It's so cool when insights like this one Greg shared come out in an interview. Sitting around with each other talking about our experiences often someone will have an insight that just makes you see things in an entirely different way. Turn off all distractions and pay attention. Trust me. You will think differently in your practice tomorrow. This has nothing with being able to do a handstand. - Clint
Greg Nardi: You know there is something that happens when you consistently do this daily practice. So where as maybe we initially come into it with this samskara thought habit of trying collect postures, when we come to our mat and we let go of that and we're open to all of the millions of potential possibilities that we can have in any given moment, what begins to happen over time is we create a samskara for that, we create a samskara for seeing limitless potential. Every time we practice we strengthen that samskara. We have the potential to strengthen that samaskara as well.
When we are going through and we are creating all these shapes with the body, there are just these moments, we've all experienced it, where your mind just shuts down. The experience is just so great that it cuts beyond rational thinking. And I think that the more often we tap into that space, the more stable we become in that reality. So for me, if there is, "Yes, we're not going anywhere except trying to become present." But it's like taking a journey towards stabilizing that as my reality. So I have to come to a mat every day, because I have to keep reminding myself. I have to keep enriching that perspective in my life.
So they tended to describe, at least in the Hatha yoga texts this whole like, "You're the energetic body." We've got the nadis and we've got the chakras, and the way that energy works flows through those energetic channels in the body. When we're doing Hatha yoga, which any of these postural yoga systems are based in Hatha yoga, we use things like mudras and bandhas, which are basically just ways of connecting energetic circuits so that prana begins to flow in particular ways - the most important ones being Mūla Bandha, Uddiyana Bandha, and Jalandhara Bandha.
Some people say, they can see the energy in the body. It's not something I've ever seen before. But certainly I think it can be inferred and it can be felt. The same way that you know that wind is there, because you can hear it and you can see the leaves blowing, but you can't actually see the wind. I think there is something to that. But, I also wonder if this is just a story we tell ourselves, because we have this understanding that there is spirit and there's matter, right? So we have all the physical objects of the world. And then we have some self aware principle that's relating to all these objects of the world and we call that experience, we call that reality. But the body is this very interesting bit of matter. It's just matter. It's made up of the same elements that makes up everything else. But, somehow it's what the mind is able to use to experience the world. Yet at the same time, it's different from other matter, because we inhabit it and we feel it. So it somehow stands in the middle of the two. It's a bit of a gateway, let's say, between the outer and the inner. And so when we're going through our practice, I think that, that boundary, that gateway starts to break down a little bit. The doorway starts to open a little bit, and we have to start to ask ourselves the experience of our body that we're having. Is it happening in physical reality, or is it happening in our mental space? And often times that distinction gets blurred. Often times that line gets blurred. So we begin to experience our body in a very new way, what we might call an energetic way. We begin to have feelings of our body that don't necessarily just... they're not as easily answerable by the anatomy, let's say.
So when we go and we make certain connections in our body, we feel things that are, you know, I often times as I'm going through my practice, sometimes we envision our body in geometric patterns. Often times that's what I feel like we're doing. We're creating patterns and then we're dissolving patterns as we're going through practice. Then we create a new pattern and then we dissolve a pattern, and we call that asana. And we think that it's about aligning this muscle and that bone and then this joint has to have a certain angle, and that's true, because that kind of physical springboard is what maybe gives us access. But after a while there's some experience that happens, a reflection of that physical experience that's happening in the mind. And the mind where this might really exist, right? So we start to experience the practice in just a more subtle and a much deeper way.
Juan Carlos : Because of all them and awareness that yoga does bring, it allows us to understand each other a little better or do things from each other’s perspective in a way that we may not have access to if we didn't have that awareness that come with yoga.
Greg: Yoga is such an intensely personal experience, right? And so we share it in community, which is really beautiful. But when we share it as a couple, it brings out this depth. For instance, we don't just do what's on our mat and then go home and just talk about it all day. We meditate together. We chant together. And we start to understand our whole lives as a journey. We always talk about yoga off the mat. But, our whole life has become a yoga off the mat.
You can learn more about Greg and Juan at their website Ashtanga Yoga Worldwide. Greg travels around the world teaching workshops and occasionally Juan Carlos joins him when they aren't teaching in Vancouver at Ashtanga Yoga Vancouver (Juan) and Chopra Yoga Vancouver (Greg)
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