I moved to Peru with my husband and two small children in the middle of October 2012 to start a Center in the Sacred Valley under a sacred waterfall. In the short term, practical life factors took some of the sacredness and turned it into the practical or slightly inconvenient. It has been a whirlwind to say the least. Living in a third world country is not the easiest thing I’ve ever done. Aside from the numerous woes of which beset anyone with young children, a menagerie of pets, and building a world class facility in Peru, it has been a great growth experience and also allowed for some reflection on the resiliency and perseverance of my nature, as well as the importance of my yoga practice.
As a mother, it has been interesting to work towards finding balance between allowing for freedom and also structure with the many changes we are experiencing. Living in the mountains among native farmers, bulls, chickens, pigs, sheep, and not speaking the language has been a test of patience and compassion. As a woman to walk out every morning to the splendor and beauty of the Peruvian sacred valley is thrilling.
With the move and daily Peruvian challenges it had been a while since I had taught a class or had a regular personal practice. We hosted our first private group the last 8 days leading up to 12/21/2012. I was able to teach yoga and breathwork to this group of 18, many of whom have never had a yoga practice. From feedback I received directly or second-hand, people felt like it was accessible to them now when it had not been before. A seed had been planted or a past flicker of interest reignited. I was at ease and in my purpose again. It sure did feel nice and for the first time, finally, felt like being home.
As part of this private retreat I was able to attend a traditional Andean sweat ceremony.
In retrospect, this was an initiation.
This experience was profound and with my past training something truly otherworldly blossomed. In that dark sweat lodge, chanting somewhat familiar seed mantras to awaken my centers of energy, I resonated with the Universe, I became the Universe, I became the chakra, the sound, the cosmos. It was a magical experience and is deepening my own understanding of connection with myself and others. These types of experiences are informing my yoga teaching and my daily lifestyle, perspective in each moment, raising awareness, consciousness and the unfolding of what our new Center will be to others. The Center will be a conduit for Spirit, for learning, for Creation, and Freedom, Self-realization and Action.
Our Center is a joyful labor of love that will support my efforts as a teacher, mother and healer. The Center will attract those that are on their Path, coming into the understanding of their purpose, with a true mission to make a difference in their lives for themselves and others. We will attract responsible people that know that they are being called to realize their full potential and raise their consciousness moving past the mundane. In this time we are all being called to become our own teachers, healers, and shamans, taking full responsibility for our growth, actions, energy and life. The Center supports this idea and cultivates self-empowerment. We will also have groups come that are just looking for a place to get away, quieting the mind, to sit in nature and just Be. So although we have more of a spiritual mission and focus, our center will not be exclusive of one type of group or belief.
We have been involved in every detail of starting this Center from budgeting, clearing land, new construction, tiles, bedding, amenities, workers and planting gardens. It has been energizing to start fresh, utilizing past skills but trusting intuition to make decisions that continuously unfold for manifesting our vision in this reality. I feel so blessed and amazed for this opportunity to live, love and learn in the sacred valley.