Archives for posts with tag: heart

I know that I have not been posting blogs recently I do not want to write these days and I do exactly what I want and I do not write. If I try to write under these circumstances, I know that I will hurt myself and do something that my heart and my soul do not appreciate and thus, I will be unhappy. So, I go in line with yoga philosophy and I do not write until my mind and soul allow me.

Actually, I do like writing a lot. And, so many things happen in my daily life and classes. However, I do not know why but I want to turn inward and live and experience all these events by myself.

So, how have I started to write again? One of my students asked my why hadn’t I been writing for a long time and told me that she expected to see my new posts. When I was asked this question, I was ashamed. Believe me, I am doing a favor to myself when I am writing but I know that people are reading my posts and expecting the new ones. By not writing, I was not meeting their expectations and I was depriving them of my posts. What a big word it is! “Depriving them of my posts.” It is not such a big deal. I am just writing what is going on in my life and how I feel. That’s all!.

Yes, why have I re-started writing? When one of my students asked why I was not writing, the answer was simple. “Because, I do not want to write these days and I do not want to force myself and do something that I do not really want. When I do something by force, I do not think it will be useful to me. Neither to me nor to others.”

The answer of my student put me back to posting new blogs: “Teacher, you are like the moon. As how the moon reflects the light and the energy it gets from the sun to the earth at night, you should reflect the light and energy you get from your training programs, readings and experiences to us, i.e. to your students. I am not saying that you are not doing so, you are doing so. And always doing so particularly in your classes. However, in your blogs, you talk about some other things that you do not talk in the class when you do not have that much time. Your blogs are more detailed and deeper. Therefore, you should go on writing and should reflect the light and energy just “like the moon.”

This was one of the most inspiring comments I have ever heard. I was moved so much that I could not stop crying. That day, I decided again. I should be “like the moon.” I should read more, I should look into resources more, I should learn more and reflect what I learn to my students “like the moon.” I should be the light and energy. Thank you my dear student. I am so glad that you have walked into my life. I am so glad that I have got to know you. And I am so glad that you are in my life. There are a lot of things that I would learn from you. I bow in front of you with respect. Na’maste.

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A special day comes again. February 14 Valentine’s Day is being celebrated all around the world as well as Turkey. Unfortunately we have become such consuming societies that these days are just be regarded as days to earn more and lose the real intention behind. Do we love our spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, mother, father or friends only one day? Why is this day different from other days? Isn’t love the real meaning of our lives? Isn’t love the life itself?

