Judit Duran tells her story of love, life, and connection
Once upon a time, I crossed an ocean to move to a foreign land.
It was September 1999, and I was only 21 years old. I thought flying away from Spain would resolve my inner turmoil. I was on a search, not yet understanding that the work I would need to do to find peace was within, not without.
I met my soulmate Eduard in New York City. I was really lost, and he encouraged me to find myself. In my searching I realized that the career I had prepared for (hotel management) didn't fulfill me, and never could. On top of that I was weighed down by emotional baggage from childhood and had trouble valuing myself.
My life began to shift when I found yoga thanks to my friend Maika, who literally pushed me past my preconceived notions of what yoga is and into my first yoga class, in the Ashtanga style. I was amazed at how well I felt after. Back then yoga was only a physical exercise for me. I had never been flexible, not even as a child. At 22, I was very far from reaching to my toes, but because I began going to class at least 3 times a week, I witnessed the progress. Little by little my body was becoming flexible and I learned how to breathe.
Sometime later I found Ranjitha, and her yoga classes included meditation, breathing techniques, dharma, and asanas. I had discovered a whole new world! She introduced me to the most beautiful realms of yoga. I started feeling a deep transformation within. Not only was my body more flexible but also my view of the world.
Ranjitha encouraged me to take a teacher's training program. What I didn't know then is that Yoga would become my path. In 2003 I got my teacher certification.
Yoga allowed me to go deep within, to a world I never knew existed but that always had been there, within me. The peeling off of layers, conditioning, and self-blockages started, and I discovered that the peace, love, and contentment I sought had always been there. I became aware that whatever I had had to face in my life to that point had been there for me as a blessing, something I could transcend and look for the true light within.
I started teaching Vinyasa yoga, always including breathing techniques and meditation in my classes. As we evolve in life, also does our yoga practice. I eventually got certified to teach Therapeutic yoga, Gentle, and Yin. Those practices allow me to teach some dharma during class. While people hold the poses I talk about spirituality, life, and ways to connect with our higher self. I have found over the years that people need this. They have many ways and places that they can exercise, but what they yearn are ways to transcend their physical and emotional pain.
In fact, yoga can be practiced all day long: as you move through your day be mindful and fully present. The mind will come to test you, either by wanting to bring you to the past or to the future, but you have the option to choose not to engage with what comes in the mind. Then the thoughts lose power and they do not leave an imprint in your consciousness. That is the higher advice that I can give you and that has worked for me. Only use your mind for your work, math, and daily life, but do not engage with the mind in its psychological manifestation, the one that is full of judgments, conditioning and worries.
In 2016, I tried my first sound healing session with Tibetan singing bowls. I was blown away by them! They helped me immensely to continue the process that I had started with yoga. They helped me regain my confidence and my voice. Sound healing has enabled me to speak up, share my truth, and believe in myself. Even though insecurities sometimes knock at the door, and I am still working on letting go of fear, the road is so much smoother, and joy springs out from within. Sound healing has given me the strength to promise myself that from now on, even when what I label as adversity hits me, I will take it as a stepping-stone toward what lies ahead. I now see adversity as another opportunity to grow and to recognize that which I truly am.
I became a sound healing practitioner in 2017. I am now offering individual and group sound healing sessions.
In 2019, I studied Chinese Foot Reflexology and Crystal Therapy, two very powerful practices that help people immensely. I am now offering them at my studio and are the perfect complement to Sound Healing. I am also offering instruction on The Five Tibetan Rites, an ancient practice that uplifts the body, mind and spirit.
I am forever grateful for the healers, masters, and teachers that I have met along the way. Without them I couldn't have looked in the right direction; without them I would still be stuck in the past, with lots of anxiety. The real teachers have showed me how to find the answers within me, we have all we need in us.
When you open up to life, you start attracting the right people: like-minded souls who are on the same journey. You attract inspiring souls that guide you and encourage you along the way. At the same time, the people that are not meant to be next to you, that don't belong to that "new you," start disappearing from your life, very gracefully, almost like magic.
I am in my 40's, and there is no other age I would rather be. I have never in my life felt so radiant, so full of life and joy. Stories of the past keep coming to the light, parts that were blocked by my mind but were in my subconscious and energetic body. I am not afraid anymore. It is as if they come to the surface for me to acknowledge them and let them out; my true self is free, has always been free.
From our wounds, beautiful flowers can emerge. Rumi says: "The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
May you all find the peace, love, and light that you are.
OM SHANTI, SHANTI, SHANTI. OM PEACE, PEACE, PEACE.
"The wound is the place where the Light enters you."