30 December 2017

Pain, you're such an enigma!

Current time: 8.45PM.
I planned to wake up early next morning, maybe 3.30AM
to get ready for LED class. In fact, to be in the queue for the 6AM class. 
So, instead of hitting my pillow ASAP, I flipped open my laptop.

I was in the midst of shower, and gushes of thoughts waved through my head.
I want to write them down before it washes off together with the shampoo on my hair.
  
Pain is a good teacher. 
Most time not friendly. 
Sometimes not compassionate even. 
Probably it even smirked off as " You deserved every bit of it."

Today, during practice, Sharath said to someone in a back bend " No pain, no gain."
It has been awhile i last heard this from anyone.
I took it well now, not earlier. 

Looking 8 years back. 
Young and invincible ( at least that was how i felt at that time), i didn't listen, and  i wouldn't listen.
I just wanted to do what i wanted, because I CAN. 

I was blessed with a well-preserved, soft & injury-free body ( in fact, because i was too lazy to move and exercise during my adolescent years). 
Being flexible and bendy at the time was enough to WOW & impressed myself and the people around me.

So, i make good used of it. 
Why not right? Because I CAN.

" You shouldn't bend like this, you will pinch your back once day." A few teachers said to me.
Did i listen? NO. 

I couldn't understand or comprehend their precautions at all. 
I could still pretzel or swiss-roll however i wanted without a second thought. 

Nope, don't care. So long as i get what i wanted, I'm going to do what i want.

A good 5 years later, practice progressing & body changes; and its time for my abusive attitude to stop. 
I pulled my Rotator-cuffs muscles, then my Lumbar was giving me issues, then the Piriformis...
and they kind of took turns to surface, whenever i wasn't aware enough and repeat my bad habits. 

Oh... its pay back time. I thought.
A sunny day out by the river bank checking out indians having cleansing bath;)
 At that point, I gave myself 2 options. 
1. Ditch the practice.
2. Ditch my old habits & see what i can get from the practice.

I chose 2. 
Because i have enough faith that the intention of the practice is to heal. 

I held back my pride, back-off many steps back and humbly work my new way forward.
That also meant that i have to brush pass "pain" a few times to work my way through. 
It was so frustrating, helpless & upsetting with all those struggles. 

Many times, i do just want to victimized myself by saying 
" oh poor me, why is this happening to me?" 
 You know, but an immediate response echoed, " Oh, you didn't listen, remember?" 

I like how some teachers regards the practice as a life-time practice.
 Its relatively, right?

If I'm going to commit to this for a long-time, my whole life time.... what's the rush?
What is the frustration all about? Where are you rushing to?

Make things right again & let it blossom again. Take time lady!

My school teacher once said the same thing.
" tell a kid not to touch the lighted candle"
"next moment you see the kid want to go near it"

" warn the kid again or few more time that the flame is hot, don't go near it." 
" next moment, the kid will go near the flame again."

" you know what? just let the kid get burn."
" just one time he gets burnt, he will learn"

I do see myself being teacher, sometimes nag at students a couple of times about the practice.
And i could totally relate to them for not listening unintentionally.

Well, so then i waited. They taught me to extend my level of patience indeed. 
I waited to the day they felt something was off or some pain is happening;

The day that their ears open willingly & ready to take in some information;
That my words are now more worthy to them, that's the right time for both of us. 

So even if pain seems like a heartless teacher;
not a nice teacher.
But definitely a good teacher with lots of tough love!


 










15 December 2017

WHO HAS BEEN THE GREATEST INFLUENCE THIS YEAR?

 " WHO HAS BEEN THE GREATEST INFLUENCE THIS YEAR?"

Who has been my greatest influence this year?
I guess i should say who has i allow myself to be influenced greatly.

My teacher in Singapore, James.
Because, he put in a great amount of effort to understand me as a person first. 
With full sincerity and consistency. Never a time he pressurized me until I'm ready for my turn to understand what his teachings.  

As years pass by, i have learn to be really selective with the people i spend time with. 
Looking back, i often laughed at myself how naive i was; yet of course i have no regret at all for what i had went through.

" You are too young & naive"
" You are so blur!"
" You are too emotional"
" You are not being smart enough"
" You are such a push-over"
" You don't have to be so nice"..... and on & one.

Remarks that i received too often:)
Sometimes i thought, if i have a chance to re-live those years again, i would probably make the same choice.

" What if I'm going to die today? There are still things i have yet done."

No kidding. This is something i told myself regularly.

How far are we going to plan our life before we can savor it?
 
Not being adult, too playful? Maybe.
At least I'm glad that i manage to fulfill my bucket list that i owed myself for years.

Yeah, good & bad experiences keep me going forward, to who i am today:)
Actually,I'm pretty proud of myself the way i turn out to be now!

 " Make mistakes, go ahead and make many mistake. But, make different ones."James used to say this pretty often.

I believe that at every stage of our lives, there we meet a person just at the right time to make that turn in our journey. 
But of course, if we follow every turn, we will end up confused, lost and nowhere we want to end up in. 
A wise choice, a wise turn, & a wise change.

There was a question that was pretty interesting:

There are 4 paths ( A,B,C,D)
Only 1 path leads to your destination.
How would you go about this journey?

06 August 2017

The demanding ashtangi

" An advanced yoga practitioner is not one who has tasted the most advanced poses,
rather one who has gain advancement in their attitude and character as a person
even in the simplest form of practice in their lifetime." 

At least to me. 
 
It was all about the pose when i started. 
And somehow overtime, it isn't all about the pose, but through the poses we learn many other values in life. 
 
In the primary series, a handful of student will hit their first hurdle in Marichiyana D ( a seated deep twisted that looks like a pretzel). 
Every time when i go to them to adjust or assist them, they would asked 
" When will i ever get to do this myself? I have been trying for 6 months already, its still not happening!"
 
Most times, i laughed it off and told them that i struggled for 3 years without a teacher before the magic happened to me. I'd been through that " feel bad" and frustration enough to empathize them. Still, the reality is, our bodies need time to condition. 
Don't be unreasonable!
 
Then what, the next hurdle at Supta Kumasana took me 6 years! 
Even now and then i still need help, should i sit down and cry?
 
It's funny how we love to allocate timeline on different stages in our lives and similarly how we allocate timeline for achieving each pose.
 
Who say so? Who set the timeline? Who frame that limitation?
 
Instead of being demanding towards those poses, why not demand for more patience, persistence and endurance in the practice?