Interview with Arjuna: "yoga must adapt to each person, and not backward"

When it came to yoga, Arjuna recalls that this was still undeveloped: "the Indian model had been taken and an asana was done after another without a process of internalization". "This way of transmitting of"This is done so, repeat it" It has prevailed until today. Why Arjuna calls for a creative yoga that is more set on the essence and less on Forms. Interview Yoga network.


Julián Peragón Arjuna started doing yoga in year 76, with 16 years. "Franco had died but the society was closed to the outside. People had need to wake up, open, try", he recalls. Some years later Arjuna begins classes of Josep Berneda, expert in Viniyoga and direct student of Desikachar. “"It was an approach to yoga that spoke of adapt to each person, more therapeutic yoga, the less colorful, less than positions and more listening". The yoga which, many years later, today day, Arjuna would apply to his own school, Yoga synthesis.

What do you remember era beginning to popularize yoga in Spain?
Teachers who traveled to the India took the hindu model and applied it without any filter here, in the West. I think that cut and paste has done wrong because not has been customized or adapted yoga. Classes without any interview or health tab, start and then can focus yoga the person according to their problems, their needs, the style of life and work which makes.

Perhaps it has been necessary to go through this stage of dissemination so that everybody knows about yoga, from children to grandparents, but now we need to take a step of maturity and depth. It is not that everyone do yoga, but each one to find the yoga you need.

The truth is that sounds revolutionary, for the uncommon. How are it has to be that custom yoga?
I am in favour of a creative yoga, which preserves the base, the essence, but then adapts to the here and now. I am now developing yoga in a wheelchair because I've noticed that older people, people with limitations, or going in a wheelchair, can not take the mat to put it on the floor and work well, because obviously shortened muscle blocks the diaphragm and prevents a good breath. On the other hand, in the Chair the perfect job can be because the vertical ensues with ease. The bones are well placed in the seat, and without resting the back in the back, we can do all the movements of the column. You can do a yoga very simple and also more advanced with the Chair as a parallel to the mat practice regulation and intensification.

Clear, Chair does not form part of the culture in India, which is a culture of sitting on the ground. Even the Indian body is not ours; they can make easily Padmasana, Lotus position, on the other hand we have damage, even us break meniscus, for trying to imitate people who have another culture.

Therefore, I defend that creative yoga in which no us set up both in forms but in the essence.

Have you ever spoken three guidelines which must be yoga...
One is the active health. The person manage their own health through an age-old technique that is yoga, and do not passively submit to therapy or treatment (of the type that is). My first teacher said: "here does not come to do yoga but to learn yoga; you have yoga to do at home ". Today, the student is customer. It comes to receive service: relax, stretch out breathing. In the tradition, yoga was pedagogy; were you taught to understand your body, manage your tensions and not rely on, because if we are always dependent on the teacher or yoga teacher, we are relinquishing autonomy. Customers should make a leap so that people who come to us are also students, not only. This is the first orientation of yoga: conquer the health with the own effort, every morning, relaxing me, stretching me, meditating.

And the second orientation?
It is the benefit from yoga as a mirror to recognize my attitude, grow it and to grow personally. Because much of the tensions of the body are not only physical; they are emotional, attitudes. When one speaks of svadhyaya, level, is a way to understand yourself, know who I am, what my true nature. From here the errors of vision, of calculation in life, become brighter and one stop having so many unnecessary problems, because yoga, somehow, is a response to the suffering.

And the third orientation?
How to regain the spiritual dimension of life that does not follow a religion, a dogma, but understanding that the spiritual is a reconnect is something greater: the life, the totality. And also that it is not enough only to experience, but should get to experience. That's wisdom, the gateway to spirituality. Whenever we try to connect with something greater and give meaning to what we live, we are still deeply spiritual.

One of the problems of the teacher or yoga teacher is you can't address the spiritual dimension without entering too hackneyed clichés and to remember that Church has been more controlling than inspiring. But I believe that we we must directly address this spiritual longing that is in each of us. If we only practice and philosophy, bowels and head, we are left without heart. And the heart of yoga is spiritual.

