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Changing the world one sunny day at a time

Monday, August 3, 2009 by Marianne Elliott

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I've been on holiday for five days. In that short time I have remembered how easy it is for me to feel light-hearted and at ease in the warm sun. I remember when my heart was breaking in Afghanistan I would sit on the roof with a mango because I was incapable of feeling sorry for myself while I was sitting in the warm sun eating a mango. Cherries, strawberries, nectarines, peaches and melons all work the same magic. 

In these past five days I've been to yoga classes with yoga teachers whom I have admired and respected for years. After years of practicing with their DVDs it was wonderful to practice in the flesh with Shiva Rea and Seane Corn. Both classes were challenging in their own way, inviting me to take myself out to my 'intelligent' edge and practice there. Yet both were also characterised by a particular kind of ease, an ease that came from the quiet confidence and certainty that each teacher brought to the class. I also practiced with Hala Khouri whose work to bring the healing powers of yoga to people who have experienced trauma is of special interest to me. 

As I left each class to hop on a borrowed bike and ride back along the beach to the home of the friend I was staying with, I was washed in joy and gratitude. I did, however, dream about having one of the electric bikes we test rode in North Hollywood – perfect to getting home through a headwind after a challenging yoga class!

My very sweet boyfriend was happy not only to accompany me to these classes but also to indulge me in a little yoga studio tour of LA. Apart from Exhale, in Venice, where we took the classes, we have also visited Yoga Works and Golden Bridge yoga. Golden Bridge was a beautiful place. We were both quite happy to just wander around the book shop and the cafe for a good while, soaking up the beautiful atmosphere while I sneaked glances at Gurmukh who was sitting at a table in the cafe. As you might expect she glowed with kindness, health and the particular beauty that people have who have settled down into their own place of deep peace and love. It wasn't hard to see why people are very drawn to her teachings.

All in all I felt very satisfied with my three day yoga tour of LA and it all made me even more excited about the workshop I'm about to start tonight. I'm about to begin a one week workshop with Hala, Seane and Suzanne Sterling looking at how to take our yoga practice off the mat and out into the world

For the first thirty five years of my life most of my practice of yoga was off the mat, I've only really developed a regular asana practice in the last three years. My interest was always in how I could live in the world to reduce suffering but I didn't always understand that putting time and patience into my own personal practices was an important part of that process. 

Yoga has helped give me a much more solid base from which to practice peace in the world, so I'm really interested in the work Hala, Sean and Suzanne do to encourage other yogis to take that base and get out into the world to create change. 

All that and I'll be in Big Sur, a place I have been dreaming about visiting for many years. Life is good and I believe me, I do know just how blessed I am. 


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11 Responses to "Changing the world one sunny day at a time"

  1. Andi says:

    What a lovely healing vacation you took!!! I’m glad you left refreshed and relaxed. You’re going to adore Big Sur. And you’ll probably leave there even more healed. Blessings. 🙂

  2. susanna says:

    Have I told you what a pleasure it is to read these posts about your spiritual journey, Marianne? I like how you jump right in and are willing to trying new experiences. You are grounded and open minded.

  3. megg says:

    Oh how I long for that kind of love for something physical – your trip and the clear, solid focus of it feels like bliss to me.
    You have a real gift for focus –
    sending you peace.

  4. Anne-Marie says:

    Sounds like you are having an amazing trip, Marianne! I’m so jealous! It couldn’t get much better than yoga and warm sunshine with some one you love.
    “I was incapable of feeling sorry for myself while I was sitting in the warm sun eating a mango. Cherries, strawberries, nectarines, peaches and melons all work the same magic.” Amen to that!

  5. You are here? Come and see my garden!

  6. Yvonne says:

    Brilliant Marianne, sounds like you are having an amazing trip!
    And here I was coming to tell you I would be at Yoga next Monday. I have finally been given the all clear and can’t wait to get started again 🙂

  7. Swirly says:

    And the world is blessed to have you in it my friend. I miss you already!

  8. susanna says:

    Hey Marianne,
    I came across this site today and thought of you…
    “Our Foundation was established to ensure that any child in America who wants to learn and practice the Transcendental Meditation program can do so.”
    “In today’s world of fear and uncertainty, every child should have one class period a day to dive within himself and experience the field of silence—bliss—the enormous reservoir of energy and intelligence that is deep within all of us. This is the way to save the coming generation.”
    -David Lynch,founder and chairman of the
    Board of Trustees of the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based
    Education and World Peace…and yes, The Director

  9. tiny noises says:

    I am so, so, so happy to hear that your holiday is off to the perfect start and that you are alive in your practice all over the globe. Happy Summer!

  10. mmmmm. yoga, love, peace and mangos.
    sounds blissfully divine.

  11. Paris Parfait says:

    Hmmm, my comment vanished. Sounds like this trip is just the tonic! No doubt you’ll enjoy the spectacular beauty of Big Sur! xo

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