I randomly came across one in Guatemala that described a host of activities using words that really got my hippy senses tingling... cacao ceremony, medicine wheel, shamanism, etc. This was the training for me! It was at the aptly named Mystical Yoga Farm on Lake Atitlan and as soon as I arrived I knew I'd made the right choice. On the first day I sat in a hammock by the dock, looked out across the lake and over to the volcanoes that were enveloped by low lying cloud - I was exactly where I was meant to be. It was beautiful. Flowers and butterflies everywhere, complete inclusion with no judgement and time to be the real me, authentic in my weirdness!
The transformation was undeniable with everyday bringing a deeper opening and surrendering to my vulnerability. In the second week I got really sick - I had parasites to the point where I was doubled over in pain crying. This pain lasted about 7 days. During this time I learnt to be gentle on myself, listening to my body and not pushing. From this place of acceptance and allowing, I found myself able to do things that I couldn't do before. Instead of aiming for that headstand, I simply prepped for it - content to just be there inverted on the mat. In this way, one day I found that my legs lifted on their own, and being content with where I was in each moment my body began to unfurl like a fern. Then, on the last day of training, I nailed the headstand on my own in the water shala :)
This was such a beautiful lesson to learn, followed by an even more beautiful reminder when I started to feel better - be grateful for the health of your body everyday!
The whole experience of the training reminds me of this quote by Carl Rogers: "A person is a fluid process, not a fixed and static entity; a flowing river of change, not a block of solid material; a continually changing constellation of potentialities, not a fixed quantity of traits."
At the end of the training a few of us decided to stay in San Marcos for a couple of days before all heading off in different directions to continue on our travels. I had a flight back to NZ in a few weeks and wanted to explore more of Guatemala and maybe even Belize.
On my second day in town I met Zen who ran the Ananda Healing Center. I told him I was a healer and he said I could rent one of his therapy rooms... after having a massage from me to check I was legit of course :) After the test treatment, he offered me the use of the room and within 3 days I had a Guatemalan cellphone, promo flyers printed and a glowing testimonial from one of the most experienced healers in San Marcos.
So then I thought to myself, why leave? This felt like a big decision and a big risk, but something that would bring about BIG transformation. Before I knew it my flights were changed and I was now a resident of the lake... with NO idea what I was doing! I just trusted that everything had happened to get me to this moment and that my desire to stay had to be listened to. I had followed the breadcrumbs that led me to Guatemala, and now I was following my heart, making big changes that I knew would change my life forever.