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Radha Europe

An Interview with Jovita Oliveira

March 19, 2010 by Sandra Hindson

Jovita  Oliveira has taken several months off from her busy life in Braga, Portugal to take the Yoga Development Course to explore  and gain access to the uncharted regions of her mind. Here she speaks about her personal journey that delivered her to Yasodhara Ashram in 2008 and what steps she took to return for an extended stay.

Kundalini Workshop in Braga, Portugal Right to Left: Jayne Boys, Swami Radhananda & Jovita

JOVITA HAS BEEN OFFERING YOGA to residents of Braga for several years and more recently, organizing workshops in her yoga studio for Swami Radha’s teachings.  Jayne Boys from England, has been invited by her studio to teach and more recently, Swami Radhananda offered a two-day workshop on Hidden Language Hatha, Dreams and Kundalini Yoga. Nineteen enthusiastic participants were deeply grateful for this opportunity to learn more about Swami Radha’s teachings from the Ashram’s spiritual director.

Jovita spoke of her experience being with Swami Radhananda: “She does not speak much. It was her presence and the way she guided us through the course that was  amazing. She does this with so much softness and wisdom, I have no words to describe it. Language was not a problem, everyone was doing their own work and finding the answers they were searching for.”

The teachings have attracted Jovita because she recognizes the importance of understanding the mind and emotions, reinforced by her first workshop at the Ashram, the 10 Day Yoga Retreat.

Sandra: When did you decide the Yoga Development Course (YDC) would be your next step?

Jovita: My desire to do the YDC increased after doing the 10 Days of Yoga course in July 2008. I had been searching the Ashram website for many years and it was the YDC that immediately attracted me, but because it lasted three months and I had my work and family commitments, I put it aside. I thought at least I could do the 10 Days of Yoga and after this I was just waiting for another opportunity to come back. My father, who was quite old and dependent, was with me and I did not know when it would be possible to come for an extended stay. Then I decided it was time, I had to commit to taking the course so I booked my place in December 2008 for YDC 2010 not knowing how I could make it.  My father passed away one month later; it seems that he wanted to free me to come.

S: How is the course for you now?

J: We have had a number of workshops on Dream Yoga, Life Seals, mind watch etc.  I have been discovering a lot of things about myself and some are difficult to face. At times I feel that I cannot overcome them. Last week the patterns kept coming up and I had no way to avoid them. Fortunately, the practices helped me to let them go and not to fight, but to acknowledge that they are a part of me. This is how I have been in my life, always fighting to be able to study, to get a secure professional position, to overcome problems of many sorts, and that fighter in me wants to play a role in this development process. Then I realized that there is a process of transformation going on inside myself that is not controlled by my normal mind and I just have to relax and let that process carry me. Now is the time to allow for change to happen.

S: Does it have to do with being a woman in a traditionally male profession? Is that the kind of fighting you are talking about?

J: The fighting started when I was very young because my parents were poor.  This pushing forward from my childhood helped me to develop perseverance but also left me with a way of being in the world, always needing to accomplish more and more with a constant desire for something bigger or better. It certainly left emotional scars and yet I developed a capacity that came from working in an engineering school with mostly men. I tried to adapt to their expectations, but this was really difficult for me. It was the stress of doing my PhD and at the same time teaching engineering classes at the University that a friend told me that I was very nervous and should practice Yoga.

I started taking classes at the Porto Centre for Yoga with Maria Dinorah de Frietas, followed by teacher training.  In 2005 a group of my co-teachers came together to rent a beautiful studio in Braga dedicated to teaching Yoga. It is a first floor flat in a quiet old building in our city centre.

S:What is the next step after the YDC?

J: I have been thinking about this. I believe that the YDC will change the way that I approach my colleagues, family, and the classes with my students. My mind plans too much and I know that my planner is not very reliable because it runs very much on engraved patterns, is too ambitious and it does not work for me. When something needs to happen, it happens for me in a very unexpected and clear way.  It is better for me to be receptive and to take small steps.  I will start with taking the Hatha Teacher training offered after the YDC and when I return to Portugal, to offer Satsang in my studio.  I look forward to taking the Hatha Hidden Language Teacher training and the Kundalini and Dream Yoga Training in the near future.  Meanwhile I will try to live my everyday life with Divine inspiration with my husband, my children, my students and colleagues and that will be great!


Swami Radhananda with Yoga participants from the Isle of Wight

Radha Europe consists of an ever growing number of Centres of Light with a new teacher, James Ward located in Norwich England who has developed their new website. To find out more about what is happening in Europe visit their beautiful new website: http://www.europe.radha.org/

Swami Radhananda, Spiritual Director of Yasodhara Ashram will be offering Polishing the Diamond, a  5 day course, to be held April 26-May 1st. Swami Radhananda is both creative and practical in her approach, bridging inspiration with daily life. For more information you may call 1 800 661 8711, view our online course catalogue, or email email@yasodhara.org.

1 Comment »

  1. Hello there, what a wonderful article about Jovita, I met Jovita in the July of 2008 when we did the 10day retreat together, I am from N. Ireland and would love to do the YDC myself and hope to when the time is right, it was wonderful to hear her comments and insights about herself and the time at the YDC. More power to her elbow as they here in N. Ireland, all the best Jovita, Namaste Barbara

    Comment by barbara gibson — March 22, 2010 @ 10:48 am

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