An end of summer yoga storytelling adventure took me on a solo sojourn to Lake Pontchartrain’s North Shore. I returned to the comforts of Camellia House B&B in Covington, LA. The “Petite Room” was my home away from home for a rest and relaxation retreat. The cozy space was surrounded by windows, a cushy twin bed and a tiny table and chair, who could ask for anything more. The warm, friendly Linda presented me with a lovely, light quiche for breakfast, tender melt in your mouth pastries, yogurt and fresh fruit each glorious morning. Ahh…the luxuries of a B&B.
Friday evening’s adventure began in a charmingly renovated old home at the Women’s Center for Healing and Transformation in Abita Springs. The center serves as a haven for personal growth and connection. The community is blessed to have such. Classes are donation based and all are welcome. They are a non-profit, partnering with female-owned businesses in the healing arts, offering classes, workshops, and retreats. Once a month they offer a Full Moon Drumming Circle on the Friday night closest to the full moon. My handsome borrowed drum and I entered to find women already gathering. Mothers brought daughters and daughters brought mothers for a time of sharing and bonding. Greeted by the open arms of Patricia, we placed cushions on the floor creating our circle. Drums of all kinds were placed before us to share. The drum is a powerful instrument. It is believed to have power to heal and send messages to the natural and spirit worlds. The drumbeat evokes many powerful forms of energy and aids in focusing one’s attention. The full moon is also known for evoking many powerful forms of energy as we all well know. In addition the moon’s reflection gives us an opportunity for self- reflection so we opened the circle by introducing ourselves and offered our intentions. The full moon reminds me to be grateful for the abundance in my life, so I brought gratitude to the circle. Then the drumming began and all timidity fled. Passion and freedom took its place. Time passed, our hearts beating as one, our drums in rhythm. I left with a heartfelt embrace and a serene sense of acceptance. As I stepped through the door the fullness of the moon shined upon me. May I remember to listen as spirit calls me and to do as spirit says.
Saturday morning brought soft sunshine through the windows. Yoga time! I hopped in the car and drove down to Mandeville. Libby with Yoga Sanga offered a heart centered practice at the MarVilla Guest House where I met Michael, the owner, who generously offers the use of the room. It too was a donation based class. Donation based classes are great for developing trust. Trust is the knowledge that all we need will come to us. We began our practice of cultivating happiness by focusing on the bud of the lotus that begins to open at the heart center. The mind lives in the heart and fluctuates between positive and negative energies. The mind also lives in the past and the future, but happiness happens in the present moment. When we bring the mind’s energy into balance through yoga we bring it into unity. We become centered in our hearts and happiness can grow. The root of the lotus gets it nourishment from the earth; this is where we realize that we are cared for. The stem grows straight and strong through the muddy waters and here we come to understand that we are capable and so we receive courage. The bud of the lotus blossom forms at the heart center and begins to open; this is compassion, compassion for ourselves and as well as compassion for others. The practice was sweet and lovely as a lotus blossom. Another kind embrace and I departed focused on happiness, may my heart stay centered.
Just around the corner was the lakefront so I sat on the seawall absorbing the gifts of sun, water and air and all I had experienced so far.
The North Shore never fails!
The North Shore never fails!