Beginner.

Stay Open. Photo by Daniel Rönnback.
Stay Open. Photo by Daniel Rönnback. 2014, Chamonix Mont-Blanc, France.

One of the things I love about yogasana practice is what mister Iyengar clearly says: “I know the postures from yesterday but today I become a beginner.”

This is a huge challenge.

I like to think that what happens on my yoga mat is a reflex of the things that are happening outside of it. I feel it on the good things and also when a challenge appears.

The challenge of feeling like a beginner is important for me.

What I´ve learn through my yogasana practice is that, everyday I am dealing with a new version of myself. Everything changes constantly and if I forget about it, stagnates my practice immediately.

I love those days when I feel clean, fresh and new not only after the practice but before.

Those days when I am open to the adventure that I can see ahead of me and when, even though I know how to begin, I never know how it will end.

I love when I feel like I am open to find new ways to approach to the “problems” that the practice puts in front of me and that, instead of taking the regular way, I allow my self to experiment and create new points of view. I love when I feel creative. Makes me feel that I am growing.

One of the goals of the yoga practice is to go beyond our egos and, even though I am crushing with my ego constantly, I like to think that, when I feel inspire and creative I am going further in my experience of myself re defining my own limits because, rather than undergo regular mental processes -that do nothing but to strengthen the ego- I can find a new way of dealing with myself, my “problems” and my experience.

It´s beautiful because keeps me humble in front of the beauty and it´s not only my mind that opens, it is my body and my heart also.

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Fat monsters, excuses and happiness.

These weeks have been full of loving moments.

We have been settling down in our apartment trying to deal with French bureaucracy with love and patience. We have been spending time with friends and family, enjoying the nature and all the beautiful places around us.

I wanted this. I loved to travel during the last months, meeting people and places out there (and in here) I never imagined but, at the same time, I truly needed to be in one place to be able to create everything I want to create, to be able to deal with my ambitions and my love for routine in a sane way.

But, who said that being in one place means to be static?

Many things are happening right now. After all the physical movement that traveling brought, I feel that everything is clearer inside of me… Like when, after the wave exploded and reached the shore, it cleaned everything  just to  go back to the ocean and start all over again.

I was genuinely afraid a few weeks ago. I was afraid of loneliness, thinking that I was not good enough to do this. I was afraid of failure.  At the same time, I knew that this was the moment I was waiting for so long, the time to act, the moment where actions were more valuable than words. And, since this seemed so scary, I truly wanted to escape from it. I almost did it. Almost.

After these weeks I feel bless and happy for the way things have being. It seems that life rewards you with her tenderness if you take the option to try new things, traveling in the direction of our fears as the picture says.

Sometimes our fears are dark, fat and enormous, like monsters… In this case, for me, my fat monsters were nothing more than extraordinary mountains in our backyard, new friends, lots of love and awesome opportunities to grow.

I’m happy I didn´t escape.

I didn´t realize it before but, I guess my biggest fear was to let  all excuses go away and start being happy.

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My hip or, A way to deal with ignorance.

Kleshas

Yoga practice helps you to rediscover the forgotten link between your mind and body and this, under my experience, always modify the way you see illness and health, pleasure and pain.

When I started my practice, I remember how surprised I was when I heard my teacher saying: If you feel pain, observe it, don´t run away, try to see why that pain appeared in this moment.

During the lasts months I have been feeling some pain in my left hip: it´s a pain that comes and goes, that change and that, sometimes makes me feel angry but, other times, makes me feel compassion for myself.

There are some days where the pain moves me closer to the practice. I know that, after practice I will feel better: the pain diminishes or disappears completely. But, other days, the pain takes me away from the practice because my thinking process is something like: Ok, this pain is the result of my ignorance. There´s something that I´ve been doing wrong all this years so, if I continue practicing there´s a chance for the injury to get bigger.

During those days it´s really difficult to get and sit on my mat without an anger feeling inside me.

But then, the question is:  

Where do you find more ignorance?

Try to do something you love, even if there´s more than once chance that you´re not understanding everything of it?

Or, not do it at all, just because you´re afraid?

Patañjali (II.3) shows us Avidya as the first cause of suffering (kleshas).

When I think about it, my concept of ignorance talks about not-knowing something; ignorance has to be with inexperience.

I think this is an important concept.

