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 Preparation/Ramp Up for A Retreat
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Barefoot Burton

USA
14 Posts

Posted - Mar 28 2023 :  03:52:52 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
Hello all, Barefoot Burton here from Kentucky. Before I get to the question of my introductory post, I would like to first humbly thank the Divine for including “Yoga” as a standard-from-the-factory feature in us humans. Nothing else can compare (and that’s the understatement of a lifetime). Secondly, thank you to Yogani for giving us this wonderful AYP blueprint of how to access this divine feature (Yoga). And finally, thank you to everyone on this forum for continuing to carry forward Yogani’s vision so that people like me can pursue the Divine within. These words seem so inadequate to express how wonderful this website is and what it offers. Thank you all.

Now to my question. Christi has graciously accepted my application to attend his retreat in Devon Southwest England in early May (about a month out from the time of this post). I have been seriously practicing AYP techniques for a little over 2 years, and am thrilled at this (for me) once in a lifetime opportunity to travel to England and participate in this retreat. Christi did mention in an email that energies balance out at retreats, which should help with overload. For my question, I had considered just emailing Christi but thought it might instead be appropriate to ask on this forum in case others have a similar question. My question then is, given my current practice detailed below, how much should I attempt to “ramp up” my daily routine in preparation for the retreat?

At present, due to overload symptoms of irritability I am only able to do 10 minutes of deep meditation twice daily. At the retreat there will be sessions of asanas, spinal breathing, deep meditation, and samyama. Over the last year I have previously performed the full routine of asanas, then 10 minutes spinal breathing, 20 minutes deep meditation, and 10 minutes of samyama, but this always leads to irritability after just a few weeks at this level. I usually take around 3 months to scale up from just deep meditation to the full set of asanas, breathing, meditation, and samyama. At 10 minutes, twice daily, my life is stable, and I have moments of peace, joy, and calmness interspersed through my day. In the past, I have sometimes had 2 or 3 days of almost constant joy/peace, but then the overload sets in, and I’m back to 10 minutes twice daily. At 61 years of age, I run a very busy small software business, and am physically active with biking, some weightlifting, and currently in training to run a half-marathon in May. (I used to run them barefoot, hence my username.)

One other thought, Christi stated that I could opt-out of any part of the retreat that I wanted to, but unless there is serious discomfort, I want to participate in every aspect possible. Thank you in advance for your suggestions (and I hope to see all of you at the retreat #128522;).

Dogboy

USA
2228 Posts

Posted - Mar 29 2023 :  03:02:31 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Welcome BB!

I just turned 65, I love meeting old yogis . I have been on AYP for almost ten years, and once you realize conductivity, all the discipline you have expended will become worth it. What a terrific opportunity to attend the retreat! A bucket list item for me. I have been on one weekend meditation retreat, loved the experience, although frankly, with the knowledge available here, I probably could have led it just as well .

Congratulations on taking self pacing seriously, it is the only way to take this path safely. There is also something to be said, for doing nothing differently, just go as you are, where you are. The one practice you could expand is Samyama, say another round of sutras, or a couple of new ones perhaps. Once outward flow is known to you, through silence and the intention of surrender, it might be, once your nadis have properly opened, you will become less sensitive, and overload less.

I do believe what Christi states, about energy balance at a retreat. I actually experience this after weekly asana class, the sense of expansion, surrender, and radiance within a group of like-minded, and become more than the boundary of my flesh.

I hope you report back, and often!
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Barefoot Burton

USA
14 Posts

Posted - Mar 30 2023 :  04:07:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Dogboy, thank you for responding to my post. Wow, you packed a wealth of information in just a few short words. I hope I’m half as far along at 85 years of age as you are at 65! You are my new role model!

I enjoy the practice of samyama, and will take your advice to add a few sutras after a deep meditation session. Deep meditation is influencing and “sneaking” into many aspects of life. I enjoy the meditation sessions, and the aftereffects very much. The spinal breathing has been somewhat more difficult, but of course with my current overload symptoms, it has been dropped for now. Based on your suggestions I won’t worry too much about trying to be back up to a full regimen of practices by the time of the retreat.

