Jul 15, 2012

an engineer's Child Pose

    I have to admit, studying engineering has helped me to build a perfectionist, type A personality. I am taught to solve any problem that comes my way and co-ordinate everything including my life, to avoid problems so everything goes smoothy... Or so I used to think :) 
    During my forth year in the university, I was facing a break-up of my then 3 year relationship. That was a problem I couldn’t figure out a solution for. No matter how many theories I applied, this was an emotional problem. It was right then that I’ve started my hatha yoga classes. Although I’ve started yoga for the breathing exercises for my asthma, in a very short time I started experiencing and enjoying its deeper effects. 
    One day, our instructor introduced us “Balasana” - The Child Pose. A really simple looking posture with extraordinary benefits. The pose itself was easy enough to get into, since my legs were rather flexible and my heels would touch my hips. But then the instructor asked us to relax our tommy, shoulders, arms, spine and let go of all our thoughts from our third eye to the ground ... Now this was tricky, here I was thinking over and over what I’ve done wrong, what I could do to mend my relationship in any way, and this woman was asking me to let my thoughts flow out of my mind.... HOW ??? 
    Sometimes, when we are stuck in a thought or a problem, we find it very hard to get out of ourselves - even for a minute. It’s like a cul-de-sac, no where out and just impossible to let go. My mom usually advises me to imagine myself floating high above and look at myself from above. This way one can see the situation easier. That is exactly what the child pose did for me. Every session I let go more, some more and some more. And finally I could let it go, all of it. As I let go of my body  I could also let go of my prisoning thoughts. I began to see the situation differently and finally I found a way out. 
    Today, I teach yoga as well as practicing it. I always include child pose in our sessions and make sure I remind my students to try to let go... Rather than the headstands, handstands, shoulder stands, my all time favourite pose has become the Child Pose. Letting go of old and comfortable can seem very hard most of the time. But it is utmost necessary to open ourselves for the new. 
    I may be able to solve or handle very complex projects as an engineer but child pose always reminds me that sometimes, in order to complete-solve something, you need to let go, relax and look at it from above. We just need to be open enough to let go once in a while...

Jul 12, 2012

Freedom ...

 Have you read “Alice in Wonderland”. I’ve truly enjoyed the movies and the animations but never got around to reading the original book. Still, it’s very often that i run into some quotes from the book, my favourite being : 
“ Alice  : Which road do I take ? 
  Cashire Cat : Where do you want to go ? 
  Alice : I don’t know. 
  Cashire Cat : Then...... It doesn’t matter !”
    I’m in a place where having had the precious work experience, I can stop and decide what I want to do with my life. I have an amazing husband who always supports me, amazing parents and sister who are always there for me and wonderful few friends who know me better than myself, to advise me to take this break just to sit back and listen to myself. Well, the first thing I did, when I quit work was to declare that “I’m free to do anything!!!” That’s true, I’m free.... But doesn’t the idea of freedom come with a huge package of self doubt ? Well mine did. So now I’m not sure if being free to choose, is actually a good thing. 
    Since I was very little, someone has always been by my side to choose for me. Choosing what to wear, which school to go to, which exams to succeed in, which country to have an exchange in, which university and department to study at and alas where to work..... So now, I’m having a very hard time to choose... Even to try new things, I can’t choose where to start . When my husband and my sister push me just to make an effort to start somewhere, I came across this quote and loved it. In very short sentences, it explains perfectly that we shouldn’t over think. Does it really matter where I go ? Does it really matter which road I choose, considering I don’t have any idea where I’m going ? 
    Just like in yoga... I’ve been practicing hatha yoga since 2004, started for my asthma and got my teacher training in 2009. Now every session in itself is like this quote, reminding me not to take it so seriously. And it’s very ironic that the asana that I feel most Free in, is for me the hardest asana - Urdhva Dhanurasana. So in order to get into that asana, I have to really warm up, then silence my mind and really turn towards myself, so when i’m in the asana, I can fell free instead of the fear and self doubt.
    I think it’s a luxury to be free to choose what to do in life. We just need to remember, sometimes, “it doesn’t matter” which road we take, as long as we are free and brave enough to take the first step. And feeling free is always possible if we remember to warm up, loosen the mind and listen to ourselves, wherever we are...