Archives for posts with tag: ego

I have been so busy recently due to yoga classes and yoga teacher training program. I have been reading new books for the teacher training program and preparing documents besides ongoing yoga classes I am teaching. Of course, I am not on my own in this program. A friend of mine who is a genuine “yogini” and I have started the program. Despite all her contributions, it is not so easy to get to the classes on time and prepare the training program and go on living your own personal daily life. That is why I had to stop posting blogs, which I did not appreciate.

I welcomed the new year in a seaside town away from the city I am living. This four-day retreat was really excellent for me. I really needed such a retreat, away from the city and I was desperately in need of having some spare time in the rural area. To be alone, to just stare at the sea, to drink something while staring at the sea, to take a stroll and to spend a few days without watching the time or without having a need to hurry. So once I returned home, I sat in front of the computer to write again.

I have experienced a great deal of things since I write the last blog. Not only reading resources on yoga but also reviewing the training programs I had attended before and making a synthesis of all of them made me a progress on this path. I realized that I have been focusing on only physical aspect of yoga in my classes for a long time. However, yoga is something that cannot be thought of without the spirit, soul and the mind. As I started to deepen on the path of yoga, I started to deepen in my own yoga group classes.

In the group classes, I aimed to end the previous year by leaving everything behind, the good and the bad before welcoming the new year. The past was just the past, nothing beneficial for us but taking a lot from us. Making us sorrowful and sad. Ego or the mind liked to feed from the past and pitty for itself. So, as we were leaving behind 2017, we should not bring any burdens from that year to the new year but solve everything and leave everything behind. We should purify ourselves bodily, mentally and spiritually and get cleaned up. In 2018, we should neither focus on the past nor the future as future was one of the best friends of the mind, by which it was feeding up itself. The future was unknown and the fear and worry caused by the unknown. What was need for sorrow or fear or worry? So what should we do? What kind of a path should we draw ourselves in 2018? We should just live the moment, stay in the moment, pay attention to the “right now”, understand what “now” means and experience just the “now.” How was the yoga classes shaped up with this aim? The aim was obvious: “Just to live the moment, to stay in the moment, to pay attention to the right now and understand what now means and experience just the now.” So, what type of a class should we perform to reach this aim? A class which gives priority to the breath and focuses on the coordination and harmony of the breath and the body. Thus, we could enable the unity and harmony of the body and soul. Surely, we should also add the mind to this couple. The mind should watch and follow the body and the breath but at the same time listen to what the instructor was saying instead of doing what it knows would come the next. We should do “vinyasa”s (flow) different from the flows the class was used to and confuse the mind. Thus, the mind would not do what it knows and walk on the path it knows but stay in the moment and do something by being totally aware not automatically. If you ask what was the most important decision we made for the new year… To stay in the moment, to live the moment, and to be totally aware, to work with full unity and harmony of the body, mind and soul even if it was hard in the daily life and even if we cannot do it in our daily lives,

 

Some students often ask me questions about why there are warrior poses (virabhadrasana) and flows like warrior dance in yoga. How come there can be “warrior” poses, flows and dances in yoga which is a philosophy based on love and peace? Or the war in “Bhagavad Gita” (The Song of the Lord), one of the written documents in yoga? In fact all these wars are between the soul and the mind. And the entire fight in yoga is to bring the mind and soul back together.

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When I went to class last week, students said they wanted to do something different, particularly the “warrior dance” we had practiced long before. In our previous practice, we prepared the body with “yin yoga” (yoga in which we stay in each pose for at least three minutes and stretch not only the muscles but also deep connective tissues) and then performed the dance. This time we would try the dance after a “vinyasa” (flow) practice.

“Warrior dance” is a “yang” practice including balance, lunges and squats. After warming up the body with “surya namaskara” (sun salutation) series, we included “ashwa sanchalanasana” (high lunge), “anjaneyasana” (low lunge), “prasarita padottanasana” (wide-legged forward bend) and “water bug” in-between the “vinyasa”s and stretched the groin muscles and inner thighs. Before starting the attacks of the warrior, we stayed on one leg and tried to establish our balance on one leg. The pullbacks were like squats and so we get prepared for these pullbacks with “golden seed” flow of “yin yoga.”

