Sunday, May 31, 2009

Some Minor Distractions Preventing One From Writing a Deep Philosophical Commentary

- Contemplating blurred visions of transient beauty;

- Mommy, you are giving me a headache - I cannot stand one more minute of this!

And finally,

- Aren't these the longest cat arms you have ever seen?!

After a long weekend studying at Integral Yoga, it is nice to see your family go about their business. Have faith, that deep philosophical thought is coming. Take it from the smart ones - relaxation is key!

I have to thank my friend Lisa, who always manages to post the most endearing pictures of her critters to complement the deepest thoughts.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Yoga Immersion

This coming Friday, I will be starting my training as a therapeutic yoga instructor. I signed up at the Integral Yoga Institute, in New York. It is my sincere hope that I will somehow, despite all economic odds and the horrendous health care system which by and large deems most therapeutic and alternative medicine services not medically necessary, my patients will benefit from a yoga practice that will be done with a gentle encouragement and an understanding that all of us start by facing, and then overcoming our limitations, whether physical or mental.

As a matter of fact, Yoga is known as a union of physical and mental, or the great late sage Sri Pattabhi Jois, commented in his book "Yoga Mala", it is a way of establishing the mind in the Self. It is with this union that perfect health is found to be rooted. It is not a series of strange postures on a rubber mat, or even a couple deep breaths for stress relief - it is a holistic health discipline that is perfect in union of the many areas it comprises.

You know my fascination with the tree as the perfect metaphor for life, health and renewal. How amazing it is that the great B.K.S. Iyengar compared the practice of yoga to a vibrant tree:

"A tree has roots, branches,leaves, bark, sap, flowers, and fruits. Each one of these components has a separate identity, but each component cannot by itself become a tree. It is the same with Yoga. As all the parts put together become a tree, so all the eight stages put together form Yoga. The universal principles of Yama (universal moral commandments) are the roots, and the individual disciplines of Niyama (rules of self-purification) form the trunk. Asanas (poses) are like various branches spreading in different directions. Pranayama (conscious prolongation of inhalation, retention and exhalation) which aerates the body with energy, is like the leaves which aerate the entire tree. Pratyahara (a discipline that quiets the senses and draws them inward) prevents the energy of the senses from flowing outwards, just as the bark protects the tree from decay. Dharana (concentration and stimulation of inner awareness) is the sap of the tree that holds the body and intellect firm. Dhyana (meditation) is the flower ripening into the fruit of samadhi (bliss). Even as the fruit is the highest development of a tree, the realisation of one's true self (atmadarsana) is the culmination of the practice of Yoga." B.K.S.Raja Iyengar, "Light on Pranayama" - the definitions in brackets are my insertions, also based on his book.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Random Knitting Project - Flowers
Why do we try to imitate something that can never be improved on? We give it stylized shape and color, we try to reduce it to a number of sticthes of brushstrokes... And in the end each of them still looks different, no matter how much you try to repeat the pattern in exactly the same way. Maybe it is the nature of a flower shape, maybe I am just a sloppy knitter!

Parle-leur de batailles, de rois et d'éléphants by Mathias Énard My rating: 5 of 5 stars This is an amazing book, and I was fortuna...