22 years ago I went to visit a children’s foster homes in India with my family. After exiting and exhausting trips throughout the country I decided to stay longer with my kids, age 3 and 5 at the time. We went to Kerala to “Gopal’s Ayurvedic Beach Resort” in Kovalam. The family owned business had a Yoga Master who came to visit them regularly. So I asked if I could meet the Yoga Master as well. This was the beginning of a never-ending excursion into the world beyond what we already know. The Guru taught me Sun Salutation and said “Practice this every morning and come back in a year from now”. I kept practicing but didn’t go back. Only 12 years ago, volunteering at a children’s foster home in Andrah Pradesh, I met my Yoga Master who taught me during 5 weeks what I was ready to learn at the time. Since then, he guided me via email whenever I asked for it.
My motive was the curiosity to find out what would happen, if I did what I had been taught regularly. The only days I didn’t practice was days with time difference when traveling or when sick. I adopted the practice with what I kept learning on the way. Now sometimes I don’t practice any asanas and only do breathing exercise or meditation. Sometimes I do Tai Chi and meditation. I like to experiment.
What did it do for me?
The Yoga routine kept the body pretty much healthy and well-functioning. I learned to be aware, grateful, appreciate what is. And it’s a real gift not to be in resistance with what is most of the time. I learned to observe the nature of the local mind and also of feelings and emotions. I could explore what happens, when thoughts become still. It seemed to be a whole new world beyond what we habitually think is real, once you realize that you create your world in your own mind all the time. Then, the most paradox lesson of all which never seems to be learned for good is the nature of who we are, versus what we thought or believed we were. My life is constantly changing and evolving with me participating in awe. Things happening I couldn’t even have imagined. Clarity about what is really important and what not. Focus on those things. It brings a direction in life that is beyond just copying what you have been told and trying to be good or better at that.
I am not going to spoil your curiosity by trying to put something into words that can’t really be expressed by words. Just check it out for yourself and keep on experimenting.
Here are some hints:
Let go of an expectation or an outcome of your practice. Just stay curious.
No matter what you do, appreciate your efforts without judging or sticking “good” and “bad”labels on it.
There is no must, there is possibility and free choice.
If you still believe you must or should, take a moment to realize that it is nothing other than your own thinking that says so. And maybe some other people’s thoughts and words.
No need to try to shut down ego-processing or thinking as such. Just observe with awe. Find out what is going on there. You are the one who realizes what is going on. You realize what thoughts and feelings and sensations coming and going.
If you feel resistance, changes are hight, that’s possibly when you are about to expand and learn something new, valuable, challenging or mind/life-changing.
Resistance is when you can become even more curious. It is quite interesting how creative the mind can become to create excuses to not do Yoga or any other morning routine. Most typical one: I have no time. But thing about it. You could start with 5 or 10 minutes in meditation every day.
Why would you resist to spend 5 or 10 minutes sitting down in stillness?
What makes it so hard?
What part of you wants to not allow this to happen?
What feeling or emotion is present during this state of resistance?
By observing this process with utmost interest you can free yourself from a whole lot of unconscious traits that are running your life in the background while you feel imprisoned and maybe even blame the world for feeling that way.
Enjoy the summer. With Love