Why war? Why warrior? An epic of yoga — “Bhagavad Gita” is about a war. Even if it is an epic and even if it seems that it is about a genuine war, “Bhagavad Gita” is about the war of mind and ego. The epic tells the story of a war between the families Pandava and Kaurava in B.C. 3102. When preparing for the dance, I remembered this epic and decided to explain the dance this way.

“Imagine a situation in which you have to make a decision but your heart i.e. your soul and mind talk differently. Your heart and mind are in a battle. They are in a clash. Which one will win? Or which one is telling the right thing?” “First stand on one leg robust and strong before attacking. Then get all your strength and start attacking. After three attacks, get back and look at what the enemy is doing If you decide to make your decision from heart, your enemy is the mind. Keep one eye at the back, the enemy. The enemy can make an attempt back any time. Then turn back on one leg again, stay in balance and watch the outcome.”

As Mahatma Gandhi defined, “Lord Krishna” represents the consciousness, “whipping the horses” represents taking the lust under control, the “chariot” represents the body, “Arjuna” the ego, “the tyres of the chairot” the time and “war” the life itself. Like these symbols of “Bhagavad Gita”, the “warrior dance” tells about the battle of the mind and soul. Will we make our decisions from heart or by our mind? Will we decide with our soul or mind? Will our “ego” or “consciousness” steer us or will we take action with our soul? The whole battle was just about this.

We always like to practice challenging asanas in our yoga classes. Either in our own yoga practice or in any class we join or we teach, we mostly focus on backbends, deep twists, hip opening poses, balancing and arm balancing poses and inversions. We do no prefer forward bends. However, I like and prefer forward bends in my own practice. Yet I mostly focus on backbends, deep twists, deep hip openers, balancing and arm balancing poses and inversions in the classes I teach. Therefore, last week’s private and group yoga classes were an exception.

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Last week, I wanted to have a different experience in my classes. I do not know whether it was because of spring felt throughout the week. I wanted to make a change as we mostly practiced challenging asanas and tried the same asanas in almost every class. Last week’s peak pose would be “kurmasana” (tortoise). I had made up my mind. So, how would I prepare the bodies for “kurmasana?” I should have stretch the “hamstring” muscles as well as shoulders and hips. The shoulders had to be internally rotated and abducted and scapula should be pushed to the hips. The coccyx should be pushed backward and one should bend forward from the hip joint. And at the latest point we had reached, we should round the spine (flexion). If we assume that we would do the peak pose just in the first half of the class, I should prepare the bodies for the asana till the peak pose came. In the second half, we should do counter-poses to relax and relieve the spine and then rest.
After the opening meditation, we sat on the knees (virasana) or in “sukhasana” (easy pose) and started to stretch the shoulders. We used the arm position of “gomukhasana” (cow face pose) and we rolled the shoulders back. We then stretched the scapula with the arm position of “garudasana” (eagle pose). Then we lifted the hands to the level of the chest waited for five breaths and then bend forward with eagle hands position and stayed there for five breaths. Thus, we had opened the scapula. We laid face down and used yin yoga’s “broken wings” in order to internally rotate the shoulders and stretch the scapula more and more.
Following a “vinyasa” (flow), we stood in “tadasana” (mountain pose). We warmed the bodies up with a few “surya namaskara” (sun salutation) flows. In-between “surya namaskara” flows, we added some asanas to prepare the body for the peak pose. In one flow, we stayed long in “uttanasana” (standing forward bend) and in another flow we interlaced hands in “uttanasana” and tried to keep the arms away from the body as much as we could in order to stretch the shoulders. Moreover, we used “eagle arms” in “virabhadrasana I” (warrior I) and “virabhadrasana II” (warrior II).
In-between the flows, we added “padangusthasana” (hand to big toe pose), “pada hastasana” (hands to feet pose), “parsvottanasana” (intense side stretch pose) and “prasarita padottanasana” (wide-legged forward bend) in order to stretch the hamstrings. In “prasarita padottanasana”, we interlaced hands behind, kept the arms away from the body and continued to stretch the shoulder girdle. At the same time we were stretching the groins as well. In order to stretch groins more, we used “ashwa sanchalanasana” (high lunge), “anjaneyasana” (low lunge) and “parsvakonasana” (side angle pose).
We stretched groins more with “malasana” (garland pose) and yin yoga’s “water bug” and “half frog” poses. “Upavista konasana” was the last preparatory pose before the peak pose. After staying for five breaths in this asana, we rolled the shoulders, put the hands below the legs, rounded the spine and tried to get into “kurmasana”. Some of the students had a flexible spine but tense hamstrings. Some of them had flexible shoulders so they could easily got their shoulders and arms under their legs. Some of them had tense “hamstrings” so they bent their legs a little bit. Some with tense shoulders could not rotate their shoulders internally but just a little bit. Everybody experienced the peak pose within his/her limits. As much as his/her body allowed. Without comparing himself/herself with his/her neighbor. Only by turning inside.
Why do we always prefer challenging asanas in our yoga classes? Why do we always focus on doing, achieving and succeeding? What do forward bends teach us? Why do we love or hate forward bends? My mind was full of these thoughts when ending the class. Forward bends calm us and help us get into a meditative state. They help us turn inside and realize what is inside ourselves. Forward bends can be hard for some people due to body limitations. Because of unflexible and tense spine, hamstrings and hip muscles. Forward bends can be challenging for some others due to mental aspects. Forward bends mean acceptance. Forward bends mean surrendering. Forward bends mean staying silent and calm before others and keeping the “ego” silent. Forward bends means disciplining the self, the ego. Even though they are a group of asanas which many of us can easily practice within the limits of our bodies, forward bends can be mentally and spiritually challenging. Have you thought of this aspect of forward bends before? Why is bending forward difficult or easy for you? This was the question that we had to answer at the end of the question.

