I afforded myself a session (half a day) of this weekend’s seminar with A.G. Mohan and Indra Mohan. They are students of Shri Krishnamacharya who is said to be the father of modern yoga (he was teacher to Sri K. Patthabi Jois and B.S.K. Iyengar).
1. Yoga is a means to make our mind steady. One certainty in life is change. Change can be brought about by external events, which we cannot control . Change can be brought about internally, through our minds…this we can have control over.
2. What are the three most important things in life? Mr. Mohan asked Krisnamacharya this question. His answer: HEALTH which can be achieved through the practice of asanas; LONGEVITY which can achieved through pranayama; and TRANQUILITY, attained through meditation.
3. The mind is our inner television. I need to “watch” what I think. Thinking is more powerful than action. If we think things through, then our actions (including speech) will be more meaningful and/or less hurtful.
4. Happiness is simply letting go. Letting go of thought processes that causes anxiety, fear and worry. Freedom is in our own hands. If we do things that will make us happy, we become free; if we don’t do them, we become bound.
According to Mr. Mohan, happiness is within our reach and can be a constant in our lives. We can do this by having a focused mind; being aware of our thoughts and subsequent actions and consciously free ourselves from those that make us “unhappy”.
These are just a few lessons of that half-day and introductory evening that I attended. There are practical applications that I had started using in my practice this morning. Mr. Mohan was funny with his “stories” and is very sincere and humble in spreading happiness through the teachings of Sri. T. Krishnamacharya.
Grateful for this experience…
“It’s been a while since I’ve blogged”…
These words were mentioned by a student in distress yesterday. I (and my colleagues) were confronted with a troublesome situation yesterday with this student. And as she mentioned these words, I realize how important this seemingly simple activity can help in connecting with one’s self.
For me, confronting this blog forces me to think, debate (with myself), reflect and even meditate. It is a time for ME.
I was in a rush to finish my asana practice yesterday as I had an early morning meeting; my teacher however kept up to his role as my “grounder”. He was very inspired to “teach” yesterday. First, he took time to discuss a physical aspect about squaring one’s pelvis. Then with his enigmatic smile, he sat down again and gave me a “pep-talk” about sirshasana. But after everything that happened yesterday, I realize now the values of his teachings yesterday:
Be grounded. Know what is real.
Be courageous. Don’t be afraid to fall. We are not perfect.
Take your time. Don’t rush. Listen.
“And when the body is in silent steadiness, breathe rhythmically through the nostrils with a peaceful ebbing and flowing of breath. The chariot of the mind is drawn by wild horses, and those wild horses have to be tamed” – Svetasvatara Upanishad
(image from jhalderm.com)
I have always believed that meditation is a practice of yoga that I will have a hard time “learning” and “doing”. In the few instances that I was able to participate in meditation, I had found it to be light and relaxing. I would like to practice meditation regularly.
Today being a moon day, Stillpoint Manila hosted a chakra meditation. I wanted to experience it and learn how to do it. Becky oriented me on the technique before the “voice” took over the session. It’s amazing how wild the mind can get! These are the thoughts that came to me which I shut down:
A horror movie: Shake, Rattle & Roll; being without a yoga teacher; discussing a patient with an intern; marinading my husband’s steak for dinner tonight!
Those were the “wild horses” that I tried to tame by visualizing the chakras. I finally surrendered to the “voice”. Surprisingly, my physical body held me up through the 30 minutes without feeling much pain or discomfort (Becky made sure I was sitting comfortably before we started)! My mind became empty by the time we got to the third eye (is that the 6th chakra?). I was so relaxed during savasana! It’s a good thing that we were lying on the floor otherwise I would have taken a nap!
This is definitely an activity I would like to repeat. I will attempt it on my own but will definitely attend again. I hope my schedule would match the next moon day!