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Fire-Ceremony with a burning coconut

Burning coconut

Six o’clock in the morning. Normally I would be in bed at this time of the day, but for some reasons yogis are getting up early. As soon as nature wakes up, the yogis wake up. Natures rhythm and the rhythm of the yogis are one. In the morning our body makes the hormone melatonin, which makes us feel tired when our alarm clock starts to ring. By getting up and doing yoga before the our body produces melatonin we can stop this production.

This morning melatonin gets the change to do its work, because we don’t do yoga yet. It’s the first day of my yoga Teacher Training Course and that calls for a celebration. I don’t know why, but I love ceremonies. Not the Dutch ones, but ceremonies like the Indians had, the Mayas, the Aztecs and so on. Ceremonies with fire, passion, devotion. Ceremonies with respect and gratitude for nature and not commercial ones based on buying and eating as much as you can.

A red-yellow ribbon

When we enter the yoga shala this morning, our eyes still filled with sleep, is Gorav, our philosophy teacher, already busy to light a small fire. While we sit and watch Deepak and his mom go around the circle of students. One by one we get a red dot painted on our forehead and a red-yellow ribbon wrapped around our wrist to bless us.

Gorav starts to chant softly to ask the Gods for their blessing and their support during our teacher training and to ask them to purify our soul. One by one we sit down next to our ceremony master, take a little bit of the prepared wood pulp between thumb, index and middle finger and throw it in the fire.

When everybody has had it’s turn Gorav picks up a small coconut and asks us to come close to the fire. We all reach out our hand and together – while chanting three ohms and three shantis – we offer the coconut to the Gods. I feel my heart beating heavy. The whole ceremony, all the chanting, the burning coconut, the atmosphere of being here together with all these people at the dawn of the day has something magical and I can’t wait for the rest of the training.

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