Our first festival as facilitators finished. It was already time for us to plan the next class we were hosting at the International Yoga Festival 2020 the following weekend.
This time we were playing at home. This is a common Italian saying which means: being in a familiar space where you should not be afraid if something goes wrong.
No judgment, no discomfort, nothing could make us feel lost.
The warmth of knowing the environment and to have our own friends and family present to support us, made us feel protected.
Yes, because this was how my brain was working. Part of me was really excited for the new trip we were about to embark on, but on the other hand still feeling nervous.
Rawhiti was pretty confident and I was trying to follow her contagious positive attitude too.
Yoga Festival is an incredible experience where you have the chance to dive deeper into your soul through exercises for mental and physical health. We are connected with ourselves, our breath, become one thing with our inner soul and the outer universe. We are aware, living in the present moment, waking up early, beginning with a sunrise meditation followed by the awaken of the body.
Yoga has been helping me for several years now to align myself to my mindful life choices, find inner peace by controlling my body and mind better everyday.
Although sometimes we have to deal with our dark side as well. Mine was about to come up from the abyssal of my low self-esteem and insecurity in the most wrong occasion ever like a timing bomb ready to explode.
Everything had been set up. Seven canvases were creating a rainbow line in the center, surrounded by different shades of markers and pencils on top of a colorful cloth. The journey through the 7 Chakras was about to sail and the wind was blowing the first track of our trip together.
We had just enough time for a spruce up because of the high temperature of the day.
I was comforting myself and Rawhiti just before the beginning of our class ensuring everything was going to be fine even though what I was really doing was trying to keep calm because the discomfort came back to visit me one more time on the same day. I knew that Rawhiti was going to be my solid anchor to feel steady.
Our class started punctual, they accepted our time frame and our session began right at 4:20pm.
The playground was filled not only with our friends, but also with people who were genuinely attracted by our session on the timetable.
I was about to tackle an uncomfortable feeling. Many new eyes were staring at us wondering what they were going to experience during the Art Yoga session.
Rawhiti was welcoming them and explaining what the session was about. Meanwhile, my brain was becoming louder than her voice and my breath speeded up too.
I felt like I was going to faint. I was trying to remind myself what a great moment we were facing.
She kept smiling to everyone explaining the benefits of art and yoga combined together. Her chilled vibes and great empathy were flowing around to make everyone feel serene.
Ironically, right next to her, I was paralyzed by those strangers, looking at us, not knowing what to say, I was willing to stand up and leave at any time without any explanation, just nonsense thoughts filling my head were repeating “What am I doing here? I can’t do this!”
Something unusual happened, suddenly I realized I started crying in front of everyone. Anxiety hugged my throat into a strict node, I didn’t know what to do but facing this inappropriate reaction in front of the entire astonished group.
Everyone reacted in a very supportive way while I was trying to excuse myself and my odd behavior. Rawhiti comforted me in that unexpected situation and encouraged me to release tears while showing my true self and get rid of all my negative feelings. She cheered me up and invited me to read a poem to rebalance the mood, the one I wanted to share at the end of the class. And so I did.
What if our religion was each other.
If our practice was our life.
If prayer was our words.
If our Temple was the Earth.
If forests were our church.
If holy water were the rivers, lakes and oceans.
If meditation was our relationships.
If the teacher was life. If wisdom was self-knowledge.
If Love was the centre of our being?
- Ganga White
Once finished, Rawhiti clarified to the whole crowd that I had found this poem in the toilet I went to before beginning our workshop. Everyone exploded into a spontaneous and loud laugh that encouraged us to carry on and enjoy our open space together.
The rest of the time passed with inspiring music, supportive people and animated drawings.
At the end of the workshop we were glad for the given moment and the positive feedback from those who participated in this journey with Art Yoga and inspired us.
One of the participants came to me to share the piece of art she just made. It was the first time I had an encounter with her and somehow we felt a profound unspoken connection. We cried together while she was trying to explain the significance beyond her artwork. There were a lot of emotions behind her colorful and abstract composition, hard to put in words, but an honest and truthful masterpiece.
This was an experience of how contradictory life can be. How art and yoga can be the perfect tool to balance who we really are and who we would like to be.
Our life is a challenging playground and stepping out of our comfort zone for a bigger purpose is not always easy. To support ourselves and others in a non-verbal communication and to remind us we have the power to choose.
Choose our perspective, our path, our truth, our love for ourselves and others, our positive and quiet mind. All of you are welcome here.
LAUGH. SMILE. DANCE