Dates: Feb 20 - Mar 4, 2009 Venue: Sagada, Mountain Province, Philippines
It seems strange that nearly after 9 months since I went for my Empath Yoga Teacher Certification Program that I only begin to write about it. The sheer thought of summarizing the 2 weeks was overwhelming. Empath Yoga was an intense immersion that started from 6am ending at 9pm everyday for 2 solid weeks. There was very little to do anything else as we were all exhausted at the end of the day.
What is Empath Yoga?
Empath Yoga is a personal brand of yoga founded by Erica Boucher. Through her life experience, she worked on a program integrating hatha yoga together with techniques in self-development and self-awareness, enabling people to free-up stuck energies and allow them to move on with a renewed perspective on life. Aside from doing yogic asana as the cornerstone of the course, great deal of focus was devoted to interactive listening, holding a safe space for the other guy, meditation, pranayama, forgiveness, and understanding our role within this collective universe. The program helps empower people by manifesting what they truly want in life through mindful thinking and consciousness. This was all intense and heavy. The 2 weeks were greatly needed to realize all of it.
Personal Brand of Yoga I applaud Erica for braving this new tailor-fitted yoga and sharing it with anyone interested. Rich from traditional yoga and her own unique life experience, Empath Yoga is as personal as it gets to Erica. Yoga really is a personal journey - every person's yoga is different. At some point, through repeated practice, by following your own body flow, you come up with your own blend of yoga that works for you. It may go beyond the physical poses, it may include unique sequences of pranayamas, mudras and may even include affirmations, contemplation, and interaction amongst practicioners - yoga is what you make it, provided there is mindful focus on thinking, breathing and purpose. The purists may protest, but really, if there is only 1 absolute yoga, then we won't have these varied flavors of yoga - Ashtanga, Kundalini, Bikram, Iyengar, etc. There's certainly a place for Empath Yoga.
Even with my own practice, I've already deviated from regimented Ashtanga or even Empath Yoga. I've even incorporated prison workout routines and wall-climbing techniques because it's what resonates and creates a seamless flow for me.
Ending Thoughts After 9 months, I can look back more objectively and fast-forward to my here-and-now to take stock of what happened in between. Many things did happen and I can't say precisely how much Empath Yoga played into it.
In pursuit of changes that loomed big on the horizon after completing the course, I left Sagada for good and backpacked across the south in search of.... Little did I know I'd end up in Manila, and more surprisingly, that I'd discover a special person I'd like to spend my here-and-now with. I still live life the way I used to, but perhaps more mindful on how much of my here-and-now is a creation of my own everyday thinking. However way I desire my future to be, it starts now with my thoughts. Consciousness is everything.
George (Nov 13, 2009) Awesome job my friend, it seems like you are moving along as always. I am still teaching a small class of yoga and that has been great. I am also working with a place called, The Place for Reiki volunteering my time when needed and going to their group healing activities. I also plan to work with the Reiki Master.
Thanks for being an inspiration and such a partaker of life. You are a blessing to me my brother. Think of me from time to time and send me loving thoughts and see me moving into clarity. Blessings and Love...
Erica Boucher (Nov 11, 2009) I'm so excited about returning for a visit. We must connect while i'm there!!!
Marnel (Nov 10, 2009) wow! great!