Guest post by Eliot Acuna
Every time I arrive at the shores of Lago Atitlán, I am flooded with the memory of a magical moment when I was around nine years old.
Like many other wonderful caring parents, mine had tried every possible way till then to get me to learn how to swim. On this special afternoon, I was up to my chin in water and by myself.
The wind had started churning the waters, which can sometimes lead to strong waves. The residents of the Lago call this the xocomil. I could feel the movement of the water moving my body, delicately and then increasingly with more power.
Instead of resisting the movement, I allowed myself to feel its rhythm and to go with it. Gradually, my body became part of the water itself, merged with the water, became the water. I had no fear. It was like water and me, we were one.
My body took its water form and my toes came off the ground. I was one with water, water one with me. My body took its water powers. Was I swimming or were the waters swimming me?
I did not know that it was really in me to swim until I had the experience of awakening that element and its power within me. Until then it was but a thought, a notion, something I had but seen in others.
Yoga teachings explain to us that everything is within us. But as long as we haven’t experienced it, it is like the time before I could swim, when swimming was just but a thought, a notion, something I may have seen or recognized in others. Really, I could have drowned!
Yoga practices are a lot like my experience during Xocomil. They are about bathing in the Self, allowing oneself gradually and over time to feel the rhythm of One’s essential nature, so that it may awaken and enliven all of our potential!
When I come to Lake Atitlán now, I come to bathe. In a beautiful way, I come to bathe, yes, in the refreshing sacred waters of the Lago, but more subtly yet, in the sweet sacred source of my very Own Self. The Lake of the Heart.
Eliot will be teaching another magical 7-day yoga retreat at beautiful Villa Sumaya from January 28 to February 7, 2017. You are welcome to join!