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!