In her six years of teaching Bikram Yoga, Rochelle felt so grateful to be a witness and guide as students began to sense their own inner light, just like she did when she practiced. However, she organically started to pull away from Bikram’s rigid structure and explore more feminine-based movement.
She'd been playing the masculine game – cultivating discipline, judging herself based on progress or lack thereof, struggling, and trying to achieve results through force. While she learned some useful things, she wasn’t thriving; the culture didn’t offer much encouragement to be who she really was, use her voice, or express her body outside of the same sequence of postures every day. It wasn’t only that neither the practice nor Bikram himself honored the inner feminine – there was also an undertone (and increasing overtone) in the culture of frequent verbal and emotional abuse. (This was even before the reports of physical violence that traumatized various women’s psyches, minds, emotions, and bodies.)
To know our inner light better, we must take the time to sit with it. And we must be willing to look at our shadow, to see our blind spots, which often requires help to identify. Rochelle is so grateful for the help of her therapist, who cared enough to point out the places where she'd lost the ability to honor the divine light within her and reconnect with the important job of taking care of her inner child (pictured here - so cute!)
She also loves this article by Danielle LaPorte on why even though you may have already think you've done this work, it's wise to realize your inner child deserves your protection. Forever.
Rochelle met her long time friend Becca Kannapell in college. They began their spiritual practice of yoga around the same time as their friendship. Here they are mirroring one another's light while the water in the Amazon jungle mirrors the sky and clouds above.
In Chapter 8, Rochelle shares the story of how to tell the difference between a wolf and a coyote. Here's a handy reference guide.
MOVEMENT: FREE DANCE
Rochelle writes in Chapter 8: "What I love most about free dance is that it mirrors the deepest truth of our subatomic existence. We are all bouncing in space and chaos, but somehow, it all works. Sometimes we identify with the electrons. Sometimes we identify with protons. Sometimes, when in touch with our inner Buddha, we exist as the neutrons.
Seeing someone dancing wildly around their living room or a group of people improvising together makes me happy: these are people who remember. They remember that the only constant is change, so we might as well dance with it."
RITUAL: THE LIGHT AND DARK SIDE OF THE MOON
The moon’s essence is reflective: it reflects the light of the sun. Its gravitational force also affects our ocean tides. Women and the moon have been connected since pre-history: “menstruation,” “moon,” and “month” are all etymologically related through their Latin and Greek roots.
Whether or not you experience a menstrual cycle, we all live under the moon and its sacred cycles, and every one of us is on this planet because of a woman’s cycle. This ritual is for all of us. Disconnection from, ignorance of, and antiquated attitudes about the miracle of a woman’s reproductive cycle are no longer useful.
In addition to doing this ritual mentioned in the book, we also recommend looking into the following resources:
COMMUNITY CONNECTION: 40 DAYS OF FREEDOM
Whatever it is, explore the courage within yourself to look the dragon of fear in the eye. Can you imagine being able to source your relief from your inner light instead of an external remedy? What would this change for you?
As you do this, honor yourself and consider if the challenge seems heavier than you or your circle of community can hold, and if a professional therapist, healer, or guide can help you unlock repetitive patterns.
PILGRIMAGE: LINEAGE OF LIGHT
Your ancestors are part of an ancient tribe of souls who remembered and wanted to come back for their own journey but also in service to yours. The more you are able to reconnect with that energy, the more you can receive support and guidance for your inner feeling of the connection that spans generations through your family line’s DNA. Of course, we are all connected beyond our DNA and our biology, but these links offer a portal that would be unwise to overlook.
As an example, when Rochelle had her DNA tested it showed 99.9 Northern European/Scandinavian, so she quickly enrolled in a Viking Goddess e-course.
There are armies of allies available to us when we call on our ancestors. Our disconnection from our furthest family leads to the absence of understanding our true origins. When engaging with the mythology of those who have come before, there is an opportunity for deeper healing, more magic and expanded love.
*Click here to purchase a copy of Qoya: A Compass for Navigating an Embodied Life that is Wise, Wild and Free.