The Butterfly Effect

September 04th, 2016

A year ago exactly I was experiencing one of the most blissful moments of my life. Retrospectively at the time I didn’t think that moment would be so significant. But it was. And the way I see it now is that I can not forget that moment despite the pain that followed it. Because those moments are precious. I have been reading lots of stuff regarding neuroscience, happiness and connectivity; vulnerability. What glue us together; humans, is that feeling of belonging, been connected. And we all come from different places when we meet someone new. My therapist tells me that we all carry a certain load of baggage and I need to find someone with less bags, ha! She says, you already carry a lot. Anyways the sense of connection I felt a year ago was spontaneous, strong. I am very passionate about many things. My practice, yoga, art. I was very passionate in this relationship because I decided for the first time in my life, yes, believe it or not to be myself. No filters; raw me. And by writing today, I am attempting to find sense in the sadness residues that still linger in me; because to the day I still really don’t understand why things ended so abruptly or what happened. Possibly, this relationship has been one of the best, shortest and most real experiences I have had in my life. And so much has happened also in a year because the end of that relationship triggered findings, discoveries. So that’s the part that makes sense in this whole story. What happened after the ending. Because of that break up I got to meet the Dalai Lama! Can you imagine how things are connected strangely in an outer dimension that we can not understand but feel? The butterfly effect. Crazy right? So today I have been thinking about my weekend exactly a year ago. The gestures, the details, the energy. I don’t doubt that what happened was real. At least on my side. I don’t know about his side. And here’s where expectations really fuck up reality. And the nature of the ego is to build them up; constantly. Because is the only way our mind finds to make sense of reality. I sometimes think that I was maybe too much. Not in a bad sense. I have come to love the bad and the good of me. Maybe I was a burst of energy this dude just didn’t know how to handle and that’s fine. As I mentioned on earlier posts we can not make people love us. It is that simple. Anyways, back in March, when I finished my Buddhist meditation retreat in the Himalayas I wrote him a letter; that I never sent. Coincidentally (or maybe synchronicity?) his birthday felt on the hardest day of the meditation retreat. I cried so much that day. I was locked up in the Gompa most of the day. I had taken all the precepts; which meant no jewelry, no make up, no food. Just meditation all day long. It was so hard. The wrap up of the day in silence was beautiful. All of us the students lit up a candle and we offered it to Tara, the Goddess of Compassion and it looked like a giant cake lit up. It was very intense for me; because I could not believe I was up there in the Himalayas on a life changing experience with a broken heart. Here’s the letter I wrote to him:

“Hope you had a lovely birthday. Just finished my meditation retreat here in India. And I wanted to give you thanks for breaking my heart the way you did. I’m not sure if you had any idea as to how or when did I give my love to you. I genuinely thought we had a connection & great chemistry. But obviously; I realized after that you were in a complete different place than I was; you were just not into me. Logic is too cruel when divorced from the wisdom of the heart. When you broke up with me this horrible sadness took over. I wasn’t mad, just so, so sad. I felt so stupid and naive. I went mad trying to figure out why you ended things so abruptly. I said fuck everything and applied for this course and changed my original plans. It was the best thing that could’ve happened! I thought about you while I was locked up. It wasn’t easy. You are a beautiful, bruised soul. I could feel so much pain, fear and rage within you and this underlying sadness and restlessness. No wonder you have so much self control, it has been your way of dealing with all the chaos. I prayed a lot for you and send you lots of healing thoughts & good energy. We are basically strangers at this point, but sometimes people come into our lives to shook us up…….Teach us stuff and you certainly did; so unexpectedly! You made me grow. And I want to thank you for that. With love and gratitude”

Writing this letter and not sending it helped so much. Recently, on my daily meditation during the day of the New Moon, he came to visit in my thoughts. I gave him a big hug. He has endured a lot of pain in his life, I can tell. Life these days feels lighter despite a lot of other issues going on. That weekend a year ago was super special. It will always be in my heart.
We must find closure within ourselves and not in the other person. Relationships are complicated but not impossible. Just be you; real and the right people will come your way. Wrong will also come but to teach you something about yourself that no one else could. Namaste!

 

Somewhere in the Rainforest, September 04th, 2016. Bliss 💚

 

04. September 2017 by Lina
Categories: Love | Leave a comment

Mirror in the Sky

Natarajasana

“Oh mirror In the sky, what is love?

Can the child within my heart rise above?

Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?