“Savasana” (deep relaxation and resting pose)… The end of one of my private classes… I was giving verbal directives to relax the student. “Let your feet fall to either side of the mat. Relax your legs and hips. If hips are still tense, then squeeze your hips and now let it relax and spread on the ground. Relax your abdomen and back. Relax your shoulders and chest. Palms facing up, relax your arms. Relax your neck. Lips half-open, tongue rests on the lower palate. Relax your cheek, eyes, top and back of your head… Let your body melt with the gravity from the toes to the top of the head. Relax whole body. Let the energy of the earth to take your body in. Make your body heavy on the ground. Surrender to the energy of the earth. Focus on your breath. Watch your inhales and exhales and ground your body more firmly on the ground as you focus on your breath. Try to see that the body is only a sheath. You can focus between your eyebrows or just watch your breaths.”
These were my sentences at the end of a tiring vinyasa class. I was preparing the student for deep relaxation. We were practicing together for over one and a half years. The student was relaxing at that moment but she was talking to me at the same time. Something that made me so happy: “I am focusing on my belly button and I think I feel some kind of energy there. As if I am living there. As if I have another hearth there.”

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What could I want more? These words took me back to years ago. To a yoga class in which I almost felt the same things. I was so obsessed with meditation those days. There were issues I needed to solve and my yoga instructor advised that I do a lot of inversions and meditation. Every morning, I was waking up and meditating between five to fifteen minutes after practicing “sirsasana” (headstand), “sarvangasana” (shoulderstand), “halasana” (plow), “karnapidasana” (ear pressure pose) and “matsyasana” (fish pose).
How long the meditation would last changed according to my schedule that day. Every evening, I also meditated for at least 15 minutes. I was relaxing and easing my mind with inversions and turning inside with meditation. Cleaning myself up and purifying. Days were passing by.
That morning, we practiced a ten-minute “savasana.” We had not had such a long relaxation in our class before. When lying down in “savasana”, I realized that my body and soul were two different and separate things. My body was heavy on the ground and surrendered to the earth while my soul was “flying”, “really feeling enthusiastic and peaceful.” I felt my body lying down and my soul “flying” in real sense. I remember thinking if dying was something like that. It was so peaceful that I was not afraid. I could hear the words of the teacher, who had started to wake us up from “savasana” with directives. “Deepen your breaths. Wake the body up with deeper breaths. Circle your ankles and wrists and interlace your hands over your head. Stretch your body. Hug your knees to the chest and drop your body to the right. Get into a sitting pose.”
I could hear all these but I could not move. My soul liked what it was like “to fly” and did not want to be hampered. My body was calling the soul but nothing happened. The class was over. Everybody was leaving the class when I decided to return to the real life by leaving “those amazing moments.” But, I was not the “person I used to be.” Something had changed. I could not understand what had happened but my life had changed.
I wanted to talk to the teacher and told her about the experience. The only thing she said was “it happens. Don’t be afraid. Nothing important.” These words urged me to do more research on my experience through the internet of course. I googled, googled and googled. In the end, I found: “Astral travel.” I read the experiences of others and found similarities with mine. I made the diagnose. “The mind wanted to know and learn.” This is what the mind is.
