“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from indomitable will” – Mahatma Gandhi
When I was a little girl I used to dream about making the world a better place. I would sit and reflect and question everything. I would wonder: What can I do to make that happen? What gift do I have to bring into this world?
And then I would start to feel useless because I would realize I actually have to big passion, no big talent. I do not know what I really want…And I would feel sad and frustrated. For many years that would go on and on…
The harder I was trying to force the process, the worse it would get. The more far away from my own heart I would get and more caught into my head.
But the dream was never lost. Neither my indomitable will to do better in life as well as my tenacity and commitment to my work and my goals.
Almost a decade of yoga practice, lots of reflections and working hard in order to get to know myself on deeper layers and become a better human being, I feel I have arrived to a place of clarity and peace within myself. My higher self is more awakened than ever before and the little self has gotten more quiet. I always knew I am searching for something bigger in my life. I knew I wanted meaning. That’s why everything else before Unfold Your Mat felt limited and incomplete.
Soon it’s going to be 5 years since my father passed away leaving me with a broken heart. The inability to cry for couple of years, blocked emotions and a feeling that I’m always on the run searching for something I might never find in this life.
I was left with many questions about what exactly is the meaning of life, feeling angry and disappointing for the injustice of losing your dad at only 27 years old. A big pain in my chest and the feeling of not being able to fit in was stronger than ever. While everyone else was busy caring on with their life, I was getting more and more into a place of pain and darkness. And I was questioning everything.
The huge internal conflict my father’s passing away provoked was his last gift towards me. That feeling of being heart broken, incomplete, jobless, useless, being in a country where I did not identify myself with, feeling alone and so desperate to be myself again…I have lived 4 years feeling depressed almost every single day. Feeling anxious. And working like crazy every single day from morning till evening. I would not give myself any break. I knew I was sad, but I was not completely aware how deep that grief actually was. Slowly I started to learn how to help myself. Started to make friends with myself again and dig into my soul.
“The heavier the burden, the closer our lives come to the earth, the more real and truthful they become.”
Ashtanga became my mirror and my healing. I would step on my mat not from a place of achieving postures, but from a place of genuinely wanting to discover myself, to see what’s hidden in my subconscious mind. And become who I am meant to become: BRAVE and AUTHENTIC.
Through my daily practice, I have gotten to see myself in a way that would bring more and more clarity. I would peel layers of fake identities and I would learn how to genuinely love myself and embrace who I really am.
Throughout the years I’ve had people and teachers making me doubt myself. I’ve had people judging me and shaming my practice. They had no idea what was in my heart. They did not know how many tears have not been cried and how much genuine love there is in me to be spread into the world. I have had people putting fake labels and their own projected fear and insecurities on myself. And they made me stronger and kinder.
Their disbelief made me search more. Research. Investigate. Become curious. And trust my intuition much more. Become a better student of life, a better teacher to my own students and embrace my weird authentic self. That is my true power and from that place I wish to share.
But I also had many good teachers that believed in me when I was unable to. That gave me wings to fly and kicked my ass when was necessary.
Then in August 2018 I met John Scott. I practiced under his guidance for 5 days only. And in those 5 days I have come to remind myself again that my intuition is always true. That I have always hated authority and its need to control and put people down, but I have such huge respect for us, people learning together and from each other without the need to control, but to guide with love. True leaders inspire, they don’t have the need to control. They have walked the path and have the wisdom necessary to guide others to fly as high as possible. A new chapter that was waiting for me in quite a long time was finally starting.
I would take my power back. And I would make a commitment to myself to become that authentic and strong so that other people can stand on my shoulders. I wanted to genuinely contribute to this world. That has been my biggest dream since I was a little girl. And for that to happen I knew I have to become more grounded within myself and stronger.
More clarity would come.
My world would fall apart soon again. Leaving me with the option to believe in the impossible AGAIN.
And from hitting rock bottom and becoming disapointed. I would rise again.
That was the point where for the first time in my life I started to see with clarity the bigger picture. I remembered that my dreams have always been bigger than my existence, bigger than my ego. That’s why I needed to go through pain and darkness. I had to crack my heart wide open.
I was ready to embrace my mission.
I always knew I have this huge power inside me. That genuine power that comes from a place of genuine love that we all have. We have so much power inside us. Most times we don’t know it.
But people who have been truly broken they have a bigger capacity for love. If only they translate their pain and break the cycle…They become empowered and they learn to empower others. Because they learn to access the inner wisdom and then act from that place.
Second series…I have felt for quite a long time I needed to go deeper into it. I can’t explain it. I just knew that I needed to practice more intermediate poses to transition in another period of my life.
And I was right.
As teachers we have to be willing to look at the person in front of us. And think. What does this person need? How is this person different from another one with maybe similar (but not the same) features?
The asanas are powerful tools for reflection, introspection and meditation. They can be incredibly efficient in our self-discovery and transformation process. When practiced in a good way with the purpose of meditation they can turn your life upside down.
I was willing to turn my world upside down.
And I was eager to change again and become FREE.
