Protect your heart

Always, but especially this year I've been torn between the options of living with an open giving and completely vulnerable heart and also preventing it from being hurt. In my opinion you couldn't  really do both at the same time. As much as avoiding pain seems the easier and less hurtful option sometimes, I strongly believe that you can't really choose what comes in or out of your heart so by avoiding this harmful energies we are also blocking love, joy and beauty coming in as well as diminishing our capacity to give. A heart that doesn't give or receive to its fullest potential, starts to weaken, just as any other muscle that we don't exercise  enough. This is not how I want to live my life. I have spent a lot of time working on myself to be more open, loving and happy and I don't want to go back to being less open and vulnerable in order to avoid  being hurt sometimes. It seemed like a lose lose situation. This year to me has been all about this question and finally I think I've come up with a satisfying answer. A good friend said it to me very simply: "Protect your heart" The way I see it now,  protecting your heart  is not about keeping it in an iron box or a crystal cage, or about creating filters to choose which energies it gives or receives. In order to live fully and wholeheartedly, your heart must remain wide open giving all and receiving just as much with each heartbeat. This means that we are going to get hurt and sometimes give what others might say is too much. I don't agree there is too much, but that's another question. Some people will receive and honour what your heart has to give while others will simply dismiss it and even ridicule it. Your wide open heart will receive love and beauty from others and the world around it but it will also receive the hardest blows, stabs and wounds. It will be torn and ripped and left to die. This is just life. The only way to really protect your heart then is not by trying to choose what comes in and out of it or try to prevent it from being hurt. The only way to protect your heart is by making it stronger and more resilient. How do we do this then?…

On Integrity and Forgiveness

  Integrity has always been a quality I value  most and that I try to keep as much as I can.  In the past couple of weeks, however I feel like I have been tested on it. We all have values in which we base our moral guidelines or honour codes we follow. Ideally as we become more conscious, we discover these truths, guidelines or honour codes as they appear more from within, from our spirit, and less from social conditions. To me integrity means adhering to these guidelines no matter what. Each time we discover one of these sacred truths we make a commitment with ourselves,  with our spirit and each time we fail we are only failing and damaging our most important relationship, the one with our spirit. In the Ashtanga Yoga  tradition these guidelines come in the form of what we call Yamas and Niyamas. Also that's why the concept of Sadhana is crucial to success in any spiritual practice. The commitment of daily practice no matter what is, again,  done with our spirit. One of these truths I try to follow is seeing all beings as one and loving all unconditionally. And this is the one I'm usually tested the most on. See, the thing is, it is very easy to say we love all and one. Sounds great as an idea. But in the real world,  when we feel betrayed by someone we love the easiest reaction is anger or hatred. The problem here is that this goes against the sacred truth that we are all one and thus we should love each other the same, without conditions. And whenever we get angry at someone or pretend hating someone, we are just hurting ourselves. Here is where forgiveness comes in to save the day. It is not easy though, because forgiving means opening up again to being hurt. Becoming vulnerable. We are so silly that we don't realise that after forgiveness being hurt is just a possibility but without it hurting and suffering become constants. [caption id="attachment_209" align="alignright" width="336"] "Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it." - Mark Twain[/caption] Forgiving someone doesn't mean coming back to a failed relationship or hanging out with someone that may or may not hurt you no matter what. Forgiving happens and stays within. It is self love and self respect healing you from inside. It has taken me…

Be a man and be brave!!!

Be a man and be brave!!! Understand, however, that being brave is not what we've been conditioned to believe. True courage means letting go of masks and letting others see and touch your soul. Connecting heart to heart with every other living being. Being completely vulnerable and not afraid of being hurt. Being hurt will happen and is part of the process. But the process is worth it and is all that matters. There is no result. Recognize the masculine – feminine duality as two complementing energies. We’ve been conditioned to believe that all dualities oppose each other. Light and dark, good and evil, etc. But this couldn’t be  further from the truth. All these forces and dualities need and complement each other. Working together constantly to create, transform and destroy realities. Be a man and be able to stand in front of another soul and lose yourselves into each other's eyes forever. Let her see right through you. Give yourself away to her completely, your heart, your soul and your body. Recognize the divine in her as you recognize the divine in you. Knowing each other as part of The One. Treat her with the respect and love that something so sacred and divine demands. Be a man who laughs and cries. Be a man who cares and supports. Be a man who needs. Be a man who will know his faults and mistakes. Be a man who is humble about his strengths and achievements. Be a man who wants to be kind rather than right. Be a man who loves wholeheartedly. Love and Happiness, Mannu

