Greg Shkuratoff returned to the Ashram in early January to mark the one-year anniversary of his entry into the 2015 Yoga Development Course (YDC). He reflects on the changes it is making in his life.
I work in the construction industry, and emotions can run high when the pressure is on. Before taking the YDC, there was a point where I couldn’t handle the environment and the stresses. The YDC came forward and I thought it would be the perfect foundation to help me navigate the stormy seas of the construction line of work.
I use the Ashram’s yoga tools – like bringing in the Light – to keep me centred. Then I can see with the eyes of compassion and better understand what someone’s day has been like; have the courage to ask questions rather than assume; be confident and clear about what I need.
My company just finished a high profile job in Minneapolis. I had a new task that was a pivotal part of the project and I was able to do it correctly. I would silently chant Om Namah Sivaya; I even wrote the mantra on a beam! I was able to communicate with my team and keep a positive attitude that brought a flow throughout the project. We finished my part of the project one month ahead of schedule.
On top of that, I was given the opportunity to lead morning stretches with the crews, putting my Yasodhara Hatha Yoga teacher training into action. Stretching exercises were mandatory on the jobsite, as a way to prevent injury. Even the ironworkers were open to it! This helped bond everyone together. We stood at the worksite in a circle together, clearing the energy.
Back here at the Ashram, I can feel the feminine energy. Spinning a bit of that feminine energy into the construction work – kind of softening the work because of my own attitude – helped everything go so much smoother. My crew had more women than most – seven out of 25 – which was positive.
I used the Light if there was anything on my mind after work too – to give it up and not hang on, knowing the Divine was helping me on my path. This was different than years past when I carried the burden of stresses all the time.
I feel there are parts of me being refined. The YDC’s self-image workshop brought forward my confidence and ability to move more freely in the world. Challenges come and I feel I have the tools to meet them with grace.
Outside of work, I’m attracting people into my life that feel the same things.
I have a lot of gratitude for this sacred space and hope the Ashram keeps growing and stays fertile for years to come. I hiked up into the cedar forest – my special spot during the YDC – and it felt so good to be there. I’m wishing the best for the 2016 YDC participants!