Two Saturday’s ago I did a 2 hour yoga intensive workshop at the Center for Health and Healing in Toms River, NJ. It was the first yoga intensive I’ve ever attended, and it was inspiring!
He opened up the class by having us all sing together, and then went through different Vinyasa-like flows. I was even able to get into a handstand with the help of @greenteagirl, and held koundiyanasana for about 5 seconds! It felt amazing to push my body and go out of my comfort zone. The class was full, students of all levels attended and everyone’s mats were laying side by side. There was no judgement, just yoga.
We ended the class as we had begun it, with a song. The energy in the room was beautiful and loving, and felt like we had really tapped into that collective consciousness.
He made the most simple, yet inspiring statement: After you practice yoga, you should feel like you meditated, not like you just did a workout. This completely clicked for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kettlebells, and running gets me pretty close to that meditative state, but not like yoga, which works on the level of the mind, body, and spirit. There is something beautiful and profound about being present in your body and mind at the same time. I have learned that being able to do the poses is only half the battle, and that the breath is just as important, if not more.
We are always putting pressure on ourselves and those around us to be the best, the smartest, the prettiest, the strongest, the fastest, etc… It is nice to have yoga there to remind me that it is alright to accept my limitations and honor wherever I am at that moment.
When you go out of your comfort zone, miraculous things can happen!
Here is a little blurb about Raghu, taken from the Center for Health and Healing’s website:
Raghunath, born Ray Cappo has been leading people towards natural and healthy lifestyles for the last 23 years.
In his youth he was an inspired outspoken punk musician that led tens of thousands of youth peers to adopt a positive mental attitude, and a healthy vegetarian / vegan, drug free lifestyle. He became an instant cult celebrity touring the world many times over either performing or public speaking. The unexpected death of his father, the shallowness of the music scene and desire to learn about health and spirituality brought him to yoga and then to India in the late 80′s. From 22-27 he practiced bramacharya (a celibate student.) Mastering yoga asanas, breath work pranayama, and ancient literature he became fascinated with health, balanced life and learning how to assist the body to heal and detoxify.
In 1991 in the holy city of Vrindavan, he was awarded the name Raghunath and 2 years later the sacred thread for his understanding of sacred texts. In his travels he has met several masters, swamis, yogi’s and he incorporates all of their teaching into his own. Raghunath has been leading his peers towards well being, health and balance since his youth and now at 42 married with 4 children of his own he has become a living example of reversing the aging process through proper diet and the lifestyle of a yogi.
Raghunath was a senior teacher at the exclusive Sports Club LA Beverly Hills as well as the prestigious Yoga Works in Los Angeles. His overwhelming success in with his 3 week- RAW YOGI CLEANSE which promotes weight loss, energy, and clear skin has given catapulted him to a health and wellness guru in Beverly Hills. In March 2007 he made a conscious choice with his family to move from the city for a closer connection with nature and community in the beautiful Hudson Valley in Upstate New York where he teaches, leads Maha Sadhana workshops, Masters Classes, intensives workshops, leads kirtans, cleanses, & retreats.