So, what was “astral travel?” In simple, it happens when astral body (etheric/subtile body), i.e. the soul leaves the physical body and travels around. The soul is linked to the body with an astral cord like a baby’s connection with his/her mother through the umbilical cord. This astral cord is situated in the belly button and a soul could leave the body through this cord and re-enter the body again through it.
That day, what the student felt was this deep cord and link. I could not realize how we made this much progress in meditation. In our previous classes, we had talked about what she felt during “savasana.” Seeing different colors, different colors turning around in circles… All these were indicators that meditation was so close. However, I could not realize that we were this much close to “samadhi” (bliss).
“Samadhi” is a spiritual state of consciousness in which the body, soul and mind are a whole, there is no more duality, high consciousness is reached and you are beyond time and space.
I thought I had to share my own experiences with my student at that moment. I had not talked about this to anyone before. This meant that I needed to express myself too. “When you have such an experience, you see that your body is just a cloth and the real actor is your soul. When you are more conscious, when the body, soul and mind are a whole, when duality ends, when everything is a whole, when there is no more time and space, one starts to think and feel differently. Whatever was important in the past are no more important. You look at life from a different perspective. This must be ‘dying before you die.’ We start to see that how much we waste, how unsatisfied we are, how much and how unnecessary things we buy, how unnecessary we are hurt and become so sad. We start to live more simply. We become happy with smaller things. We simplify our lives. We narrow our surrounding. We clean out unnecessary things and people. We are more satisfied to be alone. We do not hoard. We do not meet people if we do not want to. We do not go anywhere if we do not want to. We do not join and parties, weddings or meetings if we do not want to and just because we are obliged to. In short, we free our souls. We give the right to live and choose to our souls and thus we become so happy and peaceful than any time before.”
A sitting pose after “savasana.” Palms joined in front of the heard in “anjali mudra.” Chin to the chest, meaning ego bends forward before the heart. A class that began with just physical intentions ended in a philosophical way. “Actually, we are responsible for being happy or not. When we are under the influence of the mind and act with the mind’s will, happiness is getting far away from us each moment. However, when we listen to the soul, happiness is just beside us. Hoping to make decisions from heart and soul and live that way instead of listening to the mind or ego…”

I am on vacation. Maybe you have noticed. I am posting fewer articles these days. I also have to have a holiday, boost my energy and get ready for the winter, which I do not like so much. So, I am writing less and my posts on twitter and facebook are less than usual. This is holiday! I have to charge myself up and welcome winter more fruitfully.

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When we become a yoga instructor, our business is with energy. Many people join yoga classes to feel better. Both bodily and spiritualy. Therefore, we, yoga instructors, should have high spirits and energy so that we could please our students. For this reason, summer is a time to charge ourselves up, particularly for a person like me who lives just for summer. This is who I am. Even though I am a yoga instructor, I am not a saint or a guru. I accept the duality of life in many areas but it is not true when it comes to summer and winter. For all these reasons, summer is a season in which I live my own way and be just myself. Being yourself and living the life your own way and as you like it? Has it made sense to you? Believe me, it meant nothing to me five or six years ago. When someone told me “living your own way and as you like it” before I met yoga, I would just ask “what does it mean?” However, I have a different perspective now.