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Love is such an energy that people grow and progress with love. Love is the most special and important of all emotions. Only love can challenge hatred in the world. Only love joins everyone all around, progresses and enhances people. Just imagine what happens in case of lack of love in your life? How do you feel? How do you live? When you are deprived of love, don’t you feel as if you are dry up like a leaf? I myself feel so. As if I lack water and food. I dry up and fade away. In just one second, I start seeing negative emotions all around me. Particularly fear and hatred. When I am deprived of love, I fear everything. Fear of losing, fear of falling and fear of not being able to stand up after I fall down.
What about hatred? We always talk about duality of life. Hatred is also the opposite emotion of love. When we lack love in our lives, hatred comes and settles. When we lose the emotion of love, we start to hate everything, life, people, our surrounding, environment, world, animals and everything you may think of.
It is so easy to lose love… When you hesitate for a moment, when you fear for a moment, when you hate for a moment… You can lose love and be surrendered by negative emotions.
So can we say that we can avoid hatred and fear by multiplying energy of love in the world as love is the antidote of fear and hatred? Of course. When love increases in the world and universe and it is spread, hatred and fear will diminish.
How can we achieve this? First by loving ourselves, understanding ourselves and forgiving ourselves. As we forgive and love ourselves, love in our hearts will start to grow up, our hearts will be opened up more, and as we open up our heart more, we will feel ourselves freer, our perspective on the world will broaden and change. That is, we will change our own life by first loving ourselves. Then what? By loving and sympathizing a person who treats us badly. By forgiving them, leaving everything in the past, putting a blanket on all negative thoughts, feelings and energies, only living in the moment, loving everything around us, and showing sympathy to everyone.
We, humans, come to life innocent and full of love. There is no hatred or fear when we are child. We are just “pure love” when we are a child. All these emotions show up as we grow up and become polluted with the rules of the society. After the society puts rules and asks us to obey them, we start to pretend and become someone we are not. We lose our innocence and freedom and become more and more polluted.
When we do not lose our childhood and protect our innocence, when we behave just as we are and we live freely, we try to apply all these criteria in our relations. When we are free and when we feed our souls with love instead of hatred and anger, there will be no fears and expectations in our lives. We set free and respect our boyfriend, girlfriend, friend or parents. We love that person just the way s/he is and without trying to change him/her.
Just imagine children. I taught kids yoga for some time. In those classes, I had the opportunity to see the difference between kids and the grown-up. Children were not wearing masks. They were behaving just the way they were. Sincerely… They was not thinking of shames. They could tell you, “teacher you look so ugly today” or “teacher you look so old today”. Things that we may not like to hear. But they were saying them abruptly. As a person with short hair-cut, one of the kids once asked me, “teacher are you a boy?” They do not think of “shames” or “sin.” We are implanting all these emotions and thoughts in their minds in time and we are polluting them. “Kid, you should not say so, it’s a shame” or “kid, you should not say so, it’s a sin.” And the society turns individuals who are once “love” into individuals of “fear” and “hatred.”
Therefore, we should be just like kids. Fearless, without expectations and we should love just the way someone is. When we love someone, we should respect at the same time. Whoever we are facing, we should be aware that a relationship consists of at least two people and both people are equally responsible. Everyone is responsible for his/herself in love. First we should love and accept ourselves and then we should love and accept the other person just the way s/he is and without trying to change. We should first open our hearts and give our love to that person generously. We should love our spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, mothers, fathers and friends unconditionally and without waiting for a response. We should love without any expectations. We should love just for ourselves, not because the person we love loves us in return.
Love, Valentine’s Day. Everyday is love and valentine’s day for me. Love is an indispensable part of us because we are all “love.” The biggest energy in the world is “pure love.” If we can live more from the heart instead of minds, and if we let our heart speak instead of our minds, if we can show and make our love be felt by everyone, there will be no need to add meaning to days and remember the loved ones only on one day. If we leave aside emotions lived as we grow up like aggression, fear, selfishness, we can spread the energy of love to the entire world. If we can leave aside all the negative emotions we are made to learn, we can see how much we are full of love. The only thing we should do is to love and be able to love everyday. Wishing every day to be full of love, compassion, understanding and sympathy… Wishing you to be “love” every day. Wishing that you can feel and make someone feel “pure love”…

A special day comes again. February 14 Valentine’s Day is being celebrated all around the world as well as Turkey. Unfortunately we have become such consuming societies that these days are just be regarded as days to earn more and lose the real intention behind. Do we love our spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, mother, father or friends only one day? Why is this day different from other days? Isn’t love the real meaning of our lives? Isn’t love the life itself?