How is the yoga of the physical to the emotional and mental working?
The physical work is needed because it is the gateway to the inner work. There is an integrated whole. When we do asana there is also a respiratory - pranayama - and a mental care dharana/dhyana. To meditate also are doing asana and pranayama.

Above all have to understand that Asana is only a stand of attention. Apart from the technique, which is necessary, we must try to deepen the experience of the asana. I can present you a cake very well cooked and made, but how important are not the ingredients but how digieres it you. Do you how you feel Uttanasana or Trikonasana? This experience of the position is finally real, how will integrate it. From there go to opening up spaces of sensitivity, working on your ego on how much knowledge and dialogue with your limits. But above all you use the posture to be present, to make a short circuit in the agitation of the mind.

How you personalized yoga apply in practice?
Through a good integration between group and individual class. Class individual, more frequent at the beginning, is the way to adjust your personal practice. Teachers identify your stress points and you indicate the adjustment you have to make different positions when you are in a group class. That gives you security, confidence, to not follow automatically that makes the group. From these proposals from the teachers, can go by adjusting and regulating positions. A few students used the same body resources and other external elements of regulation as the wall, Chair, Ribbon, block, blanket. Welcome these elements because it will lead us to the point that we seek, which Patanjali called sthira sukathe balance between the comfort and stability of posture or abandonment within the position.

A Council for the practitioner who feel that it does not advance in yoga?
A liberating idea: yoga is an internal process, we have nothing to prove. There are students who say: "I don't know if I have to do a yoga training level". Clear, because you do not have to adapt you to yoga, but yoga adapts to you, when you are. And there is that of "do it right or wrong", unless there is a movement that is harmful.

There is nothing to prove. Yoga is not competitive; It is an internal process that frees us from complexes, tensions, and leads us to that internal experience of mental calm and listening to our own nature.

What do you think the yogas called "modern" emerging creative and playful?
You have to see to cater more to the person transmitting that to the name or the title of yoga that makes. Because if you actually live with passion and depth yoga, do what you do what will convey is that internal delivery. And that will help that person live a training process. Then, I do not think that there is much problem in the different forms that adopts the yoga as the philosophy that lies behind each one.

There are yogas that make competition, and that is to lose the North. But do believe that in yoga, there may be minor objectives that are part of the process. For example, therapeutic yoga is fantastic, but the deep purpose of yoga is not therapy, and if we focus only on this level, we are losing us liberation of consciousness, which is seeking yoga. Then. you have to see if next to the minor objectives is the main objective, and if so, I believe there is no problem.

Why did you feel the need to create your own school, after many years in Sadhana?
A difference of one centimeter in the middle of the Ocean can become kilometers when you advance towards the coast. If you realize that your approach and your ideology is different, you have to take a leap and do what gives you your heart. It is the law of life; We walked together a piece of the road, but then the view opens and each must follow the own. I am grateful to all schools and teachers who have helped me, but now I'm happy to focus on yoga that think, that of listening, a creative and open, eclectic yoga.

Yoga synthesis that is: take the best from each tradition. Purism is not held, because the yoga which was made in the 2nd century has nothing to do with who was in the 10th century, when it appeared the current Tantric, or which is now in the East and in the West. Yoga has transformed, has been taking different contributions. Why not let's make mergers, always respectful, which are giving way to the yoga and make it more effective? Yoga synthesis we make a seasonal yoga, for the fall, winter, spring and summer. That is borrowed from Chinese culture, because in the India stations are not so marked as here.

I believe in that synthesis, but well made and without leaving us as essential. For us the Sutras of Patanjali are the skeleton of our approach to yoga, we depart not one millimeter. But the way that adopts that yoga has to change.

If yoga is not intelligent and remains on the surface, not going anywhere. I believe in a pedagogy of yoga, to find the reason for every thing we do, and in this way our intelligence working with the process of self-realization. Yoga "that is so, repeat it" was a traditionalist elementary, but already we have awakened to a level of discrimination in which it is necessary that everything we do know where it comes and where it goes.

Note: Starting today, every Monday we will publish a new article in charge of Arjuna "Pedagogy of Yoga".

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By • 16 Sep, 2013 • section: Interview