Can I handle the seasons of my life? ”

I love this song by Fleetwood Mac; probably one of my all time favorites. There is also a version by The Smashing Pumpkins, which is pretty cool, too! The lyrics of this song make so much sense right now…

Lately the sky has been painted with fire. Delivering messages. I wrote on a previous post, how;  since I was a child I read messages in the sky. Sunsets and Sunrises carried answers to my questions. Through my life there have been times were I have lost connection; but lately the messages have been very strong. And lately my life has been dealing with lots of unresolved issues that go back to my childhood years and are now manifesting. My practice also is going through a transitional period since I decided a couple of months ago to start training to run half marathon. At first I was really excited and motivated because it had been years since I didn’t train this way. I was a runner for almost 15 years and loved it. Running gave me a high that I can not compare to anything else. But when I started practicing Ashtanga Yoga I stopped completely. Now; there’s a lot of controversy in the Ashtanga community surrounding the practice of sports, weight lifting or any other physical activity besides doing your practice. My teacher Sharath clearly states that our bodies do not need any other physical activity; the practice will suffice and since this is a daily practice your body is pretty active every day. Following his advice  I completely stopped running and going to the gym. My body then experienced a transformation. Like my body shape changed. I am not skinny. I have a latina body and finally came to accept that after many, many years of body image struggle. Before Ashtanga my body was very muscly, curvy. I think because of the weight lifting and running. But now is “softer”. More elongated. Yoga does that. Your muscles are strong but not big and I am happy with that.

Sunset, August 02nd, 2017

 

So, going back to the running. I needed to fit my running schedule with my practice. Keep on mind, Ashtanga is a daily practice. Six days a week; we only rest on Moon days and for us girls when we get our period. So I started and the first month was cool. I did 3 days running and 4 days of practice. No rest day. Second month my long runs became longer until reaching 17 km. That’s where the pain started. On my hamstrings, like horrible deep pain. A lot of struggle on my practice. Very weird because my usual knee pain went away and got replaced by the sharp pain on my hamstrings; actually  I have only experienced this pain when I was cheerleader during my teen years. I got my right one torn during a sequence in which I did some flips and landed on a split. I remember the sharp pain. It was horrible. Anyways that was like 25 years ago and now suddenly I am experiencing it again. Coincidentally I am handling a very delicate family situation right now. I certainly was not prepared for it. It’s one of those things you just do. You don’t think about it. So in the midst of all of this; which feels so overwhelming; I started to read the messages in the sky. And they tell me I am doing the right thing, that I am supported by this higher, divine, cosmic force so I shouldn’t be scared. Because I am so scared. But I guess it is ok to be scared, because it means you are doing something brave. And then, my dear friend Catherine who lives in the UK asked me for some palo santo. So I mailed her some and the day she received it she saw a message that said: “Bailey’s Comet 555”. Catherine is a healer and  she said, I got this message for you. At first I was confused but then I got my answer and 555 is a super powerful number related to Angels. I pray to my angels everyday; there have been with me for so many years. So I then understood that this all happening so I get a deeper knowledge. And my practice has become deeper too. When I chant in Sanskrit I feel this deep knowledge within me. Even though I am in so much pain, I do my practice, very slow. So what this is telling me is that I should slow down in everything.

Sunrise, August 07th, 2017

In yoga there are so many inversions: headstands and handstands. You put yourself upside down. At first is scary but then is fun. Seeing things from a different perspective. Dare yourself to see things from a total different place. Like this family situation isn’t happening to me. It is been changed by me; for good. And so; I stopped training for the half marathon. Yes, I gave up on that idea because I don’t want to get hurt. I am quite sure this hamstring pain has also an emotional connotation. It is all related.  And lastly but not least important I have a couple of earthly friends who have taken such good care of me during this troubled times. I am so fortunate to have unconditional friends like them; like seriously! Good friends are hard to find, I feel so much gratitude to know they love me the way they do. No strings attached. Real homies. You know who you are. Both of their names start with the same letter actually! Lol! Letter A for Angels. And that’s what they are! Actually in Buddhism angels are portrayed as Bodhisattvas; enlightened beings; whose lives are driven by compassion. And we all have the potential to become them, yes! So, just like they say, if you’re walking though fire just keep going and that’s what I am feeling now, is like I am walking in the fire but I am becoming the fire; like Nataraja, Lord Shiva’s form as the Cosmic Dancer, burning all that no longer serves, to create space for new, good things to come. Om!

 

 

12. August 2017 by Lina
Categories: Life, Love, Yoga | Leave a comment

Sadness

The unbearable lightness of being…

There was a time when meadow, grove and stream,

The Earth, and every common sight,

To me did seem

Apparell’d in celestial light.

The glory and the freshness of a dream……..