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Love is such an energy that people grow and progress with love. Love is the most special and important of all emotions. Only love can challenge hatred in the world. Only love joins everyone all around, progresses and enhances people. Just imagine what happens in case of lack of love in your life? How do you feel? How do you live? When you are deprived of love, don’t you feel as if you are dry up like a leaf? I myself feel so. As if I lack water and food. I dry up and fade away. In just one second, I start seeing negative emotions all around me. Particularly fear and hatred. When I am deprived of love, I fear everything. Fear of losing, fear of falling and fear of not being able to stand up after I fall down.
What about hatred? We always talk about duality of life. Hatred is also the opposite emotion of love. When we lack love in our lives, hatred comes and settles. When we lose the emotion of love, we start to hate everything, life, people, our surrounding, environment, world, animals and everything you may think of.
It is so easy to lose love… When you hesitate for a moment, when you fear for a moment, when you hate for a moment… You can lose love and be surrendered by negative emotions.
So can we say that we can avoid hatred and fear by multiplying energy of love in the world as love is the antidote of fear and hatred? Of course. When love increases in the world and universe and it is spread, hatred and fear will diminish.
How can we achieve this? First by loving ourselves, understanding ourselves and forgiving ourselves. As we forgive and love ourselves, love in our hearts will start to grow up, our hearts will be opened up more, and as we open up our heart more, we will feel ourselves freer, our perspective on the world will broaden and change. That is, we will change our own life by first loving ourselves. Then what? By loving and sympathizing a person who treats us badly. By forgiving them, leaving everything in the past, putting a blanket on all negative thoughts, feelings and energies, only living in the moment, loving everything around us, and showing sympathy to everyone.
We, humans, come to life innocent and full of love. There is no hatred or fear when we are child. All these emotions show up as we grow up and become polluted with the rules of the society. After the society puts rules and asks us to obey them, we start to pretend and become someone we are not. We lose our innocence and freedom and become more and more polluted.
When we do not lose our childhood and protect our innocence, when we behave just as we are and we live freely, we try to apply all these criteria in our relations. When we are free and when we feed our souls with love instead of hatred and anger, there will be no fears and expectations in our lives. We set free and respect our boyfriend, girlfriend, friend or parents. We love that person just the way s/he is and without trying to change him/her.
Just imagine children. I taught kids yoga for some time. In those classes, I had the opportunity to see the difference between kids and the grown-up. Children were not wearing masks. They were behaving just the way they were. Sincerely… They was not thinking of shames. They could tell you, “teacher you look so ugly today” or “teacher you look so old today”. Things that we may not like to hear. But they were saying them abruptly. As a person with short hair-cut, one of the kids once asked me, “teacher are you a boy?” They do not think of “shames” or “sin.” We are implanting all these emotions and thoughts in their minds in time and we are polluting them. “Kid, you should not say so, it’s a shame” or “kid, you should not say so, it’s a sin.” And the society turns individuals who are once “love” into individuals of “fear” and “hatred.”
Therefore, we should be just like kids. Fearless, without expectations and we should love just the way someone is. When we love someone, we should respect at the same time. Whoever we are facing, we should be aware that a relationship consists of at least two people and both people are equally responsible. Everyone is responsible for his/herself in love. First we should love and accept ourselves and then we should love and accept the other person just the way s/he is and without trying to change. We should first open our hearts and give our love to that person generously. We should love our spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, mothers, fathers and friends unconditionally and without waiting for a response.
Love, Valentine’s Day. Everyday is love and valentine’s day for me. Love is an indispensable part of us because we are all “love.” If we can live more from the heart instead of minds, and if we let our heart speak instead of our minds, if we can show and make our love be felt by everyone, there will be no need to add meaning to days and remember the loved ones only on one day. The only thing we should do is to love and be able to love everyday. Wishing every day to be full of love, compassion, understanding and sympathy… Wishing you to be “love” every day.

My favorite yoga classes were those on backbends before and after I became a yoga instructor. When the teacher said “we would practice wheel (urdhva dhanurasana) or bow (dhanurasana)” in the days I was joining yoga classes as a student , I think I was the happiest person in that class. When I backbended as I stretched my chest and shoulders, I would feel not only physical relief but also emotional and spiritual relief. I felt the same after I had become a yoga instructor. Whenever I picked a backbend as the peak pose of a class, I could never know how time flew. It seemed that I had a special connection with backbends. Maybe because backbends were reflecting the emotion of love and affection or maybe what attracted me was bending to the unknown. The physical benefits of the asanas were enough for me. Moreover their spiritual emotions were an extra benefit.

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In my previous posts, I have mentioned that I re-started to be interested in yoga philosophy recently. Unfortunately, I had been away from philosophy in daily routine and busy schedule. I have forgotten how indispensable philosophy is for yoga classes. I have started to brend philosophy into my classes in recent days. Focusing on chakras was one of the best ways to do that. It was “anahata chakra”s (heart chakra) turn in last week’s private and group classes.

