December 21, 2012:
Today the 5125 year Maya Calendar cycle came to an end. We took the time to set new intentions and to celebrate the beginning of the next era.
We awoke just before sunrise and journeyed to one of the oldest Mayan sites in Central America, Cahal Pech Maya Ruins located in Belize. This sacred ceremonial center was once inhabited from 1000 B.C to around 800 A. D. We were there now to commemorate the ending of the 5125-year-old Maya Calendar, 13th baktun, on December 21, 2012.
Chills ran down my spine as I smiled and took a deep breath. My voice was shaky as I opened the final class of our week together. I was filled with emotions on this beautiful morning, and I felt nervous that I might start to cry. I took another breathe in, closed my eyes, and as I exhaled I felt calm, privileged and honored to be guiding yoga on this day in this beautiful and special place.
Pyramid temples, palaces and corridors surrounded us and the sun peaked through the towering green trees while the charm of nature protected us.
We took long moments to just breathe and acknowledge our presence in this breathtaking space. It felt as though we were traveling back in time to visit the Mayan world and people.
The air smelled fresh and earthy as we flowed from posture to posture like ancient warriors and introspective learners. I took a deep breathe, taking in the subtle aroma of 2000-year-old limestone, the ashes in the fire pit burning, the candles still lit from the previous evening’s celebrations, and the powerful smell of truth and new beginnings. The fire we each lit to honor new intentions for the coming years still smoldered nearby.
The feelings of spirituality, serenity discovery, and connection radiated throughout the sacred space.
Class came to an end as I said, “Today, I have no words….” Just then, soft drips of rain began to shower us. I cannot tell you exactly what I said in those final moments, but I do know that I spoke of overcoming challenges, letting go and taking chances in life.
I thanked everyone for taking a chance on me, taking a chance on themselves and taking a chance on Belize, in order to share such a powerful and incredible experience.
It is believed that rain is a symbol of fortune and abundance.
Rain brings good wishes and washes away old troubles from the past. It occurred to me in that moment as I smelled the fresh clean air and scent of rain that everything begins with the earth. In order for each of us to grow throughout our lives, we must be showered by the rain.
Keli Engleson, also known as “Yoga Peach,” is a 200-hour registered yoga teacher and teaches Vinyasa yoga, Power yoga, Prental yoga, University specialty yoga classes—and stretch & restore classes beneficial for beginner to athlete levels. Yoga Peach is an extremely passionate instructor and she encourages others to achieve a greater sense of overall well-being, reduce day-to-day stress, and maintain a healthy physical body. Yoga Peach is also a Birth Doula and works with expecting mothers and their partners through childbirth during the prenatal, labor and delivery and immediate postpartum period. She believes that working with couples to ensure they have a positive birthing experience, seeing new life enter the world and a child take his or her first breath is one of the most amazing experiences one can have.
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Assistant Ed: Olivia Gray
Ed: Bryonie Wise
All photographs by Leonardo Melendez Photography.