Living in China, has been intense. I purchased the movie Lost in Translation last night, it's very similar to what I am experiencing here. My outer world is completely foreign and my inner-world is changing into something unfamiliar at the same time. Its confusing, and difficult to grasp all of the changes all around me. This is what I needed in order for my soul to become a chrysalis for transformation. We always need change in order to grow, to step out of our comfort zone, and to take ourselves deeper. I spend all of my time teaching Yoga, reading, and going to Temples. I wake up early, and sleep early.
Since there is a language barrier, I've had to learn to communicate and translate Yoga in a very different, more pure way. Its no longer a routine, a habitual word like "sirasana" that roles off of you're tongue after saying it so many times. Its more a transfer of energy, and honesty. What is Yoga really, and why are we practicing?
These are the questions I am revisiting and uncovering the answers has made me look into what brought me onto this path 14 years ago. I have a new Love for Iyengar: alignment, taking you're time, breathing, and patience....lots of patience! Sometimes holding a pose for 5 minutes, and realizing the pose changes so much if we stay in the breath, in the moment, and allow ourselves to go deeper. It helps me slow down in my mind as well to connect to my heart, and my sensitivity. This is what seduced me when I found Yoga, it made me feel things in such a profound way. It's helped me to face the fact that I lost my Mother before I came, and that's ok. We said goodbye in peace, and she is still here living in my spirit and in my practice. She asked me if I would teach her Yoga once she got better, because she could see it's helped me to be more kind, more gentle, and healthy. Whenever I teach, I think of her, and I want to help people to find those things: before its too late.
I went to a Yoga retreat this weekend to teach in exchange for a free stay. To rest, reflect, and just be still. I went on long hikes in the Mountains alone, and found this beautiful Temple from the 1700's. It was so mystical, and serene. I felt like I was in a different world, a different realm! No one at the center spoke English, which I am realizing is exactly what I need right now. I taught classes, and they followed, and flowed with me. We meditated and chanted. And I felt what the real meaning of Namaste was for the first time "the light in me, see's the light in you.".......it was beautiful. Now, I know why I am on this path, and why I teach Yoga. I am following my heart, and I was born to be on this path. Its healing, and deep, and honest, and full of love and compassion. Its a gift. There are days that go by here, where I don't speak to anyone, I just teach, and flow, and connect on a different level.
This is what it feels like to feel inter-connected to something greater, to an energy that is called Yoga. Its not just a word, its a whole vibe that manifests over time. All of the years of practicing, I am finally getting closer and closer to the real meaning of Yoga.
I found peace inside myself.
Om Tat Sat,
Buddhist texts, sitting, observing, no clinging, no aversion; stories. Stories of good, bad, right, wrong. Analyse. Associations. Sounds, smells, taste, touch. Comfort, discomfort. Polarised sensations. Sit, breathe. Sit, breathe. Investigate. Seek. Austerities. Patanjali Raja Yoga. Begin; Ahimsa. Breathe. Pranayam. Purify. Asana. Play. Explore. Intelligence. Knowing. Let go. Samadhi. Sit. Offerings: Flowers, fruits, nuts, prayers, chants, japa beads. Light. Illuminate. Close my eyes. Sweet smell of incense. Breathe. Let it go. Light. Love. Acceptance. More love. Serve. A new story. Sigh. Let that one go too. Begin again
Are you constantly seeking approval and positive reinforcement? Do you question whether or not you are enough? Are you attached to your familiar patterns? What are you willing to pay to be free? The first step is to recognize the masks we wear, trapping ourselves in a cycle of doing that keeps us in suffering. We must see beyond the maya, the identification with the ego, and surrender. We must recognize the true self- this is the way to Samadhi. It's a space where we lose our identification with self, and we become nothing. It's when we think with the heart, and not the head. If you want to realise Samadhi you must see yourself beyond the senses, beyond thoughts. You must go deep within, beyond distractions, beyond craving, beyond aversion. Examine your life honestly, without judging yourself. Sit, find silence, meditate. Breathe, observe your nature to become more awake. We must drop our identity, for new life to grow. This is one of the most challenging truths to fight for. To change our inner world, we have to change our inner world.
This is the way to Samadhi- self-surrender.
"The mind makes a good servant, but a poor master." -Vedanta
There is nothing more beautiful than watching students move on their mats, through emotions and barriers towards self-actualisation and a sensitivity to deeper parts of consciousness.
We wear masks in our everyday lives.
Society is structured to support personas based on survival and capitalism.
On our yoga mats, we take off those masks to feel and connect to deeper parts, to our authenticity.
When we sit in meditation for example, and we become a witness to the mind, we can see patterns clearly.
What are the quality of our thoughts? Which thoughts are serving us? Can we move into stillness? What does that feel like? Where are you feeling that in your body?
There is a Focusing technique where you tell a story, you close your eyes and observe sensation. If you feel a pain in your throat, you go deeper into that sensation and tell a story.
We are building an intimacy with every part of our being in a yoga.