This July, I returned to attend a monthly seminar in Valencia, at my yoga school Integral Yoga Dharma Ananda. A journey from my current home in China, Ningbo, to the UK to stay with my family, to Spain and then Sweden, to stay with my partner’s family. The only time I can really return to Europe on a yearly basis.

I was so looking forward to it, in great need of receiving an Integral Yoga class from my teacher Ananda, and some talks on spiritual practices from my teacher Tao. In fact, this year, I’ve been a little crazy, my eyes moving rapidly and mind spinning with tonnes of little endless tasks and the new ideas I get. I’ve had little time to check in with myself and others, and it just doesn’t suit me to live like that. It goes against my principles and teachings on looking after the mind and body. My yoga teachers did mention that they’d seen me better! In fact, it was just the kick I needed to remember how to treat the body and mind, and how important Dhyana Yoga (Meditation or Yoga Mental as Tao calls it in Spanish) is.

So, my new mission is to explore more deeply meditation and the habits of my mind. Every time I think I’ve worked profoundly with my mind and lost a little strip off ‘myself’ (in a good way of course), I remember how much more work there is to do, and the important role that discipline plays. It never stops, the journey continues. The process endures.

One more thing, I was honoured to nonetheless be given a spiritual name by my teachers, and it’s a lovely one, I cried when it was announced with my yogi and yogini cohort during a weekend teacher training seminar.

Uma Shakti Devi

The loose translation from Sanskrit is Goddess of Creative Energy. Thank you Ananda and Tao, I will treasure it always. Just the push I needed. See you next July.

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