It´s impossible to be able to understand something or to feel experienced in a subject since the first moment. And this is really hard to handle for the ego because there´s an awesome sensation when you feel that you´re good at something.

But, being lost, being confused and wrong, feeling inexperienced it´s part of the way, if you want to be able to feel the opposite. In this case, my pain is telling me that there´s something that I need to change; I need to revalue my practice. I have a lot of interpretations for it but, it´s more important to me, to be able to continue my practice more than ever because, when your ego is telling that you don´t need it (and my ego it´s telling me that when I´m angry) probably, it´s when you need it the most.

I´ve have experienced more than once how concepts that at first glance seem opposites, always meet somewhere. I already wrote about the feeling of being a beginner and I did the question if the fool is a fool after all… When you´re empty you´re full of space and, when you feel pain because you did something wrong, you´re learning something. Probably it´s something like this that I read today: “The non-dual reality lies beyond all appearing dual expressions.”

My ignorance it´s making me suffer physic pain but, behind that pain I can see hard work and the passion of doing the thing I love.

I know it´s time to go deeper in my practice (or time to go to the doctor), injuries come to tell you something.

I want to say that I can see the sign behind this pain but, meanwhile I understand the meaning and heal myself, I can do as my teacher thought me: observe my pain, and try to see what´s going to teach me this time.

The Fool.

I feel like I´m new in everything nowadays: A beginner in life or something like that. It´s a pretty honest feeling and sometimes it´s like: “THIS IS AWESOME!!!” but sometimes it´s like “But, come on Ale, I thought you learnt something from the past!!!”

The other day we went to Vågakallen.

It is the biggest mountain around Henningsvaer and after a long walk; you can climb to the summit.

The route we did it wasn´t a difficult climb at all, perfect for me: a super beginner.

When I go with Andreas somewhere in the mountains I always feel like a child, learning from someone who knows A LOT about what he´s talking about.

At the same time, pressure and fear, make my learning process a little slower than I´m used to so I deal with a completely new picture of myself.

Nevertheless, that day we went out and I was thinking all the time: Don´t take this personal, trust yourself, do your best, enjoy.  Like a mantra. Once and again. Breathing consciously (as pranayama taught me), walking as fast as I could and following Andreas´ advices.

Until we came to this place:

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Probably between those rocks there is around 1, 1 ½ meters distance. It´s not that much if you think about it.  Andreas went there and jumped like nothing. Without thinking, just like if jumping over 40 or more meters high it´s a normal thing.

And I was like:

No way.

I can´t.

What happens if I fall?

I´m definitely not going to do this.

Andreas was there, waiting for me on the other side, while I was dealing with myself divided between the fear of jumping, the fear of falling and the fear of being trapped for hours on that rock.

Andreas was VERY nice.

He was there trying to communicate me that it wasn´t that dangerous and that I needed to trust my feet and legs.

In my mind, all the time: No way, I can´t.

Andreas took some precautions while I was there thinking and thinking, saying: Ale, you can do this… One, two… NO I CAN´T!

We were there around 15 minutes, (Andreas says it was between 30 minutes and one hour but, for me time flew faster than ever!!!) Anyway, dealing with yourself and your fears it´s not that easy and, in other conditions, definitely, takes more than 30 minutes.

Until I jumped.

And –since I´m writing this- I survived.

That experience was, by far, one of the most important moments in my life: Taking the chance of doing something even though your mind it´s telling you that there is no way you can do it.

Sometimes in yoga it´s like that.  At the beginning it can be the opposite: your mind saying “Of course I can do that, it seems simple”, but then your body don´t answer. After a few years of practice, when you have to do something new, your mind is more like: No way… Until your body achieves it (and your mind, suddenly, silent.)

On the other side of the jump there was Andreas and I realized why I love him so much.  Also I realized how good he is in what he does. And how much I trust him.

I did the jump, yes, but he was there for me.

My brother made me realize how familiar this experience was with the “first” tarot card: The Fool.

In the regular representation of this card we can see a man standing at the edge of something that looks like a mountain with, probably, an abyss in front of him. But he doesn´t seems to be bothered by that.  Innocent and trusting in the universe, in his dog, in his feet or whatever you want, it seems that he will continue walking no matter what.

Actually, the fool is one of the “unnumbered” cards of the deck.

The fool represents the beginning of an important journey.

Maybe feeling like a beginner it´s not that bad after all. Its the fool a fool after all?

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