How Living Wisdom School Increased My Will Power

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This article refers to the Energization Exercises of Paramhansa Yogananda. These exercises involve isolating, tensing and relaxing the muscles of the body.

I remember our teacher telling us ‘Now, as you’re doing this exercise, tense as hard as you can’. So I did. There was no voice in my head that said, ‘you might hurt yourself if you tense that hard’ So there was nothing stopping me from tensing, literally, as hard as I could. Then everything went splotchy; when I woke up the teacher and all the students were standing over me with worried looks on their faces. It was an interesting experience, but now I know better. A number of years later, when I complained about not being able to make myself pass out at will anymore, Dad reminded me that majoring in Astronomy and creating my own Tango career require a lot of will, too. It’s just manifesting in different ways.

Now I set goals for myself: how many private lessons I’m going to teach each week. My goal for the Seattle tour was to have a gig every night we were up there. It took some doing, but I did it! I organized a gig for every single day my dance partner and I were there—2 ½ weeks. We weren’t twiddling our thumbs at all. We gave 2 workshops every night, 3 on the weekends.

I’ve had really good luck, I feel enormously blessed. I have a ton of energy and I think that my experience with the Ananda schools helped me learn how to draw in more and more energy from the universe. “The greater the will the GREATER THE FLOW OF ENERGY!” -Paramhansa Yogannada

I’m on tour in Honolulu right now. Tomorrow I have 8 private lessons to give. I start at 10:00 AM and finish at 10:45 PM. I’m a very lucky girl!

By Hridaya Atwell

Our alumni focus for this newsletter is Mirabai Deranja, daughter of Nitai Deranja, founder of Education for Life.

About Mirabai Deranja:

Mirabai was born at Ananda Village in November of 1983 in the little house behind Master’s Market. Swami Kriyananda stopped by to visit about two weeks after she was born. We still hadn’t settled on a name for her, but Swami took one look at her and said “This is Mirabai”. There were about 5 other children born at Ananda at about the same time, so she has always been blessed with many friends. We moved to San Francisco in 1988 to be the ministers at Ananda House when Mirabai was 4. It was there that she had her first dance lesson. It was love at first sight. Later that year we moved up to Portland to help start the Ananda Community there.

Mirabai attended public school and helped out at the Song of the Rose Cafe that the community had started. She was everyone’s favorite waitress. We moved back to the Village in 1991 partly so Mirabai could rejoin her friends. After high school she attended and graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz in June of 2004 with a BA in Astronomy. Her ever increasing interest in dance had expanded to include partner dancing. So upon her graduation she announced that she had two goals: 1) to become bilingual in Spanish, and 2) to become an excellent Tango dancer, and to accomplish this she needed to move to Buenos Aires. Five years later she had embarked on a very successful career as a tango performer/teacher. Currently her career continues with annual tours to Europe, Hawaii, and the Pacific Northwest.