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  • Andreea Aradits

Yoga is not a sport.. my son





RO


Am scris pentru ca vreau sa vorbesc despre yoga versus sport si abordarea fata de practica yoga. E un subiect complex si nu o sa pretind ca pot sa il dezbat in profunzime, dar dupa mai multi ani de experienta, am cateva idei.


Ce vreau sa spun este ca daca ai facut un sport, orice sport in viata ta, s-ar putea sa ai mici dificultati in a practica yoga pentru ca in primul rand trebuie sa lasi deoparte nevoia de a intra in competitie cu tine sau cu ceilalti. In yoga, nevoia de a fi competitiv omoara scopul practicii. Pentru ca te opreste din a te deschide total in fata acestei experiente, te opreste de la a te conecta cu tine in profunzime, cu ce, cum si unde simti efectele efortului pe care il depui.


Daca acorzi prea multa atentie detaliilor, descrierilor amanuntite ale posturilor sau imaginilor despre cum trebuie sa arate expresia finala a posturii, vei pierde posibilitatea de a te bucura de aceasta calatorie si de a ajunge la destinatie intr-un mod placut. Si de fapt, in cat timp vei ajunge la destinatie nu are nicio importanta, pentru ca exista doar un “tu”, doar tu ai acele elemente care te compun, acele proportii, si doar corpul tau si practica ta vor decide cat va dura pana vei ajunge la destinatia finala, expresia finala a posturii. Si DACA vei ajunge acolo. Trebuie sa mai tii cont de un lucru: ca poate corpul pe care il ai in aceasta viata sa nu poata niciodata sa atinga expresia finala a asanei, asa cum este ea descrisa de profesori celebri de yoga sau de practicanti cu experienta. Si e ok. Trebuie sa iei in seama indicatiile utile de aliniament pe care le ofera profesorii si practicantii experimentati? Binenteles. Pentru ca e singura cale prin care poti mergi in siguranta pe acest drum, confortabil si placut in timp ce lasi practica sa te insanatoseasca pe toate planurile.


Da, poti atinge expresia finala a posturii sau ceva care seamana cu expresia finala mai repede, tragand si impingand mai mult, dar in loc sa-ti imbunatatesti starea de sanatate si viata, te vei accidenta si te vei rani. Merita? Care este scopul practicii? Sa arati ca in poza din carte/social media in timp ce strangi din dinti? Este oara asta yoga? Nu, cu siguranta nu. Nu pretind ca detin toate raspunsurile, asta stiu sigur. Dupa 6 ani de practica consistenta de yoga, pot sa-ti spun cu siguranta: nu despre asta este yoga.


Yoga este de fapt o calatorie placuta si implinitoare, daca ii permiti sa se desfasoare in timpul si in ritmul ei, onorand unicitatea corpului tau si flexibilitatea pe care o poti accesa cu usurinta.

Daca ai facut sport, daca ai participat la competitii sportive in orice sport, va fi dificil sa renunti la acel mindset, la “fac orice sa castig sau sa ajung la final”. Vorbesc din proprie experienta pentru ca am inceput sa practic yoga dupa 8 ani de alergari de maraton. Si in primul an de practica de yoga, mi-am accidentat genunchii sensibilizati deja doar pentru ca nu am stiut cum sa renunt la acel fel de a gandi, era singurul mod in care stiam sa abordez o astfel de activitate fizica si sa nu renunt.

Da, poate ca yoga seamana cu un sport pentru cineva care nu a practicat-o niciodata, Ashtanga yoga mai ales: pentru ca necesita efort, secventa e lunga si solicitanta, ritmul destul de alert. Dar daca reusesti sa faci un pas in spate, sa te distantezi un pic si sa renunti la conditionarea competitiva, daca gasesti un professor bun care sa te indrume, sa-ti explice ca de fapt yoga este despre a gasi usurinta in efort si ca raspunsul se afla de fapt in consecventa practicii, in respiratie, in bandhas si in drishti mai degraba decat in musculatura, s-ar putea sa descoperi ca yoga este de fapt altceva decat ai crezut. Si s-ar putea sa te indragostesti de yoga. Mie asa mi s-a intamplat. Si dupa 6 ani, constat ca ma indragostesc din ce in ce mai tare de yoga, cu fiecare practica.


Si la finalul practicii, stiu ca o sa mai simt mult mai bine decat la inceput. Intotdeauna. Si stiu ca yoga ma invata cum sa ma ascult, sa inteleg nevoile corpului si mintii si mai ales ale sufletului.


