This past weekend at Om Shala, I participated in an incredible workshop intensive with guest yoga instructor Micheline Berry who came up to Humboldt from LA (she teaches at Exhale in Venice Beach). Let me begin by saying, Micheline blew my mind, and kicked my buddhi. I didn't have too much expectations before hand, and I wasn't sure if I was going to vibe with her yoga. Originally trained in Forest Yoga (Ana Forest), she has now been studying with Shiva Rea for the past few years. She teaches a style of Tantra or Prana Yoga, a Vinyasa which she calls Liquid Asana. Vinyasa Liquid Asana from LA?.... didn't particularly sound like my style... Wrong. It was amazing!
Micheline is from Brazil and comes from a dance background, teaching a style of yoga which is definitely 'out of the box' and 'off the mat'. In fact our first class together, she started by telling us to roll up our mats and put them aside. She threw on some funky music and had us dancin, gettin down for almost 30 minutes. Then, heart-beating, dripping puddles of sweat, 'now, get out your mats!' I've seriously never sweated so much in my life... I couldn't believe the next morning was Detox Yoga. What was this?!
The most powerful aspect of the weekend was the Teaching Empowerment sessions we shared together. There was a group of about 10 of us teachers, and we really went deep. As we were doing such intense physical practice on the mat, stuff came up for just about everyone. I was so impressed with her ability to hold sacred space, and to navigate through all our inner turmoil with such compassion and insight. She actually came to yoga through her experience with Buddhism, like myself and many others. With this foundation in meditation, compassion, and loving-kindness, I feel she truly embodies the Divine feminine. In fact each class, she beautifully sang an invocation to Tara, accompanied by her Indian shruti box.
She worked diligently with each one of us individually, to help us tune to the creative source flowing within, to harness our own Shakti. Reminding us that we are each artists, with our own unique gifts and creative expression, our own personal myths. However, we are all connected to Source. And our vulnerabilities, and our weaknesses, are actually our gifts. They are the little, perfect imperfections which make us human, which connect us all. "Be who you are," she said, "it's a shortcut to who you are."
I feel so blessed to have had this experience this weekend, continuing my yoga education. It was tremendously inspiring and empowering. And such a joy to connect with the community of yoga students and teachers here in Arcata. What a beautiful sangha we share. I am so grateful right now. Great and Full. Feeling the Love. More than ever. Give thanks ya'll.
"Trust the Yoga"