The intermediate series of ashtanga practiced in a free,non-dogmatic way are opening my heart. They make me more flexible in my mind, more committed in my bigger goal in this life and more compassionate towards myself and the suffering of others. I will always choose to empower people to find their own strength and then use it to become warriors of goodness into this world. I believe in that!
Through the regular practice of 2nd series I can see myself and the world a bit better than few months ago. I feel my heart is more open. My mind is more calm and I can see things with more clarity. I feel more in peace with myself. I am no longer a slave to a method, but I am becoming free and limitless. I am rising above the ordinary mind and becoming more who I am meant to become 🙂 And I am able to give better guidance to others as well.
I appreciate my work better. I have new dreams and old ones that I am recycling. And it feels wonderful!
I am committed to enjoy life more. To stop letting others control me and take my power away. But instead use that energy to create something meaningful in my community.
WHAT ELSE IS SECOND SERIES ASHTANGA?
Second series (Nadi shodana) is making me hungry. Haha! No, literally hungry! It’s been couple of years since I’ve used to be so hungry after yoga practice. These last years I experienced exactly the opposite. Somehow losing my appetite at times and even my cooking inspiration.
It also makes me more tired and it gives me a little sore muscles.
But the poses that follow after laghu vajrasana from 2nd are bringing fire, strength, openess, clarity, intense focus. They are connecting me with that part of myself that for a long time wanted to get out, but for one reason or another it stayed in the shadow. STRENGTH! And POWER! It feels so grounding, so right. It’s connecting me even deeper with my intuition. That intuition that was screaming for so long. I can finally hear it. The will. Sincere will. I always had it. The wisdom. It’s in me.
Your intuition speaks. Listen to it.
There is nothing wrong in making mistakes. Mistakes are human. What if there is more than one way? What if I do it wrong but for me is right? What if we can look at the same thing from a thousand angles and see different shades? What if?
Teach another human being INDEPENDENCE. That skill is immortal. Teach that person to have his/her own practice. Don’t make it yours. Give your students wings to fly as high as possible. Teach them with compassion and understanding for they pain and sorrows. Listen to them. Be human.
No matter how much technique we learn, there is always something invisible that can only be revealed when we truly, authentically, sincerely connect with our HEART. No bla bla. no unicorns and pink ponies. True connection. That is possible when we are aware and grounded. When we are calm and we see things with clarity beyond our ordinary thinking mind and our perception.
So what’s changed?
If primary series brought me on a roller coaster of emotions and various ups and downs, well second is making me come into contact with my inner strength, the warrior that has been trying to break free for so long. It’s bringing lots of fire, deep breaths, sometimes, most times taking my breath away literally hah. Intense focus and clarity. I feel there is so much power inside my heart. Sometimes it scares me to look at it and truly acknowledge it, because then i’ll have no more excuse to play the victim. Hah!
Second series is intense.
Ironically I am not afraid of deep backbends, but what scared me for a while was lotus poses. Well and tic tocs and handstands, of course. Like usual upside down has never been easy for me. Bakasana B is also a little scary.
“Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it.” C. JoyBell C.
At times I have been punished by some “teachers” for my natural flexibility. They’ve told me that I am weak and have no understanding whatsoever of how to execute the poses. Just a natural gift. Well wrong! Yoga is not how flexible or stiff you are, even though physically speaking, I am disciplined and I work hard. Yoga is mind control. It’s breath practice. It’s about making mistakes and learning from them. It’s connecting with the inner wisdom. It’s about building awareness. It’s about seeing your fears and deciding to work through pain, doubts, insecurity, self pity. And RISE. Above all it. It’s about becoming an instrument of change into this world. That is yoga.
Perfection. What I learned through second is that imperfection is authenticity. And one should never trade authenticity for looks. I feel much more in peace with things being imperfect. And I actually love it when challenges are given to me. I have learned to navigate through those thought patterns in a different way. And it feels wonderful!
My understanding of yoga and the human mind has been growing tremendously in the past years. Because of my willingness to embark into the unknown. Because of feeling alone and misunderstood into this world, I have searched my way home to my heart.
Because I value honesty and authenticity, always have and always will. And awareness is about that – becoming real without any need to impress or please.
Because I am tired to diminish my fire just because it might make other people uncomfortable.
Because I truly and sincerely want to become an instrument through whom change can happen. I truly and sincerely I want to be of use to this world. I want to rise above my own primitive selfish needs and do good in this limited amount of time I have on this Earth.
I always knew I am not weak. But I have chosen to play the victim for a long time. The victimhood game is no longer of interest to me. I embrace the power of love.
It’s interesting but for a long time I felt the need to go deeper into second. I felt I need that. And since I started implementing new poses into my practice, the fire and the grounding and the joy is more present than ever.
“We need love to practice only this: letting each other go. For holding on comes easily, we do not need to learn it. Rainer Maria Rilke
My intuition was right all along.
Be open to change and change will happen. Never stop learning and being curious. Embrace the inner warrior and let it transform your world.
Thank you Sara for your patience, for embodying the practice, for your trust in me, for inspiring me to fall in love again with a brave heart. And the love that you give through your teachings! For your ability to make the complicated easy. I love learning from you! And I love the hugs and the chat after practice!
From my heart to yours,
© Unfold Your Mat 2019