I saw my very first dolphin this week! And I can’t seem to shut up about it! I can’t stop smiling with the joy of it! And I can’t believe how fortunate I was to see such a beautiful creature, literally just outside my front door!
I am incredibly blessed to live at the beach, but dolphin sightings are very rare in this particular part of England. And what’s so interesting is that I don’t often use the front door to leave the building. (Mainly because I usually have rubbish and recycling to take on my way out, or need to check my post!). But on that morning something inside whispered – “Take the front door!”
I think that animals can teach us so much…For me (amongst other things) dolphins remind me to flow with the times, to flow with change…to recognise the importance of soul community, water, and swimming! But perhaps most of all, dolphins remind me to honour the playful child within! I count myself blessed that I’ve managed to continue to do this, despite the challenges that life has offered. It certainly helps make taking care of and working with children more intuitive, and even more of a joy.
Very shortly as we begin a new term of yoga classes, I will have the privilege of teaching three generations of women (from the same family). First of all, Mum came along to one of my classes and loved it. Then she told her own Mum, who’s coming along to one of my new classes! Finally a real gift was the joy of teaching my student’s four year old daughter at a recent carers and kids summer workshop. Her first ever yoga class! Just like her Mum, she is a natural – in that she is able for example, to really focus her (very young) mind during practice and understand the importance of correct alignment. At the workshop, even her Mum did a double take at one point, as the little cherub took great care to place her feet correctly in Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I) and listened intently to everything that I said.
Her Mum later asked how she’d enjoyed the class, and she gushed that she wanted to do yoga every morning from that day on! It was a “no” to the offer of ballet classes, “yes” to yoga classes! When Mum asked how she felt about me, she said: “Gwendoline’s beautiful…” Aw! Makes my heart melt…I feel as though, as with her Mum, perhaps we’ve met before.
I’ve always known that I would work with children in some way, shape or form. Though I have none of my own yet – well actually, I don’t really know if that is an accurate statement – my Godchildren are incredibly, special to me. I know they say it is not the same as having your own…anyway I’ve blogged about that elsewhere! (http://www.wisemoonwoman.com/1/post/2011/10/tick-tock-tick.html). The point is, in recent years I thought I’d be working with children as a paediatrician. (Yeah I know, please see my first post!) But now it is all becoming clearer. From September I will also be teaching Yoga Nidra to teenagers at a local school; both the high achievers and ‘troubled’ alike. I am so excited about this….The joy I feel; knowing that I will be teaching yoga to young people is not dissimilar to that great surge of joy at the sight of a dolphin!
Children are so precious…that light which we all have, but so often lose sight of as adults is still burning brightly in little ones. Rather, it usually takes a lot of trauma to dim this natural ebullience. This is one of the reasons why I also hope to one day teach in the Congo…I’ll let you know if I hear back from Women for Women International (http://www.womenforwomen.org/). A potential NGO (non government organisation), they’d be ideally placed to support my vision for taking the transformative power of yoga to the women and children who’ve had to endure the unimaginable. Ever since I saw a British documentary, (I believe it was called): “Congo’s Forgotten Children”…since then, I’ve never been able to forget, never wanted to.
For those of us who are healers and Lightworkers…especially ‘wounded healers’ – to use a slightly clichéd term, there is often this drive to give something back – to make the suffering we’ve endured mean something, transform it into light. I haven’t done badly so far, but there is still so much more I would love to do, to give. In some ways, I feel that I’ve barely begun.
There have been profoundly dark times in my life when I couldn’t imagine going any further in my journey…I can only imagine what kind of ‘dark night of the Soul’ some Congolese women and children have been through. Guruji has blessed this hope that I have, to take yoga to Africa. (In all honesty, I was actually a little surprised about this. If you ever read: “Footsteps to Freedom” by Heidi Wyder, you’ll understand why, when he speaks about true charity http://www.kriyasource.net/books/footsteps-to-freedom/). None the less, it’s a pretty formidable hope to have. One comforting thought is the knowledge that it has been done before – or at least, a model to do this kind of work, exists: http://africayogaproject.org/…So let us see! (One of my favourite phrases). If dolphins can manifest right before my very eyes, maybe I can afford to dream a little.
Gwendoline Odeluga is a Yoga teacher and Massage therapist. She has been practicing Yoga asana for over 20 years. Her style of teaching is influenced by her professional training as a dancer and the dynamic form of Hatha Yoga associated with Ashtanga practice. She also teaches Yoga Nidra. Gwendoline met her true teacher, Sri Yogi Prakash Shankar Vyas, “Guruji” in 2007 and Kriya Yoga is central to her way of life. She currently teaches Yoga and treats clients from Sidmouth, East Devon in the United Kingdom.