Interview with Christian Pisano: "Only Asana is a wave in the ocean of Yoga"
Christian Pisano arrived in Madrid from 15 to 17 June to deliver a free lecture and a workshop at the Gong. He has practiced Iyengar Yoga for years, and still he continues studying in Pune. He directs the Iyengar Yoga Institute in Nice, France. It is an interview of Consuelo Serrano to YogaenRed. (translated by Cristina de Lorenzo).
Christian Pisano practice Iyengar Yoga for thirty years and is one of the only three people in the world that received a Senior advanced certificate of B.K.S. Iyengar. He lived in Pune, India, during several years of his youth and dedicated himself to explore the sacred art of Yoga under the guidance of his guru, B.K.S. Iyengar. During that period he also delved into the study of various philosophies and learned Sanskrit.
Question: You started to practice 30 years ago, how the practice of yoga has evolved since then?
Really I cannot speak of the evolution of yoga in general. Practice, understood as the posture practice, is only a wave in the ocean of yoga. Could you add that most of postural current yoga practices are not more than an invention, a contemporary adaptation.
Thirty years is nothing when he talks about the evolution of an art that considers the cosmic cycles. And you can speak of evolution when yoga is considered to be revealed? I.e., it appeared spontaneously at the same time the different cosmic cycles appeared. It is a way of saying that it forms an integral part of the potentiality of the consciousness. It will take, therefore, shapes and different expressions according to the different cycles of space-time. In fact, the changes observed in the course of the centuries are bland.
He could talk more easily of the evolution of my practice. But also there would be problematic: the practice is only the sensory, emotional, mental, respiratory organic expression of a T point in space-time that is attributed to an individual.
Essentially, there is the open space of consciousness that is updated in the different activities. Of course, that the reader can tell that it has changed, obviously. These changes are simple points of view (that consciousness itself takes) of an individual who is, himself, the expression of the play of consciousness. As stated in the SHIVA Sutras, "The self is the scene." (Range antaratma).
Q: it was during the course of your third trip to India when you met B. K. S. Iyengar. Do memories keep the teacher and your stay in Pune?
I remember the complacency of a dream where everything was possible. Those dreams we cradle in childhood and feed with the magic of the world. That dream when it is done is the breath of life.
I'm going to tell you what I remember of the years of my youth in India, where I found several magicians. Were they magicians or teachers? One of them was my Yoga teacher, B. K. S. Iyengar, overflowing with fire, passion and devotion to his art. After your eyes of Ember and her matted eyebrows raised the malicious question: what you fear?, what risk you run since you're not the mind-body? His cry to the absolute will remain in my heart until my last breath.
Did it really? I don't know... Despite this, in the confines of my being only there is the certainty of that dream.
Q: you're an Iyengar Yoga teacher and teach a rigorous training program for teachers in your school of Nice. How is it changing the teaching of yoga in the West? What are the qualities of a good teacher?
What rigour is it spoken? A discipline imposed by the string ad infinitum our societies based on fear and its education system do not stop singing to bare cry, walk or burst, and who manage perfectly the carrot and the stick. A rigor that cultivates the competition, comparison, non-cooperation among individuals. A rigor with which we have been promised that, diplomas, obedience and belonging to a system, working hard will make us forget the deep wound of our shortcomings that can not be satisfied with nothing.
Of course all that is expressed through programs. All programs are available to deprive us of our own creative power, of our own capabilities to discern and understand the process that we are going through. I always explain to my students that if I practice programs it is understand that the program is not workable and then it is useless. The map is never the territory.
In the territory, which is the process of the individual through the mind-body, there is an organic quality that is essential and invaluable. A program never can take into account that. Alternatively if you have in mind is constantly changing and so is no longer a program.
Application (viniyoga) techniques or the program according to the individual and their Constitution is therefore essential. Why traditionally yoga is taught directly from person to person.
Rigour and programs are the facets of the formations that formatted. The formation, by definition, is always machine. It is manufactured and are shaped according to a standardization of the techniques and time. A period of time is essential. How is it possible, when we all have different rates? It must be finished in a short time and all that is punishable by an examination. The standardization of techniques is through a curriculum that is a model of practice with a tax time. In fact what I do is to submit to all candidates for the same conditions regardless of sex, age, circumstances, etc.
The dimension of an organic rhythm where everyone respects its land and becomes aware of his own abilities is ignored completely in this perspective. It would start with a "desrigorizacion", a deprogramming, a-training where you desaprenda much more to accumulate information.
I am delighted with the decision by the (Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute) RIMYI cesar completely formations such as currently proposed and return to a more traditional transmission form.
In terms of the qualities of a good teacher, what they are used for lists of qualities? We do not serve for nothing. Often they may not apply or are not in direct relation with what exists in every day. That would mean that I know or believe to know what is a good teacher or that live according to an ideal that have not reached and that want to reach. In both cases you would talk of two situations that have no connection with what I live daily, visceral way, without the image I want to give, than it should be or not to be a yoga teacher.
Q: your philosophical inclination takes you towards the nondual Shaivism of Kashmir. Could you explain the essence of this system?
The expression Shaivism dual of Kashmir is not the designation contemporary and recent of a form of Shaivism taught and developed by master Kashmiris from texts written in Sanskrit. Most were written between the second half of the century IX and XIII of our era.
