Thursday, March 30, 2017

Musical Balm for the Soul: Beautiful Mantra

I would like to share a beautiful mantra with you. This song magically brought me lots of healing as I began my own practice at home - magically because I have no idea what it is saying, but its words in Sanskrit melody carried me as I began to slowly blossom anew, growing stronger as I healed, taking concepts we were learning from Gopi Kinnicutt and Keli Lalita at Yoga Mandali in Saratoga, and bringing it home to my mat for my own expression. This mantra song was on repeat as I moved through poses that became like puzzle pieces as they seamlessly began to click together. I had known the poses, but I had never realized how naturally one could flow into the next once one begins studying sequencing.

To read about the difference of between mantra and prayer, see this wonderful post by White Hindu. Mantra works with sound vibrations, and can be very life-changing, as she articulates very well.

With mantra, the sound vibrations matter
All I know is that I found fresh physical healing with this song over time, and could not go beyond it to find any other song with the same affect. 2016 saw me endure 3 major surgeries (one of which was 8-hours long, life-saving, drastic, and complicated), one minor surgery, three sedated scopes, 5 CAT scans, a barium enema, several painful anal exams, an ostomy, countless needle pokes, pain meds, x-rays, 4 ER trips, and a total of 40 days in the hospitals in my hometown and at Memorial Sloan Kettering in NYC. I needed some healing and restoration to transition into a new body and life. In this same year, I had been unable to hold and carry my newborn for 4 months of his new life, and if I were to hold this strong, growing boy in the future, I couldn't let my abdomen remain as compromised as it was. My surgeon at MSK would warm me that my stomach was like sliced cheese, cut in three ways; I didn't want another complication such as a hernia. I was on longterm disability due to all this, so what better time to delve into the study of yoga - for personal enrichment, yes, and hadn't I been saying (due to all my experience in the hospitals) that I wanted to help people? Maybe getting Reiki level 2 certified was not enough... I needed more. Yoga gave that to me - through its ancient philosophy, the yamas and niyamas, the mantras, the unity with others in song and om, and the unity and peace with my own body that I found in the months of the 200 hour training.  

Gratitude was the meditation theme my partner and I chose for our final teaching exam. It is still a hard concept to put into words. But here is a short list of major themes: Gratitude for my son who saved my life, gratitude to God for bringing him just in time, gratitude for the inner peace that is deepening, the sense of humor that is growing, and the body that supports my mind, my life, and allows me to still be here for my now 14 month-old son... and see him grow into a man. Gratitude for so much love shown to me, and so much love before me in his smiling eyes.

This is my son in the summer of 2016, during the time between major surgeries and stays in NYC hospital.
So much love to keep Momma focused and marching forward.
I am also deeply grateful to Karen Score at Yoga Mandali for inviting me to do a by donation class on April 9. All proceeds will go to cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City. 

I hope you enjoy this beautiful mantra: