Friday, July 1, 2016

YOGA AND ME

My journey with my self started in June 2013. After trying all modes of medicine for my ailments and my body callings, I took to yoga. Something my father kept telling  me all my life, but I never paid heed. A friend of mine introduced me to this art, and started being my mentor. Initially it was like any other art form I have tried learning - the aches, the pains and the need to push and get it right! And of course, the universal unwritten one being, to do better than the neighbor next to you :)

After a while, I moved from just wanting to impress, to a mode of my body wanting to express itself. It was a subtle, slow, transformation.

Today after 3 years, I may not have yet mastered any single pose, but yoga has started influencing a lot of my thought process and hence my life. Heres some of that summarized .. learnings of a novice..

(W) hole circle- Everything seems to be connected. Or rather, when you connect things, it makes sense. Then there is no concept of waste or unwanted; there is a wholesomeness.

Any aasana you do, if you connect the body from head to toe, there is no strain on one single part. The ache and pain of a particular muscle is mostly because, somewhere the fundamentals aren't strong enough.

Fundamentals- back straight, tail bone in, thighs and knees pulled back, chest open, lower back differentiated from upper back .. so on and so forth. If all this is in place, the connection too gets complete. This value system needs to be practiced every moment for smooth functioning!

- Inside Out - Initially when I started yoga- the mat, my outfit, the venue, the noise outside, mirror to see myself- were all needed and important. Today I realize if the values are fundamentally strong, none of the above really matters. The flow of energy and enthusiasm and control is from inside to the outside!

- Imperfection - Not every part of your body is perfect. Some aasanas you do easily, some not so easily. The imperfections exist and we don't need to hide them .

After 3 years, I realised my lower back is actually immobile!!! It needs a roaming SIM installed in it :) We realise and we work with that part. All the concentration is to bring it back to action, so that we can move on.  Acceptance that we have to work on it and also acceptance that we cant do without it - both gets thrown at your face.

- Independence - When I say , there is a connection, in the same breath I could say there needs to be independence. Every organ has its part to play and needs to learn to stand on its own. The abdomen needs to hold its own burden and not sit on the pelvic bone just because it is more comfortable.
Any perpetual dependence especially due to comfort can make the connection stink. Everyone stands on their own , yet they need each other to complete the whole !

- Openess - This is my all time favorite! A simple action 'stretch' .. has loads of repercussions. Stretch your hands, stretch the back, stretch the calf muscles, .. they make space for so much to enter into you. The vastness of the body, opens your mind too. The smile after your yoga session, is not only because you accomplished something, but also because you are ready to take on all the more!
The composition of the body being 70% water, starts behaving like the ocean, when you inculcate the vastness within. It can take any shit, and still keep the waves coming!

- Let go - Last week I realised, when I do the final pose, I am holding my breath. I feel thats the maximum I can do, I can achieve. Why then do I hold my breath? I think its like the many things we just hold on to .. to make it last. But the catch here is, if you let go, if you breathe.. you can stay longer in the pose! It is that simple.
The ultimate reality- 'breath' is so involuntarily exercised by us that we dont realise its importance. Its like the invisible mothers hand in the household, no one realises it, until its gone!
If we concentrate on the breath and let it go, even when we have reached the limit, the limit suddenly goes a little more ahead. A new personal best :)

My journey continues, and I hope to keep questioning and finding answers on the way. Thank you to my mentor, friends, and my father for this beautiful self journey!