– Intimations of Immortality. William Wordswoth

This poem is recited during the last scene of one my favorite series ever, Penny Dreadful. The main character life story, Vanessa’s, reminded me of different passages of my life. Just like her,  I have always been attracted to a certain kind of darkness and at times in my life I have had periods in which I have felt very comfortable in that darkness. Since an early age I knew there was something different about me. I felt this underlying sadness that I couldn’t explain. I felt that if I moved a lot maybe my body could silence that sadness so I started ballet and tap dancing when I was very little, then became a cheerleader and eventually a runner; practiced martial arts and more recently for the past seven years I have practiced Yoga. Always moving, trying to handle that restlessness and perhaps my survival instinct has chosen healthy ways of dealing with this,  but there have been times in which I chosen very toxic ways too…. During my troubled teen years I got very sick and discovered art, which saved me (with the help of my angels) but also started taking anti depressants and was sent to a shrink. Back then my rebellious spirit refused to accept that indeed there was something wrong and in the process I picked up a lot of bad habits; drinking, smoking, bad relationships. Medication helped for a while, but it numbed me so I knew I had to turn to something else. I must admit that during those troubled teenage years I had suicidal thoughts, they came like waves. I had stable periods but I would go back to the sadness. Sometimes I would act out in anger to mask that sadness. I think anger is the strongest feeling there is. You loose control. It just drives you in a very bad way. Sadness drains you and you feel powerless. They are very different. Through out this whole process I have learned to accept that my brain is wired in a way that sometimes the sadness will come. My whole life purpose now is getting strong so that when it comes I can deal with it. Depression is no joke. It destroys people. It doesn’t matter if you are rich, poor, tall or short. It doesn’t depend on external circumstances; it sparks based on the chemical composition of the brain. Last year was not easy for me. It was one of the saddest moments in almost a decade. Ironically it was triggered by a situation with someone whose father had committed suicide when he was very little. Can you imagine the pain he had to go through? I just can’t judge his actions towards me because I don’t know the place where he was acting from. Yoga has given me the ability to step out and observe things with more compassion. Up there in the Himalayas in India I prayed for him and hope that someday his sadness will go away too……….

People are very keen to give opinions lightly. When I read about Chris Cornell I felt so bad. Sometimes there is no explanation. Now more than ever, depression and suicide are taking a high toll on so many lives. Drugs, over medication, etc fuel it. So we have all these beautiful, talented souls dying, unable to connect. It is a sad reality. But I think there is also hope. What I call recipes, like mine; yoga, meditation, therapy, plant based diet, running. I want to give others hope through my healing process. What  works for me might not work for others and in my case I was able to stop taking medication a long time ago. I know some people must take it. But Spirituality helps so much. It heals……I think is both a blessing and a curse; having this sadness, for without it out I would’ve not gone to India looking for answers, without it I would’ve not have this awakening. I want to teach others that is possible to live in a more positive, healthier way. I had to take a long journey to the other side of the world to discover this and all I can say is that life is a precious gift that must be celebrated everyday…..

 

 

 

23. May 2017 by Lina
Categories: Life | Leave a comment

Resurrection!!!

 

When I was growing up Easter Sunday used to be of one the coolest days of the year; not only because I used to get a giant chocolate egg, but also because it was a happy day. The two prior days, Good Friday and Saturday were very quiet and somber. My sister and I were not allowed to play any music, go into the ocean or swimming pool; eat too much or do anything crazy. But Sunday; it was different, it was a celebration filled with joy. Images of Jesus wearing a white robe linger in my head and loud music at church. Happy memories…………..

Fast forward to the present and the concept of resurrection has acquired a different meaning for me. Recently when I was up in the Himalayas in India doing my Buddhist meditation retreat I realized that last year something in me died. My heart was hurting after letting go of someone. And it was ok, because it meant that my feelings were genuine. We don’t like endings. Actually the craving of the mind loves pleasure and hates when things come to an end. But sometimes we have to put things that were once good to an end after they turn toxic to our wellbeing. Not every person who walks into your life is meant to stay. And refusing to let go only creates more pain. The transformation process comes when you accept that is ok to give up. And being me that was like impossible. Me? Give up? Never, I can do it all, I am superwoman! But guess what? I am not as strong as I think  I am. All my life I  have been tough, not complain and always pretending that everything was fine even when things were falling apart. So this time up there in the Himalayas I gave up. I cried and cried. I admitted to myself that this was not a failure as I thought it was, but just another step to become a better human. It took me a lot of courage to admit that this hurt me so much. And yes, I gave the best version of me to him and it is ok that he didn’t like it. We can’t force feelings. They have to flow freely. And so up there in the middle of the silence I thanked him for breaking my heart the way he did. Because that triggered a lot of good things and it made me grow. And I genuinely wish happiness upon him. I hope he can break free from that which troubles him; from his pain and suffering. So what died in me stayed up there in the Himalayas, buried by the silence and the snow. And suddenly something new was born, resurrected! A softer version, more vulnerable version of me. I feel lighter and brighter. I have surrendered to the wisdom of insecurity. The power of admitting we are a tiny particle in the Universe and everything is out of control is liberating. Realize that bigger things are happening and a heart break is nothing compared to the infinite power of Love.

