I found out about the Happyness Center in the Fall of 2017 when it was the starting point for a RUNClub session. It was quite a bit later (May or June) when I went to my first counselling session there and began to learn more about myself, and get to know everyone there.
Since my first session at the Center, I have now attended: Wednesday's restorative yoga and meditation classes; the monthly meditations; several Friday solomanacha's (study groups); open houses; India trip information sessions and a trip to India; seminars with Sheryl Yaremco (twice) and the amazing Robin Clements; and just this last winter started my 300 Hour Yoga Training.
Every time I spend time at the Happyness Center, I learn and grow. The very first counselling session (and a few more since) that I attended opened me up to accepting and loving myself; a pretty emotional journey. Now almost EVERY time I am in meditation at the Happyness Center, something new is revealed to me. Incredible.
The most impactful experience I have had through the center however would have to be our trip to India last January (2019). The combination of spiritual practices and seeing a world beyond my comprehension (at the time) has given me both perspective AND purpose.
I have started a journey and practice that will continue and the Happyness Center will continue to play a big part in my journey through Gita studies, yoga, meditations and more. I am currently
reading a book called Judgement Detox which is really good. I will finish my 300 Hour Yoga Training in December and am really excited to take part in the study of the Bagavad Gita. I'll keep attending weekly yoga and meditation classes, and I'm hoping to see and understand my Vedic astrology chart more this year too. It is incredible. I have a really exciting year on the way!
I started with RUNClub in 2015, getting ready to run the Boogie the Bridge 5k a couple of weeks before my 60th birthday. A friend of mine had suggested that we get into shape before going on an Alaskan cruise in mid May. She didn't end up joining because of health issues, but I decided to go anyways even though I had never run before. It was quite the experience! Jo Berry, the coaches and the 150 other people who joined the RUNClub training made it an amazing experience!
One Thursday evening at a pick up run on Shubert Drive, I ended up talking with Madhu Sai for a good 20 minutes. That was when I first found out that I didn't have a problem, I was the problem! Being a seeker, I was hooked. Tell me more!
It snow balled from there.
I took Healing the Feminine Heart in June 2017 with Madhu Sai and Lori Puttato and became a regular at the Happyness Center.
Next came the January 2018 South India Pilgramage Tour. Did that ever shake things up! What a life changing experience that was.
More connections were made, opening the door to HeartMath and the Melt Method, which I didn't stay with for long but really benefited from.
iNidra Yoga and yoga with the beautiful Yvette followed. I started to see myself differently and worked on myself more and more, on so many levels! Loving guidance and encouragement is always shared. Baby steps perhaps, but many little shifts. I still remember the day I did my first downward dog since breaking my shoulder in 2009. Wow!!! Why did I buy into the limits imposed on me by "medical professionals "?
Monthly Meditations were offered and I started to really look forward to Sunday morning meditations which followed RUNClub at the end of the month.
Next came Monday evening Yoga for Bigger Bodies with the very caring Michelle! I did a series of 10. I was very spoiled at the start as it was mostly one-on-one. Once others started coming and the classes were less "experimental" and slower moving, I let it go. (Miss you lots Miss Michelle Merry!)
My body liked it when I stopped running between cataract surgeries and I am focusing more on yoga and walking now. Happy knees are important.
I have taken a couple of Mandala courses with Yvette in an attempt to bring out my creative side. It is definitely a work in progress.
The loving support of the Happyness Center and its caring practitioners is so appreciated. I always feel so welcome!
I have made so many friends through the Happyness Center. It is so nice to have a place to go to where you can meet up with like minded people!
I hope you will all come to the Happyness Center and have the opportunity to get as much out of it as I continually do.
We are excited to introduce a brand new blog series: the "People of the Happyness Center".
Every Wednesday, we will be profiling a beautiful soul seeker who we have met through our Center, who will share with you some of their story and their recent experiences with us.
We hope you will find their stories interesting, encouraging and challenging.
If you are interested in sharing some of your story and personal experience with us, we would love to hear from you.
your Happyness Team
Often students walk through our doors expecting to learn better techniques and alignment for their yoga practice, not realizing that without knowing themselves fully first, teaching is only regurgitating someone else’s knowledge instead of the authentic teaching that comes from the heart of one who knows and loves her Self. We store our emotions, traumas that we have not dealt with in our bodies and sooner or later they start to show up as physical pain.
I asked Malisa how the training changed her life and how she discovered the long hidden physical issues in her body and this was her answer:
“I keep looking back at all that I have learned, thinking that each time the ground beneath me crumbles it doesn’t get easier, it gets harder. As my awareness broadens there is always some chaos in the distance just outside of my peripheral vision, that like one of Mother Natures most precious gifts — is a natural disaster waiting to happen.
I began to notice that I couldn’t breathe. It was excruciating. I felt that time was both infinitely long and moving devastatingly fast, picking up speed, drawing myself closer to the moment that I finally paused to realize that while I had been collecting myself—as if I’d been scattered in the wind, I was perfectly positioned, perched on the top of a vantage point where I began to see that what was working in my favour was that I had time. Time to heal and learn.
My voice is softly spoken confined in the self-imposed isolation that I have held myself in a place where I once considered myself separate and completely alone. I began focusing on my throat chakra when the base of my spine started speaking to me in paralyzing spasms, pulsing painfully through my sacrum. I found that the anger stored in the injury seems to trigger memories that are just as old as the injury itself. My body compensated for the injury and held itself that way for nearly 20-years causing pain in my knees, hips and even heart palpitations as my diaphragms were impacted by the misalignment. After just having come out of yoga teacher training, looking at all the parts of me that I consider to be painful, ugly or unlovable I am starting to see all the ways that my personality is designed to compensate for them with cynical humour, aloofness, and other distorted projections. I bend my body and mind through beautifully sequenced asanas. It is here in stillness that I have found connection through my divinity.”
~ Malisa Lazzinnaro
Malisa's journey is far from over, but her eyes are definitely open to what has happened to unattended emotions and how they torture her body. But most importantly, she now understands how she can start to heal herself and live a fuller and more joyful life.