Yoga in the Jungle

By Jun Lee

Nothing prepares me for it, I am always startled whenever I return to Samasati. The mood of the place demands you to relax and be present. Being in that state in the jungle and practicing consistently can ultimately engender healing on a psycho and spiritual level. As we’re living in a hyper speed – touch screened – digitized age, in a civilization that is becoming less sensitive and yet undergoing a fundamental transition – I think we can use all the tools and help we can get along the way.

Sounds of wilderness, the sounds of nature, shocking bursts of blue, yellow and green – seeing life moving in harmony – hopefully that speaks to the wilderness in our hearts. The jungle emits vibrations that effortlessly slough away the shell of the city. Because what is being asked of us in my opinion, in this time of change, is an inner transformation. A journey into the heart, to work from the inside out – to unlock and co-create our future. Activation of the body, activation of a complete breath, consistent practice is a way to this inner space, persevere in just sitting and simply listen – there can be no fail. And I hope to be a witness, an anchor, an echo – just to say to all of us that we can do this. With these teachings, this asana and meditation practice, with the bond and community we form at these retreats and Yoga teacher trainings, it helps us connect back to life around us and unfolds our true nature. It’s a lot of fun too, practicing every day, eating delicious food together, studying what we love- and acting on the knowledge that one of the most efficacious forms or devotion is tinctured with playfulness – that prevents the buildup of fanaticism. Learning a sequence, studying an asana – it’s like a riddle, dismantle it and then make it your own – it becomes creative.

Don’t save your enormous creativity for “something better”. Give it to this. I love the whole collective process. And my teacher used to say to me after I expressed gratitude, she’d say “I didn’t do anything, I wasn’t even there.” I let that be my intent, a part of my sadhana, just to hold the space for others to allow for that inner journey in the midst of the jungle.

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