We become slaves of our own expectations. We all have the power to break free! Today is a good day to know that death is only the beginning of something new! Let all of those things that are dragging you down die! And something beautiful will be born: Freedom!

 

16. April 2017 by Lina
Categories: Life | Leave a comment

Place of Joy

 

No Mud, no Lotus! Saraswathi Temple Lotus Garden, Ubud Bali

For centuries many sages, gurus and enlightened beings have found refuge in the Himalayas as a place for meditation and realization. Towards the end of last year my plan B suddenly became plan A; unexpectedly. I was supposed to go back to India and practice in Mysore for my third year with Sharath, I was in a relationship and it all seemed like it was flowing really cool and then boom! I didn’t get accepted to practice and my heart got broken. Things can change in a split of a second; just like that. How beautiful the nature of impermanence is! At the time I was so sad and frustrated. This triggered old feelings related to my depression and in the midst of all my pain I decided to do something I had been dreading for a long time: what if I finally do Vipassana and what if I do it at the source of Tibetan buddhism in Dharamsala, India? There are two main centers there and I applied to Tushita Meditation Centre, which was founded by Lama Yese and Lama Zopa Rimpoche , two Tibetan monks that escaped Tibet and are disciples of your Holiness the Dalai Lama in the tradition of Mahayana. I submitted my application and two days later I received my confirmation!

Oh my…….What a challenge this adventure was going to be! Not only the weather turned out to be brutal, with temperatures below zero, but also the centre had no heating system. Because Tushita; which means Place of Joy or the Heaven where Bodhisattvas live before attaining enlightenment, is located approximately at 2500 m. above sea level on the Himalayas, there are a lot of power outages, hence there was no hot water, ouch! And the showers were located outside the tiny room I got with just a bed and an indian style toilet. The gong sounded everyday at 06.00 to wake me up and there were days I had to get ready with candle light because there was no electricity. My first meditation started at 6.45 am everyday. I had to give up my phone, laptop and camera and talking! Yes, me who is chatter box was supposed to be in silence for 10 days! I thought, I won’t make it! Hahaha! Also, because I am a tropical fish the weather was really hard to handle. There were a couple of nights that I was in bed and thought: “I will die here because it was so cold!” My karma job was to wash the dinner dishes for 85 people. I hate washing dishes and it was no coincidence that this job was assigned to me. So every night after dinner I washed the dishes in silence but felt so much joy and gratitude to be useful to others. The teachings of the Dharma are very precise and rational. In Buddhism your heart, mind and soul are considered to be one. Day by day our teacher Honorable Drolma, an awesome nun guided us through the teachings of Lord Buddha and got us prepared for the increased meditation sessions which were longer each day.

I practice Ashtanga yoga which is very physical, intense. The hardest part for me was not only the silence but also sitting down for the meditation sessions. The mind is like a wild horse. You need to tame it. And Buddhism has excellent methods to this. The teachings are so profound and beautiful that I had no option but to surrender. I took the 8 Uposatha precepts, which are guidelines to follow and renounced to use makeup and wearing my jewelry. It was hard. The weather was -5 C for most of the days and it finally started snowing one day. And when it started snowing and it all turned white I went outside and stood there in the woods. Just contemplating the snow, feeling it falling on my face and then the silence made so much sense. I felt so alive! So free! That silence exists within us and has so many answers. Westerners we live in such busyness; usually filling our minds with so much bullshit. So that is why the teachings of the East are so hard to understand sometimes. We must empty that mind that’s filled with useless thoughts and let new ones in. Meditation is an amazing tool for grounding ourselves and to be more mindful and also learn that everything changes. People, places, things. That is why getting attached to them only creates pain and suffering. Life is a learning process that never stops. I am beyond grateful to have the teachings of Yoga and Hinduism in my life. And now the teachings of Buddhism. I was born and raised Catholic. I haven’t renounced to my faith and I know that I am protected by my Angels and my Gods. But now those Gods have new friends. My Hindu Gods and they all get along with no problem because they are the same energy manifested in different ways. So, yes I have become Hindu in many ways. My rituals, my chanting, my practice and my prayers too! My heart is very Indian. India changed my life in such a positive way! This was my third trip and I am ready to come back to the source. The powerful spiritual, chaotic energy that only India has.

