Pedagogy of Yoga 1: practice with heart

All deployment methods and techniques, all the wisdom traditions of old would not have sense but had an area of practice where "complete" the proposed objectives. One can master the technical proposals even reaching virtuosity, but that does not ensure that our discipline has soul. Writes Juan Peragón (Arjuna).


It is true disciplines of one or another sign to remind us, this time by our school education, a sense of duty, a strong position, sometimes somewhat rigid. And the truth is that so many times we have rebelled on it.

When it is from the outside, when the practice becomes a duty, in an external or internal demand, that loses force. It will be impossible to overcome the deadlock of the road because at the bottom one is divided, there is a practice, but it is not "our" practice.

One can master the technical proposals even reaching virtuosity but that does not ensure that our discipline has soul. On the other hand, if we were clear that we are a seed full of potential We would try through the ground and moisture, the Sun and the air become that tree that we are.

We would be graceful if we feel that curiosity to discover what our endless possibilities can be deployed. That deployment life puts somewhat and us much because on the other side of our momentum we discover, certainly, a resistance. That resistance is that you have to talk. Of the obstacles with which we find along the way.

Patanjali (2nd century) masterfully lists nine obstacles It ranging from lack of perseverance to doubt, since excess of complacency to fatigue, laziness, or disease, among others. Obstacles that surely all of us have known in our meat.

It is true that the cultivation of will helps us to go beyond excuses and setbacks. You will tells us "my roots are strong and any Gale life situations is not going to move in the direction taken". Well, now base practice only in the will makes us strong but stiff, solid, but heavy.

Inner fire

It will open doors but then it is the passion that should do the job. The key is to understand deeply what you're doing to the point of loving him with all the heart. And there is no force so penetrating as the love for what one ago. But clear, to love you learn to love and love is somewhat different from the will, is you cannot force or program. We could say that part of our strategies in practice are a way of creating adequate conditions for ignites such passion.

This passion is designated in the Yoga tradition as tapas, internal heat, intense energy that wakes up as a result of an asceticism. It is that well directed internal heat that will make cleaner and unlocking of possible barriers. We can say that we need an excess of energy to start a long path of transformation. Ahead with the image of the seed, a greenhouse will create conditions of heat, among other things, where the seed will grow vigorously.

In reality the path we start has a cliff on either side of the path, so we have to walk safely and carefully. On one side we have the meander of our circumstances, the complexity of social demand, the frenetic pace of modernity. A rhythm that leaves us no time for quiet and silent practice, a work that forces us to be competitive and to produce to the maximum, a bureaucracy that borders on the absurd and a multiple but simultaneously very fragile relational world.

On the other side, the labyrinth of internal inertia. On these, yogasutra by Patañjali list five impediments worth noting. The ignorance that prevents us from knowing reality properly; the overbearing ego that brings us confusion of values; the unbridled desire that goes in search of illusory happiness; the irrational dislikes that limit us until we let ourselves live; and the insecurities to the new and unknown that populate our inner world with suspicions that are but a fear of death.

Let no one be called a deception, tradition clearly marks a long and difficult road. Obstacles are clearly delimited. To succeed our discipline has to move towards a solid practice over time, consistently, without interruptions, with positive attitude, with passion, and that is smart to overcome obstacles in the best way. Qualities of practice that are of common sense since we all understand, to give another example, that a good musician is made at the stroke of assiduous practice and a huge dedication to his passion. Among all we would highlight something that sometimes goes unnoticed, and that practice has to be Smart just as a ship has to have a route drawn if we want to get to a good port.

Goals of the soul

That intelligence, the first thing that discriminates is that practice is not life but the possibility of living it more intensely. Let's not make an irreparable substitution. Then you have to look desirable objectives, and again we will have to differentiate between goals that meet the expectations of an ego that wants, for example, to have more power, more control or feel superior, from those other goals that claim the inner life as they can be: empowering our health mechanisms, greater ability to focus or an increasingly clear connection with the totality that envelops and sustains us. If the goals are of the soul, there will be true nutrition.

A menudo nos olvidamos de plantear nuestra práctica desde una listen to deep. ¿Qué necesito en este momento? ¿Qué necesito, por ejemplo, tonificar, flexibilizar o relajar? ¿Qué debo centrar, orientar, comprender? ¿Qué medios tengo para ello, cuánta energía dispongo, si mis circunstancias son adecuadas para esto ahora? Hay que ir progresivamente hacia nuestros objetivos, de la misma manera que hace un alpinista, por etapas. Teniendo en cuenta el tiempo atmosférico, estudiando la cara de la montaña por la que se pretende llegar a la cumbre. Esto es, midiendo los esfuerzos sin olvidarnos de un elemento fundamental, el detachment.

Es posible que a pesar del esfuerzo, siguiendo con el ejemplo anterior, tengamos que volver al campamento base. Y es que en nuestra práctica no todo depende de nosotros. No somos un mecanismo de engranajes perfectos. En el misterio en el que nos desenvolvemos la gracia desciende o no, no depende de ti. La práctica es un apoyo pero no es un boleto seguro. Lo único que podemos es sentir que hemos hecho un buen trabajo y que ese trabajo estaba hecho de todo corazón, desde la escucha, sin pretensiones, animados por lo que reclama la vida, por el despliegue de nuestra potencialidad. Y al final, qué cabe decir, no es nuestra voluntad sino otra voluntad la que decide.

Arjuna (photo: Guirostudio 2013)Who is

Julián Peragón, Arjuna, formador of teachers, directs the school Yoga synthesis in Barcelona

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By • Sep 23, 2013 • section: Signatures