I just returned from a week yoga retreat at Kripalu with Shiva Rea. Here is my reflection from the first session.
As someone who has not been exposed to much kirtan and chanting, this session gave me a great perspective on how powerful these methods are for mediation. Shiva Rea provided an introduction by having us start in a seated mediation and feeling the pulse of our heart beat. As she stated, “the heart beat is our internal rhythm that connects us to the universe and all living things.”
While we were mediating and feeling our “internal rhythm” John De Kadt began to drum. We were then instructed to shake our egg percussions to the drum beat. Within moments, we were all creating our internal rhythm together, as one community, one force.
Donna De Lory then began to sing and we sang with her; repeating her words. The music we were creating kept getting louder and more powerful.
Shiva then lead us through a group dance while we continued to shake our egg percussions and chant. I began to feel my mind clear in a way that it had never done before and I could feel myself getting deeper and deeper into relaxation. All the nervousness and anticipation for the retreat escaped me completely.
As the music became more powerful, we all broke off to dance in free form movement. Some danced with others, some kept to themselves yet everyone was deep in relaxation and you could feel this empowering energy in the room. Everyone was letting their guard down just like me.
I have always been a lover of dancing and music, and now I truly understood why; it all relates to the heart beat; the internal pulse within ourselves. This pulse not only exists within us but all living things.
Amazing things happen when you are able to let your mind be free from thoughts and experience the feeling of being light. You can actually embrace the present moment. From the first hour of this retreat I was truly present and experienced awareness like I have never done before.