My next-door neighbor, a sandy haired girl, a few years older than myself, taught me about being in the right place at the right time. I grew up in the corner house of cul-de-sac in a residential area. Nine homes created a horseshoe shape and were backed by a thin alley lined with over-stuffed trash barrels. My parents had banned this area as off limits for any adventure, discovery, or even peeking as it was considered to be dangerous. My neighbor believed differently and promised me that at certain opportune moments during random days, hidden treasures could be found right in the middle of our neighbor’s trash! She explained that in order to uncover these hidden treasures I had to be acutely attentive with the full palate of my senses.
On hot summer days we would slip through the back wooden fence and enter the kingdom of possibilities. Moments of anticipation and excitement overflowed into fantastic findings from tiger eyed marbles, to plastic jeweled rings and even shiny coins. The possibilities were endless! At 7 year of age, I had never heard of the word serendipity and probably couldn’t have pronounced or spelled it correctly even if I had. Serendipity is defined as having the knack or a natural talent for finding the unexpected or finding something by accident. Were these findings accidental, strategically planted or part of life’s greater plan? At that age, I was mystified by the magic of life and never thought of tainting the excitement by the logical mind.
Even though this game of treasure hunting in the back alley of my home came to an end by the age of 12, my capacity for being attentive never ceased, and actually continued to grow. My neighbor, without knowing it, had taught me the art of watching for signs that lead to hidden treasures. The more I was aware, the more I noticed how encounters and experiences began to reveal themselves as stepping stones leading me exactly where I needed to be at each moment of my life. At fifteen, I came to the conclusion that nothing was accidental in my life and the word serendipity could no longer describe the perfect coincidence of events that streamed together like a golden thread.
Thirty-four years later, just weeks after Entre Ciel & Terre’s move was finalized, I found myself walking in the midst of a bustling crowd in Bordeaux’s train station. My mind was occupied, processing the ‘’letting go’’ of the new name for our new center that had manifested after numerous early morning meditation sessions. For weeks we had been toying with the idea of a total change, not just a move. Mutual synergy was important for us and for the energy of the center and therefore we needed to agree wholeheartedly on the new name. It was obvious that the name that had surfaced in my mind was not the right one for both of us and I trusted that something else would appear at the right time, in the right place.
Back to the over-crowed train station in Bordeaux, lost in the thought while still processing the ‘letting go’ of the name, my phone rang. Startled, I dug down into the pocket of my rain jacket. Alex, the host of the retreat center where I would be leading 12 students through a transformative 7 days of seeing the truth, called for our whereabouts. I stopped in my tracks in hopes of finding a marker or a sign that would allow him to easily locate us. A sign, larger than I could have ever imagined was there, right before my eyes. A flash of synchronicity, the art of being in the right place at the right time communicated louder than any doubt. In bold emerald green letters was the name O2 café. I had never seen O2 associated with anything but oxygen from my freshman year of chemistry. Ironically, O2 was the same name that continuously kept popping up in my mind like a broken record again and again and the same name that I had just minutes before ‘’let go.’’ My heart skipped a beat but my breath was steady and a moment of deep knowing, called pragnya revealed itself. It would have to be O2 and no other. This was who we had become and would carry our students and us on our continued journey of uncovering the Self, the spark of life.
So, why O2 yoga? They say that it’s all in the name. O2 guides and animates you 24/7 and is the quintessence of your being. It is what we constantly nag (inhale, exhale) you to do in each class, with each asana, between each thought, on and off your mat. Whether you can do the splits or handstand in the middle of the room has little importance to us but your breath does because it is the spark of your life, your spirit. The ancient yogic texts called the Upanishads, state, ‘’Breath is life and life is breath.’’
Breathing in draws life deeply into your heart and your soul and within each breath there is a galaxy of inner wisdom, of infinite love, compassion and stillness. Your next inhale sparks your inner fire, the unique light of YOU so join us in breathing life at O2 yoga.