According to a book I was reading, heart chakra was the place where “compassion” lived. If the chakra was not functioning well, we could easily feel afraid and anxious. We could transform from the concept of “I” to the concept of “we” through this chakra. Every emotion was coming out of heart chakra and we were the ones to decide on whether to show good or bad emotions. Therefore, “anahata chakra” was the most dangerous part of the body. If there was an imbalance in this chakra, that person could be overdependent to anything or anybody. If fear prevails a person instead of love due to an imbalance in heart chakra, that person could be afraid of losing the loved ones and thus start protecting him/her and regard his/her needs over hers/his. In order for this chakra to work well, a person should learn to love himself/herself. A person who loves himself/herself could also love others. Loving ourselves was so easy: “One can start loving himself/herself by just taking a deep breath.” Love was the opposite of fear and gratitude was a way to get rid of fear. When you really feel grateful, you could not fear anything. The most striking point of the book on “anahata chakra” was its pointing out that being worried was a choice. “How important was the thing you were feeling worried about? What’s the use of that worry for me?” When we stop for a while and think on these questions, we can see that the thing we are feeling worried about are not so important at all.

Let’s get back to my private and group classes on “heart chakra.” In my previous classses in which I focused on heart and backbends, I only talked about the physical benefits of asanas. After giving more importance to philosophy, I decided to talk about emotional benefits of backbends. Therefore, we began the class with a different meditation. We joined palms in the prayer pose (anjali mudra), lifted the hands between the eyebrows and put the thumbs in-between the eyebrows. Thus, we started meditating. We thought of something we were grateful for when inhaling and held the breath and when exhaling, we gave out the fear and worry. We tried to bring peace to our hearts with this meditation.
In the private class, we focused an a few more meditation. One of them was to inhale through the nose and exhale totally through the mouth. Then inhaling through the nose and exhaling totally through the nose. When exhaling through the nose, chanting “Sat Nam” (Truth is God’s name. Truth is my identity) in our minds. The aim was to overcome all hostile emotions and replace them with compassion. After practicing abdominal breath and focusing particularly on exhaling, we joined the hands straight in front and opened them to the sides in order to open heart chakra. Thus, the chest stretched. Last meditation was to chant “hummmm” (we) mantra and then we started “vinyasa” flows.
We should open the chest, shoulders and quadriceps muscles as the peak pose would be “urdhva dhanurasana” (wheel).  We backbended in “tadasana” (mountain pose) and we stayed long in “bhujangasana” (cobra). Oıther preparatory poses were “ashva sanchalanasana” (high lunge), “uttan pristhasana” (lizard), “half saddle”, “urdhva mukha svanasana” (upward facing dog), “camatkarasana” (wild thing) and “sphinx”. When it was time to try the peak pose, a good idea came into my mind. So that we had focused on philosophy and emotions through the class, why didn’t we do the pose in a new way we had not tried before? The theme of the class was to backbend, love more, overcome fear and increase compassion. So why didn’t we fall into “wheel” from “mountain pose” and try to overcome the fear of bending to the unknown? “Fear”, “overcome”, “backbend” and “urdhva dhanurasana.” What could I want more?
As it was a private class, I was standing beside the student. I placed my hands on her lower back. She took a deep breath, she straightened all her spinal curves and extended her spine (axial extension), she rolled her shoulders back and fell into wheel. When she got into wheel totally, I left her alone with her own experience and she enjoyed going to the unknown and stretching her chest in wheel. The end of the class was obvious. After neutralizing the spine with two forwardbends and twists, we ended the class with “savasana” (deep relaxation and resting pose).
In the group class, we did the first meditation where we kept the hands in prayer pose and placed the thumbs between the eyebrows. Then we sat in a cross-legged position, stretched the “scapula” (shoulder blades) with “garudasana” (eagle) arms. In order to stretch the same part of the body and soften the shoulder girdle, we interlaced hands at the back of the body and bended forward as we distanced the arms from the bodies. Lastly, we stretched the shoulder girdle with “gomukhasana” (cow face) hands.
We warmed the bodies up on all-fours. We stretched the heart region with “vyaghrasana” (tiger) and activated the spine with “marjaryasana-bitilasana” (cat-cow stretch). We warmed the bodies more with “vinyasa” flows and practiced “bhujangasana” (cobra), “ashva sanchalanasa” (high lunge), “uttan pristhasana” (lizard), “half saddle”, “urdhva mukha svanasana” (upward facing dog), “camatkarasana” (wild thing) and “sphinx” in-between vinyasa flows in order to stretch the chest and quadriceps muscles. We bended back in “tadasana” (mountain pose) to stretch the chest more. In order to stretch shoulder muscles, we interlaced hands in “uttanasana” (standing forward bend) and tried to distance arms from the body. In order to open heart chakra more and more, we tried “salambhasana” (locust) variations. Only lifting the arms, only lifting the legs, lifting both legs and arms at the same time, swinging in locust pose.
“Dhanurasana” (bow) was the peak pose of the group class. The class had different alternatives for this pose also. Only lifting the legs, only lifting the chest, lifting both of them. Lifting both legs and chest and waiting in this pose for a few breaths, then swinging the body to the right and left (parsva dhanurasana–side bow pose).
After all these backbends and experiencing the emotions that came with opening the chest and opening the heart to love those around us more, we neutralized the bodies in “dandasana” (staff pose) and bend the spine forward with “janu sirsasana” (head to knee pose). We twisted the spine with “marichyasana” (Sage Marichy twist). We laid supine, pulled the knees to the chest and rolled the spine to right and left (apanasana) and relaxed the body more with “jathara parivartanasana” (abdominal twist). Now it was time for a long “savasana”.
Following “savasana”, we sat in a cross-legged position to once more practice the “gratitude” meditation we did at the beginning of class. Taking a deep breath and thinking of something we were grateful for, holding the breath, and when exhaling throwing a worry or fear out of our bodies. How did I end the private and group classes? We wished to replace fear and worry with compassion. To kill “I” and become “we” through “anahata chakra” and to get from individual consciousness to divine love by establishing a connection with the Supreme.

