Ecstatic Reunion: Amy Caldwell’s Reflections on Coachella

by Amy Caldwell

This piece originally published on Yoga Digest

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We’ve moved four times in the past year.  I’ve packed and unpacked, made hundreds of lists, sorted and simplified.  At times, amidst the chaos, I’ve wanted to drown myself in a good bottle of red wine (and done so).  Yet I’ve also danced, joyfully and lovingly, with each family member; a slow sweet dance with our eleven year old daughter to Sean Hayes in the kitchen of our tiniest rental, merengue to “Suavemente” with my husband, and our seven year old son learned to waltz near the Christmas tree at our final move, our new (very old) home.

At these times particularly, I remember that which we seek is already at hand. Feeling at “home” wherever we are is our true nature. No matter where we are or what we are doing, that which we seek is already inside each and every one of us…and all around us. However, it seems as humans we often forget this essential truth. That’s where suffering enters. Dancing can help us embrace the present moment.

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Find Your Space

Special people, places, situations or activities may help facilitate easier remembrance. Some meditation teachers recommend looking at the sky to reconnect to the big energy. Often being in nature or resting in Savasana (corpse pose a.k.a. final resting posture) after a balanced yoga practice can open the doors of perception to the deep peace of what being “home” feels like.

For me, as strange as it may seem, Coachella music festival is one of those places where deeper connection happens. A sea of diverse peoples, sights, smells, and of course sounds – Coachella can be akin to world traveling. Although it’s not far in terms of actual distance from my San Diego home, it is worlds away from my day-to-day experience (caring for a family and owning / operating a yoga studio).

Get Out of the Rut

While perhaps one might think, “Ah, yoga teacher, her life must be fancy free…” I encounter the same responsibilities as many adults. I pay bills, aim to conscientiously raise my children and maintain a healthy relationship with my husband of 20 years while managing teachers and staff, growing our business and making it a priority to maintain my own yoga practice and self-care.

In our day-to-day lives, there is often a routine, a rhythm that becomes like a groove on a vinyl record (“samskara” or “samsara” aka conditioned existence or stored mental and physical aversions).  When we step out into a new or different situation or environment, there is no blueprint. This phenomenon can provide an opportunity to be connected to our child-like, open presence. So for me, an out of the ordinary experience such as Coachella is like a reset button, reminding me to wake up and truly embrace the moment.

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Listen to What Speaks to You

One of my first yoga teachers advised, pay attention to that which speaks to you. I agree it is essential question to ask our selves, “Where do I feel connected to the ‘big energy’? What helps me feel at ‘home’?” Then equally important, is to really listen for your unique personal answer.  Another technique to arrive in the present (where, of course, we already are) is to close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and fully pay attention to the complete inhale and complete exhale – why not give it a try and notice how you feel (so simple but effective!).

Yoga practice is a useful tool to help us recognize our connectedness to each other, all living things and ourselves.  It isn’t about changing anything or adding anything. And, we definitely don’t need to constantly try new things to feel enlivened. But we can fully enjoy the many journeys of our life while remembering the comfort of our inner “home”.

So whether at Coachella with your best friends immersed in a sea of 90,000 plus pulsating, dancing, smiling fellow humans, on your yoga mat, or even driving your car, as my favorite teacher Diana Beardsley says, how wonderful “that every moment is an opportunity for ecstatic reunion.”

– Originally published at: http://yogadigest.com/ecstatic-reunion-tips-remembering-connectedness-present-moment/#sthash.oIfcgqjc.dpuf

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Head Yoga Teacher and Co-Founder of Yoga One, Amy Caldwell has dedicated herself to the practice, study and teaching of yoga since discovering its joys and benefits in 1997.

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