Happy cold days. I didn't have a snow picture for you. This was taking 3 years back in mother India. It seems so far from today's -5 degrees in Antwerp, and getting even colder. I have to admit, I am like a child who has never seen snow and never experienced this cold, and I guess I really am. Growing up in tropical Philippines, I didn't experience this before. It's all new and beautiful for me to see and to experience. I went out the last days wearing my technical winter clothing and with hiking shoes. Finally I can rationalize my shopping. Hahaha. It's such a wonder to me, the snow, the cold and the frozen fingers and regaining the sensations once you go back to the warmth. And of course the slipping in the pavement. Yes I did that too. Still able to get up, nothing broken luckily. ;)
The Ashtanga practice is a very dynamic practice. This is the practice that works for me at this moment. My body and my mind needs the movement to come in a place of quiet. Sitting still is very hard for me. I know that too is a very important practice. We end our practice with the closing sequence of shoulder stand, head stand, the closing sitting postures and taking rest. It is an important part of the practice. I have to admit, I sometimes put it off for later, I continue to do the things I feel like I have to be doing, like for example work. I tell myself I will do the closing later in the day, and the day ends and I still have not done it. It is important though to do this, in a way it draws the energy back in and balances out the dynamics of the practice.
For me sitting is hard because I always want to be doing things. In doing things, I feel like I am contributing, that I am part of the work. In a way, for me to sit is to give in, to let things happen as they should and to be comfortable without having a part on things. And my personality always wants to be in control, to feel like I am doing something - to just sit is very difficult. I see the beauty in it. To sit and be happy within oneself, to be comfortable with the discomfort, to know that it will all be alright. To sit, to watch the emotions as they come and go, to watch the feelings as they confront us, to be still in all that is happening - with no confirmation, no one to tell us we are doing the right thing or that we are doing a good job. That confirmation has to come from within. We have to tell ourselves we are good as we are and sometimes that is hardest because the self is our hardest critic. I keep practicing.
I have put up an afternoon schedule that I will start in March. Interested? Do send me a message, firstname.lastname@example.org. I can explain you how the classes work and I am very happy to answer any questions. If you have suggestions I am also very happy to listen to it. Mysore Space will be a year in March, and the past year is not how I thought it would be, I have learned a lot from it and it has given me such joy to share the practice to others. I am really grateful for everyone who has supported me and I wouldn't have been able to continue without your support, from kind words, to being present in class, to messages of not being able to be there, Thank you for your support. I really appreciate it. I have big dreams in sharing the practice and I really want to keep doing that.
I hope you are all keeping warm, safe and healthy. Warm clothes, warm food, hot chocolate and with a lot of love from family and friends.
I have been a bit inconsistent with the blog. Still here though, very much alive and still kicking. I just needed a bit of time to contain and to regroup. I hope you all are well and surviving these times. It's a bit weird what's going on around there, and it affects the inside. I hope you are staying strong, staying warm.
I came across old pictures. My first trip in India. Of course, what do you do on your first trip in India? Make the craziest pictures you can in the market. It is part of the experience. And when I see them back, part of me asks and cringes, why would you do that? And the other part is very happy I did it. Do you ever get that mixed feelings? I think we all do. I would like to think it is part of the journey, part of the experience, part of the learning process.
It's almost a year we are having this pandemic, and in the beginning we thought it would be a lockdown of 3 weeks, we were just saying it's a flu, they are exaggerating. And now almost a year in, it still seems rather vague how and when we get out of these, somehow we are managing, some of us even flourishing, a lot are struggling. We want to do our part in this, we don't want to add to the problem, we want to be part of the solution, for the good of everyone. I believe that the human capacity is very strong and very powerful and we can do a lot by starting with ourselves. And though it might seem selfish, however once we are able to take care of ourselves, we are capable of taking care of others too. Just like in the airplane, in the safety measures, you have to put your own mask to breathe first before you help others, you have to put your lifejacket first before you attend to others. It's hard to support, if you are in a vulnerable position. The foundation would not be strong. It will be rocky for you it will be rocky for everyone - no one feels comfortable in rocky foundations.
I feel most safe at home. When I am home I can relax. Someone asked me where I like best to practice, I immediately answered home. And home can mean a studio, a room, an online space. Home is where our hearts are. Home is where we feel safe and comfortable. And home is what we make of it. I find it beautiful how through these events I got to see the homes of others, a sacred space for them, very intimate and very vulnerable and I am grateful they shared their homes with me.
We keep going. I am online. I am home.
I uploaded a practice video on YouTube on what I have worked on. It's a long video and it's not perfect. It is quite real. I hope you enjoy it. You can find it here. It took me a lot of courage to post this video to the public. I hope that it can be a source of inspiration.
Stay well. Stay happy. Stay healthy.