Who Are You . . . Really?

My yoga classes have evolved over the years to become so much more than when I first began. In the beginning, yoga was a time for muscle stretching and enforced relaxation. In its current incarnation, our instructor, Yvonne Werkmann, supports me and seven other women through customized practices chosen to support us wherever we are in our individual journeys — physically and in-oh-so-many other ways.

(Remember when I used to mention you in a post, Yvonne, frustrated because you didn’t have a website I could link your name to so others could learn more about what you do? Oh, how things have changed!)

Because of the nature of the class, we are all privy to the suggestions everyone else receives.

“Breathe,” she’ll remind one of us and everyone else remembers to tune into her breath.

“Relax your pelvis/shoulders/fill in the blanks,” she’ll say and bodies around the room move deeper into their asanas.

It’s eavesdropping at its finest!

We’re also present to each others’ challenges and celebrations and things that bubble up are often explored in the coffee shop after class.

This particular group has been together for a few years. A tremendous amount of trust has been generated in that time, making that room, that space and time and particular group of  women a safe place to be vulnerable and real.

This week, Yvonne invited one of the Wise Women in our group to share something that had recently occurred in her life over the weekend. It was a heart-wrenching and radiant story about grief and loss and love and connection. As Candy spoke, compassionate tears of recognition and empathy flowed from every eye in the room. It touched a place in all of us.

As we sat in the open-heart-space of the story’s aftermath, Yvonne reminded us that Candy’s story is what yoga is all about: bringing us back to who we really are. She shared a Hindu creation story which describes the Creator as a fiery presence and each of us humans as a flame originating from that fire. The Divine is not something outside of ourselves, but within us. WE ARE DIVINE! And the purpose of ‘yoga in every moment’ is to bring us closer to that knowledge and to living from that place of deep knowing and trust.

We’ve all had moments that defy explanation. Times when we ‘know’ something without knowing how we know. And magic happens when we act on that knowing.

Times when we ask for signs and are given incontravertible proof that there is so much more to this life than what we can see, taste, hear, smell, feel with our wonderful, but limited, senses.

Times when . . .

well . . .

. . . Yvonne shared another tidbit she’d learned from one of her teachers, Eric Schiffmann: that we have access to divine knowledge at all times, for even the most mundane of things. For instance, when it comes time to buy apples, Eric invites you to pause in the produce aisle and check in — feel into your divine knowing — and THEN choose your apples.

Your apples — the ones meant for you in that moment — will be glowing more brightly than the rest.

I was dumbfounded by Yvonne’s story choice — that very thing had happened to me that very morning, although without the tuning in that would ideally precede it. I was rushing through my grocery shopping to get done in time in time to have lunch before my yoga class.

“Apples,” I whispered, reading the next item on my list. I turned toward the apple bins and then stopped in my tracks, my eye immediately drawn to a mound of ruby-golden jewels. There was no mistaking my apples!

They were radiant. Beautiful.


As I filled my bag, I read the bin’s label – Ambrosia.


How perfect is that?


Back to yoga . . .

I spent the remainder of the class feeling for that flame within me, expanding my inner spark toward its fiery Home.


The ‘flame-throwing’ came after.

First, I lay on the mat and wept. Tears flowed for the power of our fellow Wise Woman’s story and because an inexplicable something had been stirred or awakened (or maybe re – awakened) by Candy’s generous sharing of her experience and Yvonne’s gentle invitation and because of my own recognition of all the times that knowing has played out in my life and in the lives of my children.

Perhaps I’ll share some of those stories with you sometime.

For now, I’ll just continue hanging out in this sweet, spark-ing energy that reminds me moment-to-moment who I really am.

This entry was posted in deep thoughts, Sanctuary in a Crowded World and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Who Are You . . . Really?

  1. Yvonne says:

    It is powerful when growth happens with a group hey? We can carry each other so much further when we step fully into ourselves. I love it!

  2. J says:

    Beautiful. There are no other words; you said them all.

  3. maxinespence says:

    Thank you for making a safe place for that to happen, Yvonne.

  4. Pingback: Look What I Found! | Maxine Spence's Blog

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