Every year for the past 11 years I have worked tirelessly, with complete devotion, and excited anticipation for the next camp season. It is 4 weeks of immersion into living yoga, into cultivating a culture of peace with some truly remarkable young people. This year was probably one of my favorite years. I wrote a new curriculum The Science of Yoga which was so much fun we will definitely offer it again next year. But the hi-light of the entire camp season was no doubt the 4th week, our first ever overnight week of camp hosted by Yogaville. The staff of Alex Ginsberg, Guruprem Xavier Barrett, Prasanna Miranda Yanez, Shakti Love, and our incredible chef Hanuman Ian Firestone was nothing short of a dream team. Every day was filled with meaningful experiences from our first day with a huge 2 hour hike to tubing down the James River to our special guest Swami Kena who shared meditation with us then building a sand mandala of the Yogaville Yantra which we released on a night hike to the LOTUS Lake singing all the way until we ended our journey at the top of Mt. Kailash to see LOTUS illuminated. Finally Saturday we offered Kirtan and the play Hanuman’s Journey to Medicine Mountain for all of the Yogaville ashram and international community via Livestream – check it out here
One of my senior students shared her journal entry with me as I felt it was meaningful enough to share with you:
Throughout this week I believe I went on an adventure. This was my 8th year of camp and every year I was told to try and find myself and every year i was lost. How? When do I know who I am? I thought adjectives, moments, memories could tell me. Now through this week I’ve learned and found that who I am doesn’t stay the same. As I grow older I’ve learned I didn’t know how to feel because I couldn’t still my mind. Today in meditation, I was finally told to look into my soul, and ask for God to help which makes me now know i can openly find who I am.
Every child has a unique experience with the camp weeks, days and activities that plant seeds, that over the years grow roots and reach deeper and deeper into their sense of Self, their sense of understanding who they are and building a healthy relationship with themselves in order to become more compassionate towards others, more mindful of their actions, thoughts, and words, and to also be stewards of our Mother Earth.
With a heart filled to bursting, I say Jai! to each camp kid and staff member who made this another successful year and to both Unity of Richmond and Satchidananda Ashram Yogaville for hosting this magical camp.
Shanti Om Om Om…..until next summer…..see you on the mat