A Yogi or a Guru
I haven’t written anything since the beginning of the year. I didn’t have anything to share, I guess, just diving into my work, my everyday life, my practice. I do believe that you don’t HAVE! to share everything just to have website presence, you don’t have to be online and reachable - and maybe that’s why I’m told “you not a very good at online business!” I don’t care - I need to be honest and authentic in everything I do, otherwise it doesn’t work for me!
I’ve been doing very interesting private classes; yoga, yoga therapy and meditation. It’s extremely interesting how people react and what they actually “get out of it”. And sometimes the people who are looking aren’t finding what they so desperately want - while someone “just doing this because I like the Savasana!” get all the deepest experiences. To me it just shows that you can’t tell when someone is a Yogi - a Seeker - or indeed a Guru - a Master in the practice.
A client came to me because she had problems with her lower back and hip area; this is also how I encountered yoga in the first place, I wasn’t fit physically. She just wanted to move more and have some simple exercises she could do throughout the day to help and prevent any damage. She knew and had practiced before and liked the mild form og movement “… but I'm in it for the Savasana!”, she said with a smile. I totally get that - who doesn’t love having a legitimate excuse to lie down for 20 minutes after a yoga class and call it “I’m currently doing sport”?
We did a very calm class, attentive to her wellbeing and her sensations in her lower back, getting to “know” her problem area, not folding forwards too much to avoid any sudden pains and muscle contractions. She did a lovely job. I used the principles from yin yoga with her to let her know that the biggest obstacle she had to get over was that it didn’t have to hurt, that she could basically just “let go”. When you do so, your muscles finds a way to calm down and thereby gives space for her body to find back into balance, and for her mind to find calm. It’s often our minds that are our biggest problem child in all this……
At the end she got ready for Savasana. Just on a yoga mat in her living room. There were neighbors doing a garden nearby, someone talking in the street, a cat walking in and out of the door. I didn’t expect much because her daily life was just there, around her, filling up her sound experience and could potentially become a thing for her not to find her calm centre.
Savasana means “dead man’s position”. I like that. It means that your old self dies, melts away from you after your yoga class, that you have an opportunity to arise new and fresh into this world, attentive and aware of all that you contain of thoughts and areas under construction.
My yoga classes are often not accompanied by music. I like the hustle and bustle of everyday life as a sound tapestry, it reminds people that yoga is something you can do anywhere, and that it doesn’t necessarily entail incense, plinky-plonk music or a special light setting. No. You need to learn how to abstract from everything around you - if only for a minute - so you know you can deal with your everyday stress.
I started with my meditation, guided only by my voice we went through every part of her body, reminding her to just feel how the breath was moving her body.
At the end of the guided awareness tour of her body I used my voice to sing a mantra for balance, the Moola Mantra (activating the base of your spine) to make her body calmer and loosen it even more up.
To be clear, the guided meditation is a form of hypnosis. As a teacher you must be your responsibility very aware, because there is an opening in the client’s being that can be very fragile. On the other hand if you trust your teacher she or he can change your belief system and you’ll come out stronger and calmer, able to work out things you’ve avoided, them being hard or difficult to approach.
I am very aware of this and respect the boundaries of my client deeply.
After the session she woke up, bright eyed and smiling - and said “I had this feeling the floor was moving! That I was lying on a floor that moved in waves! As if you were staying above my head and shaking my mat……. and then I realized that it couldn’t be true, because your voice came from another direction!! Is this normal???”
My client had a Kundalini experience; according to Tantra, kundalini energy rests like a coiled snake at the base of the spine. When this dormant energy is set free it moves along the spine, affects the chakras in your body (energy centres) and leads to an expanded state of consciousness. This is called a kundalini awakening, and is coveted amongst yoga people. Some yogis or yoginis practice all their life to experience this! Some say that this experience changes your status from Seeker (Yogi/Yogini) to a Guru (Teacher).
I carry this day with my as a gentle reminder, an example to tell people (like myself) that come into class and start out by saying “Yeah, I’m not really into yoga…..!”, that it maybe that you’re not really into it, but the possibility is always there. You can indeed have a magnificent awakening and still just be a “normal person” with kids, washing, a boring job as well.
You don’t choose the yoga, it’s already there. Your body is always looking for ways to calm down, be loving and attentive - how you meet this task is up to you; some go for long walks or runs, some drink or eat, some find calm in scrolling social media, watching Netflix.
But the longing for finding peace is always there!
How do you find yours?