The theme of this talk and asana practice was ‘Inspirations’.
Shanell shared the story of the inspiration that called her to travel to India. Her personal journey happened to bring her at the exact same time and location that the International Yoga Festival was being hosted in Rishikesh.Her profound experience so called to her being, that she returned years later taking others with her to experience the magic for themselves.
Here we have taken from Shanell’s Blog post written in April 2017, after her return from the festival.
"Reflections on a Sacred Journey"
“It has been a month since I returned from a 2-month sojourn to India and I am still feeling the inner shifts from that journey. There have been few encounters in my life that have been as radically transformative as my encounter with India. There is a heartbeat, pulse and rhythm there that invites you to bring all of yourself into synchronicity with it. India's aliveness also comes through in its distinct moods which are at times frenetic and aggressive, at times compassionate and generous, and at others humble and sublimely devotional. India evoked a range of emotions in me ranging from a deep existential sense of aloneness to inexplicable feelings of euphoria.
I went to India two years ago, so I was able to prepare myself and my group to travel to India with one simple mantra: "resistance is futile!" The more you resist the rhythm of India, the more difficult the experience will be. However, if you manage to find your inner calm and remain in contact with that, India will carry you on her shoulders and guide you effortlessly to the people, places and experiences you need to have in order for your heart and mind to be expanded.
There is a constant flow of sights, sounds, smells, people, bikes, animals, honking, and of course, chanting. For the western psyche, this may be a bit much unless you learn how to cultivate a suppleness of mind - that's why India is my greatest meditation teacher! Each day was an opportunity to practice living life as a meditation, watching thoughts and activities from a place of receptiveness and non-attachment. I also met some of the most generous, kind-hearted and sincere people there, and each of them brought me into greater alignment with those same qualities within myself.
Ultimately, India either softens you through your own willingness to surrender to the force that it is, or it cracks your egoic shell like an adept samurai swordsman and watches as you plummet into your spiritual heart, maybe for the first time ever! Either way, India exerts its alchemical magic on you leaving you somehow transformed for the better.
Have you ever taken a trip somewhere that somehow radically changed you from the inside out? I'd love to hear your travel stories - feel free to share below.
Love & Light,
Find more from Shanell, including local class listings, on her website www.healingyogini.com