We're entering week 4 into lockdown. It kind of seems like a lot longer than that. There are days I feel like I will lose it, and days that I think I got this. I try to take it one day at a time. One breathe, don't get too overwhelmed. I don't have to have it all figured out. One day, one week, one month. Just like the practice. Focus on the current pose, don't think too much ahead. Be present.
The human resilience is quite admirable. We make do with what we have and we tell ourselves we make it work. And we learn and we relearn things. We reinvent our way of living so that it will fit the current circumstances. We make things work. We look in the bright side and focus on the things we can do. We use the time to come back to the basics, rediscover things. Learn new things, rediscover old passions, refine, retune and we find out that there is more. We were built to overcome this. We were designed for greatness.
I never thought an online shala would be something. A lot of the teaching of Ashtanga is in the touch. And the human touch remains very valuable. I miss the hugs, the physcial connection with loved ones. For me the human touch remains magical, there will be things that is easiest to communicate with a single hug, a single touch. But we make use with what we have, voice, the facial expressions, the pictures, the words.
I keep being inspired with the people around me. The human drive and strength. It supports me seeing you all so strong and fighting through this. The consideration we show for those who are weaker and who have it harder is very heartwarming and it keeps me going. I find my strength in this.
The shala remains as a place to share things. I'm on week two of teaching my parents. They have been eager students and they enjoy it. In the beginning of my practice, I tried to get them to it, and now they come on their own and I am more than happy to be able to share what I have with them. And in all honesty, I'm more prepared to adjust the practice for them and not them to the practice. The rules are rigid, people are not. And it's a pleasure to see them enjoying the practice. For those who prefer to practice in the afternoon I have also opened Mysore sessions Tuesday and Thursday 17-19 CET. The self practice remains 06-10 CET. I practice with everyone and watch the video afterwards to be able to give feedback if wanted. If you want a private online class I'm also very happy to find time for online private classes.
I use the YouTube channel to teach, record tips that I think students will find useful in their practice. The videos are not perfect. Nor am I. My head gets cut off sometimes, sometimes I forget the words, sometimes I'm saying wrong things in the videos while demonstrating. But it comes from a good place. The intention is to serve and to help and to support, those who might be needing it now. I enjoy trying to explain and I realise how hard making this videos are and talking while doing the pose. So keep asking me questions and enjoy my mishaps on YouTube.
These are different times, different is not necessarily bad, I get to study with Eddie Stern in the comfort of my own home. Or do chanting with Luke Jordan everyday and listen to his extensive knowledge (that my mind cannot take all in at once, my attention span is like 15 mins). I have my low times where I feel overwhelmed with all my feelings. So I revert to coloring my walls, dancing to beautiful music, singing my heart out, playing my guitar (however bad that sounds), writing my feelings, eating fantastic chocolates, cooking food, cleaning up the mess I made, walking to the water to see beautiful Antwerp sunsets and enjoying watching the people enjoy the simple things in life. The basics, like a nice glass of water after a walk. Basically that's all you really need in life, isn't it?
Keep safe, keep sane. Check the website, message me on facebook, whatsapp, instagram or carrier pigeon. I'm always happy to be of service and be a friend.