All the world, including Turkey, celebrated the Valentine’s Day a few days ago. Since we are living in a society of consumption, we often experience such days. Valentine’s Day is only one of them… Mother’s day, father’s day, women’s day are some others. Do we love our spouses, mothers and fathers only on one day? I could write and publish my post on the Valentine’s Day like everybody, however I wanted that day to pass and what I write is not forgotten or unseen among other similar posts. Because love is the meaning of love, it is the life itself.

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Love is such an energy that a person develops and progresses as s/he loves. Love is the most special and most important emotion among others. Only love can stand before hatred in the world. Only love can cover everyone, develop, progress and grow people. Let you think a while. What happens when there is no love in your life? What do you feel? Do you feel yourself as if you dry up like a leaf when you are deprived of love? I, myself, feel this way. I feel as if I am out of water or food. I dry up and fade away. Negative emotions come and surround me. Fear and hatred rise. I started to fear when I am deprived of love. I fear of everything. I fear of losing, falling down, and not being able to stand on my feet again after I fall down.
What about hatred? We all talk about the duality of life. Hatred is the opposite of love. When there is not love in our lives, hatred comes and settles down in our bodies. You start to hate everything, life, people, your environment, the world, animals and whatever comes to your mind.
It is so easy to lose the energy of love. A moment of hesitation, a moment of fear, a moment of hatred can make you lose your love and be surrounded by negative feelings.
Then, can we say that we can avoid hatred and fear by multiplying energy of love in the world as love is the antidote of fear and hatred? Of course. When love increases in the world and universe and it is spread, hatred and fear will diminish. So, how can we achieve this? First by loving ourselves, understanding ourselves and forgiving ourselves. As we forgive and love ourselves, love in our hearts will start to grow up, our hearts will be opened up more, and as we open up our heart more, we will feel ourselves freer, our perspective on the world will broaden and change. That is, we will change our own life by first loving ourselves. Then what? By loving and sympathizing a person who treats us badly. By forgiving them, leaving everything in the past, putting a blanket on all negative thoughts, feelings and energies, only living in the moment, loving everything around us, and showing sympathy to everyone.
I had a private lesson on the Valentine’s Day. I try to do something special on special days not only in my own yoga practice but also in my lessons. I try to emphasize special days. That day, we focused on the energy of love. The peak pose of the class was “ustrasana” (camel) , a deep backbend, and “kapotasana” (pigeon) if they wanted to try. We prepared our bodies by working on many backbends till we got to the peak asana. We performed the asana, we sent our breath to our hearts and chests, we tried to open our hearts by backbending and forgive what we had experienced in the past, first ourselves and then others, and sent love to the universe. Because we all know that, only love could end hatred and fear in the universe.
When I was ending up the class, I asked the attendants to focus on their heartbeats, open their hearts more and show their love more, sending more love to the world as people who were doing yoga, and believe that we could make a change in the world.
Love, Valentine’s Day. For me, everyday is a day of love and Valentine’s Day. If we dedicate ourselves to yoga, love is an indispensable feeling for us. Therefore, there is no need to dedicate special meanings to certain days and just to remember our loved ones in only one day. What we should do is to love every day. Wish everyday is full of love, compassion, understanding and sympathy.