View at Tushita Meditation Center. I was able to take only two pictures on the final day…….

So after 10 days of no talking, no phone, laptop, camera, no pictures, tv, make up, eating once a day sometimes and lots of cups of chai and no yoga practice I realized that my true essence is the one I discovered sitting there in the Gompa every morning meditating. My goal is to make other beings happy and free from suffering. My life is a precious gift. My eyes have seen the most beautiful places and people around the world. I have met so many different cultures. I come from a tiny country with only 4.5 million people. But we are all connected despite our differences. We are not separated; at the core of it we have the same heart and we suffer the same. We must celebrate each other instead of destroy each other. This has been one of the hardest things I have done in my life, yet one of the best ones. When you go deep you must forgive others and most importantly yourself. With forgiveness comes compassion and finally you let go of the pain. As they say; we all are fighting a battle that you don’t know about.

We each have a Place of Joy the resides in our hearts. Please look within, go deep and you will find it. That is your true nature. An open heart. A kind heart; that is all you need……….Love is all you need <3

The rooms at Tushita

 

23. March 2017 by Lina
Categories: Love | 2 comments

What it feels like for a Girl

 

 

Inside the Chaos, build a temple of Love…..

-Rune Lazuli

 

It feels like a curse but also a blessing. It feels confusing yet empowering……..

As I prepare to leave this week to another world adventure I realize that this is the girl I envisioned many, many moons ago when I used to play in the garden of the house I grew up at. I had my parents built me a green house so I could grow things…Sure I liked dolls like any other girl but was not obsessed with them and certainly never imagine back then one in my belly or ever dreamed of becoming a mum one day. Simple. Some of us, girls come here to do many, many things and being a mum isn’t one of them. I saw myself learning many, many languages. My mum had one of those globes in her office, the world globes that spin and I used to sit for hours spinning it. I knew Costa Rica was tiny, tiny in the map. But on the other side there were oh, so many other countries. I knew back then I wanted to travel to world and meet other cultures. I knew in my heart that I was not destined to stay confined in a house, married and having kids.  As a teenager I loved studying philosophy, arts, literature….A lot of my friends are wives, have kids. For some of them it works, this system. But the system is tricky and some of them aren’t happy; they were ambushed and they are prisoners and would never set free. But some are genuinely happy and it is reassuring, knowing that the system works for some. I wasn’t raised in a conventional household so I guess I wasn’t  going to grow up to be a conventional person. And this is who I am and for years I had a hard time accepting it. That struggle led me to a place of sadness in different moments of my life……..it’s like I wake up on a bad dream. It all feels very somber and cold. The motivation is gone. It feels like a part of me dies and suddenly all my energy is gone. Call it depression or  whatever it is. It feels very lonely; this place.This place exists inside of me, but there are many, many others places that live  inside of me too! A lot of them are beautiful landscapes, filled with sunshine and the ocean. So I have chosen to make the ugly places beautiful without the help of medication, toxic relationships, alcohol and just with the power of self acceptance, Yoga and therapy. This recipe works for me and I am certain that each person has their own recipe that works for them. I think the most important thing is knowing that we all suffer in different ways. Sometimes we are so keen on judging others. But we all suffer the same and when you realize this, it is liberating because you stop taking everything personally. Not easy. We are a tiny particle in the Universe. Not the center of the Universe. The attachment we constantly create on how things are supposed to be set us for constant disappointment. I have learned the hard way. I am very stubborn. Wild and like a good Aries very impulsive. But the transformation is possible. If I could do it anyone can.

When you are a girl hormones drive you crazy, the Moon gravitates around you; pulling you up and down. Our cycles determine different moods and you can go from being completely happy and nice to hating the world and being a bitch. Girls are givers of life and that’s amazing! The creative energy and healing energy that women have is unique. We must stop hating each other and instead lift each other up. To those brave souls that dare to shine in a world ruled by men I salute you! The other day a friend and I were discussing facts versus opinions when it comes to feminism and girls’ issues and I asked him if he had ever been: touched without permission; groped, cat called or discriminated when applying for a job or given too much work…..or expected to be and look perfect and multitask or thought that he wasn’t strong enough…..Obviously he hasn’t……..Well I have! Did that stopped me? No, but I feel so sad for all the women that have to bury their dreams or aspirations….We must empower ourselves.

