Wednesday, February 18, 2009

From paripurna navasana to enlightment in 8 steps

I'm back from the three week intensive yoga trip to Costa Rica, in body if not quite in action. In action, I've been going to bed early, like costa rica, waking up early, and hitting some yoga. I had to buy myself a new yoga pad (a lotuspad, made in cambridge!) because after 3 weeks of sweating mine up in the rainforest, that guy did not smell good at all. And doing yoga on a nasty yoga mat really detracts from the experience.

Some pics from the trip are up at snapfish. Supposedly everyone from the class (34 of us) are to post there, but everyone else must be stick in bird of paradise or something because no one it moving on it.

If I ever get bored, all I need to do is get a book of tropical edible and medicinal plants and head down to the tropics. It was like starting over down there, I didn't know what to forage. Luckily, I didn't need to, they fed us well, and we ate a ton. After hours of yoga, meal time, and when you know the next meal isn't for 3+ hours, you pack it in. Especially when it's vegan.

Lorena and Adam had Henry, who seems like a decent enough individual. Corina had much success keeping him settled. I didn't. I usually think I have a certain touch with kids, but I failed.

Here's a neat fact regarding yoga. Over the past 1000s of years, the yogis have laid out a path to enlightenment (which I'm just throwing out there as a word...not saying I know what it means). Anyhow, in the yogic view, the steps are basically as follows.

1) become a decent person to yourself and others.

2) practice your poses.

3) turn inward, removing your senses from the outside world and turning them on yourself.

4) but, lose yourself. meditate, detach from and eventually lose the thoughts that scamper across your brain.

5) after meditation practice, where you see firsthand that you are the same as the Oneness of the universe, the sense of self being an illusion (we didn't really talk about why this illusion persists or why on earth the whole shebang is set up this way, which dismayed me, but these types of why why why questions always pop up to me, and I got sick of hearing myself ask them while everyone else was just throwing around words like 'pure consciousness' and 'we are all one' with no problem).

So, anyhow, the interesting thing is, to real-deal yogis, the poses (yoga class here in the states) are only meant to train the body to be able to sit still and comfortably in meditation.

Thoreau called the original yogic texts some of the heaviest most worthwhile things to consume that the world has put forward...far more impressive and substantial than anything similar put out by the West. Of course then, this makes me want to read them. Add them to the every growing list. Also added to the 'to read' list this trip: The Road, some Nietszche, some book that brittany just finished that the teacher gave her, called orynx and crake or something.

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