Recently, we ordered an Diana mini camera
for my enthusiastic 18-year-old photographer's birthday. A whimsical automatic message immediately appeared in my Inbox from Lomography:
"We're seriously committed to making sure your Lomographic order arrives in the best possible condition. At the moment our holistic shipping experts are busy preparing your treasured cargo psychologically for the journey that lies ahead. After a bit of chanting and chakra balancing our packaging architects will set to work making your goods as comfortable as possible. Under the cover of darkness a no-messing security troop will escort your package to the post depot to ensure it departs without a sniff of trouble. It's at this point we release two pigeons of peace as a symbol of thanks for another successful shipment."
"chanting"..."chakra balancing"..."pigeons of peace"??? I have to say, I appreciated this message far more now than I would have a month ago before my Ayurvedic weekend in northern Vermont...I am even learning Indian chanting now, not intending to outdo my teenager who is incidently learning Chinese...
My incredibly gifted yoga instructor at the retreat was a top American yogini, should I say a guru, precious Lilavati, owner of "Temple of the Lotus" a yoga center near Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia.
She has been learning yoga since the age of 15 and has perfected her Ayurvedic practices ever since...She taught us Ayurvedic yoga for hours each day. She now has lots of oils and nectars available at her website to use "as a protective sheat from Vatas dry chilling energy" available to buy.
Best of all, for us, were her intensive training classes to yoga teachers around the country. I am hoping to use her special recipes to enhance my "strength, grounded~ness, health and balance during the winter months." Be sure to contact her studio "Temple of the Lotus" where she teaches yoga, and talks about doshas and balance and other such important yoga principles.
Before I went to the writer/yoga retreat, I became convinced in my own mind I would fail at it. Lilavati assured me no one fails Yoga (except possibly me, I thought)...
Those of us privileged to attend the retreat also learned Indian chanting during our evenings, and benefited from sing-alongs led by a lovely, talented singer usually known simply as Yvette, or sometimes Yvette Om.
I have been learning her chants by heart, aided by her CD "Into the Arms of Love" which I highly recommend. It is available at her website to order online, and makes the perfect gift for yourself or any yoga enthusiast...She sings haunting Kirtan lyrics with the aid of her harmonium, other singers, and other musical instruments, such as the violin and sitar.
Please take a moment to buy it. You will soon find yourself adding quick chants throughout your busy days, and probably long, slow chanting meditations, too....Shri Ganesha, Om Gam Gana Mataye Namaha, Jagatambe Hey Ma, Hey Ma Durga..Yvette's lovely lyrics will relax you when you allow her music to move you...
Of course, I like yoga for the stress-reduction benefits, and "for positive effects on sleep anxiety, quality of life, and spiritual growth" W. Tranquility is, for anyone, a positive goal. Yoga also has a grand goal of freedom from illness, old age and death ...I wish that would be true for me. I already have a good, old relationship with my Christian God...As a physical, spiritual and mental discipline, however, yoga is a useful adjunct to our busy lives. I recommend it when you have the opportunity.
"Temple of the Lotus" Philadelphia's Ayurvedic Sanctuary is at 1527 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146 email: Lilavati@TempleoftheLotus.com