Written by: Nancy Goodfellow
There are many things in life that make me feel really alive, radiant and at peace, yet nothing compares to how I feel while immersed in the journey of our Luminous Heart Yoga & Meditation Teacher Training. There is something so unique and extraordinary about this experience that I feel compelled to try and put the immense feelings into words. I am sure they will not suffice to accurately portray what goes on in the hearts and minds of both the students and the teachers during this 3 week course, but I hope to give you a little taste from my perspective and lens.
Going on four straight years of offering my fullest and best self to students who choose to embark on this intense and life-changing adventure has transformed how I see these types of full-immersion courses. There is something so unique and particular about coming together with a small group of humans to live, breath, eat, move, meditate, contemplate, sing, laugh, and cry…(and ohhhhh how we shed the tears) for 3 weeks, 24 hours a day. We call it forming the container, which will serve as the microcosm of the much bigger world we live in.
In this tight-knit container, we create a safe space for our students to feel completely supported and heard during their process of healing, unraveling, and cultivating self-love and compassion. While the initial unfurling may be intense…it is like unwrapping one’s self out of an armor casing, that for most, begins to feel normal. Yet there is nothing normal about living enclosed in protective fear, guarding our deepest, most beautiful vulnerabilities and innate talents and gifts. Kadri, lead teacher and founder of Luminous Heart Institute, calls it: FINDING YOUR SUPERPOWER.
We all have a unique and powerful potential within us…welcome to the world of Tantra! And this course helps the students to discover and unleash their highest capacities, both to serve the greater whole as possible yoga instructors, or just to shine bright in any field they choose to work in. Most of what we are learning and discovering on this remarkable journey is relevant for all aspects of our lives. This is why so many students join the training without even desiring to teach Yoga. They simply want to dive deep into themselves while being held in this incredible vessel of intimacy, honesty, and authenticity. For it is here that we learn to truly THRIVE.
As teachers and facilitators, we feel honored to be able to watch and support in this unfolding and unraveling. Since we are also completely present and an integral part of the process we also have our own growth and unique experience during the training. The relationship between the teaching team is one of the greatest opportunities for growth potential and cultivation of skills and self-reflection. Over the years I have been shown my greatest strengths and darkest shadows from my co-teachers. It has been a journey of the most powerful kind into the heart of my own light and love.
The relationships that are created during this course are the ones that last a lifetime. They are based on mutual respect and are cultivated from a place of authentic realness and open-heartedness. I watch the students go from being complete strangers to true friends in a matter of weeks. The community that comes out of our program spreads around the globe and allows students to be part of an international support team that expends way beyond the time of the course. I love seeing what happens after the training…students meeting up in different parts of the world to travel, visit and reconnect.
Intimacy and connection is something that all humans desire and need to fully thrive. Yet in our society today I think so many of us feel a lack of connection in our relationships. We may know so many people, have hundred of friends on social media, and yet in our day-to-day living we can often remain in superficial relationships that never really allow us to feel the depth and beautiful intimacy that is possible when we can move through our fears and insecurities. Our program takes students slowly on a transformative journey of deep connection though skillfully designed exercises, meditations, and practices. In this purposefully cultivated space, using wisdom of the ancient traditions and modern and creative practices, each student drops into a natural rhythm and openness. Within the first week I can see the difference in their postures, their eyes and the way they use their voices.
At Luminous Heart we believe that all beings deserve to heard and seen. Each and every one of us has a story to tell, an experience to share, an innate capacity to inspire. This is how I see a beautiful human being stepping into their power. This is where each of us becomes a wisdom-holder and teacher. As we are allowed to speak, free of judgment or criticism, in a supportive and contained space, we build the confidence and self-awareness to free ourselves from shame, self-doubt, and fear. By telling our stories and being heard on a very intimate level, we can unravel our past so that we may fully inhibit the present.
As a lead teacher I am asked to bring the best version of myself at each moment, and this is the most challenging and rewarding work that I do. Years and years of study and practice have culminated in the sharing of my deepest desires to see all beings live a healthy, connected and abundant life. I believe in our highest potential as powerful, energy beings blessed in this embodied form to awaken and celebrate together. As our tribe keeps expanding and growing I feel so fortunate to be a part of this Luminous community of extraordinary people.