It is a sort of yin and yang feeling except instead of balancing the two, it is about who you decide gets all the power. Are you going to feed into the miserable, lonely, unhealthy side or give sustenance to the positive, content, healthy side? When I hear this story, it makes me realize I am making my life a lot harder than it needs to be. I choose how I am going to feel a particular day, I choose how I am going to react to situations. The day does not decide my feelings and situations do not make me react a certain way.
After the class, I felt rejuvenated and glad that I went. It ended up being extremely relaxing and fulfilling- and there were no weird sacrifices or talk about our personal feelings which was a plus.
Namaste. Stay Golden.
About the Author
Erin Hanna graduated from Lock Haven University in December 2014 with a BS in Health Science, Community Health and a minor in Anthropology. She has always been interested in yoga and spirituality and is excited to start Yoga Teacher Training in the fall. Once completed, Erin hopes to be involved in Transformation Yoga Project.