Κυριακή, 30 Αυγούστου 2015

Off the Mat!

“Exercises are like prose, whereas yoga is the poetry of movements. Once you understand the grammar of yoga; you can write your poetry of movements.”   

~Amit Ray

 
It's that time of the year again... holidays are coming to an end, and of course, among the many things I am going to miss about summer is doing yoga at the beach.

Yoga can be practiced whenever and wherever you feel like it. I enjoy performing comfortable and dynamic asanas right next to the waves, feeling the sand underneath, listening to the pacifying sea breeze filling my senses. The vibrant murmur of the ever oscillating water truly sounds like the universe whispering "ohmmmm" in my ear. Sometimes I practice tadasana (Mountain Pose) on the bus while on my way to the University. To people it might look like I am simply standing up but I am actually properly aligning body parts, breathing deeply. It is frankly quite a great way to start the day.

On other occasions I may practice yoga while seated in front of the computer screen, twisting and stretching, because otherwise it would be really hard to concentrate on any kind of assignment.

So, is a sticky mat really necessary? Some practitioners feel that it is so. The true spirit of yoga, however, can be carried with you wherever you go. The traditional yoga mat provides a feeling of safety, a kind of cherished personal space where you can supposedly face yourself, sometimes it even works as motivation to go back to practicing asana. But for those who can appreciate and worship beauty in every possible place, deep down, it remains just another tool.

 This is why I am going to miss doing yoga by the sea. There is no feeling in the world capable of replicating the indescribable joy of getting "lost" in the abundance of nature, predominantly evident in the presence of the ocean. But don't worry about that. Be it on the subway or amidst a crowded place in the city- there is love and beauty everywhere. And the truly magical thing that very few non-practitioners will ever understand is, that wherever those two exist, yoga somehow finds the way.



 

Σάββατο, 29 Αυγούστου 2015

Hello World!


B.K.S. Iyengar, in his breakthrough work "Light on Yoga", supports the idea that Yoga is for everybody. This is what I believe.

 There is something that bugs me about the way yoga is portrayed by the modern media. Hovering, gravity-defying girls wearing iridescent yoga pants, articles claiming to provide "beginner tips" on "how to safely perform a headstand" (!) and lists of basic asanas starting with arm balances. My growing discomfort due to these phenomena, and the feeling of incompetence and intimidation I think many of you who already have a home yoga practice or even want to begin one but don't feel "fit" enough share with me, have urged me to realize this humble little weblog.
  
  First of all, there really is no such thing as beginner yoga practice to me. Yoga, requires you to be in a relatively good shape and to have a moderately strong body before you even start trying asana. The notion that there are levels of practitioners and difficulties to choose from is at least hilarious, if not daunting to the complete beginner. Yoga is simply yoga, no matter what the "level" of your practice is, and your ability to defy common physics and bend in, as Kino Mc.Gregor puts it in her "Ashtanga Yoga", "Pretzel-like positions", is simply a side-effect of the whole process of discovering your inner self. Personally, no matter how hard I try, I haven't *yet* mastered any "advanced" poses, and making this weblog is partially about letting practitioners and aspiring yogis know that this is perfectly okay, no matter what popular yoga sites might imply about what a "non -beginner" should look like.

So, on this site there will be thoughts, tips, articles, photographs and true experiences of what it means to have a true home practice, with its difficulties, frustrations, nutritional and psychological flops, imbalances, and all those hectic days when you feel your body will never cooperate. No impossible asanas or poses that defy logic. I am not yet capable of those and plus, if they ever happen, they will be the fruit of hard work that hasn't quite been done yet. Feel free to share this wonderful journey that is yoga, or if you haven't tried it yet, who knows? - you might actually realize that it truly is, yogalicious.