‘Asana’ in sanskrit means ‘sitting down’. In yoga it refers to the positions a yogi takes in the practice. In life, it can refer to all things we do or are done to us, our ‘life positions’.
An Asana can be more or less difficult for one person according to the state of her body, mind, heart and soul. We all have positions, asanas, we don’t like. In life, we have things we don’t like doing or we don’t like that are done to us.
This is the state where I was when I decided to stop for a while this blog and go away from Facebook. There were things I was doing and things done to me that I didn’t like. So I decided to try to stop them…
In yoga, it is normally the asanas we don’t like doing that are the ones that hide the most powerful potential of transformation. One important reason why we don’t like them is because they touch on emotions we have buried for a long time. In life, actions we don’t like touch on emotions we don’t want to feel, including those we have repressed to protects ourselves in fear.
Someone I hold very dear to me said to me once: “Life is too short to be in asanas we don’t like”.
These words were paraphrasing others from cat, one of my great yoga teachers, which in turn came from the teacher of teachers of Jivamukti Yoga, Sharon Gannon: “Life is too short to be with people you don’t like”.
These words can be interpreted as what they mean literally, that is, “don’t waste your time with people you don’t like.” Or with a much deeper meaning, a more “yogic meaning”. This second meaning changes the perspective from the external to the internal. Instead of looking at the external world as the cause of our dislikes, it points to our inside as its real origin. It would then mean “don’t waste your time disliking people”, make an effort to find the greatness of all around yourself, so you don’t have to be with people you don’t like. It means that the cause of our likes and dislikes is within us and, therefore, we can change it.
With this new perspective is how I am looking at the things I was doing or were done to me that I didn’t like. I now see how the origin of this malaise is within me and, therefore, I am making an effort to find what in me is causing it. Not by stopping my personal expression on Facebook or my blog I will find it, that’s the external world. I like to share my ideas and my experiences and both are really good platforms to do so…my malaise comes from inside, thus, I will find it but turning around and looking at myself. Not by blaming the world, be it things or people.
An ‘asana’ in yoga is very often quite challenging for the mind, body and heart of the yogi. It is by practice that it becomes more ‘comfortable’ or, in better words, more part of the yogi, more internalised in her being as part of her transcendental knowledge of her being. The path to that point is hard and painful, but also very rewarding. With the same spirit I am taking my ‘practice of life’, my ‘life asanas’. I know I will fall many times, as I do in yoga class, but the real practice comes when one gets back again into position, the ‘return to the asana’ is the real practice. Places, people, actions I don’t like have become my practice to know myself better, because the cause of the disliking is within me.
‘Asana’ also refers to our sitting in the earth, that is, our connection to it which root us. It is by practicing the yoga positions that the yogi becomes more ‘sitted on the earth’, more connected, more balance. Equally it is by practicing the ‘life asanas’ with the same attitude as those performed on the mat that our life may become more connected, more rooted, more balance…and that is my wish.
No, it is not that I am going to the dark side, or I am changing colors. This blog goes darks. I’ve been writing a blog since 2004. My audience is not huge, so this won’t affect many people, if it really affects anyone at all! Just felt like taking a break. For how long? I don’t know…Hope you enjoyed my ever-changing posts!
So, here I am in London once more, but, as it has been my life in the last year and a half, only for a few days. On Sunday I am going to Sweden for a Yoga Festival in Ängsbacka, which this year’s theme is “Connect with yourself – connect with others”. Coincidences do no exist. Connection has been the theme of my past year and a half, so it is very appropriate that I finish a period of great transformation in my life with a 7-day yoga/mediation/singing/community festival in the middle of the Swedish woods…
Not long time ago I was at the table, having dinner with my family in Barcelona. My uncle, a youthful sixty-five year old man, responded to my call for “change in the world” with a “you can’t change people, you may change yourself, and from there people may change, but you can’t change people”. This same thing was said many decades ago by a wise man who changed and keeps changing the world.
