When I put up the call for Yogi Selects I had a feeling I would get some good feedback! The summer time always opens people up to share a little more about themselves. @Catherine_Dawn_Yoga reached out and after much delay on my end I delivered a questionnaire she sent it back with everything we could ask for!
If you could form thoughts solely on anything other than words what would it be and why?
If I could form thought solely on anything other than words it would be sensation. It is actually my current meditation practice. All thought stems from emotion; emotion stems from sensation; sensation a result of chemical reaction.
If we could witness the thought that is attached to the sensation we can undo past patterns and create new ones.
We are overstimulated and have too much external input. People have lost the ability to use a lot of our senses because we are so disconnected from the natural world and stillness. It’s time to reclaim the lost knowledge.
What is your first memory?
When I was about 3 or 4 I used to sit in my mother’s room in Brooklyn. I could hear the church bells ringing because we lived across the street from the church. I would sit in her mirror with my face pressed close and examine how my pupils and iris’ opened and closed. I used to think about how I got here and who made me and if someone made me who made them.
How can one distinguish the difference between intelligence and intuition?
I suppose this question is similar to the question of knowledge and wisdom.
Intelligence: We can learn something from books or from a teacher and rationalize things based on information and perhaps similar experience which would allow for inference.
Intuition: For some it comes more naturally than others. Intuition is a result of being fully present and paying attention to sensation. The sensation you receive contains the wisdom which one might describe as intuition. It may be the case that some can really harness/sharpen intuition that might come naturally with intentional focus allowing it to be less of a phenomena and more of a tool.
I’ve never been on a silent retreat? Can you share an experience that you may never forget from the 12 day Vipassana course
Vipassana is like a science experiment with your own psyche. 12 days. 9.5 days you cannot talk , gesture or look at another person except your teacher during set times to ask questions about the method and emergencies to the program manager. 2 vegetarian meals a day (last one at 11:30am) and 10 hours of meditation per day. There are breaks in between.
After the 9.5 days of silence with no external input all the participants were very excited to talk and connect. It was really beautiful but people became a bit overwhelmed. Schedules were forgotten and food went uneaten. Some could not sleep that night, others had headaches and I myself experienced spasms in my stomach muscles that evening. It was interested to observe how external input manifests in our bodies and our behaviors.
At one point during the Vipassana we saw a bear within 3 feet of us. We were all quite calm after days of 10 hours of meditation.I managed to communicate with the other attendees to move back into their cabins by signing and the bear passed without getting agitated. He was really just curious but if we had screamed the situation might have manifested quite differently.
Have you had any lucid yoga related dreams while sleeping?
I have had lucid dreams related to my path and intertwined with people who I have met along my yogic path. I have found lucid dreaming a powerful tool in gaining messages from the subconscious. Yogic meditation is not that far off from lucid dreaming when you tap into different practices.
Does life have a way of putting you in the right place at the right time? If so how can you realize that in the moment versus retrospectively?
I think it does. There are little details we can begin to notice as time goes on, some people call them synchronicities or messages from higher self. If you begin to follow them and trust it is like cracking the code but it is harder than it sounds. We often have self limiting beliefs that interfere. But that is why practices like yoga are key.
If there was one question you can have answered about the mysteries of life what would the question be?
How can we create harmony without disrupting the beauty of natural chaos and unpredictability?
I am always dancing with this question.
Has yoga help improve your running routine? If so how?
I don’t run as often as I used to but it certainly helped to improve my running. I started practicing yoga during a time where I was running in races and doing bootcamp like workouts. It helped me to better control my breath and also my focus during longer runs. On long runs the monkey mind starts to kick in and you sometime will hear yourself telling you to give up but you have to override it and keep going. Yoga give you specific ways to do that. Mantra, picking a focal point, imagining an object etc.
In which ways can poetry help translate the feelings yoga can provide?
Yoga and poetry are not different to me. Whether I am practicing yoga or writing I am connecting with a higher source. The ego gets lost in both practices. I sometimes use poetry to translate the revelations I receive in the yogic practices; It’s connecting to spirit and creating word.
So many blessing and good things ! Keep creating godly things!
You can follow Catherine on her journey via Instagram