Yoga, chocolate for my soul.

Two and a half months pass and no words, so sorry, but so much internal awakening and no time for words. I am on the north bliss highway to self awareness and full power of prana. I have found yet another piece of my life’s puzzle, a connecting peace in my inner being, a piece of good chocolate. The peace began obliviously the very first time I attended a Yoga class and resurfaced at the Vedangas teacher training course in Rishikes, India.

Rishikesh a place that I now call my home away from home, has a very special place in my heart, everyday it enlightens me with something new and everyday I feel more connected to its spirit. It’s one of those places that many people keep coming back without a reason, simply gravity pool. Perhaps is the mellow cows, smoking babas, stealing monkeys, yoga centers & ashrams or simply the flow of deep love riding deeper in the Ganga.

After one month I received my 200 hour TTC certification, from Vedangas where Yogi Surinder Singh thought the asana classes and where I realized that I yet have so much more to discover about yoga. The course was a good intro to asanas, pranayama, meditation, anatomy, philosophy and ayurverda of yoga. Surinder was the main reason I choose this course, after taking some of his drop in classes in previous year. But it turned out more then I expected, all the teachers who shared their knowledge had great influence on me and all drew the blue print for yoga in my life.

Yoga the map to inner self, said Giancarlo over chia one day. Religion tells you what to believe in, yoga shows you how to believe in, he stressed.

Believe in what? You might ask. To believe in you, to jump out of the mind and into your soul, your heart, your inner self and realize the Devine. Yoga provides all the steps and necessary cleansing techniques to purify and eliminate your mind of all unwanted barriers that block your true self from revealing and living your conscious. Once you are in your pure conscious of awareness you will connect with the cosmic which will make everything clear and life will proceed its giving nature. No stress, no worries all things will fall into place. Yoga helps to train and guide your mind to look and act from within.

What am I talking about, you might ask, this is not the yoga you have been practicing in studio. For most yoga means healthy workout, spine alignment, and show of ego with a full split, Hanumanasana. What you might know of is the asana part of yoga, which is only one of the 8 limbs of Raja Yoga. The asanas are designed to prepare for meditation to make the body fit for stillness. “Yoga should not be a workout it should be work within.” Said one of the teachers at the International Yoga Festival. No where in the Sutras there is mention of the body, the body is just a tool that your consciousness resides in. Patanjali, who is credited for Raja Yoga (8 limbs) created a guide, yoga sutras, a way of reaching the state of pure conscious and awareness, the state of samadhi. Yoga is the union between mind, body and soul which leads to cosmic awareness.

Yet like everything in the world has developed into a business, so many different styles of yoga, Iyengar, Bikam, ashtanga, hatha, vinyasana, ying, restorative, somatic, Shivananda and many more you name it I am sure is there. It has branched out to a million dollar industry of clothing, props, food, and life styles. It’s spreading like butter and evolving each day. Of curse no hard feelings, it’s in our human nature to evolve, explore, and take things to the next level so lets do it. Any form of yoga that one might come in contact with is the door to enlightenment. With ones curiosity yoga will guide the mind to true meaning of life and few steps closer to the Devine. Just step one foot deeper not only the asana.

“When the mind is flexible the body will follow.” Said Vivek, our anatomy teacher. I recall he used this phrase to show how to achieve stillness in asana and point the relation between the two. Our body is just a tool where the conscious resides, often is controlled by the ego which is capable of self destruction. Quite often we use the ego to influence our life but it should be the other way. The ego should be observed as separate entity, and the mind should be in control of it. But that’s a deeper thought, for a deeper time. But if you flex your mind the body for sure will follow.

The roots of classical hatha yoga still exists, is deeper then 2 hours of asana practice and is deeper then pranayama. It’s a guide, is a way of life and it’s discovery of one self. In the end it doesn’t matter what style of yoga you practice or if you can place your foot behind your head what counts is your observation, curiosity and your inner awareness.

My oblivious curiosity began 7 years ago when I took my first yoga class, and it took 7 years off and on practice for the curiosity to really kick in. For the most part I was a robot in class doing what the teacher said without really knowing why and what I was doing. Recently I started to observe the benefits of each class and dig deeper the meaning of the calm and peaceful state at the end of each practice. The stillness, the emptiness and the self.

Thanks to Surinder and all others at the Vedangas family that helped me to looked deeper within and helped to gear me towards the right direction. I feel that I am on the right track, I stepped with my nomadic life onto a short cut road that will lead me deeper and closer to my inner being.

In the next few weeks, months I will submerge deeper and deeper of pure meaning and benefits of Yoga. I have taken a small, tiny bite of the best chocolate cake ever made. I will do my best to share and spread all the ingredients of its deviness.