Am avut conversatia asta despre yoga de multe ori cu fiul meu, daca yoga este sau nu un sport. si mereu am simtit ca nu pot sa-I dau un raspuns destul de elaborat. Asa ca iata, atat mi-a iesit astazi. Nu e complet, dar e un inceput.


Si in final.. mai tii minte senzatia pe care ai avut-o dupa prima clasa de yoga? Cand te-ai indragostit de yoga? Sigur nu s-a intamplat pentru ca cineva te-a impins din ce in ce mai departe si in sfarsit ai putut sa-ti asezi barbia pe tibie in forward fold, motivul a fost altul, a fost ceva magic care te-a ridicat si te-a facut sa simti ca zbori un pic. Aceasta este senzatia pe care o caut in practica mea si atunci cand ghidez o clasa de yoga, conexiunea aceea complete cu tine, cu respiratia, cu forta divina. Caut magia pentru ca stiu ca e acolo, am vazut-o, am simtit-o, exista.


Asa ca.. ne vedem pe saltea.

Onward!




ENG

Blank page. so odd and intimidating...


But neverminded that.

Today I want to talk about yoga versus sports and our approach to the yoga practice.

If you happen to come from a background of sports (any sport), you might find yoga tough because you have to leave behind all that need to compete, be it with yourself or others. In yoga, the need to compete actually defeats the purpose. Because it keeps you from opening up to the practice, from tuning in to yourself, to how, what and where you actually feel things, the effects of the practice on yourself.


If you focus too much on details, on other’s description of the practice, on how or what the final and complete state of the asana should be, you will lose the opportunity to enjoy the ride and to reach the destination in a pleasant way. And it doesn’t matter how long it will take you to reach that destination, because there is only one of you, only you have those specific characteristics and only the body and the practice will decide how long it actually takes to reach the final destination, the final expression of the pose. If ever. There is also that possibility that you have to keep in mind, that your body in this specific lifetime might never get to the end pose, as described by famous yoga practitioners or teachers.

Should you mind the useful alignment tips the older, more experienced practitioners have to offer? For sure. Because this is the only way to make sure you go through this journey safe and you enjoy it while you let the practice heal you.


Yes, you may reach the end results sooner or something that looks like the end result by pushing and pulling, but instead of making your health and your life better, it will actually hurt you. Is it worth it? What is the practice all about? Is it about looking like in that picture from the book while grinding your teeth? Is this what yoga is really about? No, for sure not. I don’t have all the answers, but that I know for sure. After 6 years of consistent yoga practice, I can say that for sure: this is not what yoga is about.

Yoga is actually a very pleasant and fulfilling journey if you just allow it to unfold in its own time and pace, minding the uniqueness of your body and the flexibility you can easily achieve.


If you have a background in sports, if you participated in any sportive competition, it will be difficult to put that winning mindset aside, that “I’ll do whatever it takes to win or to make it to the end of the race”, I will take whatever pain necessary to get to the end. I’m speaking from experience because I started yoga after 8 years of marathon running. And in the first year of yoga I injured both my already sensitive knees, just because I couldn’t let go of that mindset. And I actually didn’t even know how to let go, it was the only way I knew how to approach the activity and to keep going.


Yes, maybe yoga looks like a sport for an outsider, especially Ashtanga yoga: we work hard, the sequence is long and challenging, the pace is quite dynamic. But if you take a step back and lose yourself and your competitive conscience for a few moments and if you find a good teacher that can explain to you that yoga is actually finding the softness within the hardwork and the answer is actually in your breath, bandhas and dristhi more than in your muscles, you mind find yoga is quite something else than you expected, And you might fall in love with yoga. I know I did. And 6 years later, I fall more and more in love with each practice.

And at the end of the practice, I know that I will be feeling much better then when I started. And that yoga will teach me how to listen to the needs of my body and mind, and most of all my soul.


I had this conversation with my son on many occasions about whether yoga is or is not s sport and I always fell short of a more elaborate answer. So here it is. It’s not complete, but it’s a start.


Remember that feeling you had after your first yoga class, when you fell in love with yoga? It wasn’t because you or somebody else was pushing you further and you could finally touch your chin to the shin in a foreword fold, it was something else, something magical that was just flowing and lifting you. That’s what I’m looking for in my practice and when I teach, that connection with yourself, with the breath, with the divine. I’m looking for the magic because I know it’s there, I’ve seen it, I’ve felt it. It exists.


So I will see you on the mat!

Onward.


* * *

Useful quotes:


“Well-being, peace and happiness are the results of moderation, says Hariharananda.”

(The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – Edwin F. Bryant, pag 214).


“We’re here to create a space for healing to happen..”

Kino MacGregor, Bucharest Wellness Festival 2019




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