I am on vacation. I am not supposed to live the same life I am living in my hometown. It is called vacation. However, one cannot give up his/her habits so easily. Like what? Like waking up early in the morning. I am a yoga instructor but I have wrote about it in my earlier posts. I like to drink in social occasions. When I am with my friends or at a meeting, I do not say, “no I am a yoga instructor and I never drink.” For a couple of nights, I am drinking because of some social events and it can be wise not to wake up early in the morning and have some rest. But unfortunately, my biological clock is working and I wake up early in the morning. Really early. So that I have waken up, I walk the dog and then I either ride my bike or have a walk around the area. It is my habit to do cardiovascular workout every day. My body wants it. After that, I do one-hour yoga to stretch my body. Sometimes “vinyasa” yoga and sometimes “yin” yoga. Then, I have a good breakfast and go to the seaside and spend the day there. My days were like this until today. I can see you ask what has happened today. Again I woke up early thanks to my biological clock but my body did not want to leave the bed. First the evil in my body, which I call “my ego” poked me. “Come on, get up and ride your bike. Burn some calories.” Then my soul said, “no, I am feeling tired today and I will go on resting. What if I do not do cardiovascular workout today? Nothing happens. Just enjoy your holiday.” And I listened to my soul. It was a good idea to listen to my soul and behave as I like it. I slept well till 8 a.m. This was the first time that I had slept until 8 a.m. For a long time. Then I walked the dog. I made tea and have a good breakfast. I drank Turkish coffee and I felt so well. Later, I went to the seaside. The sea was wavy. Not a problem. It was hot and without the wind, it was impossible to stay on the shore throughout the day. Thanks to the breeze, I spent the whole day by the shore. I swam and rest on the sunbed, I swam again, I swam again and again. I do not know how many times I swam that day. In the afternoon, the waves were bigger than the morning. Therefore I could not swim so much. It was ok. I do not have to think swimming as a cardiovascular workout all the time. I behaved as I like it. I would have been sorry not to do cardiovascular workout and burn calories five or six years ogo.

Don’t we just live our lives as others instruct us? Don’t we always do things that we do not want to but just because we have to? We meet some people just because we have to. We smile to people whom we do not like just because we have to. We go to a dinner or a wedding just because we have to. Among all these “have to” things, where do we stand and don’t we have a responsibility to please ourselves?

In my opinion, pleasing ourselves is more important than anything. It is better not to do something instead of doing it just because we have to. When we do something because we are obliged to do it, people understand it from our face and stance and they do not show that they understand it because of their own obligations and grace. Don’t you think we live a fake life that way? Don’t we violate the principle of “satya” (truth), one of the fundamental ethical values of Ashtanga Yoga. Fake meetings, fake smiles and fake lives… What if we live just as we like it? We say things that we like to say but without hurting others… Saying what you think and as you like it does not mean being rude or hurting others. What if we see people just because we want to see them… What if we do sportive activities and yoga, go to work or write just because we want to… Or more simply, what if we eat and sleep when we want it, i.e. To live the most fundamental aspects of life as we like it… Hugging a person if we want to… Kissing our loved one if we want to… Without spending a second. Without thinking if it is a shame or not right for that moment. Doing it just because we want to do so at that very moment because we may not have another moment. The only true moment is the moment we are living right now. Therefore, won’t we feel better if we live the way we want? Won’t the principle of “satya” be a part of our life and won’t we live a real life? What is your idea?

How should a yoga instructor be? When I first heard this question, I was at a yin yoga teacher training program in Istanbul. All candidate yoga instructors used different adjectives to define an instructor. S/he should be beautiful/handsome. S/he should be skinny, fit, understanding, caring, flexible, calm, helping, patient, calm, loving and so and so on. Frankly speaking, how should a yoga instructor be?

