A Space to Grow

July 23, 2009 by Marlene Roza
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MarleneMarlene Roza, a Calgary Radha Centre teacher recently spent some time teaching a four day Yoga Retreat at the ashram. In this post, she reflects on the support she received from the ashram community as well as some of the challenges of teaching in a big city.

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I was inspired by how quickly most of the participants made fundamental shifts in their perspectives about various concerns. Reaching new insights is possible through these perspectives and can be transformational, cultivating receptivity to new approaches through yoga.  I attribute this “Greenhouse Effect” of growth to the ability of participants to maintain a focused attention on their yogic practices in the Ashram environment; a setting which supports that concentration without the distractions of daily life activities.  This kind of depth of understanding may take longer in the city in response to the constant intervention and competition of daily life’s demands.

Teaching Mantra Yoga in the Temple of Divine Light was a sacred experience for myself and the participants. I observed many shed tears at the recognition in themselves of those Divine aspects symbolized by the various deities and expressed through the corresponding mantras.   While I can provide space in the city that is more sacred than the every day secular, it does not compare to what the Temple offers in terms of the power of the sacred which can accelerate insights.

Marlene2At the Ashram, teachers and students are more in contact with one another outside the classroom. This provides additional opportunity for the teacher to learn from the students in a less structured environment.  It was outside of the classroom when I heard and fully appreciated the comment of a student who said with heartfelt conviction that she was deeply grateful for her health difficulties because they changed her in ways that were needed.  That level of passion and conviction was humbling for me to hear as I faced my own tightly held resentments for past injuries. Consequently, I have reasserted my efforts towards letting go of these resentments.

Because of the busy-ness of city life there is less opportunity to hear from students outside the classroom, which can be a time when spontaneous and informative conversation arises. The support given by other teachers and karma yogis at the Ashram allows for a more focused teaching experience without concern for my daily work and chores in the city.  I was encouraged by the resident teachers in matters of course content, and nourished by the delicious meals and clean accommodations cared for by the dedicated karma yogis; all of which inspired me to return to teach again at the Ashram.

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If you are a Radha Yoga teacher and interesting in an Ashram teaching experience like Marlene’s, contact Janet Gaston at janetgaston@yasodhara.org or 1-800-661-8711
If you are interested in becoming a Radha Yoga teacher Click Here for details.
To find out if there is a Radha Centre or Radha Yoga teacher near you, Click Here.


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  1. It is just wonderful to have teachers come back to the Ashram like this. It is inspiring for everyone. How can we help make this happen more often?

    Swami Sivananda

    Comment by swami sivananda — July 29, 2009 @ 12:16 pm

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