About purpose and inspiration…

A good friend asked me tonight: “So, what is your purpose with this website of yours. How do you intend to help the community?” At first I thought it was a great question (or two) just because I was thinking of writing tonight but I was lacking inspiration. As a yogi, the first that comes to mind is one of the principles taught in the Bhagavad Gita 12.12. In this chapter Krishna explains Bhakti Yoga (Yoga through the path of devotion and selfless action) to Arjuna:   “śreyo hi jñānam abhyāsāj jñānād dhyānaḿ viśiṣyate dhyānāt karma-phala-tyāgas tyāgāc chāntir anantaram   SYNONYMS śreyaḥ — better; hi — certainly; jñānam — knowledge; abhyāsāt — than practice; jñānāt — than knowledge; dhyānam — meditation; viśiṣyate — is considered better; dhyānāt — than meditation; karma-phala-tyāgaḥ — renunciation of the results of fruitive action; tyāgāt — by such renunciation; śāntiḥ — peace; anantaram — thereafter. TRANSLATION If you cannot take to this practice, then engage yourself in the cultivation of knowledge. Better than knowledge, however, is meditation, and better than meditation is renunciation of the fruits of action, for by such renunciation one can attain peace of mind.” [1]   Being completely honest, as much as I would like to consider myself completely selfless and altruistic in my actions. I think I am far from there. However, as I told my friend tonight I try really hard every second of my life. Even if I fail 99% of the time, it is ok; I’ll just keep on trying. And that is the point of the practice of Yoga. I always wanted to write a blog. I really don’t know why. I don’t have a purpose or an agenda. After my first post, I wrote this on Facebook as I shared the link to this outlet trying to get my friends to read me, like me, share me etcetera: “I always wanted to blog and finally today I found the courage” This was a comment in response to that from another beautiful friend of mine: “…I think you always had a courage but you didn't have a topic...” Maybe she’s right. Or maybe I was trying to look for that courage, that topic or that inspiration and that’s why I never started before. Maybe this is one more of the gifts yoga has given me. The night I started this site I was overwhelmed with beauty…

There’s always a first time…

About two years ago, I took what I though was the biggest hit I had ever taken (This is probably subject for another post). Little did I know it was actually the biggest blessing I have received. When I was at my  lowest point, Yoga came and saved my life. Then, it changed it. And, eventually, slowly slowly, it became my life. Last year, I realized it would be a sin not to share with the world all the Love and Happiness that flows through me because of Yoga and decided I wanted to teach my beautiful practice. Again, little did I know this decision had already been taken long before I could even imagine. It has not been an easy path since. It definitely has had some beautiful and magic moments, but also others full of doubt and fear. But if there’s anything Yoga has taught me is to surrender, trust and let Love guide. Tonight I taught my first class in a real studio. It is just a small step in a long path, but  a very meaningful one to me. I'm sure it was not the best class but it was special and honest. At some point when fear and doubt started to take the best of me. I surrendered again, thanked for the opportunity to teach, asked Love for inspiration and just let Love speak through me. I taught from deep within my heart. It was beautiful to feel the presence of some of my own teachers and fellow practitioners help me get through in those moments of nervousness and doubt. I can only hope that the students left with a little of what I felt tonight and that I was able to touch their hearts and inspire them in some way. To close the night off, after everyone had left the studio I sat in front of the altar to integrate my experience and thank. After a couple of minutes I was crying like a five years old girl. It was humbling and beautiful. Love and Happiness, Mannu