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Ed Kishtur Yoga, #10

A few lines about....

Yoga, Travelling, Breathing, Moving, Thinking, Enjoying and Whatever catches your fancy...

A Higher Conscious Conversation
The 1981 movie "A dinner with Andre", directed by Louis Malle, depicts a conversation between Shawn (no hair, down to earth pragmatist and humanist) and Gregory (illuminated spiritual rebel doing most of the talking) where the nature of reality is explored. The above excerpt is a little chilling, in the sense that over 30 years later, one cannot help but lean together with Gregory. The movie ends without a clear resolution to the conflict in worldviews articulated by the two men.
Dear Reader,

Since the Summer is eventually on, I thought it would be interesting to share here a little more thought provoking material. Please take the time to watch and digest the above video excerpt. And don't fail to notice how illuminated Gregory, the inspirational character in the clip, is. Don't fail to notice either how less driven and much more blend Shawn is. Make up your own mind.

Portugal has won the euro, the masses have been entertained with games and simulacra of grand civilization clashes. Putin tries to warn 'people' of the impending risk of world war three, in a way that makes him an accomplice of the very thing he denounces. Black people are being slaughtered by some bad seeds in the american police force and reported in such a way that one cannot help but be prejudiced against the very people supposed to protect us. Incidentally, the first victims of this are the officers with integrity, trying to do their job as well as they can. Recently again, a white college 20 yo rapist got away with 6 months of jail time because that seems to happen in the U.S of A, where many black innocent non-rapists are locked up for just that. The Brits can't say much anyways since they brexited and have no clue what they just did. Isis is gonna kill us all. Some people seem to believe that this is all orchestrated by a shadow government, and when they push it, they claim that this shadow government is composed of lizard looking aliens. In a nutshell, this is all getting a little overwhelming and complicated.

So your author, in an attempt to get down to basics, is writing those few lines from a highly simplified environment, to get back in touch with what it means to be a human animal non alienated by the crazy binding narratives of a society that seems to be going insane. Sleeping outside, living in synchronicity with the natural light of the sun, doing yoga with like minded people, surrounded by children, animals and nature. And man it makes me wanna cry how easy it is to lose touch. And I know that when I am back again, there's a good chance I forget about this little piece of writing.

And of course, it is also so easy to feel special, in the holier than thou yoga community. A community that has recently been shaken by stories as old as the world, of psychological and sexual abuses, stories also recuperated by self-serving abused who are trying to get back at their abusers. So once more, there is only one direction: you are your own guru -> cultivate your own body and mind, get stronger, suppler, smarter, kinder and never give up on the very individual work of self improvement.

In this task, I thought the following guidelines by Jacqueline Hargreaves, another commentator, would be a good starting point to thinking and standing by oneself:
And notice how this is certainly not pertaining just to Yoga or religious or cultish communities (hint hint football supporters, corporate workers etc etc...).

K.I.S.S (my ass). Keep it simple, Stupido.

With the above in mind, we move to the educational part of the letter. Lately I was writing about my oecumenical approach to movement and the body in general. Yoga, martial arts, dancing and massage share a common base that cannot be denied. Of the four of them, Yoga stands at the greater risk at the moment of becoming a stale discipline of making shapes with the body. It isn't surprising given the popularity of the field, its increasing economic importance, and the inevitable dissolution of material that comes about with cheap distribution and democratization of ancient lore.

Making shapes without an intense involvement of the mind, feelings and powers of visualizations, in other words, doing calisthenics out of yoga is akin to confounding the book cover with its content. And I am not even talking about the whole spiritual side of the 8 limbs, Yamas, Niyamas and so forth. I am talking about injecting the correct esoterical outlook into one's practice, in order to make it primarily a work about 'energy'. Even though the external leads to the internal and conversely, nowadays, placing the emphasis on the internal is sorely needed: Yoga is first and foremost the creation of an inner feeling that in the end gives birth to a shape. Understanding the shape first through a feeling is the nature of the work.

To this extent, I have started to write a series of articles on the website on Chi/Prana, and have chosen as a point of departure the Chinese tradition, because it is (at least for me) easier to grasp and the exercises are not only simple but convey the essence of what to look for. In the latest installment, the extremely simple exercise of Guanqifa is presented for the reader to try out and incorporate. Give it a go, make it a habit and see what it does for yourself.
Now the adventure front...

I am delighted to team up again with Klára Püski to propose you another Marrakech week-end in the Adnaa estate. Not that it is important, but this house is one of my favorites and it comes equipped with the whole gamut of spa stuff  (hammams, saunas, swimming pool in and out) and massages and all sorts of available treatments - therapeutical and beauty.

It's going to be our third long week-end, and I am curious to see how we are going to refine the material. Klára is one of those teachers who practices as much (if not more) as she teaches, and she ever remains an insatiable traveller on the yoga path. Her initial background is Jivamukti, but this base is slowly giving way to Kláramukti, and there's nothing sexier than a practitioner/teacher finding their own voice and style. Those are living practices after all, and they keep on evolving at the rate of the enthusiasm of their recipients.

It's Summer now, so anchor yourself in that feeling of joy and relaxation, and project to damp and cold November: you'll want your shot of movement, sun and delicious veggie food.

Kind regards,

Looking forward to seeing you on the mat,



PS: all shout-outs and other references made above are my sole choice and made without any type of link other than friendship or appreciation for the people mentioned.


Reading Material

(A) Technique of Chi Propagation and Diffusion


Klara Puski, Be-Youtiful III: The return of the Sequel

Nov 10th-13th 2016, Marrakech

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