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I was asked this question for one more time. You wonder when? In one of my classes. One of my students said that she met her new neighbor who was a yoga instructor. That yoga instructor visited my student in recent days. My student asked her what she would like to drink and said she could serve coffee, tea, soda, beer, wine or alike. The yoga instructor asked her if she could serve herbal tea or an organic juice. My student had nothing to serve like that.
In that class, my student asked me how a yoga instructor should be because she was a little bit confused. She had not seen anything like that from me. I always talked about “50-50” philosophy. Like what? “A yoga performer should not solely be flexible. If there is 50 percent flexibility needed, 50 percent strength is also needed.” Or when asked if I was a vegetarian, I was saying, “no I am not. I eat meat, vegetables and  carbonhydrates. I eat as much as I need to.” To a question how many days one should practice yoga a week, I was saying, “as much as your body allows you. No limit for that. Practice yoga as much as it pleases you.” Asked if I was drinking “coffee, tea or alcoholic beverages”, I was answering, “yes, I like coffee and tea and I drink every day but I am not exaggerating. Alcohol in the same way. I drink when I am with my friends.” The same with soda.
For all these reasons, my student was astonished at seeing a yoga instructor who did not drink coffee, tea or soda. In fact, there is nothing to be astonished. Generally yoga instructors are like that. I am a little bit different.
I do not like to live at the edges. I am a Libra. I mentioned in my previous posts. I like balance in my life and when I lose balance, I lose myself. Therefore, I always favor balance. I am neither a full vegetarian nor a full carnivorous. Neither a tea-coffee-soda addict nor nothing happens if I do not drink them. I drink alcoholic beverage when I want. I do not like to lie. I used to be a better drinker. I could not stop when I start to drink. It was not affecting me. Now, I am trying to make “brahmacharya” (celibacy-moderateness-continence) principle of yoga master Patanjali a part of my life. Being moderate in every part of my life. Not totally giving them up but using them at a certain extent. I am such a yoga instructor. A yoga instructor who lives in 50 percents.
And for this reason, my students get used to thinking just like me and they can regard strange yoga instructors who only drink herbal tea and not drink caffein or soda. I do not regard them as strange. They may be doing the right thing. Who knows?
When we return to the question at the beginning of my post. How should a yoga instructor be? S/he should be beautiful/handsome. S/he should be skinny, fit, understanding, caring, flexible, calm, helping, patient, loving. Let’s add new characteristics. S/he should be helpful, s/he should have good relationship with his/her students, s/he should and could understand thee needs of his/her students, s/he should lack ego, s/he should not show himself/herself off in class, s/he should give priority to the needs and demands of students. Do you think we should count more characteristics?
That is, s/he should be and should be… It seems as if we are not counting the characteristics of a yoga instructor but just trying to create an angel. We should always keep in mind that a yoga instructor is a human being made of flesh and bone who has thoughts and feelings and who can feel good or bad this day or that day. Therefore, we should not exaggerate a yoga instructor. In the daily conditions, particularly if we live in a metropolis, we should not expect to see a “yogi”, “yogini” or a “guru.” A yoga instructor will most probably be more understanding, caring and different than regular people. However, this does not mean that we will see an angel or a spiritual person. We should always remember that s/he is a human being who has thoughts and feelings, who can be sad or happy or who can be in a good or bad day. This is what a student can do. What a yoga instructor can do? S/he can remember that s/he is a human being, accept himself/herself as s/he is, be aware of his/her shortcomings and accept them, be aware of what s/he can do or cannot do and not be sorry about them, and to say that “I do not much about this issue” or “I cannot do this asana” when necessary. Only then we will be different from other instructor, and be loved and respected by our students. Do you think it’s worth doing? For me, yes it’s worth it.

Many things have changed after I saw that there was something called “sirsasana” (headstand). Sometimes something happens in your life and your life completely changes. This is exactly what has happened to me after I learned about “sirsasana.”

