Life at the Ashram, Mysore, India. Facing my demons

‘The bigger the light, the bigger the shadows’

Day 14

I had a very deep sleep last night. I am very impressed about the quality of my sleep here. I am sleeping deeply most days. It doesn’t disturb me to sleep with 25 people in the same room. It is incredible.

I am not doing kunjal yet. I am still concerned about my stomach. I will do it tomorrow. One day on and one day off and observe how it goes. I do jala neti and sutra neti every day though. I feel so present after kriyas. Content. I feel good and ready for the third week.

Today has been chaotic in the lectures. People asking questions all the time, interrupting Sir (as we call Dr Ashutosh in the ashram) and not letting him even finish. I was angry and frustrated.

Today is Sir’s birthday and I think some people are given him a bad time not following the code of conduct. In the code on conduct is noted that students should allow 24 hours when a question arises to explore if you can find the answers within yourself or your surroundings. Then reflect on why you want to know the answer, is it relevant to the topic, is it just for your own ego, etc. And only then ask the question during the time dedicated to questions. Well, that is not happening. Honestly, today the lectures have been too much for me. We will not be able to finish the content of this course if people continue interrupting the lectures like this. I am moved by Sir’s patience. He doesn’t deserve this.

Today in yoga nidra we work on visualizing a painful experience. It has been very tough. In order for the technique to work, we really need to go through all parts of the experience: what happened, how we felt, what our thoughts were at that moment; we need to go to every detail of the experience, live it again. It is very painful, I can feel the pain in my body. Strong emotions come back in waves: sadness, anger, resentment. I let it be. We need to feel it to release it. I am feeling it. It is so hard. Releasing. We finalize the session with chanting the mantra Om Namah Shivaye, sending gratitude to the person who caused us that pain because that person has helped us to grow. This part is very hard as well. But it is the understanding that existence has given us this experience so that we could grow, learn from and evolve which free us.

Apart from the lectures, I have been feeling relax and comfortable with my silence. Every day I feel more comfortable. I just want to go deeper and deeper and this feeling that I am going in the right direction right now is so intense that deep inside I know I am not missing anything by not interacting with others. It is incredible how I am now able to observe my thoughts and feelings during the day and not get involved with them. It is becoming effortless. I feel like in a continuous meditative state, moment by moment, every moment a new beginning, a new exploration. I am identifying thoughts patterns and track them back in time. I am discovering so many things. This practice is giving me so much that I feel sorry for the people not following mauna. If they would know how big this is they would do it. I feel so much gratitude for being here going through this experience.

Dinner is being challenging today though. Everybody seems to be having a great time and the feeling of isolation is very present. I notice a guy who has been in silence for two weeks just breaking the silence because, I heard him say, the feeling of isolation was unbearable. It is very hard, but I can do it. I feel so awake. The way I eat is changing too. I am eating much more slowly, I am always the last one to finish with only one plate, the rest with two. I am more aware of when to stop eating before feeling too full.

Kirtan has been beautiful today. All people dancing and singing. Magical. We were playing with balloons like kids. I love playing. We sang Happy Birthday to Sir in so many different languages! I’ve had a great time and it has been an opportunity to connect with people as the feeling of isolation has been very strong today.

I loved Sir’s words today: ‘Please, don’t become a yoga instructor. Live a yogic life and share it.’

Day 15

We are now supposed to be in ‘obligatory’ silence for two days. I hope people can make it.

The state of peace after pranayama is notorious. I feel in complete harmony. High. My level of energy is very high today. I feel so energized. My stomach is perfect. My mood is happy happy.

The energy of the group was stronger in general today too. I wonder if Sir has chosen the yoga nidra session according to the energy level of the group. It has been a very difficult and painful session for many people but our energy was very strong.

Today during yoga nidra we work on a memory that we want to delete. Something we have done that if possible we would like to undo. It is painful. Again we need to go through every detail of it: the experience itself and related experiences. We focus on the cause. Why did we do it? What were we thinking? Feeling? It has been the hardest session so far for many people. I am crying. I am hearing so many people crying. But I feel strong enough to go through this. I dip into it. I am facing my demons.

Most people kept silence today.

Day 16

Today during yoga nidra we worked on a difficult decision that we were not able to make. We need to reflect on it for two days and find out which chakras are our predominant. Once we discover the predominant chakras upon which we had made most of the decisions in our lives we will be able to understand. ‘Only by experiencing it we can teach yoga therapy’. That is why the focus of this course is on experiencing everything on us.

During the session I snoozed a lot, then I felt a lot of discomfort in my head and body. AGAIN. My head is killing me, is so painful, I need to continuously move it from side to side. It seems an energy block because when I move it slightly it releases completely, there is no injury or anything. My body is so uncomfortable, as if made of stone, so heavy that it hurts. What is wrong with me? I need to sit up.

Tomorrow we will not do shatkarmas for 7 days to make out the differences. Sir advises us: ‘Everything that becomes a habit, you get addicted to it stepping out of the yoga path’. I can easily see how people can get addicted to sharkarmas. And I also see how easy is to get addicted to our asana practice. Sometimes I wonder if it is not addition what I have with my asana practice.

Day 17

At 5am we went for a long silence walk. It has been magical. The sounds of nature walking up. The shades and borders of the trees against the starred sky. I love it. I realized how much I love walking in nature. Memories of the Camino de Santiago pop up. Walking at night is magical.

We start a 24 hours mental exercise: observe any signals in your thoughts, behaviour, due to low self-esteem. In the last 16 days what we have done or thought that are signals of low self teem. Sir explains many different signals of low self-esteem: the need to talk and point out your opinion, when you compare yourself with others, the thought that the teacher is ignoring you or people are not listening to you, the need to be accepted by others, etc., etc., etc… I can see I suffer from it at some degree. I am not free from it. I need to admit it and have the courage to face it.

During yoga nidra we keep working on low self-esteem by exploring the most humiliated experience we had in the past. What did we feel? What were we thinking during and before the experience? It is very painful. I can feel the pain in my chest... Then the energy in my body starts to change... I can feel it in my arms... Then I start to realize and see things I didn’t see before... It is amazing... How couldn’t I see this before?? My body starts to relax... Session ends. We need to go to the core of it to see if our low self-esteem is due to those experiences or it is the full image we have of ourselves the cause of it. This is very tough.

This is a very short version of the whole process. I worked on all these thoughts patterns every day, moment by moment. It was very hard but the ability to keep observing every thought through the day was motivating me to keep going. I was experiencing the power of healing myself, of forgiving myself. I was facing parts of me that I had been avoiding for decades and having a conversation with these demons, my demons, and making friends with them. This was leading me to the core of my thinking patterns and by reaching this core the healing was happening by itself. Like a miracle.

To be continued….

Dhyana-Moolam Gurur-Moortih ~ Pooja-Moolam Gurur-Padam ~ Mantra-Moolam Gurur-Vaakyam ~ Moksha-Moolam Gurur-Kripaa ~ Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

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Patricia Galavís Yoga

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