At the end of my yoga teacher training (YTT) last year, we were divided into small groups, taking turns to co-teach a yoga class. The students were a subset of our own classmates.
Our group decided to lead a class with the theme of “courage”. To make things special, my group had decided to quietly place a little bell at the corner of each student’s mat, while they were in Savasana lying down in deep relaxation. I was to guide the class out of Savasana and into a short meditation to end the sadhana (or “spiritual practice”).
When I had the students sit up, I told them about the little bell that had been sitting by their side, charged up by their conscious asana practice with the courage of their heart. I had them place the bell between their palms and bring their palms to the heart. I told them to press their hands towards the heart center and make the connection between their heart and the bell felt and permanent, so that they can take it with them everywhere and keep the connection lasting and strong.
As a brand new yoga teacher, it was quite magical and heartwarming to feel, for the first time, that all my students were really in tune and into the present moment and practice.
At that point, to give power to the moment, and I think I was inspired inwardly, I said the words “you might even feel the bell inside your palms buzzing with electricity from the power you feel from your heart.”
I noticed one of my classmates had tears rolling down her eyes. When we ended the class, she told us that she had really appreciated the powerful class and she cried because she actually felt the bell buzzing around inside her palms as I had mentioned it might.
I was touched by and grateful to hear the comment I heard from Badri (our YTT leader and monitor for our practice sadhana): “Good job. You made a girl cry.” I knew he meant that in a good way!
Later I reflected on how this miracle could have manifested. I thought that it wasn’t quite because of me. Although I might have initiated something by letting those words come through me, I myself didn’t think much of it. I said them, as far as I understood, because they sounded powerful, not because I thought it was actually going to happen.
On the other hand, Kayla’s complete openness and utter faith in this sadhana opened the door to the power of the words to manifest inside her palms. It is certainly because of her state of surrender to the present moment and to the omnipresent power, as nobody else in the room, including myself, actually was able to manifest the same experience.
In Autobiography of a Yogi, Yogananda relates a powerful healing miracle that happened to him as a boy, dying from Asiatic cholera, through the photo of Lahiri Mahasaya, his mother’s guru, on her alter:
“At my bedside, Mother frantically motioned me to look at Lahiri Mahasaya’s picture on the wall above my head.
“‘Bow to him mentally!’ She knew I was too feeble even to lift my hands in salutation. ‘If you really show your devotion and inwardly kneel before him, your life will be spared!’
“I gazed at his photograph and saw there a blinding light, enveloping my body and the entire room. My nausea and other uncontrollable symptoms disappeared; I was well. At once I felt strong enough to bend over and touch Mother’s feet in appreciation of her immeasurable faith in her guru. Mother pressed her head repeatedly against the little picture.”
To me, the most touching thing about this amazing story is that, as soon as Mukunda (Yogananda’s given name) was healed and sat up, rather than going and bowing directly before the photo of Lahiri, he went and touched his mother’s feet in appreciation of her faith in her guru.
The guru, who is one with the Omnipotent God, has all the power beyond the universe. Yet that power can only manifest itself as far as we let it, as far as we open to it. It was the power in the faith of Mukunda’s Mother which made the miracle healing unfold.
If our spirituality is limited to just mentally believing certain concepts, not much power can come through. The deeper our beliefs are transmuted into all-knowing faith and true realization, the more those powers can manifest through us.
Remember again about my practice YTT class. Everybody heard the same words. But only one person manifested it.