Learning Through Yoga II

February 20, 2008 by Lightwaves
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ydc_3.jpgThe 38th annual Yoga Development Course (YDC) is in its 7th week of the 3-month process. Everybody has unique reasons for taking this step in their lives and is receiving unique answers to their questions. Lightwaves interviewed 2 of the students – Joan Gamble and Jacqueline Summer.


For Joan Gamble doing the YDC is like a culmination of learning since retiring in 2001. From her teaching position at the Univejoan.jpgrsity of Moncton she moved to Ottawa where she became a regular student at the Radha Centre, taking classes in dreams, kundalini, hidden language hatha yoga as well as getting involved with the Radha Ottawa community.

“The years between retirement and now have been about healing and moving through my psychological stuff so I can really be here for the YDC and go deep. I want to deepen my connection with the Divine. It’s amazing now because I feel like Kuan Yin is a friend. I am carrying her around with me, bringing offerings to her each day. She helps me when I feel stuck.”

“I first met Swami Radha in the late 1970’s through my brother (Swami Sivananda) and was impressed because she was so very grounded, so very practical. What she was saying was keeping me on the ground. The way she emphasized applying spiritual life to daily life was essential.”

For Joan, the YDC is unbelievably full. She never imagined she would be engaged 7 days a week. “It is a total commitment. It is just an amazing process – so balanced. We go deep into ourselves and then are given time to step back and assess and think about what has happened. The pace is perfect and I’m really appreciating the silence.”

Some time in 2004 Jacqueline Summer found herself metaphorically standing in stagnant water as she practiced the Crane pose in a Hidden Language hatha yoga class. She knew her life had to change.

After a long career as a probation officer in Cantebury England, a casual conversation with Radha teacher Danuta Karpinska led her to Hidden Language hatha yoga classes.

“Before yoga I knew about listening to my body, I knew about my inner voice, so doing the Hidden Language seemed natural and put me in touch in a deep way.”

Jacqueline was feeling really heavy all over but when Danuta introduced her to Hidden Language, her whole body resonated with understanding. She said, “Yoga makes me feel lighter and younger!”

Realizing she was stagnant, she felt the need for a creative outlet and went to a Steiner school where she was exposed to many different creative possibilities. She recognized she had a knack for story telling and decided to make a change from her steady pay cheque as a probation officer to the risky fulfillment of story telling. (Hear one of Jacqueline’s stories – from Lightwaves # 10)
Making the change was supported by yoga all the way she said. To take this massive step meant she had to rely on the Divine for support.

Not long after making the shift Swami Radhananda came to England and Jacqueline said “I knew it was a sign, Swami Radhananda came from all the way over there in Canada to a place 5 miles from my house. I rode my bike there and heard Hari Om for the first time. It went straight to my heart.”

This has all been preparation for the YDC, which she decided to do while at the Ashram for the first in the Autumn 2006, attending the Ascent intensive with Swami Durgananda

Jacqueline is developing a feeling connection with the Divine while here and also healing some old wounds.  During the mantra workshop early on in the course, she had an overwhelming feeling of love and found a true place of forgiveness.
She says, “I know that I can make changes, big ones and little ones, changes in my body, changes in my relationships. It can be really fast if that’s what I want to do.”


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