In this perspective the only thing that is recognized is awareness and inclusiveness of this same. Nothing is separate or distinct from this consciousness. We are what we are looking for, although we have not recognized it. Not recognize it is also an expression of consciousness. This consciousness is not reached, but it has already reached and carried out and is expressed freely in all expressions of the existence in all perceptions, any that are.
"I know as you are, without any concern, since the objective has already been achieved. That's exactly the discrimination. Who if he would not teach the if and to whom? (Mahartha–manjari(, Mahesvarananda 64).
The State in which I find somebody that is that State of contraction or expansion, pleasure or suffering, lucidity or confusion, already has the jackpot of the presence. He could not express themselves or appear without the light of our own consciousness, of our presence. Thus, there is nothing to add or subtract, anything that can bring me or get away, nothing to look for or avoid. Anything that can facilitate or prevent.
"Since the individual is identical to everything, since it is the source of everything, from the moment that becomes aware of this - with respect to the body, the word, senses, thinking, actions-there is no other different state that is not (the of) Shiva." It is always the subject which enjoys and himself that manifests itself in the form of what is enjoying anywhere." (Spanda Karika (28-29).
P: En junio vienes a Madrid a presentar tu último libro, La contemplación del héroe. ¿Cuáles eran tus objetivos al escribirlo? ¿Qué pretendes transmitir a tus lectores?
¿Qué se puede transmitir? Lo esencial de lo que somos no puede transmitirse. Lo único que podemos compartir es nuestro asombro ante nuestras tentativas y estrategias repetidas intentando dar un sentido y un significado a la maravillosa y terrible danza de Shiva que es nuestra propia danza. Danza que no puede entenderse nunca. Lo explico en el primer capítulo, “Confesiones de ignorancia”, que es muy corto. Me encantaría, si al final de la lectura, el lector cerrara el libro estallando a carcajadas al haber percibido la broma cósmica de todo esto.
P: Me interesa tu definición de héroe al que sitúas entre el animal social, condicionado por su entorno, y el ser divino, sin condicionante alguno. Háblanos de ese concepto de héroe tántrico y de cómo puede ayudarnos el yoga a encontrar a nuestro propio héroe.
The model of our societies and the education system often transmitted by fathers is based on fear, shame and guilt. The majority of social organizations reinforce the conditioning, the individual separated from the world, a universe that would be foreign and dangerous. The social animal is believed an entity separated from the rest through a personal story and that, thanks to your efforts and hard work, you will get a place in this society or paradise.
“El que ve lo que percibe como si fuera él mismo (la existencia objetiva es únicamente la expresión de nuestra subjetividad) es un maestro (pati), mientras que el que se considera diferente de lo que percibe es un pashu (un ser encadenado). (Utpaladeva Isvarapratyabijnakarika, Libro III, capítulo 2, vers. 3).
The Vira (héroe) no tiene nada que ver con el héroe de Hollywood que incluso en las situaciones más espantosas conserva su mejor imagen, siempre presentable y políticamente correcta. El Vira tampoco tiene nada que ver con el guerrero espiritual que lleva a cabo la lucha contra los molinos de viento. Todo lo que se le presenta y el estado en el que se encuentra, cualquiera que sea, es únicamente la expresión de la Conciencia. Para él todo es alimento. No quiere ni trascender ni idealizar el estado en el que se encuentra. Para él la realidad misma es la auténtica y última práctica.
“Siempre practico los tres recordatorios. Son como lagos que limpian el corazón. Primero me acuerdo de que soy una forma de la Consciencia infinita. Después observo los fenómenos gloriosos del universo como la expresión del universo, la expresión de mi propia Consciencia. Y al final veo los diferentes estados de Conciencia como si se tratara de mí mismo, mi propio ser.” Lalla.
“Todo lo que se percibe, todo lo que existe se arroja precipitadamente en el fuego que ruge en el estómago de nuestra propia conciencia abandonando así toda diferenciación; alimentándolo con diferentes tipos de combustibles que la realidad nos ofrece en cada instante. Una vez que se ha disuelto la forma de toda cosa y objeto con esta digestión violenta ya solo queda la energía pura de la Consciencia”. (Abhinavagupta, Tantraloka).
“Llamamos sacrificio a todo lo que el héroe (vira) acomete a través del pensamiento, de la palabra o del cuerpo, cualquiera que sea la actividad apta a revelar lo esencial”. Abhinavagupta, Tantraloka).
Nada puede ayudar, nada puede impedir. Como lo dice Abhinavagupta en el Tantraloka: "Consciousness is not a product of the activity; the rituals, the practice of Yoga can not serve road. Activity exists only through the pre-existence of consciousness."
Believe that yoga or that anything could help to discover, to find our own hero, would be simply one strategy as any other that I projected into the future and that tells me that as I am now there is something that does not work. It would have to practice, meditation, purify me, go beyond, ceder, detach me, wake me up. It is only a catalogue of decadence and desperate with a non-existent future losses.
Perhaps we are a mind-body that time occasionally experiences the infinite, or are infinite consciousness experiencing contractions, the limitations of the mind?
No good trying to reveal the capacity of our own consciousness, the heroic ability to forget and limit, for the pleasure of the game, through a personal story, with all that this implies.
Free Conference and workshop of Christian PIsano, 15 to 17 June in the Gong. Watch the Program here.
TomTom: Paseo General Martinez Campos 24. T 911992954 / firstname.lastname@example.org