Enchanted Forest Gathering Spotlight: Shamanic Yoga with Juan Pablo

Enchanted Forest Gathering Spotlight: Shamanic Yoga with Juan Pablo

By Rachel Nichols

Do you want to learn how to come back to your natural state of bliss, joy, celebration or find that place of deep silence? Awakening to our deepest potential is what Juan Pablo Barahona’s shamanic yoga classes are all about, and he will be teaching students how to get there at the upcoming Enchanted Forest Gathering in Mendocino on July 22-24. In addition to shamanic yoga, he will be leading a special cacao ceremony that is not to be missed. Native to Costa Rica, Juan Pablo is the director and main teacher of the Conscious Living School, an internationally connected institution without walls, where the main purpose is to awaken humanity.

What is Shamanic Yoga?
Shamanic yoga brings together various ancestral practices that awaken our inner energy. Juan Pablo uses Mayan, Toltec and shamanic wisdom teachings throughout the class, weaving in different mudras, breathing techniques, sound healing and special rhythms to calm the nervous system. “We work on all the muscles of the body, we release the organs—it’s very complete in that way,” he said.

Juan Pablo has been studying these techniques with different shamans and healers from all over the world for 20 years. “I mix yoga—the traditional and different kinds of yoga from India—with all these different teachings from the west; I am merging both—that is what shamanic yoga is all about.”

Students should come to class with no expectations and just be open to awakening their deepest potential, inner energy, presence, focus and bliss. “Just be open to whatever is,” Juan Pablo said. “[The class is] a mixture of awakening our inner warrior—our capacity to be very focused, strong and centered. We connect from our core and open up all of our inner spaces.”

Once these inner spaces open up, students will come back to their natural state of bliss. “I love that [students] are able to connect with that place of bliss inside... going deep inside and being in that blissful space of being with yourself,” Juan Pablo said.

How Sound Healing Works
"The sound healing, which goes really deep into the cells, can help us awaken to our deepest potential," Juan Pablo said. He believes that we all have a lot of potential that is sleeping inside of us, and that many times when we just do the physical work—such as only practicing physical postures, or asana—we don't awaken to that deep level of potential.

“The sound healing is the ether, the prana,” Juan Pablo said. It moves our energy from inside and really helps calm the nervous system and create new pathways inside—it’s bringing light and love to every cell, he said. “Every time we make a conscious sound it’s going deep inside the cells and opening up the full potential of the cell. So it works on many levels. It brings light to the brain and pineal gland and really it’s about going deep—doing the deep work of the yoga.”

Connect with your Intention at the Cacao Ceremony
In addition to teaching shamanic yoga at the Enchanted Forest Gathering, Juan Pablo will be leading a special cacao ceremony that he says also helps us to awaken to our deepest potential. The cacao, which he is bringing from Costa Rica, is raw and made with 20 different super foods, including coconut oil, turmeric, cayenne pepper, spirulina, cinnamon, cardamon and more.

During the ceremony, Juan Pablo uses different mantras from different shamanic traditions as well as breathing techniques, sound vibrations and rhythms, clapping, dancing, sacred movement, soul gazing and hugging and laughing therapy. "It’s really about going into the heart," he said.

“Cacao is all about taking you to the heart, opening it and feeling blissed out,” Juan Pablo said. “We raise the vibration and celebrate together, and in that state of celebration you really connect with your intention and what it is you want to transform in your life. What pattern do you want to let go of? What are you really opening up to? It’s a very beautiful ceremony; it’s all about being in the body. it’s alchemical and transformational,” he said. “You really feel the change, you open and you let go and have amazing shifts with cacao.”

Be the Change and Reflect It
When asked what really inspires him, Juan Pablo said teaching. He has dedicated 15 years of his life “to just teach, teach, teach and share—more than teaching is sharing.” He’s also very passionate about learning and said he will never stop learning from different teachers around the world. “I travel all over and I am always learning and I am always teaching—that’s my passion, that inspires me,” he said.

What else really inspires Juan Pablo? “Seeing the change in people—hundreds of people changing around me through the teachings I give. People have amazing shifts and that’s so important in my life, I just love it. And, of course, my inner transformation—that's where it starts. It's about my own spiritual path and then reflecting that to others.”

Juan Pablo’s Message to the World
“Learn to love yourself. Stop criticizing, stop judging, stop comparing yourself and just accept the beautiful flower, the beautiful being that you already are—the unique and authentic being that you came to this earth to be. Accept it and say YES to your full potential, and just enjoy the bliss of being alive. Enjoy the bliss of silence, of being at peace with yourself without needing anybody or anything from outside. Just acknowledge that everything is inside and you just have to stop running away, stop looking for anything outside of you because it's all inside.”

For more information on Juan Pablo’s class at the upcoming Enchanted Forest Gathering or to get tickets, visit www.enchantedforestmendo.com. For more information on Juan Pablo and the Conscious Living School, visit www.consciouslivingschool.com.

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