I have been practicing Ashtanga yoga for more than a decade. As faithful, devoted practitioner I knew my Sanskrit prayers, the opening and closing one. I had learned some Sanskrit vocabulary because on several occasions I studied Sanskrit. Even when I moved back to Europe and lived in a number of different countries, I made sure I would take up Ashtanga yoga classes. Often this involved some kind of commitment, such as braving the cold, the rain and the snow on my bike when making an early morning class. I steadily advanced and started self-practice two years ago. It was very easy for me to be dedicated to my practice. After all, I was a spiritual being, focussing on meditation and yoga as preparation for “sitting” to connect with my higher self. My “connection” to the white light was ensuring my path to enlightenment, and a way out of this mess, this place of suffering.
Last year I joined the Desteni forum, and since December I am part of the Desteni I Process. During the summer of 2010, I realised that I had fooled myself into thinking that the white light and the striving to be an enlightened person was reality. Through studying the Desteni message, the history of mankind, and the many interviews with dimensional beings who were on earth at some point, I realised that nothing is what it seems. I realised if there was a god, the way I believed this being to be, than by common sense I would have to come to the conclusion that this god is cruel and full of vengeance allowing for so much suffering on earth.
As I have written in a previous post, this bit of realisation made my world fall apart in several ways. Throughout many years I was ‘tied’ to ideas and concepts from Eastern philosophy, practicing yoga was one aspect of this deeply spiritual pursuit. What had been so easy and effortless to pursue on a daily basis became increasingly confusing and obfuscated with this new understanding that I had gained in the study of the Desteni material. This was also a time of my life where I was under deadline pressure from my work/studies so it seemed convenient to ‘fade’ in my discipline to practice yoga because I was working so hard.
Until January I was in a state of limbo concerning Ashtanga and the place of it in my life. I was scared about not practicing and losing all my flexibility and source of joy it had been for me throughout so may years of my life. Since the new year I slowly started to take up my practice again more regularly. I dumped the Sanskrit prayers, I no longer imagine white light rushing through my limbs as I stand/sit in an asana. I no longer meditate after I have completed the asanas, nor are candles placed in proximity of my practice area. The result is that my practice is nothing like it used to be. I no longer have any ‘highs’, nor bath in happy feelings once the practice is over. It is all a matter of fact now.
Stripped of these godly paraphernalia, I only focus on being here in breath. Every movement is paired with a breath and that is all there is to it. The practice has been very supportive. Like I mentioned, it used to be easy for me to be disciplined, now I have to stand up to my mind which puts forth all kinds of reasons why I should not be practicing now, or later, or even tomorrow. These days I have to ‘will’ myself to practice on a regular basis. During practice when asanas work on specific areas on my body, for example hip-openers, the same mental topics seem to come up. I have noticed that there is a link to what thoughts will arise and how my body is positioned in space.
The benefit of practicing Ashtanga from the perspective of being here in breath is that I address these thoughts immediately by speaking self-forgiveness statements. These thematic thoughts that arise help me see what I am currently working with, and how I can be more effective in my application to remain here in breath. Hence, Ashtanga, if I can still called it that, has become a support for me of being in motion and ‘willing’ myself to be here. It is a great barometer for that, assisting me to see whether I am in my mind or here in the physical.