Yoga Passport is a unique Yoga Immersion and Teacher Training that I’ll be co-teaching at FocusOm beginning in January, 2109. It emphasizes the ultimate goal of yoga: to connect with one’s inner spirit. We’ll explore not only the tools of classical yoga, such as asana, pranayama and traditional meditation, but more modern practices as well. Many current practices help create a state of “yoga”, by quieting the mind, cultivating a healthy life, and connecting us to our own inner wisdom. This program offers a survey of many tools presented by many teachers, to broaden the students scope on their spiritual journey. If you’d like more details about this program, click here.
I’m excited to introduce you to another of our tour guides on this journey, Charlene Vickery. Char is the owner of FocusOm. She has a thriving massage, Reiki and Cranial Sacral practice, and has an interest in ancient spiritual practices, having studied with teachers and shamans all over the world.
The path that brought Char to her current position as the owner of FocusOm has been long and fulfilling. Over 20 years ago, Char’s life was full; she was a mother of young children, and was following a lifelong path of philanthropic interests, busy with fundraising projects that gave back to the community.
“I was very much in a success-oriented, striving way of being. I was doing great community service and leadership work, and I really enjoyed it. But I was driven. I had written a story of who I was, what I was committed to. ‘I am the fundraiser; I am the one that wants to help.’ This was beneficial to the world. But, my commitment to that story was more important than my commitment to myself. That woman was so tired. She was at least 100 pounds overweight. She couldn’t meet her eyes in the mirror and see all the good she was doing. I was energetically bounding back and forth between periods of being completely selfless, to being completely indulgent, in food, luxuries and shopping. I began to ask myself, why can I be successful everywhere else, but not in managing my own personal presence?
“Shortly after beginning to look more closely at these personal issues, I had the opportunity to join a group focusing on personal development and spiritual growth. It met once a month for three hours, and it took two years for me to feel I had even that small amount of time to invest in myself. But, once I did, I was introduced to the work of Angeles Arriens. She is an anthropologist that created the book “The Four Directions”. This book applies spiritual practices of ancient cultures to our modern world to create a way of living, a sustainable life, both physically and emotionally.
“About this time, during a massage, I asked my therapist about a word I saw on her service menu, ‘Reiki’. She offered to do 10 minutes of Reiki for me at the end of the massage. She simply put a hand under each of my feet, and suddenly I felt a huge current of electricity. I became electric. I suddenly had an understanding of myself as an energetic being. I was so excited that I immediately began training as a massage therapist, and also trained in Cranial Sacral and become a Reiki master. Suddenly, instead of being about service to the community, I began serving one person at a time.
“Since, my work has become a marriage of the shamanic teachings of the Four Directions, and hands-on energetic work. It’s all about teaching people to get quiet enough so they can feel into their own body wisdom. The intelligence in the body goes far beyond the strategic thinking of the mind. And, our emotions are a key to understanding what is happening energetically.
“Yoga has combined with the ancient teachings and the energy work in a unique way for me. I view yoga as creating emotional ecology; creating a sustainable way to live within our physical, energetic and emotional body. Our emotions are like a weather pattern; we have rainy seasons and dry spells. We have stormy periods that come and go. Yoga allows us to witness these emotions that are not good or bad, but are a key in understanding what’s happening energetically. Emotions are energy in motion. Yoga can be a way to help us view this energy and create a balance.
Since I’ve committed my life to this path, I have come to a greater understanding of how to find fulfillment. Worldly things and accomplishment do not lead to contentment. These things ultimately pass. I now understand the energetic component of everything I do. I manipulate myself less. My perspective allows me to be with what is.
In the Yoga Passport program, I will teach a basic understanding of how the first cultures build community, and used spiritual and shamanic practices to help individual members who were suffering. We can use these ideas of community and personal healing in our modern yoga practices. I will teach the theory of the energy work I do, and the students will have the opportunity to receive a Reiki 1 and 2 certification. The Yoga Passport program is a way of creating a safe and committed community to learn, and I am looking forward to being one of the teachers.