The Ashtanga yoga practice is very masculine. I really like it because the effect it has in men, is very feminine, it softens them and in my case in has made stronger yet very compassionate and flexible and less angry. I think we must all look for different ways of healing ourselves. Divine Love, God or how you want to call it manifests itself in so many different ways, yet is One Energy. When you find that energy within yourself you heal. Hurt people hurt others. Life isn’t all rainbows and smiles. There are so many people out there struggling right now. It hasn’t been easy for them. Some don’t even realize they are hurting others by their actions. Some of us say Yoga ruins our lives because we are no longer numb and is a rude, necessary awakening to the true nature of things. I am infinitely grateful for this awakening and work on it every day. That’s why I practice everyday; sad or happy, sore or flexible. The rational steadiness that the practice gives me keeps me sane. Because what matters the most is my actions outside my mat. When I deal with others and how I treat myself.

I am ready for India again. She is my ultimate healer. We are made of all  those who have built us and broken us. Especially those who have broken us because usually we loved them deeply and they became our biggest teachers. I am filled with gratitude.

Om Purnamadah Purnamidah

ॐ   पूर्णमदः   पूर्णमिदं

 

24. February 2017 by Lina
Categories: Life | 2 comments

Sometimes……….

Sometimes I forget……….
How this journey started. How bad and restless it was and there was no hope

Sometimes I forget……
That being a girl is complicated; yet wonderful, magical and it feels like having multiple browsers opened with tons of tabs opened at the same time

Sometimes I forget……
That my eyes have seen so much beauty in this world

Sometimes I forget…….
That is ok to feel too much, love too much and be too passionate about everything

Sometimes I forget…..
To forgive myself

Sometimes I forget…..
That expectations will lead to disappointments and yes, people will act out in ways we can not control or understand

Sometimes I forget……
That some questions will remain unanswered forever and they will teach you the power of let go

Sometimes I forget……
That some will not understand the way I love and when the time comes I must be strong and walk away and never look back

Sometimes I forget…….
That this beautiful energy within me can be too bright for some

Sometimes I forget…..
I found strength in places I thought I never would and in the process I discovered the best version of myself

Sometimes I forget…..
That I should forgive what I don’t understand and move on

Sometimes I forget……
That I am child of the Moon and I am infinitely protected by my angels

Sometimes I forget…..
That at the end of the day everything will fall into place

Sometimes I forget….
How far I have come

17. December 2016 by Lina
Categories: Life | 1 comment

Organic Love

Mind Blowing. Painting by Isabelle Breyer

Mind Blowing. Painting by Isabelle Breyer

“I look at you and see all the ways a soul can bruise, and I wish I could sink my hands into your flesh and light lanterns along your spine so you know there’s nothing but light when I see you……”
– Shinji Moon, The Anatomy of Being

This year after my return from India I went through a period of stillness; in which I kept absorbing all of the energy from my practice with Sharath in Mysore, my trip to the north of India and finally my stop in London before coming home. Coming back to work after two months was also sort of weird; especially since the death of my boss last year. So a new cycle began and I immersed myself on some classes at the University for Peace; continued teaching yoga and obviously continued with my daily yoga practice despite the pain on my left shoulder which accentuated after my return. The other day I read this from the amazing Ashtanga yoga teacher David Garigues, when asked about the never ending topic of pain:

“The question arises why is there no yoga without the presence of pain or fear? These two allies remind you that your will and your ego can only take you so far in your life. Total control is not possible even though we try so hard to exert our will and extend our control whenever and wherever possible. Yoga enters when you come to the limit of what you can will or control. Yoga happens when you are out of options and you become ready to trust in something other than and greater than your will. Yoga is a path of surrender. The more fear and pain are present the more you’ll be like the moth going to the flame, ready to sacrifice and to yoke your self to the discipline of yoga”

