We strive to reveal our potential, we aim for inner freedom and peace. We explore our nature through meditation, yoga, art and dance...and welcome you to join this journey of self-discovery.
What is yoga? What is meditation? And why do we do it? Some people do it to simply feel good, for better physical or emotional health or to still their bodies or minds. Some people do it to open up subtle energy channels and chakras. Some people do it to develop love and compassion. Some people do it in order to achieve altered states of consciousness, to gain certain psychic powers. And then others do it as an aid to spiritual awakening and selfrealization - and that where my interest is. I "do it" for freedom...to know who am I...
When we talk of Yoga, it is not just Asana and Pranayama that we have to consider, because that is a very small portion of Yoga. Yoga refers to a natural and conscious life, a life in which you are able to understand Yourself on a deep level. It includes different practices that address all aspects of our being not only the physical one.
What is meditation? There are many different ways of explaining what meditation is. It's often understand as a proces and a technique of exploring and transcending the mind ( vipassana, transcendental meditation, loving kindness meditation, antar mouna, japa and many more ). But It also refers to a spontanious state of union and true seeing.
I've been practicing meditation for many years, trying out different techniques. It helped me to understand the functioning of my mind to a certain level but I it didn't bring any fundamental change in my being, in the way I was dealing with life and my inner world. Actually during my meditation sessions I was doing something I was told to do, hoping that one day a momentary experience of quietness and peace will stay forever. So I was trying to focus, to control my thoughts, to be aware of my breath, to calm my mind but I wasn't really good at that exept these magical moments when peace and stillness seemed to just happen by itself. It was until I met a meditation teacher in India who introduced me to advaita tradition and showed me the other way of investigating into the nature of consciousnes, effortless, open, nonjudgmental way of looking at what is, without getting involved. The way of allowing everything to simply be as it is. In this looking the emphasis is not on being aware of object (external: breath or internal: thoughts, emotions, sensations etc.) but on being aware of the awareness itself, and being the awareness, resting in and as being. And for me at this moment it's the most direct and easy way of discovering and being who I am. And this's what I like to share
What I would like to share is the meditation as an art of watching and allowing everything to simply be as it is, without getting involved. The art of investigating without effort and goal. Just simple looking what is. The same way we look at the sea waves - coming and going- without effort and need of doing anything and need of controlling. This approach leads to a discovery of silence and stilness as our natural state."You start to realize that everything the mind is trying to achieve, the peace, the stilness is actually aready here."
"The first and the most important step in the art of meditation is to relax". Relaxation is a state of being free from tension and anxiety not only on a physical level but also emotional, mental and spiritual. There'ra many ways of dealing with a deep underlying tension: asana, pranayamas, relaxation techniques like yoga nidra, bodywork, massage, kirtans, meditation itself and so on...
In the field of asana, Restorative and Yin Yoga work miracles...
Restorative Yoga is a practice that is all about slowing down and opening your body through passive stretching. If you take a restorative class, you may hardly move at all, doing just a few postures in the course of an hour. It is a completely different experience than most contemporary yoga. The majority of yoga classes are an active practice in which you move from pose to pose, building heat and increasing your strength and flexibility. The general trend in yoga is toward more athletic and acrobatic styles of practice. During the long holds of restorative yoga, however, your muscles are allowed to relax deeply. It's a unique feeling because props, rather than your muscles, are used to support your body. Restorative classes are very mellow, making them a good complement to more active practices and an excellent antidote to stress. In restorative yoga, props are used extensively to support your body so you can hold poses for longer periods of time. Postures are usually adapted from supine or seated yoga poses with the addition of blocks, bolsters, and blankets to eliminate unnecessary straining.
Yin Yoga has the same goals and objectives as any other school of yoga; however goes deeper than the superficial or muscular tissues (which we are calling the yang tissues). Yin Yoga targets the connective tissues - the yin tissues, such as the ligaments, bones, and even the joints of the body - the parts that hold a lot of tension but normally are not exercised very much in a more active style of asana practice. Restorative and Yin are quite similar, in both postures are static, held for longer period of time, however they work differently. While Restorative yoga focuses on creating the state of relaxation in the pose, Yin will challenge you to find your edges and allow your body and mind to go beyond. This proces may not be very pleasant but it will definitely create more space in your body and mind and a great sense of freedom.
Breath and awareness play important role in both - Restorative and Yin yoga.
And here you may ask: How can we relax the mind through the body and vice versa? What is a link betwen them? And why being aware is so important?
Modern science is getting better in answering these questions. However there's still a large field of unknown. But lets look at the facts.
The body and mind (thoughts and emotions) are interrelated and everything that happens in the mind influence the body and vice versa. When you encounter a stressful sytuation breath changes, also body gets tens and when the tension acumulates and cannot be released it's stored in the body. Not only in the muscles, but also in other tissues like joints, ligaments, fascia etc.
But why does it happen? Why we accumulate stress in our body? The answer lies in the functional structure of the nervous system. Our nervous system operates in two modes: sympathetic and parasympathetic. The sympathetic mode prepare the body for action, especially in situations threatening survival. It's responsible for the fight-or-flight effect - the stress response. The parasympathetic nervous system works to promote maintenance of the body at rest. When the body is exposed to a constant stress, the sympathetic nervous system is permanently activated. This keeps your body in a state of action, which basically means tensed muscles and other tissues. If we live in the state of permanent stress, deep structural tension builds up in the body and actually starts shaping the body!
How? The answer is the myofascia, often referred to as the ‘bodymind’ because it appears to be a tangible link between body and mind. Myofascia are connective tissue which wrap the muscles, bones,organs, nerves and blood vessels.It interconnects the whole body, from the toes to the top of the head. For instance, if somebody pulls your toe, you can feel a tension under the surface of your skin in your back and neck. Try it! The fascia connect body parts and shape your body in a specific way. When people are dealing with many tensions in life and body tens up,the myofascia get less elastic and less liquified,it dries out. Because of this,the body more and more grows into a specific shape of holding tension.
Yoga Nidra it's one of the most powerful tools for relaxing our mind and body from stress and anxiety. If you try it ones you can't resist. And it doesn't require any effort (except making an effort not to fall a sleep). Only thing you need to do is lie down, listen, follow the instructions mentaly. The rest will just happen by itself. The rest - I mean - deep state of relaxation.
Apart from relaxation we also aim to deepen the awareness of our body, stored and arising emotions, thoughts, mental paterns, beliefs, functioning of the mind, conection between mind and the body, and more subtle aspects of our being. The deeper aim of every yoga practice is actually awareness and knowing who we are.