Our brand ambassador, Heidi Marie Harris, recently attended a four day silent yoga retreat. Her experience at this retreat was profound and moving. We invite you to read her story below.
“I am a concert violinist, and I work in the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. My job is to work with sound. I craft this sound in ways that tell a story. If I do my job well, the sound I create will transport people into their imaginations and away from every day life, allowing the mundane, stress, and worry of life to slip away.”
The Silent Yoga Retreat
“A few weeks ago, I left this world of sound behind for four days and flew to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where I attended a silent meditation and yoga retreat with my teachers, Tias and Surya Little, at their school Prajna Yoga. Being a meditation and yoga teacher myself, I am drawn towards things that bring balance to my life and are good for my mind and body; things like the Karuna products, music, the outdoors, meditation, and yoga.”
Heidi and her teacher, Surya.
“Prajna Yoga is located outside of the city of Santa Fe, high up in the hills. It overlooks the valley below. I sat in meditation and moved in silence during those four days – without speaking, without the use of electronics, and only listening to the sounds of nature and the breathing and movement of my fellow yogis. I noticed through this journey that we began to listen, move, and breathe in a way that brought to my mind the image of a colorful and diverse, shifting and changing kaleidoscope. A kaleidoscope comprised of individuals, but made whole by the group.”
What does it teach?
“Ever since I returned home from this experience, the image of the world as a kaleidoscope has been in the forefront of my mind. It has served as an anchor for me in recent days, as the world has shifted and changed so drastically since then – just another example of the world in its never ending metamorphosis. The kaleidoscope both haunts and inspires me, and so I wrote about it and wanted to share it here with you.
The kaleidoscope of shimmering fall colors that nature brings to us this time of year reminds us of the multitude of colors on our earth, both in what we see around us in nature and in the nature of one another as human beings. This kaleidoscope we are all a part of is ever changing, ever shifting, and without end.
To preserve the beauty and peace of our shared mother earth, the creatures on earth, and each other as we live our lives on the earth together, we must ask ourselves, ‘Where do I fit into this shared kaleidoscope, so full of a multitude of colors, shapes, movements, ideas, and beliefs? And how can I show up within the kaleidoscope mindfully, with minimal harm to others, with tolerance and understanding for others, and in productive and positive ways?’
Only we as individuals can answer this questions. But how do we answer this question with all of the outer chatter and diverse views in the world, and all of our inner chatter as well? How do we hear the answers we long for to guide us?
Hearing our innermost questions and answers is possible if we allow ourselves to become quiet and still inside. Through practicing yoga, we learn to listen to our innermost tides, the deepest currents of movement both in our minds and bodies. We learn to move in mindful, skillful ways, both physically, emotionally, and verbally, and by doing so connect to greater peace and wisdom within us.
The practice of mindful movement through yoga, and dropping into deep silence and stillness through meditation allows use to show up in the kaleidoscope of the world with others, with a greater capacity for compassion and understanding, and with guidance from the wisest voice within each of us. This voice will speak to us if we only be quiet and still enough to listen.
“I invite you to ask yourself with me today the question that I now ask myself everyday, ‘How will I show up in the world today? How will I show up in the kaleidoscope that is our shared world?’
“Thank you for reading my story.”
Guest Author: Heidi Marie Harris