Transform yourself and eliminate the bullshit :)

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Finding yoga was, for me, the beginning of a transformation that continues until today. Even though I was pretty young, since the first moment I knew I found something significant. At the same time, I knew it needed time, practice and patience to grow up. But the seed was already in my heart.

In a slow rhythm, my practice was something that had this “in crescendo” process. Every day was longer, deeper or more intense.

I don´t know when it happened that the practice started to be a moment of deep connection with myself. I mean it´s not the same type of connection you get during a yoga class or after savasana… It´s something that goes beyond that and that now, after 11 years of practice I can see like a continuous “observing myself transforming” mode.

Observing myself made me feel bad sensations sometimes: I´m not a super self confident kind of person, I have a lot of problems finding the limit between “following the flow” and “going for it” type of attitude, I sometimes just don´t know what I want.

In the other hand, in that observation I, somehow, learnt how to accept myself without many judgments, being aware of my reactions and changes, knowing that them were there teaching me much more about myself than any verbal explanation.

The other day I saw a movie called Riding giants. The movie it´s about big/giant waves surfer and the evolution of the sport since mid ’50s until now.

The movie is about a passion that goes beyond words, a passion for doing something that not just makes you happy but gives meaning to the fact of being alive (or dead).

It´s not rational at all. It´s something that it´s there in your guts or not.

Sometimes something happens in life: Maybe you had an accident, lost your job or someone you loved. Maybe you found a new practice or routine that makes you feel better. Sometimes there´s a breaking point that makes your life upside down and it´s not easy to discover that this is an opportunity to transform yourself. Sometimes its something dramatic, sometimes it comes in waves.

In the movie, Mark Renneker (who is a surfer and a doctor working with cancer patients), said something that touched my heart.

He said: “One of the things I love a about my work as a physician (…) is to see what often takes place which is transformation, they just begin to sort of eliminate the bullshit and they begin to actually live, almost for the first time. Those kinds of life changing events can come from illness, they can come from revelation, they can come for me, in a way, from big wave surfing.”

Eliminating the bullshit is the only way we have to make ourselves lighter. And I think it´s easy to realize that it´s full of bullshit everywhere but most of it, it´s in our heads. Distrust, taboos, the fear of change, our own mental square structures and all the things that are there, stopping us from doing what we want to do.

We can do it in the way we want, Dr. Rekenner found surf, I found yoga but I´m finding new things every day: The sunlight trough my window or the smile of a kid, the moving tail of a dog, the sound of my favorite song or being able to touch the skin of the people I love… I use all of those things as everyday reminders.

You have to have something inside if you want to start to empty yourself. And yes, even though we think there´s nothing, there is always something. No-thing it is Some-thing.

I don´t know what´s the meaning of life. I don´t even know if it has any sense being standing on two legs in this planet moving in the corner of the galaxy but there´s one thing that feels real for me and that it´s this voice in my head telling me: Don´t be afraid, remove the bullshit, make the package lighter and try to find the answers for the questions that you have in your heart.

All the rest will come.

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An adventure called life.

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This transformation started one year ago.

If you ask me, I REALLY don´t know how or when I created something like the “adventure” I´m in right now.

In India I had the first glimpse of what could happened with your mind/body/soul/spirit when the entire world you thought it was real, disappears. But then I came back home, back with my family, my work, my friends and everything seemed different, just like a weird and important moment not very easy to share with the others.

Now I´m here again.

Physically, in the north of the north; mentally, completely broken and this it doesn´t seemed like a rollercoaster anymore, this is more like the mixing machine on your kitchen, that machine you use every morning on your breakfast. And I´m inside that machine. All the limits, all the boundaries doesn´t exist anymore; everything is moving around and inside of me, and this is an AWESOME feeling.  Because, when you get used to the fear –I learnt that an amazing feeling has to be scary- you see everything clearer than ever.

The changes, the fear and that feeling of being completely lost are a blessing in my life every day. Even though when I am hating them, I know I love them.

Because when everything is falling apart, just the important things remain, not firm on the ground but inside your little body. And suddenly you understand that, actually, you don´t have ANYTHING to lose.

Inside the body, -that body that is doing amazing little things everyday in the yoga practice- is the flame and the “truth”. Those flame and truth are different in everyone and I just saw mine but, if I asked for something in my life, was for the opportunity to discover myself. Those things good inside me and those that are bad. My fear to lose control and the good sensation that came when I surrender to the chaos. My light and all the darkness inside myself.

And here I am.

The yoga practice is the only thing that you can see still remains in my life. Everything else, from the outside, you can´t see it.

Yoga is also poetry.

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My friend Bárbara lives in London. She is a psychologist and she is doing her master there. She is a devote practitioner and also, a yoga instructor.

I have been working with her since the last year because she needed some testimonies of other yoga practitioners/instructors for her thesis.

A few months ago she sent me a few questions to use as a guide: she needed me to observe my practice in detail. So I did it.

Today I sent to her what I wrote about my observation:

The answer to -almost- all the questions that you sent me to help you is “It depends”.

And that is because the practice of asanas is something that is completely alive. Even now, after ten years of practice, the more I practice the more alive feel it.

In my practice, in general, there is this sensation that I want to go deeper, I would like to penetrate more with my intelligence into my body.

The practice does not feel good all the time. When there is some injury I feel a lot of frustration. Especially when I don´t get what I´m doing wrong and, exactly that addition –pain + frustration + impatience- brings out the worst of me. Then, when understanding finally arises there is a more tender sensation and I can practice with love and awareness of the injured part that is nothing more than my own self.

Right now, the way I look at the practice is changing. If I could put in words my “wish” during the practice this would be to experiment everything that my body could show me: it´s spaces, its knots, its emotions that, all the time are my spaces, knots and emotions.

It is complex.

My body is not essential in the yoga practice but only for the asana practice.

I make a difference there because, for me, yoga goes beyond my body, it´s an emotion. Sometimes it´s easier to feel, sometimes its harder. And its in that sense that the practice changes.

I could not say that the practice brings a specific “state” of mind/body/soul. The word “state” seems to be a little dogmatic, like a place where you can enter and exit, a place that always was there, before you. To say that the yoga practice brings a specific “state” of mind/body/soul puts yoga in something like a place to search in a map –the spiritual map-, outside of yourself and, after you found that place, you can “incorporate” it.

For me, in the other hand, yoga is something that flows within. Something that evolves silently, something that moves. Something that, as seawater does, touches with softness and calm, different parts of oneself, after the wave broke.

As the ocean, yoga is not static, sometimes it has to do with love yourself, sometimes with pushing everything harder, sometimes with patience and so on. It is not about competition, is just to be able to discover my maximum potential.

When I started to practice all different emotions came out and, thanks to them, I learnt how to love myself, I learnt how to accept good and bad things of myself, how to flow with the events of life. That calm that I felt after a few hours of practice helped me to accept with honesty and love almost everything (inside and outside). Now this ability is much deeper because even when my asana practice is stacked, I can´t lie to myself.  And here is where we can see yama and niyama.

I can´t lie to myself, I can´t “rob” myself, covet is useless.

For me, yoga has to be with happiness. Or maybe that is not the correct word.

Yoga has to do with the emotion of being alive, understanding the infinite potential. Because God is not outside, but inside. He is not there, but here.

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