When we’re truly inspired by who we are being, the possibilities are endless.
Throughout the recent Caribbean Yoga Conference (CYC) in Montego Bay, Jamaica, I was presented with the gift of being able to walk my talk. From my various roles, which included officially opening the conference, leading sunrise meditations, working alongside Stacey Shanks of Yoga Youth School, delivering an interactive workshop called, Yoga for Emerging Generations, which was geared towards those interested in taking yoga into their communities. My other roles included moderating a panel discussion about the essence of seva or service and the culmination of giving the closing keynote address.
The experience re-affirmed my role as a Universal Empress, an evolution agent committed to [global] transformation.
The seamless alignment between Universal Empress’ mission and that of CYC’s — sun, sandhana, sand, sangha and seva made for a perfect match. Also, the fact that this event was being held in my birthplace made my heart sing even brighter!
Loosely translated, sandhana is the ego transcending purpose of accomplishing something in life. I will remain forever grateful for being able to contribute not only to achieving a particular result in my life, but more so, in the lives of the 13 scholarship participants, the majority of whom were entirely new to the world of yoga as we know it in the West.
I had the honor of bearing witness to the transformation of their lives. Like lotus flowers, as each petal opened, their radiance intensified.
As they attested, their lives have been deeply touched by this experience. These participants lead lives of daily service through their on-going commitment at institutions that aims to uplift the marginalized lives of others.
As I noted during my closing keynote address, these beings are my newfound teachers. Through my encounters with each one of them, I learned that none of us is insignificant and we all can make a meaningful difference in our own lives as well as those of others, both near and far. It all begins with our willingness to surrender to what is.
As a yogini humanitarian, my life mission or seva is to be a catalyst from transformation in the lives of others, from a place of compassion, humility and most of all love. The sangha or community that was born out of CYC arose from a place of utter love.
So what made this yoga conference so different from others despite its conventional hotel style setting? Besides an impressionable faculty that included visionaries like Africa Yoga Project’s Kenya Director Paige Elenson, Off The Mat’s (OTM) Seane Corn, MC Yogi, Moses Love and so many more, in the words of legendary [Bob] Marley “there was a natural mystic flowing through the air!” The vibrant energy circulating was as abundant as it was infectious.
I fully share a sentiment echoed by Sharon Feanny, one of the Jamaican yoga faculty members at the conference who led a deeply moving One Love, One Heart yoga class that featured Rastafarian Nyabinghi drummers as the musical backdrop. According to her, “wherever Bob [Marley] is today, surely he’s smiling.”
Jamaica (and by virtue its nationals) remains one of the most magical yet misunderstood places and people on this planet. With lush green mountains, crystal clear blue seas, cool rivers and wide plains, with every turn, one is awestruck by the beauty of this island.
Our kaleidoscope of ethnicity makes us proud to boast our motto, Out of Many One People, which is the essence of yoga – inclusivity and inter-connectedness which ultimately gives rise to unity consciousness.
CYC was just a dip in the ocean. Now the real work begins. How do I continue to responsibly share the gift of yoga across Mother’s Earth? It is this question that keeps my flame alit and has propelled me out of bed each morning. To [re]affirm my seva is the greatest gift that CYC could ever have presented.
Universal Empress at Roktowa Cafe
One Love, One Heart, let’s breathe together and feel alright!
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