“In every community there is work to be done. In every nation there are wounds to heal. In every heart there is the power to do it.” — Marianne Williamson
Three women from the domestic violence shelter came to my home shala this week. They’ve known me from the shelter since 2004. But I am only there once a month. They want more, and since the shelter can’t give them more yoga, they came to see me. I’ve opened my home to them. I won’t charge them what I usually charge for private yoga, so I tell them to pay me what they can afford. I don’t care.
They know what real yoga does, what it’s used for.
That’s what they were seeking.
She called me because she wanted relief from her anxiety attacks. She wants to be able to sleep. She had been doing well but took a few steps back. She went to the doctor because she thought she was having a heart attack. The doctor ran tests and told her she was fine. She gave her pills and told her to see a psychiatrist. But she did not want pills or the psychiatrist, she wanted yoga, so she called me.
We talked a long time, she told me her stories, what she has been dealing with. I understood completely. Two steps forward, a few steps back.
I told her how so many people live their lives in fear or anger, sometimes both. We’re mad at the past, afraid of the future, never right here, right now, just this. Only this. She understood, she’s heard me before, she just needed to be reminded of Buddha’s teachings on the two arrows of suffering. I told her to drop the hot coal.
I give what is needed to heal. I dose intuitively as any good medicine woman does. I flow as I am directed. No asana needed right now, only a heart opening. I placed a bolster under her to expand the chest, some blankets under the arms and head and asked her only to breath, to make the exhales longer than the inhales. When you teach someone a healing pranayama, miracles can happen. I gave her a visualization.
And then they came.
I am also an energy worker, a clairaudient, very sensitive to energy changes. My yoga room has an ananda vibe, everyone says so. She said that sometimes new places make her anxious but she felt safe here. It’s good to feel safe with someone you know but don’t know.
The windows were open and I heard the wind rise, the wind chimes started to ring furiously. I felt the change, I heard the swoop, and knew we were surrounded. She was surrounded. My voice sounded disembodied and I felt pressure on my arms as if someone was touching me. When I am do energy work my hands heat up and vibrate, but I wasn’t touching her.
I don’t know how long she was on the bolster, I don’t know how long I spoke about healing the heart.
All I knew was that it was just the two of us again.
After she sat up I asked how she felt and before she said anything I told her, “you were surrounded by angels.” I surprised myself when I said that, but I knew it as strongly as I know my own name. I said that the concept of angel guides had never resonated with me until I had some powerful energy work myself and then I believed. I told her to call them what she wanted…angels, light workers, spirit guides, it doesn’t matter because those are only labels.
She looked changed, lighter, brighter. Happy. She said at one point that even though her eyes were closed she saw a ball of white light surrounding her and the peace she felt was extraordinary. She said she knew now how to reach that place again.
And then she started to cry.
“Healing is not, after all, the same as curing. Healing does not mean going back to the way things were before, but rather of allowing what is now to move us closer to God.” — Ram Dass