how Summer Yoga School at Laughing Lotus changed my life
by Inbal Meron
During my second year in University (studying for a B.S. in Plant Science) I came to the dreadful realization that I did not want to develop a career in the field I was studying. I had recently started practicing yoga at a studio near campus and made a pact with myself that I would finish my studies, get my degree and then travel to India. My logic was: If I don’t know what I want to do with my life career-wise, I might as well focus on things I know I want to do, like travel and study yoga.
During my time in India, I decided that I wanted to become a yoga teacher. I would look for a teacher training program once I returned home to Israel. It’s funny how sometimes we feel like we’re in control and we have a plan, all while life has other things in store for us. I returned after 6 months of travels and let’s just say, things didn’t go so smoothly.
Two weeks after my return I fell and broke my right shoulder in a mountain biking accident and ended up stranded at my parents home for two months completely helpless, jobless, moneyless and in a lot of pain! After healing and going to physical therapy I was ready to get back on track, but more than anything, I needed a job.
One job led to another. Time went by. I was busy and having a hard time finding a yoga training. I moved to Tel Aviv, where I found a yoga teacher and a training program, but, once again, life had something else in store for me. Out of the blue, I found myself planning a huge and permanent move to San Francisco.
Fate had it that I stepped into Laughing Lotus Yoga Center, about three weeks after arriving in San Francisco. Right away I knew that it was the right place for me! After a couple of weeks of attending classes at the Lotus, I learned that a Summer Intensive Teacher training was being offered. I was a bit overwhelmed at the time (having just moved across the world) and didn’t think to enroll, even though I had always wanted to do a yoga training. Luckily, I off-handedly mentioned the training to my husband, who immediately responded, “Perfect! Do it!” I was hesitant. I really wanted to teach but couldn’t fathom how in such a short time I could become a teacher. But the seed had been planted. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I just decided to go for it and see what happened.
What a great decision that was! The experience was transformative. I trained with a great group of yogis; it was intense and the training literally changed my life. We delved deep into the practices of yoga. The Lotus Flow opened my eyes to aspects of yoga I never knew existed. I was enthralled by the beauty and the grace that all the teachers brought to the training. Not only did we deepen our knowledge and practice of yoga, we learned to teach, to share and invite students to experience the depths and beauty of the practice. Our teachers urged us to go deep into ourselves to access our knowledge within.
My classmates and I didn’t want the training to end because it was so fun and inspiring. And, we were a little intimidated to actually start teaching. But, by the end of the training, we had learned so much it felt like we were bursting at the seams to share everything we had learned. I was thrilled because I knew that I finally had all the tools I needed to live my dream and start teaching!
This summer it will be two years since that transformative experience at Laughing Lotus Yoga School and I’m happy to say that today, teaching yoga is what I do. I am thrilled and filled with gratitude for every turn and every decision that brought me here.
Inbal Meron will be assisting & mentoring in the Laughing Lotus Summer Yoga School program – 2013. For more info or to apply, go to: http://sf.laughinglotus.com/twohoursummer.html.
I once asked a bird,
“How is it that you fly in this gravity of darkness?”
“Love lifts me.” ~ Hafez
Taking flight means so many different things to me. It means spiritual flight, the places where I feel Supreme Connection to all living things around me. Where I can breathe into all the spaces of the heart, even when it is scary. Flight means allowing myself to live my dreams. To not stifle or push down or squeeze myself into some box that does not fit. Fulfilling ones dharma, loving what I do and doing what I love. That’s Flight for me.
The physical practice of “flying” is only interesting to me because it has helped me feel more aligned with all parts of the practice. It was not easy for me to approach the inversion practices. I was in awe of them. A bit scared… Ok. Very Scared. Like the relationship I have with the ocean. So majestic and magical, yet I wasn’t gonna mess with her too much. I kept a healthy distance. There came a time where I allowed myself to go deeper into the water, but I kept a healthy respect. I feel this way about the inversions and arms balances. I needed to build strength, overcome fears and learn how to align. Then I was able to go deeper, and yes, it is a magical place. There is not much room for outside thoughts when balancing on my hands. This is a still point, a focus point. Concentration. Helps me out of that monkey mind.
As a teacher, sequencing Lotus Fly is always an amazing creative experience. How do I help to get students lifted? How can I sequence a class to get people strong yet supple and full of breath. How we we face fears, not quit on ourselves and at the same time not be ego driven or competitive in this physical world of asana. How do I get people ready to align? These are the questions I ask myself when preparing for FLY.
Lotus Fly is a Lotus Flow class peppered with inversions arm balances, advanced standing poses, back bends and hip openers. It’s for students and teachers who are interested in taking the physical practice to their appropriate next level. You don’t have to be a “Flyer” to FLY. It’s about opening up to all the possibilities.
FLYING to San Francisco this Friday to share my passion with my beloved Lotus SF Family. Come Fly with me Saturday and Sunday, March 16th and 17th. Let us take flight right into Spring!