Well, there you have it! A snapshot of my morning yo-ooooooohm-ga practice!
WARNING: Do not expect to see ‘pretzels’ and other insane asanas! It’s just an imperfect practice lead by a soul in an imperfect body… (Do expect to see a lot of my butt though…) My practice is simple, not extreme. I usually do about 10 – 20 min of yoga in the morning to stretch the tight muscles after sleep and get some energy flowing in my body.
It might not seem related to music but if you think about focus, energy, balance, endurance, practicing when you don’t feel like it, practicing regularly, practicing even when it looks like you will never be able to master it, accepting your current limitations and learning to go beyond them… it starts to sound like any endeavour, including that of a musician.
Why do I practice yoga?
Up until 2006 or so, I lived a very stressful life. Unwittingly, I was creating all the stress myself. I was in the ‘victim’ mode and felt that things were happening to me (rather than by me or through me). Eventually, health issues such as back problems and carpal tunnel syndrome caused me to be unable to play the piano or type on a computer keyboard. Each stroke on the keyboard (any keyboard!) sent electrical like shocks to the tips of my fingers, and also my forearms, upper arms, elbows, and back hurt… I had a carpal tunnel surgery on my left hand, but nothing improved. I felt crippled and paralyzed, and, without being able to play the piano and feeling miserable in my personal life, I just didn’t want to live anymore…
After the surgery, I tried acupuncture treatment and that helped somewhat. But it wasn’t until I left my marriage and started a new life, taking some time to reflect on my way of being and thinking, that the pain started to recede. I realized that the only source of stress in my life was how I reacted to the external stimuli. Gradually leaving the ‘victim mode’ (things happening to me) and stepping into an empowered mode (things happenings by me and eventually through me).
My First Yoga Class
After my marriage, I was in another relationship which crashed and burned, too, a couple of years later, essentially because I was still in the ‘victim mode’, living all tensed up…
Eventually, somehow I came across an ad for a “Yoga Day” event – just one day of yoga. So I went… After a day of practicing, meditating and discussing Buddhist views on life, including the concept of detachment, I felt a complete bliss for the first time in my life! I also think that for the first time ever I was able to properly relax and release tension in my body. Up until that point, I used to go to the gym regularly but I knew nothing of relaxation. I was just steaming ahead!
Having felt so great after that day, I could never go back to how I had lived before. Gradually, I developed a regular yoga and meditation practice which help me relax and detach when I can’t control how things are going.
There are many lessons I have learned since then, but if there’s just one to share with you, then it’s the old Tibetan saying “If a problem has a solution, there’s no need to worry. If a problem doesn’t have a solution, then worrying doesn’t help. So why worry?”. After all, we’re all ghosts riding meat covered skeletons made of stardust. So why worry, ever?