I have had my share of cycles of pain, not only physical but emotional. Lots! Pain has been my biggest teacher. That’s why I am not surprised on why I became so attracted to Ashtanga Yoga. The nature of the mind inevitably makes us stray away from pain. But the permeated impermance present on all things is a friendly reminder that our whole existence will be filled with moments of joy and moments of pain. It took me 8; maybe a bit more years to open my heart again. My yoga practice, my beloved shrink and my inner resilience have helped. But I still got so much to learn. Matters of the heart are fragile, explosive, unprecticable. Especially; because intimacy will trigger a lot of patterns acquired in our childhood, ways on how we coped with pain and fear and how we established bonds and affection with others. Sometimes we aren’t ready. We built up images of ourselves and of the other, and in a typical interaction, the real people don’t meet at all. This can take months in some cases, years in others. Each relationship will bring up a unique version of you. And unexpectedly I met this awesome guy. Kind heart. Beautiful, bruised soul. Smart. Great chemistry. Almost like it was too good to be true. I seriously hadn’t felt this way in years. And then he broke my heart and that triggered so many old feelings. Horrible. Getting your heart broken is a bloody nightmare. I didn’t ask anything when he broke up with me. Will that would’ve make a difference? Not really. Maybe he wasn’t ready. Through out the relationship I could sense he was trying, but there is so much undealt pain and rage within him that at some point things would’ve ended anyways. I am not perfect. There are broken parts of me that I am trying to fix. Everytime I go to India the energetical vibration there helps me heal. Rips me apart and more light comes in. This has been such a hard trial. How not to take it personally??? I allowed myself to be vulnerable again and this happened? It really sucks but it is what is. You can’t make people love you. True Love is an organic process: things will grow naturally without chemicals. It will not grow perfect but it will be strong. And most importantly there will be no expectations. It’s a beautiful, imperfect process in which two people are aiming to become the best versions of themselves.

I can’t allow myself to go back to my old crazy, angry self. I am so; so, sad. I’m not going to lie. This hurts so much and I have cried a lot. But I got my mat and everyday I try to practice with an open heart. The day after my break up I dedicated my practice to him. What I feel towards him hasn’t change. I sent him so much love and healing thoughts. We each, must deal with the dark versions of ourselves and be smart enough to step aside and not drag others in. I can’t dwell too much into this. So many good things are coming; I can not allow myself to stay in this sad place for too long. I have a wonderful life surrounded by people that love me so much. Soon I am going back to India, to Dharamsala; up there by the Himalayas, home of your holiness the Dalai Lama, where hopefully my heart will heal……..And life will go on…….

04. December 2016 by Lina
Categories: Love | 3 comments

Mysore Madness

Love makes us do crazy and beautiful things.....Like the Taj Mahal

Love makes us do crazy and beautiful things…..Like the Taj Mahal

Still soaking up my recent trip to India. I have been meaning to write this post for some time but I wasn’t ready.
On the previous days before leaving on my trip my mind was already connected to India…..Practice was full of doubts and fear as my right shoulder had been giving me trouble for almost a year. Oh geez, I wonder what Sharath will tell me this time…Lots of expectation building up in my mind about the trip because unlike my first trip; in which I traveled to the unknown, this second time I knew what lay ahead. As usual our petty little heads trying to figure out everything. All plans made; all arrangements made and the day of my departure arrived. Then 45 minutes before boarding the plane the flight was cancelled. Holly crap, no new plane was available so the airline pushed the flight an entire day! I was panicking, all my connections and travel plans had to be changed, hotel reservations, my apartment, taxis, transfers….travelling to the other side of the world for two months requires a bit of logistics….Had to stay until midnight at the airport that day fighting with the airline so they could change my flight from London to India because I wasn’t going to pay for that change. Couldn’t sleep well that night. No food at home as I was leaving for 2 months, my fridge was empty. I was mentally tired and frustrated; of all of my years travelling I had never been delayed this way. Next day arrived and I left. This incident became an omen of the fate of the rest of my trip. Usually our minds via the ego set up boundaries, expectations, limits. That’s the nature of the ego, always looking for answers, figuring out things. We really don’t allow ourselves any space for spontaneity or failure. I finally arrived to Mysore and when I got there my apartment had been occupied by another girl that arrived earlier and was so jet lagged that she was sleeping and couldn’t be disturbed so I was given her apartment on the meantime. I was backed up 2 days on my schedule and late for registration at the Shala that I didn’t care and went out straight up to register. I wanted to shower so bad; weather was very hot this time of the year and I knew I was going to see Sharath soon but I couldn’t waste any more time. Entered the Shala, my heart racing. So excited to see him again. I can’t explain with words what it feels to be close to your teacher. He is the Boss; but he is also a human just like you and me. It’s a lot of feelings happening a the same time: respect, happiness, fear, joy, amusement, thankfulness, excitement……And the practice started rolling the next day. Oh my God. I wasn’t sure how that will go. I have been practicing at home alone for over two years now. Is hard. It breaks you. Because I basically don’t know where I stand with my progress or if there is any progress at all. That’s determined by Sharath. He is on the other side of the world, I can’t reach to him on a daily basis but I can feel him with me everyday in my practice. Again my mind determined what my body was going to be able to do in the practice and guess what? Well it just didn’t happened. But something else; wonderful happened. Of course my beloved teacher guided me. He knows exactly where each of us stands. He knew I could do it even though I didn’t believe I could. And here’s the breaking point of the Guru. He can see beyond of our limitations. Yoga expands that vision. It’s like a laser like vision. He lead me to this place where I had never been before making me understand why I am stuck where I am. In Ashtanga yoga there’s a sequence to follow. Each pose builds up the strength and structure required for the next. Backbending can be brutal and beautiful at the same time. It drains you, rips you apart, it tames you.