Some time ago, I had a bad day in the gym hall. I was feeling happy, peaceful, relaxed, unstressed, and easy lately since I quitted the job. However, I forgot a bad day could be experienced in anywhere not only at the office. A person could get accustomed to a quiet and peaceful life so easily and could forget about all defense mechanisms.

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In fact, it was such a simple and funny incident! But, sometimes a simple incident could deeply hurt us. I think it is true that we become more emotional, sensitive and thoughtful when we live with yoga. It was not worth a fig and I had an argument with a person whom I loved due to this simple issue. I was trying to help some people, but I was hurt in the end, emotionally. My heart was broken.
This incident took me back to the yoga teacher training program I attended last year. The second month of the program. To the moment we learned about the eight-branch yoga philosophy of yoga master Patanjali. I remembered one of the most important ethical disciplines of Ashtanga yoga philosophy, i.e. “ahimsa” meaning “non-violence.
When we say “non-violence”, we only recall the harm we give to other people and our surrounding. We never think of the harm we give to ourselves. I was just like you before I joined the teacher training program. When you asked me to define “non-violence” a year ago, I would only talk about the harm I gave to my surrounding, others, animals, plants or people.
Now I think differently. The principle of “non-violence” requires us to protect ourselves and not to hurt ourselves in the first place. If we are harmed when doing a favor or helping a person, then we violate the principle of “ahimsa.” “Ahimsa” does not only mean not eating meat or not harming animals, plants or people around us. “Ahimsa” means protecting ourselves first, giving priority to ourselves, and to prevent anything from harming or hurting us. However, you should not misunderstand the principle. When we talk about “ahimsa”, we do not talk about selfishness. Everything is related with “non-violence.” “Ahimsa” also asks us to have good and pleasant thoughts, watch our words before we speak, behave everybody as how we want to be behaved, respect the life styles and belief of others, but first of all, and most importantly to love and respect ourselves.
Now, you may ask why I remembered all these? That moment when my heart was broken and I was so sad at the gym hall, something lit in my head. I just remembered last year and recalled the principle of “ahimsa.” I once more heard my yoga instructor’s words: “First of all, non-violence to yourselves.” In that moment, I realized that I hurt the most important being–myself– when I was trying to help others. I totally violated the principle of “ahimsa.” I was a yoga instructor and once in a while I forgot the most important “yama”, i.e. ethical discipline, of Patanjali’s eight-branch yoga philosophy. I hurt myself.
If you are living with yoga, you have accepted that everything happens for a reason. I was so hurt that day. Arguing with a person whom I loved a lot was too much for a person like me who hates discussions and arguments. I lived the moment, I felt the sorrow and my hearth was broken. I did not push them aside. When I re-thought about the incident, I found out why it happened to me. I might have forgotten “ahimsa”, in fact I haven’t forgotten it. I was trying to care about my environment as much as I can, I was trying not to hurt anybody. Not only emotionally but also physically. But what about myself? Was I caring also about myself? Was I hurting myself physically during a sportive workout or yoga practice? Was I violating the principle of “ahimsa”? What about emotionally? Was I hurting myself with my thoughts or feelings or was I letting other people to hurt me? Or was I forgetting about myself when trying to help others and hurting myself?
Actually, people hurt themselves more than they hurt others. People make themselves sad and give the most harm to themselves because it is easy to hurt ourselves. And I think just for this reason, I was hurting myself like a scorpion who is biting itself. This may be the reason why I had to experience this incident at the gym hall. To wake up and realize.
I have waken up in the end. I have remembered the principle of “ahimsa” I will not hurt and harm myself just to please and help others. Let’s say I will try because habits cannot be changed so easily.
In my opinion, it will be great and fine if everybody remembers and obeys this principle. Don’t you also think so?