“It’s just like tuning guitar strings”, as El Kalinado, a man from France explains meditation and how it affects your body, mind, and soul. “If the guitar is tuned, then it creates beautiful music”.
I walked inside Bahay Kalipay with no expectations, telling myself that I would be open to whatever I learn in this place. Little did I know that it would change my perspective on things completely, and would open my eyes to a new world.
People from all walks of life, all over the world come here for different reasons. Someone I met had no idea what she was doing there, a couple walked-in thinking the place was a market place yet eventually stayed because of curiosity. While there were a lot of curious, lost, newbies like me in Bahay Kalipay, there were also those who have been staying there for months, as volunteers, teaching what they know about yoga, meditation, green smoothies and the raw food diet.
The Morning Ritual
Every morning we’d try to follow the morning cleansing ritual which involves you finishing a glass of water, taking a spoonful or two of virgin coconut oil and swooshing it in your mouth for about 15 minutes (aka oil pulling), and then squeezing calamansi into your drink as a good source of alkaline. We’d then head up to do yoga led by Monica.
Yin Yang Yoga
I surprisingly enjoyed Yin Yoga which is suitable for people with very busy and active lifestyles, holding poses for longer periods, making space for your body. It felt amazing.
The next morning we did Vinyasa Flow which was the complete opposite, strengthening every part of your body and challenging you with every pose. I love how Monica kept reminding us to listen to our body. If we can’t do the pose, we should respect our body’s limitations.
I’ve been wanting to write about meditation in this blog , but didn’t really know where to start. I’ve tried casual forms of meditation (if there is such a thing), listening to audio healing meditations to help me fall asleep when I was having a hard time to. But the meditations I learned in this retreat were something else.
I honestly don’t know how to put it all into words, but it has definitely helped me tap a part of my brain I’ve never used before. It has also opened my eyes to how your body can heal itself.
I most especially enjoyed the Sound Meditation that was led by El Kalinado (his spiritual name which means the bringer of peace through sound). It’s the only session that made me experience the beauty of sound waves and vibrations, feeling it from your peers, allowing your body to absorb the energy being transferred to you. Everyone should experience it.
I learned in this retreat that detoxing shouldn’t just be a physical act. It should involve the detox of the mind, spirit and emotion. Which makes a lot of sense. How can you live a balanced life with only one part of life cleansed? Everything is interconnected. I’ve also discovered spirituality that doesn’t have to revolve around religion, rather, in fine tuning yourself and understanding yourself more.
And so there goes the challenge of finding balance, tuning your guitar strings in order for you to create beautiful music in life. Start inhaling your intentions of peace, healing, compassion, and exhale negativity transferring it to the ground under you.
FLOW will be having retreats the whole year around Asia and the Philippines. Visit their website for their retreat dates.
Words and Photos by Tabitha Jamlang