One other point you made about surrender - I am trying to work on that more these days. I’m beginning to realize that surrender is more about just accepting the present moment rather than some big grandiose commitment to be a living saint. One effect of deep meditation is that it is helping me to realize how much judgement or resistance I can have to even the littlest thing or situation.

One last point, I believe there may still be space available on the retreat, just sayin’. It’s never too late to check off an item on your bucket list!
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interpaul

USA
535 Posts

Posted - Mar 31 2023 :  5:34:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Burton, Welcome to the forum. I have been practicing AYP for nearly 4 years. I have not attended an in person retreat so I have no direct experience to share. I expect you will be safe as you will be surrounded by people who understand your situation. Having said that, yoga is an inward journey. If you've been practicing for 2 years you probably are developing some awareness around the inner guru and self pacing. Fear is one of the biggest struggles we humans all face. Anxiety is a projection of fear into the future. Enjoy today, you will be surrounded by love in England. Fear is afraid of love. Looking forward to meeting you in England!
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Barefoot Burton

USA
14 Posts

Posted - Apr 01 2023 :  01:15:23 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Interpaul, thank you for your comments. Yes, the inner guru is helping me with the patience to continue self-pacing. Also, reading many comments on this forum of individuals who have had to cut back their daily routines due to overload is also reassuring. It’s like driving a fast car slower than you’d like due to the speed limit or road conditions. Actually, I think that Yogani referenced that exact car example in the book, “Deep Meditation”. Self-pacing is also helping with the intent to surrender to just accept things as they are, rather than as one would like them to be.

Please understand that I don’t mean to sound negative; I am experiencing so many positives from the meditation, that it drives my bhakti further. Every day has more peace and joy in it for no obvious reason but the meditation sessions. I told my wife that my daily meditations are as important as my food.

Thank you again for your comments, and am looking forward to meeting you in England as well.
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Dogboy

USA
2228 Posts

Posted - Apr 01 2023 :  02:27:54 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
I am trying to work on that more these days. I’m beginning to realize that surrender is more about just accepting the present moment rather than some big grandiose commitment to be a living saint. One effect of deep meditation is that it is helping me to realize how much judgement or resistance I can have to even the littlest thing or situation.


Aaaaah, the blockages are clearing…
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Barefoot Burton

USA
14 Posts

Posted - Apr 01 2023 :  4:04:37 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by Dogboy

quote:
I am trying to work on that more these days. I’m beginning to realize that surrender is more about just accepting the present moment rather than some big grandiose commitment to be a living saint. One effect of deep meditation is that it is helping me to realize how much judgement or resistance I can have to even the littlest thing or situation.


Aaaaah, the blockages are clearing…



dogboy, perhaps so , the intent to surrender, and the effects of meditation itself bringing about surrender, perhaps reinforcing each other. One meditation session at a time. Peaceful, surrender.
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Zaelithe

United Kingdom
33 Posts

Posted - Apr 02 2023 :  10:27:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Burton, I have been practicing AYP for over 4 years now ( just coming up to 65 years of age) and have had considerable need to self pace for the last couple of years. More than once, I have had to stop practicing altogether for a few weeks at a time to let things settle before starting again at a reduced level and have not been able to go much beyond 10 mins of DM and 5 of Samyama (no SB Pranayama). However, I have attended several retreats now (and will be attending in May) and have found that there is great truth in what is said about the group effect and effect of the retreat leader on balancing and ‘holding’ the energies of the retreat. I have been able to join in the full programme and so far have only had to cease practice on the final day of the retreat once. I always make sure that I get in plenty of long walks to help ‘earth’ high energetic states. I have absolutely loved each retreat and keep coming back for more. I am sure you will have a good experience and will be among others who have had similar issues to manage as well as Christi’s wealth of experience, knowledge and being to hold it all together.

