Hello Dear Reader,
My name is Hoda Samiee Flores, and I am a student and teacher apprentice at Jivamukti Yoga Barcelona. I want to share with you what Jivamukti Yoga means to me, as I believe, when it comes to an intimate practice like yoga, it can sometimes be indescribable in words. It is a practice that is felt in the body, the heart, the soul, and the method of Jivamukti Yoga, founded by Sharon Gannon and David Life in New York in 1984, is one that allowed me to experience my body in a whole new light. After my first class with Olga Oskorbina, co-founder and director of Jivamukti Yoga Barcelona, I felt what Oprah Winfrey says best, an “aha-moment” or even a little magic, as Sharon Gannon defines it best, “a shift in perception.”
I remember clearly how I was feeling the week prior to attending my first class at the Jivamukti Yoga centre in Barcelona. I was three months into traveling, and although it had been an amazing journey thus far, I had the sense that I was missing a sense of belonging- a sense of home. Walking into the classroom, I sat down, was instructed to find a comfortable seated posture, and to gently close my eyes. In that moment I instantly felt that I was in a safe and supported environment. I felt myself surrendering to the moment- open and excited to welcome what ever may come.
Olga started class teaching from the Jivamukti Yoga Focus of the Month- The Reality of The Enlightened Mind. Listening to Olga speak and share with such openness and authenticity, it was as if every cell in my body was saying “yes, yes, yes.” Then the chanting began…
vastu-sāmye citta-bhedāt tayor vibhaktaḥ panthāḥ
Each individual person perceives the same object in a different way, according to their own state of mind and projections. Everything is empty from its own side and appears according to how you see it. Yoga Sutras of Patanjali IV.15
and if you’ve ever seen the Wizard of Oz, like Dorthy, believing that there is no place like home, at the end of class Dorthy’s words resonated with me- “Well, I… I think that it… that it wasn’t enough to just want to see Uncle Henry and Auntie Em… and it’s that if I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard; because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.”
From that class, I felt it in my heart, and feel grateful to Olga and the space she held for me that day, that the sense of belonging I desired, deeply rooted beneath that desire was and always is Love. A gracious teacher, filled with loving-kindness and wisdom in her heart, Olga revealed to me the great power we all hold deep inside of us, and with kindness and compassion, we can love and support one another on this journey of life together.
When I take a Jivamukti Yoga class, I leave with an experience of reconnecting with some part of the Self. The values interwoven in the teachings of the class- ahimsa, bhakti, dhyana, nada, and shastra give me a sense of empowerment and courage to follow my heart, spread my wings and fly.
A special thank you to my teacher and mentor, Olga Oskorbina, her husband and co-founder of Jivamukti Yoga Barcelona, Javier Feliubadaló, and to all the amazing teachers and students of the JYB community, I feel blessed to share my life with you and the teachings of yoga with one another.
The practices of yoga have been a wonderful gift in my life. I thank you for reading my story and hope you have the opportunity to experience Jivamukti Yoga for yourself with Olga Oskorbina at the Barcelona Yoga Conference. The first class will be held on Friday, 21 July 2017 at 11:15 AM. We hope to see you there!
Hoda Samiee Flores