Finding the Land of OZ
As we grow older, we become increasingly aware of the pace of time and the effect is has on our minds and bodies. We comment on how fast the time is passing. We note its ability to heal. We develop a healthy perspective on the way it changes things and a respect for its’ unpredictability. As I reflect on the last year of my healing journey, I recognize how slowly the time passed. I gradually began to lack motivation and lose sight of what made me truly happy. My inner happiness became contingent on my outer surroundings; and when the outside world was no longer stimulating, the flame inside my heart burned out. There I sat, in a cloud of motionless time, looking for a way to breath vitality back into my body and mind.
That breath finally came from Tanja at Mendocino Healing. Living on the Mendocino coast, I had heard about the benefits of energy healing but I had not every experienced it for myself. I was not sure that I would physically benefit from the experience; but, as it was, my energy was already poorly circulating and I figured it could not hurt to try. Tanja reassured me that all I had to do was sit back and have an open mind.
For me, the experience was highly meditative. It was my first glimpse into re-understanding how time works. When we put time back into ourselves, our mind has the ability to process sensory information and then let it go. Now, it’s not always that simple, as I began to find out. But, with practice, meditation brings clarity to the mind and openness to the heart. Intrigued to understand myself better, I began taking Tanja’s Lunar Goddess Yoga class.
It was unique to any yoga experience I had ever had. The pace of the class mirrored the natural ebb and flow of the lunar calendar. Some classes were invigorating to the body and mind while others were calm and reflective. Tanja encouraged self-expression as she guided me through the poses. For an hour and a half of my day, I was free of judgments and limitations. The power of my inner goddess was tangible! We celebrated both our breakthroughs and our breakdowns through all phases of the class. We laughed. We cried. We danced. Lunar Goddess Yoga helped to remind me that time is always changing. We should be grateful for the good we experience in our lives because circumstances can always change. Yet, we should also be patient during rough times, as they will soon change too.
Through routine mediation and yoga with Tanja, I became increasingly self aware of the expansions and limitations of my body and mind. For me personally, the physical benefits of yoga were instant. I felt both energized and grounded immediately after class. On the other hand, I soon realized that the mental journey is a long-term, steady, commitment. The ride does not end at a destination. Like time, the mind is always changing and sometimes we just need to roll our mat out and touch base with our inner selves.
Throughout my whole journey, Tanja reminded me to keep focus on the things that bring me happiness. She encouraged me to be brave and to embrace my inner goddess when I am met with new life challenges. And as simple as it might sound, she taught me to breath. We must breath through every yoga practice, every challenge and every moment that we are given in this lifetime.
As I reflect back on this year, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the people and experiences that were a part of my life. I feel as though I am Dorothy stepping into the Land of OZ, experiencing a world of vivid color and pure imagination. I am currently residing and enjoying life in Northern Utah as I pursue my career as a fisheries biologist. I practice yoga and meditation as a daily reminder to be grateful and to keep breathing through this crazy, beautiful life we live.
Katelyn Jordan, Age 26
I have practiced yoga with my wonderful teacher Tanja for over a year now.
We have worked hard together.
Sometimes I forget how far I have come. The changes have been monumental – not only has my strength increased tremendously but I have changed as a person.
It is the constant reminder from Tanja, that we are perfect the way we are, that we don’t have to compete, that we say the truth, that we are compassionate and giving and that we accept what is here right now, that has changed the way I am in the world.
In class, sometimes I get frustrated with my body; I fall over; can’t keep my balance; sometimes I cry as emotions overwhelm me but I would be devastated if I couldn’t practice with Tanja.
The pains in my body are much less and my flexibility has increased so much and putting all the benefits together I can only recommend yoga to everyone.
After all, I am 78 years old and if I can do it, so can you!