Zaelithe
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Barefoot Burton

USA
14 Posts

Posted - Apr 03 2023 :  02:37:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by Zaelithe

Hi Burton, I have been practicing AYP for over 4 years now ( just coming up to 65 years of age) and have had considerable need to self pace for the last couple of years. More than once, I have had to stop practicing altogether for a few weeks at a time to let things settle before starting again at a reduced level and have not been able to go much beyond 10 mins of DM and 5 of Samyama (no SB Pranayama). However, I have attended several retreats now (and will be attending in May) and have found that there is great truth in what is said about the group effect and effect of the retreat leader on balancing and ‘holding’ the energies of the retreat. I have been able to join in the full programme and so far have only had to cease practice on the final day of the retreat once. I always make sure that I get in plenty of long walks to help ‘earth’ high energetic states. I have absolutely loved each retreat and keep coming back for more. I am sure you will have a good experience and will be among others who have had similar issues to manage as well as Christi’s wealth of experience, knowledge and being to hold it all together.

Zaelithe



Zaelithe, thank you so much for sharing your experience and insight on your retreat participation. You’ve just turned up my excitement/anticipation another degree or two with your positive comments. Looking forward to the retreat even more now. (And already thinking about how I can save up to attend another retreat after this one, if possible. )

I am somewhat frustrated with having to self-pace to just 10 minutes of deep meditation twice daily (and like you, 5 minutes of samyama, thanks to Dogboy’s suggestion in an earlier post), but am working on surrendering to this level of activity. There is still much joy and peace on a daily basis which seems somewhat counterintuitive but who am I to question the process? I’m still just a baby at this.

I’ve had a small insight since my initial post, that I am not getting enough sleep on a regular basis. At our age, we probably need even more sleep than in the past. I believe this lack of sleep is contributing to my symptoms of irritability and the corresponding need to self-pace. Yogani does mention the need for adequate sleep in the book, “Deep Meditation.” There are just no cutting corners here.

In any event, thank you again for your insight/experience , and am looking forward to meeting you, Christi, and the other participants at the retreat.
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Struppi

Mozambique
2 Posts

Posted - Apr 04 2023 :  5:09:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Burton, last year in September/October I participated in the Teacher Training in Thailand and I can relate very much to the mixture of expectation and slight anxiety that is building up before travelling. Based on my experience, there is no need to worry about your capability to participate and “make the best out of it”. Of the 15 participants of our course, all missed a couple of sessions - because of overload or sickness - or had to scale down, for example from mantra mediation to breath mediation. However, a retreat is so much more than the sum of the sessions on the mat. There are the conversations with like-minded people, the walks in nature, and generally the ambience of the retreat and the combination of all these elements make the retreat so special.
And there is absolutely no correlation between the amount of time you spend on the mat and your development. One example: One participant, who missed a couple of days, had a spiritual awakening immediately after the course.
So I would just be curious about what is going to happen there, without expectation or concern, Enjoy!
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Barefoot Burton

USA
14 Posts

Posted - Apr 05 2023 :  03:02:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by Struppi

Hi Burton, last year in September/October I participated in the Teacher Training in Thailand and I can relate very much to the mixture of expectation and slight anxiety that is building up before travelling. Based on my experience, there is no need to worry about your capability to participate and “make the best out of it”. Of the 15 participants of our course, all missed a couple of sessions - because of overload or sickness - or had to scale down, for example from mantra mediation to breath mediation. However, a retreat is so much more than the sum of the sessions on the mat. There are the conversations with like-minded people, the walks in nature, and generally the ambience of the retreat and the combination of all these elements make the retreat so special.
And there is absolutely no correlation between the amount of time you spend on the mat and your development. One example: One participant, who missed a couple of days, had a spiritual awakening immediately after the course.
So I would just be curious about what is going to happen there, without expectation or concern, Enjoy!




Struppi, thank you so much for sharing your experience on your Teacher Training Retreat in Thailand. I have watched a promotional video on this website about that retreat and it looks like an amazing, life-changing, opportunity for spiritual growth. How fortunate that you were able to attend, and how wonderful it is that someone experienced an awakening after the course.

You’ve described very well my apprehension at not being “retreat ready”, but your comments, and the comments of others here (as well as rereading Christi’s original email), have pretty much dispelled any concerns. Furthermore, your excellent point that the retreat is “so much more than the sum of the sessions on the mat,” is well-put. I am looking forward to the total retreat experience. Now the only concerns are the usual ones of packing bags, catching flights, and figuring out the train timetables and fares to get around in England.

Thank you again for your comments; it’s always interesting to hear the stories, insight, and experiences from people that travel a similar path.
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