One of the occupational hazards that comes part and parcel with being a writer, is that I rarely experience things just ‘for me’. In the midst of nearly any experience, my wordsmith mind is whirling with thoughts of how I can share it with readers. I am able, most of the time to re-direct my attention so that I get to deeply immerse in the sensations involved. Yesterday was no exception. Yoga has been part of my spiritual practice since it entered my life on stretched limbs 5 years ago. For me it is far more than the asanas (postures) that I do on the mat, but rather, the ways in which I take it off the mat and into the world. I have attended classes in numerous studios and with wonderful teachers. Each one had something of value to offer.
Recently, I attended the “Grand Beginning” for a studio in Phoenixville, PA called The Soul Center. I was drawn to it on so many levels, the first among them, the name of the place. I love the idea of recognizing the soul at the center of everything. I see myself (and everyone else) as being Divinely Human and Humanly Divine. I felt a kinship (via email) with the director named Robyn Evans. It wasn’t until I entered her new sanctuary/studio that I knew why. We recognized each other on a soul level..an awareness of “Oh, there you are again.” This petite dynamo came up to me, arms outstretched in welcome. Watching her throughout the evening, I witnessed that same sense of embracing life full out, as she greeted others. She brought together several hundred people throughout the day, honoring each as a guest. She read a poem by 14th century Persian poet Hafiz which embodied the very spirit of what she did, seemingly tirelessly throughout the day and late into the evening.
Invited you to a party
In the ballroom tonight
Will be my special
How would you then treat them
And I know
There is no one in this world
Is not upon
His Jeweled Dance
Robyn offered us the ‘gift’ as she described them, of two talented performer friends. One was Michael Golub, a sitar player who drew us into the world of musical devotion with a tasty fusion ranging from classical Indian flavor to the U2 song MLK (about Martin Luther King) and Amazing Grace. The other was opera diva-yogini Natalie Levin who had waltzed through the door enveloped in gold flowing gown and was all aglitter from head to toe. Once on stage, she wowed us with arias sung in German and French, clearly flirting with the audience, gathering us all in to her sonic aura.
As a top off for the evening, Group Motion, an improv dance fixture in the Philadelphia area for 44 years, had participants, ‘sweating our prayers’, as we moved around the floor of what Robyn referred to as ‘the temple’, interweaving with each other. All this to the rhythms, instrumentation and vocalizations of live musicians.
At times, I sat back, catching my breath and was in awe of the magic that was occurring right before my eyes. Regardless of day to day life ‘stuff’, each person on that dance floor was simply another soul, come to play in the universe. I drove nearly the hour home, completely satiated on a all levels….one happy little soul.
For more information on The Soul Center, go to www.thesoulcenter.com
For more information on Group Motion, go to www.groupmotion.org