Yearning for Satsang
Bhaja govindam bhaja govindam
bhaja govindam mudha-mate
Good and virtuous company gives rise to non-attachment. From non-attachment comes freedom from delusion. With freedom from delusion, one feels the changeless reality. Experiencing that changeless reality, one attains liberation in this life. I-AM is the ocean of awareness. Realizing this, one feels, ‘I am not the body and mind, although I have a body and mind.’ Realize Govinda, realize Govinda in your heart, O wise one!
~Shri Adi Shankaracharya from Carpata-Panjarika
After my very first class at Living Yoga in Johannesburg in 2010, I knew I had found my home and my Satsang. I had been practising Yoga for a number of years before that but I had never been part of a Yoga Studio, of a community, part of a Satsang. I did my first class with my dear teacher and friend, owner of Living Yoga, Sarah Bentz. It was the first time I went into a Yoga class and the class was opened by chanting Om. As the whole studio vibrated in the divine frequency of Om, I knew that this was home.
At that stage I was practising at Living Yoga almost every day, travelling nearly 45 minutes each way to and from the studio and was patiently waiting for the Living Yoga Teacher Training to start. I was besotted with my teachers, with what I was learning and with the amazingly supportive community. We got together for Kirtan and Potluck evenings, chanting and eating together. We had a Furthering Education group and after the teacher training, I did a mentorship at the studio. I was totally immersed in the study and practice of Yoga and absolutely engulfed by a supportive, truthful and wise Satsang. I then opened Living Yoga Northcliff, with the support of my amazing teachers Sarah Bentz and Cherryl Duncan. I opened the studio and started to cultivate the same Satsang and feeling of family and home. I loved every moment of supporting my community and growing my Satsang.
After a couple of years, I moved to Mozambique and later to Cape Town leaving my Living Yoga Satsang behind. In Cape Town, I was lucky enough to join the teaching staff of Air Yoga Studio which was then located in the Woodstock exchange. The studio has subsequently closed, but five or six years ago it was in it’s prime. We had a solid teaching staff, all Jivamukti teachers. At the time I was lecturing on the teacher trainings we hosted and participating in Kirtan evenings, as well as hosting international teachers. It was exceptional and the Satsang was strong, supportive and again felt like home.
Then, disaster struck. I broke my ankle and was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. At the same time, the studio changed hands and our Satsang disintegrated. Since then, I have been through times when I wasn’t practising at all, wasn’t teaching at all and feel very despondent that I didn’t have a community. Finally, I found House of Yoga in Claremont, with a wonderful teaching staff and a gorgeous place to teach. Around this time, I started thinking about this online Yoga space. My husband and I developed our Yoga for Beginners online membership and have been working tirelessly to get our community out to others. A couple of nights ago, I was sitting on the couch thinking about how much I miss my Living Yoga Community and how much a longed to be part of a Satsang, a community of like-minded individuals. Then, my Jivamukti teacher Sharon Gannon’s voice popped into my head, saying, “Make the Community!” I sat there dumbfounded for a few moments as this amazing realisation and epiphany melted through my awareness. Make the community. Sharonji always says that you can have absolutely anything you want in your life, as long as you provide it for someone else first. The idea of our Online Satsang was born.
We have already had so much interest and interaction within this community and we haven’t even started classes yet.
When I heard Sharonji’s voice in my head, it sparked a fire in my belly, making my heart soar. Together we have this amazing opportunity to create the Satsang that my heart has been yearning for. I cannot wait to see what this journey brings for this growing online community, as well as for me and my own practice.
If you’re interested in joining you can register here: https://courses.vulayoga.com/p/online-satsang
And if you have any questions or suggestions pop me a mail on firstname.lastname@example.org.