Have You Ever Done Yoga

Have you ever done yoga?

Have you ever done it in a mindful way – not being so tired from the excersises alone so that you can  concentrate and make sense of the instructions you are given to go into a posure and to imporve it?

Then have you even done a worrier pose? You know that one? The most common asana, that is like a logo for many yoga commericlas. It is easy – just spread your legs apart and stretch your arms parallel to the floor, bend one knee and look forward! As simple as that. However there is one thing that you must not forget while doing this pose – firmly plant your legs on the ground, distrubute the weight evenly and form a sold foundation. If I come and push you while you are in this pose, you should not collapse, should not even move.Because you are a worrier. And as such you have to be strong. And what makes you a strong worrior is your solid foundation, on that foundation you carry all your weight and with this same foundation you resist tremors and shaking that afflict you.

Now have you ever done a head stand? The one that you form a triangular base on the floor positioning your elbows down shoulder width apart,  interlocking your fingers and placing the crown of the head on the floor, almost in your palms. These two elbows and the crown will make the foundation for your whole body to rely on. Then you will lift your legs straight up like a candle. And remember in that asana you should not feel any pressure or strain in your body, you should feel light and relaxed.

Also do not imagine you have to be very fit and super strong to be able to do it. You just need to build your good foundation and not to be afraid. Afraid of inversions. Afraid of oposing the law of nature which says that you should always stand on your two feet to have stability. But things are changing these days a lot and rather fast.

World, as they like to say recently, is flat and open and there are no boundaries and it is full with opportunities.

My boy is only four years old. Since he was born he lived in Tokyo for two years, in Sofia for a year, and in Singapore for the last seven months. In the moving period between Tokyo and Sinagapore he also lived for two months in a house in Bali, which for a three and a half  year old is, as I understood, long enough time to start feeling that this was also his home, just in another country.

When we arrived in Singapore for first one month and a half we stayed in two hotels and one temporary apartment befre moving in into our long-term house. When his grandparents, with chocked throat from the other end of the world, asked him on the phone whether he had friends he joyfully explained about the boys he had met in our place and who he said ” are my friends”. One of these boys left just last Sunday. Went to Vietnam. Another one is moving out in June. Going to the East Coast. It is all right. Another family maybe will move in. Or may be not…..

He went to school in Tokyo, for a few months, to a kindergarten in Bulgaria for one year and finally started school in Singapore in January, after a long time when he staying at home. He attended for a short period other one in November, but was not happy and had to quit. He still calles it, ” my other school” whenever he remembers something about it. And he does remember….

The new school is very good. It took him a while to relax ( it is normal with kids, isnt’t it?), but he is very happy now, I can tell. The main teacher he really likes. On Valentine’s day when asked whom he loved, he replied that he loved mummy, daddy and Miss Karen. Today miss Karen told me, that this month is her last. She is moving with her family to UK……

My son had said ”Good Buy” and ”Hi” so many times in the past one year and a half that one may wonder whether these words actually mean what they have to mean to him. He is also confused which is our house after all. Since to him all the houses we recently lived in were in his words ” houses the people gave us to live in”, which means rented homes. And he worries now that very soon the time to pack again will come, but he has no big box to carry all his cars in . He still cannot believe that hopefully this time it will be a while before we pack again his cars in a suitcase.

I feel uneasy and doubtful. Where in that case is that sound foundation that you need to make you resilinat to shakes and shovels?  And if childhood is the foudation on which life will build up, and adult personality will evolve, how are these constant changes and emotions helping to feel grounded and bound to the base, which again, as the experience suggests, will make you strong, brave and confident. Confident in your own self. Changing and saying Bye and Hi is not a bad thing in itself. It just seems challenging for a four year old kid. Or it might be just my burdened adult mind thinking that way……

I have no fear of inversion, of standing with my head upside down. I even enjoy these different point of view. My body and my mind both feel some thrill from the posture and it is one of my favourite. I also like the feeling after I get out of this asana. I feel refreshed and invigorated. And maybe because I had no fear I could imporve the posture and later enjoy it.

So I should not be afraid for my boy neither and hope that this floating early life he has had so far (and will most porbably have) will eventually teach him to be strong rather than not. Will, against the common pricipal of stability, mould him into a confident man who can rely on his own self rather than on other people and circumstances. But will also make him open to the new, to the unknown, to the different.

Yes, I can only hope for the above, but no, I cannot hope to be, I have to be, his most stable and solid foundation now, in this early life. The stable base for him at the moment on which he can rely to practice and develop. Just like one has his legs and arms and abs to train first and then rely on when mastering that balanced and resistant posture.

I believe yoga is like life. Is is a practice where one works alone with his own body, and mind according to his own physical and emotional abilities. But if one believes in the practice and if he knows and understands his own self, gradually one will be able to do things that did not perceive before. Because in yoga as in life it is all about belief, action and confidence.

Stanislava Filipova 200hr TTC