Meeting yourself can be a great fear

There are many reasons why those who do not know yoga say not to practice it: I do not get hooked, I find it difficult to concentrate, it is too soft (or too strong), it gives me cold (or heat), someone told me that it was not good for something... But it is very difficult to hear: I cannot remain silent, I am afraid of my thoughts, I do not know how to stay an hour paying attention to myself, it haunts me not to be distracted from my own being... Writes Paul Rego.

When people approach yoga from a place laden with prejudices they usually take one or two classes to create, with the excuse of having experienced it, a new idea to use when someone asks them why they do not practice yoga.

Llegar a un sitio en el que no se impulsa a las personas a competir ni se crean ambientes para aturdirse o exacerbar los egos, puede ser la panacea para quienes están hartos de esos valores de la sociedad. Pero algunos, o muchos, si en torno a la actividad que van a realizar (en este caso la sesión de yoga) faltan la mirada hacia el afuera o la mirada del otro, o el conseguir ser el mejor, el más rápido, el más lindo o el más perfecto, they find themselves lost and have a hard time finding their place.

Those who have health problems due to the great demand they make to the physical body, since they unload on it emotions related to the need for acceptance or competition, frustration or appearance, they need to change the point of view of what "being healthy" is, especially when it comes to mental conditioning.

That's what biases are based on, believing in advance that we're doing the right thing without seeing that, if we have problems, maybe we're not so right in what we think. And how one of the goals of yoga is to disrupt mental structures to allow us to realize other experiences, the strength of preconceived ideas mean that, even if you try, the practice of yoga does not fit at all in those ideas.

Understand what messages we need to hear

But many of the people who come to the practice of yoga do so with some problem to solve, after looking elsewhere for answers that only the concepts and philosophy that support a discipline like yoga will offer them. It is in those differences with the rest of the activities that the gateway to the universe of answers is.

Rigid ideas, often inherited, are carving the physical body. These ideas generate a Filter through which we believe that the good is only what certain beings or staments validate, and from there we choose how to perform physical activity or try to find an emotional or mental balance without observing that it is those same ideas that we lead to sickness or injury.

The physical body deteriorates, we go from a few simple pains to chronic ailments, from seasonal to permanent situations, and in that process we insist with the point of view and with the way of doing things, repeating the patterns that lead us to the disease.

We misalign our spine, create tensions in certain parts of the body, always the same contractures, we may arrive at a surgical intervention with the intention of correcting some disorders. We are disordered to function the organs from breathing or digestion, we suffer from tendinitis in the shoulders or hips and we perform physical activity with the influence of the same emotional burden that leads us to those situations. The out of control of our mind leads us to the worry or recurring obsessions that then become in anxiety and panic and we want to get out of the maze using the same elements we've built it with.

If we live day to day from spite, revanchism, reaction, reinforcing the belief that we will achieve something good trying to achieve things by force or through it, if we perceive everything as a career and a competition, where some are the good and the other are the good s the bad guys, some winners and other losers, we will be competing, even if it is not necessary, and we will be unbalanced, even if we are doing physical activity.

Even if the body speaks to us through the pains or diseases that can be created from those structures based on ideas, beliefs or habits, we may come to believe that by the same path that we unbalance and disengage we will manage to prosecute our health. Although it may seem obvious to say it, so we will only achieve more disharmony and a less healthy state.

The habit of silence and stillness

Getting to yoga with the idea that there things should be one way or another is to miss the opportunity to learn something essential, and that is that Iideas can be discarded. But if I dedicate much of my day to reinforcing mental structures, discarding them is going to be sacrilege.

The invitation to release beliefs and prejudices to try to perceive from silence, without the urge to run or compete, can be violent and suffocating, especially if we don't get a glimpse of a plan B similar to the one we brought from home, behind that invitation.

Unawareness of what it's like remain silent or in a state of stillness, although many things happen on a subtle plane that we find hard to see at first, it makes those who have never been in that situation before feel completely lost and unarmed when the yoga session goes through moments of relaxation, contemplation or permanence in stillness in a posture.

It is in such seemingly small and harmless situations that many aspiring practitioners or aiders adhere to the ideas of everything else (which is nothing but what is making them sick) to justify themselves and argue all kinds of situations up convince themselves that yoga is not for them. In silence and stillness, fears, insecurities or unresolved situations emerge. And the path of self-knowledge that is yoga often begins there, by overcoming what we ignore or hide from ourselves.

On the contrary, those who arrive tired of their own difficulties and the resources that society provides to stun and distract themselves, who has come to understand that they need guidance or help to learn to do other things, who is willing to change and release toxic patterns, you quickly understand that the resources and situations that yoga offers you are the way to change the focus of everything known to, with time and patience, disarticulate the mental concepts that lead to imbalance.

No se puede forzar a alguien a hacer lo que no comprende. No puede saberse cuál de los golpes será el último. Cuando aquel que cree que sus ideas son más valiosas que su salud, llega al límite del orgullo y se rinde ante la posibilidad de cambiar para romper el círculo vicioso, el yoga estará allí con sus miles de años de sabiduría para mostrarles el camino de la tolerancia, el respeto de sí mismo y la posibilidad de tomar la decisión de dejar de luchar para fluir con el devenir de las circunstancias sin perder de vista el centro del equilibrio mental y emocional que nos mantiene más cerca de la salud.

Paul Rego. Profesor de Yoga. Terapeuta holístico. Diplomado en Medicina Ayurveda de India

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By • 11 Nov, 2019 • Sección: Signatures, Paul Rego