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I guess it was two years ago. I was not attending a yoga studio but I was joining yoga classes at a gym hall those days. It had been two years since I began yoga. We were experiencing many basic yoga asanas including some inversions such as “sarvangasana” (shoulderstand), “halasana” (plow pose) and “karnapidasana” (ear pressure pose). However, I had not yet tried “sirsasana” (headstand), the king of all asanas.
And one day, our yoga instructor began the class with asanas strengthening our shoulder girdle. She said that this was just a preparation after we were almost exhausted and added that “now it was time for the asana of the day.” That day, the peak pose was “sirsasana.” We interlocked our hands and we places the outside parts of our hands on our yoga mats. Then, we raised our hips as if we were doing “adho mukha svanasana” (downward facing dog) and began walking towards to our hands. There were no more place to walk. That moment was the moment when we would lift our feet off the floor, get into headstand or keep our feet on the ground and experience a secure pose. Of course, I picked the second choice as a person who always stays at the secure ground. Lifting my feet off the floor and just staying on my head… It was not my type of thing to do.
Everybody in the class was experiencing his/her own time. There were brave people in the class who lifted their feet of the floor and stood on their head all at once. There were also people who preferred to stay in the safe haven like me. Wasn’t yoga a flexible philosophy? So, no problem with everybody’s doing what they wanted to do. Our instructor checked everybody in class and then told us to get out of the pose. She then asked us to get into “balasana” (child pose to balance “sirsasana” (headstand). Then the class ended.
This was how I met headstand. In the following days, our instructor told us that we could try headstand at the end of each class. After getting over the first shock, I thought that I could just try the pose and end each class by trying sirsasana. Then I saw that I could lift my feet towards my abdomen but the rest was impossible.
Those days, I learned from the instructor as well as the google that physical capabilities were not enough to get into sirsasana. We were also affected by emotions, fears or psychological staff. You may imagine that it was so hard for me as a person who always want to stand firm on her feet.
However, this was an obsession for me those days. Our instructor recommended that I do half headstand each morning after I woke up and stay there for ten breaths, and to extend my stay there to 15, 20, 25, 30, 40 and 50 breaths in time. At the end of two and a half months, I could stay for 50 breaths.
My morning practice was not only limited with headstand. There were things I wanted to resolve those days. Therefore, shoulderstand and “matsyasana” (fish pose) were following sirsasana. 10 to 15 minutes of meditation before or after the asanas. And, days went by.
Two and a half months later, we were at a yoga class. There were mirrors in the studio. I wanted to try sirsasana before the class began. I was between two mirrors, one in front of me and the other at the back. I did not realize that I could get into headstand when I was trying it at home. I could lift my legs and I could stay there. It was almost Christmas. I accepted it as a Christmas gift and my life changed with headstand.
I used to be a bigot. With headstand, I started to look from different perspectives. It was no so horrifying to look at the world upside down. On the contrary, it was something that makes a person happy and that eliminates all worries. I saw that my mind calmed down, my prejudices were over and I became a calmer person. A more understanding, a different, a more intellectual and peaceful person.
Maybe, it was my ego–who was afraid of all these consequences– that kept me away from this pose for months. Maybe it knew that it would be defeated in the end and became less important and that was why it stopped me from getting into “sirsasana.” In the end, my soul, body and mind became one and accepted this pose. First, my body got used to it, got used to staying upside down. Then, my soul and mind got used to it. At the beginning, my mind objected as it was not easy for the mind to accept and welcome new things all of a sudden. It resisted but as it saw that it could not be successful, it surrendered. When my mind surrenedered, the pose was there waiting for me.
I can see that you are wondering about what had happened to the things I was trying to resolve. I forgot what I wanted to resolve when I was so busy with inversions, headstand, shoulderstand and meditation. Or they were no more important. I let them go, I accepted the routine flow of life and I stopped intervening just as I surrendered to “sirsasana”. Then, everything was resolved by itself just as if I wished.
I could say that those two and a half months were one of my hardest times. Not because of only sirsasana but because of the things I was experiencing. What happened in the end? Everything was on the right track. Was it easy? No, surely not. An impatient person like me had to calm down and learn to become patient. I had to let it go, I had to stop my mind talking, and I had to let my soul, body and mind become one and a whole.
Was it worth it? Yes, of course. It was worth all my experiences, whether they were physical or spritual. If I am at a different point today than two years ago, if I have a different perspective and can see the life differently, all is because of my headstand experience. Only trying and experiencing. Then wait and see the consequences. You will soon get the results and consequences.

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