Always a surprise when you find out what the person next to you in the shala does for a living outside the shala walls. I'm sure you've experienced that situation where you see someone maybe for months at your studio but never actually talk to them. One day you end up in conversation and learn their story which is usually nothing like you expected.
When I spoke with Lucas I found out that he studied psychology before teaching yoga. He said to me that one of the most amazing things he sees in the students is how their minds change with practice. As a psychologist he was looking at the transformation in people from that perspective as well as the physical.
In the second part of my interview with Lucas he talked to me about what his life was like before yoga (staying up till 3am instead of getting up at 3 am) and how to him Ashtanga yoga is really just about love.
Life before yoga
I used to play in a rock band. I used to be a guitar player, very, very stiff. I remember my first year in classes when I did my first surya namaskar, I was not able to touch my knees. I used to go to bed in this time, because I was a guitar player, at two in the morning.
It's not a healthy life. This ex-girlfriend of mine, she practiced yoga early in the morning, at six in the morning every day. She invited me to my first Hatha yoga class in 2007 and I asked her, "What time is the class?" And she told me, "Six in the morning." Oh my gosh, at six in the morning. There's no life at six in the morning. At the beginning of the relationship, you always do whatever your girlfriend ask for you because is only the beginning. And I really appreciate it. It was the best gift she gave me in my life.
I feel the difference with practicing Hatha yoga. When I start to practice Ashtanga, I feel more and more difference. I go more deep inside me. For example, Hatha Yoga classes, every day you change your routine. You do different asanas, whatever, like candle asanas. The teacher always speak in the classes and demonstrate some asanas and things like this. You don't have the focus like Mysore style.
When you start to repeat the same sequence day by day and you don't have any more to think about the sequence, and you start to see your mind. How your mind works with your heart open, open heart, open mind and without expectations because when you don't create expectations, you don't create suffering. The answer comes with devotion and respecting the tradition.
Ashtanga Yoga and Love
Ashtanga yoga is about love. You start to feel we are only one. So when you practice, you can feel you can be more patient with people problems. You can understand more and more the other people. Creating more patience, more empathy, you are able to action in a different way, in a lovely way. You give the seed of love to these other people. So I think this practice bring us this love completely.
Lucas teaches and practices in Rio De Janeiro in Brazil when he isn't in Mysore or travelling around the world. If you want to learn more about him check out his Instagram Account - @lucasclp
. Its one of the best Instagram accounts you will find on Ashtanga.
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