Baddha Konasana: Moments of Surrender

My whole life people has called me a butterfly:  Impossible to hold onto; whatever happens she will always fly her own way.

I got introduced to Baddha Konasana as Butterfly posture and never had a moment of not enjoying it. I started with stiffness, a back that would not lengthen forward,not even a tiny bit. The feeling of opening my hips in this posture gave me such a sensation, a feeling to just surrender and be. When my back was stiff i would round my spine and stay in this posture at least five minutes. Just breathing and enjoying it.

After two years of practice i discovered ashtanga, lucky for me baddha konasana was still in the sequence but could only hold it five breaths and had to practice it with a straight spine. I felt  a different dimension in the asana. Reaching forward i couldn’t surrender like before, but i felt more connected to my whole body.

Kamal’s adjustments in my butterfly made me feel the asana very strong. Every time in Mysore class i stayed longer in baddha konasana just so i would get adjusted. The last time Kamal adjusted me i asked him to let me go deeper. Until the moment he said: There is no more!

So Baddha Konasana is my first complete asana in primary series of ashtanga 🙂 From different perspectives a very special asana for me ❤

Ashtanga…
My practice. My dedication.
Everytime i get on my mat
A new journey is waiting on my path.
I could never imagine that body movement could go so intensely deep
Like a surreal reality with lifelessons to keep.
The mind is strong and some days
 it makes me doubt.
When im alone in my room.
My lazyness shouts
But i just observe and practice anyway,
I know the positivity that follows
Throughout the whole day.
The practice is on its best when mind dissapears.
Only dristi and breath remain,
Everything gets blurry and fades away.
Some strong energy overtakes.
Sometimes i dont feel like the practitioner is me…
The body gets so light
Like its on his own flight.
Yes ashtanga.
Something magical that came recently into my life, i feel so grateful.
Happy and alive!

Here is mine :) May be a bit Random, but 100 % Authentic. Love and Light: Aila

What the hell am I doing here..?

That is the question I hear Sunil repeat time to time while giving us the philosophy lecture, and quite frankly, I have been asking that several times during the three weeks I have been in India. It started when I was at the New Delhi airport, waiting three hours for the guy who was supposed to pick me up, not really wanting to leave the safety of the airport which seemed like my final link to my comfort zone. But eight hours later I was in the room that was supposed to be my home for the next three weeks, feeling cold and alone. I didn´t know the wifi password so I didn´t have any connection to the world as I had known before.

But I had made a commitment, which I later realized was my sankalpa: I would have an open heart and an open mind and take whatever I was given with open arms. I would attend everything 100 % even when I didn´t feel like and my legs would be tired of sitting on the floor in a meditative posture and see where it would lead. I would let someone else decide when I wake up, what I eat, when I do my intestinal cleansing and even when I breath in and out. And now, sitting in the same room three weeks later I can reassure it has been all worth it.

The reason I came to India might be kind of a western cliché: I got burnt out at my job, rehabilitated myself with yoga and realized I want to do something more with my life than work for the Swedish state. I attended a TTC in Sweden which only raised more questions about the union which is supposed to happen in yoga. A union with what, and how do I reach that? Is it even possible? Can I really teach yoga if I don´t understand the meaning of yoga? So I decided to make an effort to go closer to the source and found myself chanting mantras, doing pranayama and practicing yoga nidra which I knew was ”yogic sleep”, but what the hell is that really?

A week later I found myself being content in a somewhat new way: I didn´t really miss anything. Chanting made me calm and I enjoyed walking to the shala 6 am to do the morning ashtanga and pranayama practice. I was constantly busy but I didn´t feel I needed more time, a washing machine, the internet or even coffee.

Today I have done the final exam and realized I was in a somewhat new situation: I don´t really have to spend every free moment studying the Baghvad Gita or the Hatha Yoga Pradipika (or memorizing asana names or practicing how to teach) and there is no evening meditation to attend.

So the next question is, what the hell am I going to do in Sweden? Will everything be the same? Am I going to stress to my job every morning, forget to breath, drink too much coffee and lose the feeling of contentment? Get caught up in all the so called demands of having a title, an apartment or as we say in Sweden: a Volvo, a dog and an house?

That is the real question. Sunil also says that during these three weeks we invest, our bodies are aching, we are confused of everything, we cleanse our body and our mind. We do pranayama and meditation, but we only get the effects of it all later. And there is no use of cleansing unless we keep our body and mind clean even afterwards. You don´t clean your home just in order to throw some dirt in it directly afterwards. So the real sadhana begins after India and it is not going to be easy. It is diffucult to combine our jobs with yoga, pranayama, meditation. It is hard to apply all of the yamas and niyamas in real life. But it would be stupid to do all of these things for a few weeks just so that I can go back to my old routines: after all I was I snowball that needed to be shaken so some of the snowflakes would fall of and I would reach closer to the core and see things for what they are.

I would advise anyone who needs to be shaken a bit to come here. But I would also say that you need two things: to know what the hell you are doing here and make it your sankalpa to be open to whatever you´re thrown at and take it with open arms. Give cleansing a chance and then you will know.