growing roots and branches – Week 11

At the end of week 10 (which was, as I wrote, two weeks long…) I had the chance to do a Yoga workshop with one of my aunts who has been teaching for years. Since this workshop the quality of my practice has changed tremendously. I know I keep repeating myself when I say that I start to understand what Yoga is about. But that’s the way it is. More things are revealed to me all the time.
Some words my aunt used, or the ways in which she guided my attention, have struck a chord inside of me. I feel like waking up after a really haunting dream without remembering what it was about, still knowing things have changed… These 70 minutes with her were pivotal for the way I will continue practicing and, I dare say, living every day.
I have always been striving to create focus, concentration and awareness through my practice. Then I came to a point where nothing seemed to work anymore and I was experiencing the exact opposite feelings to those I aimed to foster (see week 9). It was almost driving me mad, but I believe I was on the right path because I struggled to establish a more personal practice (inspired by Iyengar and trusting his teachings, but never slavishly following him). In the beginning my attempts to customize every session were of course still rather technical and rigid. They were results of physical/emotional needs, theoretical knowledge and personal experience, combined with the wish to apply what I had read/learned/heard the best way I could.

I’m not claiming to have reached perfection, but I certainly can claim to have gathered by now sufficient knowledge and experience ‚material‘ to be able to respond to my most common everyday needs. Relieving anger, fear, depression, hyper-activity, or confusion … I can all do it now!

My practice has become much more expressive and creative. I’m very much with myself, my needs, and how to meet them. I have reached the state of immersion, attentiveness, gentleness and strength previously unknown to me. My movements and actions are performed with more wisdom. Again – I’m not claiming to have reached perfection, but I have certainly reached a peak.

This attitude gives me more happiness and well-being than my former habit to ‚dedicate‘ my practice to things outside of myself (like, being more compassionate, more tolerant, etc. etc.). This sounds banal now that I write it down. But the moment of self-realization is always so much more blissful, insightful, important, heart-opening … than I could ever express (esp. in English…).

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