Be the change you want to see in the world – Mahatma Ghandi
Change is in ourselves. All starts with an exercise of self-awareness, a self-realisation of our immense possibilities and, yes, our boundaries. From there we can “establish new behavior patterns” to “form habits”. Slowly, gradually we change ourselves. This was reminded to me just a couple of days ago. This is the only real and durable change. People around us will then start to realize their own potential, their own boundaries by seeing our own change. This is a long process, in which patience is important. It is a process not free of pain and suffering on the way, but the rewards are far greater…
Through constant familiarity, we can definitely establish new behavior patterns, using our tendency to form habits to our advantage. If we make a steady effort, I think we can overcome any form of negative conditioning and make positive changes in our lives. But we need to remember that genuine change doesn’t happen overnight. – Dalai Lama
Not long time ago I started my own process of change. I’m right now in it…isn’t the whole world also changing?
Sir Ken Robinson’s lecture is a loud and clear call for change. We must change the current paradigm of education based on the intellectual ideas of enlightenment, and the practical considerations of the industrial revolution. It is actually numbing our humanity, our feelings, real interests and emotions, killing our creative potential for the sake of a narrow view of the world and the material interests of a few who are the actual profiteers of industrial production.
As a child, I went to seven different schools. I was expelled of some of them, recommended to leave in others and just moved by my parents from a couple. The first time I changed schools I was 7 years old. Unknown to me until very recently, that first time was a very emotional and traumatic affair for me. I had to leave my friends, those with whom I shared so many memories and experiences until then. Why was I thrown out? Basically because I was often not putting attention into what the teachers were saying. I preferred to either talk to other students, read, draw or do other stuff instead of focusing in one single point. I actually felt alienated, it felt like someone was hammering me down into a box. My whole being was resisting. Always with a big smile though.
Robinson’s talk wakes these feelings again up in me. It is so true, so right what he says. It is so at the core of what I call the emotional revolution, a change of paradigm that takes seriously us as emotional beings, who feel and create in our freedom and diversity. Rationalism and standardisation tries to kill this by making us all the same – like classifying us by our production date (i.e. birthday). I believe that understanding and accepting what’s inside us, the combination and collaboration of our reason and emotions, is an essential step to make a future which is freer and fairer for us.
Writing this in the free ING internet gate area (all airports should have one!) in Warsaw’s Frederic Chopin Airport to fly through Riga to Stockholm, to visit the person who took this picture in Montmatre, Paris on January 2, 2011. Finally, I have some spare time to post it!
Funny way of showing how the Wikileaks affair has touched upon a very important issue for all of us: our right to know what governments are doing with our money, our people and to others aka freedom of information…
…and yes, you guessed it, she is Swedish, what it makes the picture even more amusing…the picture was surely taken with a big smile in her face…this post is written with a corresponding one 🙂
This is my personal blog. It started as a semi-professional space, for my ideas on a series of topics in which I worked on. But during the latest months it has become more personal, mixing life events with more theoretical/practical ideas. Now I feel I need a different space for my thoughts and my stories. One that is not cluttered with widgets or other gimmicks, which are good for this blog, but not for a pure space with just what comes from my mind.
Simple. White. One column. No tag clouds. No pages. No calendar. No nothing. A new clear space for my thoughts and the stories I write. There I rant about topics I find interesting. There I can tell my stories. Nothing about my (personal or professional) life. Just thoughts and fiction. It’s raw A.
NOTE: all posts published on Raw A. will be automatically published on this blog.
I remember the drums, the beats and the feet. Bodies touching. Hands raising. Down, Up. Beat up, beat down. Louder and louder. Hips left and right. The floor full of those whom the night calls every day, at every sun. Moon-dominated souls that want to live what’s not allowed in the waking lights. Amnesic mind blowing experience. Drugs or not. Changing lives by the contact with the other. The unknown looking at you. Luring you to the depths of the dark. There, where the wolves wait your coming to make you theirs. There, where the bat sucks your blood. There, where the fairies bring you pleasures unattainable in the clarity of the day.