Yoga, Ayurveda and acro yoga in Budapest - classes, philosophy also in English

2010. július 8., csütörtök

Meditation is an itchy pause in the performance called yoga?

This week I am following a Vinyasa workshop with my beloved ex dance teacher. It is so great to have her again. It has been years that we did not see each other, and now it is just such an incredible feeling that we can reconnect. Years ago, I was just an awkward but enthusiast amateur, and she was the great dance master. And now we meet again and she is giving this very unique yoga workshop and I come to do it as a yoga teacher myself. Transformations, the spice of life.

After the first class I gave her a comment (this is product of my 'honesty training' as explained in the post on satya) on how she could give maybe more time for silence in the meditative part of the class. She seemed to appreciate the remark. However, and this was really interesting, there was another guy who heard our conversation and he intervened saying that in his opinion this class is like a performance, and like in a theatre 5 minutes of silence kills, likewise here it would be also annoying. Wow, what an approach. Wow, what emotions started whirling in me, but I decided to leave the answer to my teacher. She nicely explained that when you are listening the instructions in a speedy vinyasa class despite all your focus tends to go to the teacher to be able to follow the movement, the flow, that is not about the teacher's "performance", it is about you and it's about how you work with your own body. You are not a passive audience, but you are a very active participant. You are the main character if you wish. It is all about your real time experience.

I don't know if the guy got it, I hope he did. But it is true, that we are so afraid of being in silence, and to be with ourselves. Either because we get easily bored and nervous, or simply because we are scared. I know, when I first started attempting sitting down for meditation, I was always so scared. After a couple of minutes, I started to feel that someone is looking at me, or standing behind me, or what if in the next moment I will see something. I think this all has to do with my Christian education, where everything outside the teachings of the church was from the Devil. Yoga was one of the greates occultist practices, judged illegitimate by the Church.
Now in India, it was very interesting, because as I was opening up and my conciousness became more and more present, this fear evaporated. It also helped that I tried meditation in a group. But here a new problem started, the pain in the body.

At the beginning we only sat, but in total silence, for about 20 minutes. I remember, I still could not sit properly, and my legs got so numb that it was really getting painful. Then I started to imagine, that I pull this numbness up into my whole body, like as if I was sinking down into water. And when the numbness raised up until the top of my head, I just imagined, that I am totally immersed in water, the waves splashing above my head, and I am now subject to the laws of buoyancy instead of gravity. All my weight, pain and heaviness can dilute in the water. Sometimes it helped but on other days I would just get up, well, lying, exactly I could not get up at all for about 5 minutes I had so much pain, and decided, I had enough of meditation, why on earth we are suffering this much.

But then again with my next teacher, there was no choice, we did there even more meditation, 30 minutes for a start. And they would not stop saying that there is no progress in yoga without meditation. The technique he gave us was 'easy', just sit, and breathe, and only come out if you feel that in the next moment you will die of pain. Well. I needed a lot of self discipline, since there we already had to be in ardha padmasana, half lotus sitting, which was much harder than simple crossed legs, and the pain started a lot earlier. After 5 minutes I had tremendous pain, and the anger over the remaining 25 minutes of torture. But you cannot quit, so I had to focus, and learn to tolerate the pain. This might sound cruel, but now I see that you have to go through this first, and then it gives you so much strength. In daily life too, this pain tolerating capacity can come really handy.

But the modern people does not tolerate any kind of pain, be it mental, like boredom, or physical, like knee pain. Although no pain (or I prefer 'no effort'), no gain. Voila, another universal law of nature.

By the end of my trip in India, after all this 'training', I achieved the capacity of sitting for 40 minutes CALMLY in half lotus, and I can tell, that only after 25-30 minutes things started to happen, so it is really important that you invest in your sitting. For me it is usually the last 10 minutes which is the most interesting, when I achieve total relaxation of mind and body and when I can open up like a vessel, and allow things to happen to me. And I am still a real beginner in the meditation department.

So sitting still for 5 minutes is really nothing.

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