Someone was supposed to meet me in India. I was very excited about that. Months talking about this encounter. I was expecting this encounter to make me really happy. But it just didn’t happened. And then I realized it was the best thing that could’ve happened. That person not showing up. I wasn’t ready for it. Just like my body wasn’t ready yet for certain poses. I need to build up. I know that with the backbending and the practice comes silence. And I needed the space and the time for that silence. That person would’ve disturbed my silence and also I know that person was probably not going to be able to handle me like this. Ironically on my first week in Mysore; unexpectedly I met someone. And without realizing it that person was exactly what I needed during my process. I wasn’t looking for it. These things find you. Inevitably. That person showed me so much kindness and gave me so much love. I certainly was not expecting something like this happening but it did and just like the pose I thought I couldn’t do, my heart opened in ways that I didn’t think I was able to do. This person has given me back hope. And life is a series of situations that prepare you for the future. Just like the Primary series in Ashtanga gives you the foundation for more complex poses.

India is chaotically beautiful. The energetical vibration there rips you apart and then puts you back together. After India you will never be the same again. Is overwhelming; crazy, total madness but somehow you feel so much peace. All of us that end up there; are fulfilling a karmic purpose. And my whole trip was a confirmation of that because India gives you what you need and not what you really want.

Persian tea sessions & Love

Persian tea sessions & Love

30. June 2016 by Lina
Categories: Love, Yoga | Leave a comment

Stillness

New Year's Day 2016

New Year’s Day 2016

Stillness: a state of freedom from storm or disturbance. Synonyms: calmness, hush, peace, peacefulness, placidity, quiet, quietness, quietude, repose, restfulness, sereneness, serenity, still, calm, tranquility……….


Lately; especially after my return from a trip to New Orleans in August last year my yoga practice has been filled with pain. That trip was a turning point for me. I can’t expect different results on the outcome of things if I keep repeating old patterns over and over again. On the Yoga Sutras Patanjali defines these patterns as samskaras; which are seeds that we carry within us thorough out different lives and sometimes they sprout unexpectedly; usually through negative behaviors. The practice of yoga burns these bad seeds. There’s also good seeds but as expected those are more scarce…My right shoulder has been in so much pain. It relates to a broken heart, I need to heal it. And yoga is healing it little by little.

If they asked me to describe the year 2015 in two words it will be: Piñata Party. I have been beaten incessantly until getting broken only to reveal treasures inside. So much happened last year that it will literally take so many posts to describe everything. But there was a constant denominator among all the events. I was able to remain still and observe myself even in the most painful ones. And accept them. In the past I will fight my feelings and reactions so much. It was a constant battle. Now I still obviously react to them but I move on and don’t get stuck with them like in the past.

The practice of Ashtanga yoga strips you naked in every sense! Ha! For years of battling body issues I used to cover my legs all the time. I thought they were too fat, I was too short, too much cellulite, etc. When I started practice years ago I decided that I was going to use little shorts instead of leggings for the practice because I read that the bhandas get activated better if there wasn’t any grip to hold on to. And so I did. Everyday at the shala, little shorts, baring my legs, looking at them, working with them and one day I realized wow! They are so strong! Then there’s the sweat; sometimes during practice you sweat so much that it makes sense to wear as little clothes as possible; the practice feels lighter. The less the better. And then inevitably what this practice will teach you is a great sense of dis attachment. Yes, you do all these beautiful, complicated postures and you think you have nailed everything and then boom the next day you loose the posture and it takes months to get back to it.
And outside the mat I started also stripping off behaviors, people, etc. Toxic relationships that no longer serve me, leaving them behind because ultimately these don’t define me and at the end of the day this is a lonely journey. Overall all those painful experiences led me to my second trip to India. And that’s why I think there is so much pain in my practice because my body is detoxing. From everything. And that’s leaving space for new, beautiful things. A healed heart. Amazing friends. Acceptance of what is.

And here I am with a grateful heart; so happy I will see my teacher, so happy to go back to this mystical, chaotic land. I am going back to Mamma India!

Yoga shorts in Ustrasana :)

Yoga shorts in Ustrasana 🙂

03. February 2016 by Lina
Categories: Love | Leave a comment

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