I have been very fortunate to be able to come down to the Bahamas and teach Sacred Painting for the past 9 years. The Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat is one of those magical places, nestled between the bay and the ocean on Paradise Island. I arrived here on Dec 1st and taught 3 days of Yantra Painting, with the focus on making a Ganesh Yantra. Ganesh is the elephant god, the remover of obstacles and it's recommended to start with his yantra first. By constructing, painting and chanting his mantra, one will get his grace and hopefully will experience an easier time in spiritual pursuits.
Here's what a typical day looks like at the ashram: 5:30 wake up bell, then satsang at 6, yoga at 8, brunch at 10, workshops between 12 & 4 or free time to enjoy the beach, 4, yoga, 6 dinner and 8 satsang. It's a very long day which helps to keep you mind focused on spiritual thoughts. The food has been exceptionally good this year, lots of fresh veggies, dal, freshly baked bread and lots of gluten free choices.
One of the highlights of my day is attending the Vana Durga Puja, a magical shrine in the middle of native foliage, feels like being in the jungle. Everyday at 11:30, the priest Krishnan Namboordri, worships her by removing her clothes, washing her and dressing her in the color of the day. When I attended on Friday, she got an oil massage and no clothes. After the puja, the priest puts ashes and kumkum on our forehead and gave us prasad, usually dried fruit and nuts.
Mavis Gewant, Sacred Artist & Doula reflects on life