With our class sitting in a semi-circle facing Elka she states, “May chur ju bring a blanket, someting comfortable and warm to wear as ju will be meditating about an hour on Sunset Cliff.” On the surface, this comment seems harmless enough but with Elka, nothing is what it seems. Elka has a nurturing style that wraps you in a warm cocoon of harmless bliss. If she were to suggest lying on an ant hill, you would shrug your shoulders then find a comfortable seat, happy for the opportunity to grow. But this training will be no ant hill, just Yoga Nidra and Crystal Sound Healing Bowls.
Doing some quick research I found that Yoga Nidra is a type of guided meditation or “Yogic Sleep” designed for deep relaxation. Over the past weeks, Elka has led us on a handful of guided meditation, but never with Crystal Sound Healing Bowls. It’s always something with Elka. Julie Johnston, one of the mentors for the class, just received an eight piece set of these crystal bowls and Elka wanted to combine the two techniques to “expand and heal our bodies.” Crystal Sound Bowls, I found out, are tuned to your Chakras and when played “massage and cleans” these energy centers. Is this really where my life is going? Elka has played one of these bowls before, and the sound is something that penetrates your person like energetic waves of pressure. So the thought of having a specific bowl for each of my Chakras being played while Elka navigates my mind down a relaxing mental river was intriguing. Cave man not nervous, cave man not nervous.
After arranging my supplies into a backpack and grabing my bike, I rode along San Diego’s coastline to our meeting point at the edge of Sunset Cliffs. Getting there a bit early and finding and open bench, I’m able to gaze at the ocean and ponder what was going to happen next. Over the course of this training, I have discovered parts of my person buried under years of social training. Who I thought I was, my purpose and how I thought my life was supposed to be structured have all come into question. Like small cracks in a dam, trickles of a buried consciousness have pushed through begging for my attention. What seemed like an opportunity to strengthen my body through “stretching” has developed into a conscious awakening of my true self. I have discovered a person inside of me apart from my skin, muscles, bones, body and even my mind. As if sitting in a cockpit within this body, I’ve started to realize I have more control over myself and my future than ever before. A new sense of self-awareness is growing within this skin-suit that, in previous years, has only been a whisper of a seed. Like owning a new pair of glasses, things have become clearer than ever before.
Sitting on the bench, I can see Julie preparing her bowls like a surgeon before an operation. Moving things into proper position, Elka glides from mat, to blanket to bolster adjusting the alter and lighting incense to create a warm and inviting area for her students and guest. Greeting everyone with a hug and an angelic “Heelloo” Elka invites everyone to join her. Looking on, I can’t help but wonder what this is going to do to me. With butterflies in my stomach, I grab my gear and make my way over to find a spot closest to the bowls. If I’m going to do this, I’m going to do it all the way. As I hug (yes hug) my fellow students, Elka makes her way to me and says, “Don worry Adrian, ju need dis da most. Just breave and let go of jor ego and ju will be fine.”
After a hug and a smile, I take a seat on my ant hill and await her next instruction.