Old Scrap Notes

I haven’t written here for a while. Today as I was cleaning and clearing my flat I found a few old notebooks, some scrap notes and drawings that I made in the last couple of years. Some made me laugh. Some I didn’t understand and these few I thought I would share: I want to look right there. Live right there where only you know. Meet your soul there And be. Once. Always. Forever. Now (Mexico City, 2014) -o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o- Brother, sister talk to me.   Brother, sister don’t leave me.   We smoked from the pipe We drank the tea We are the type that they never see   We feel what others just sense We are what they dream We jumped the fence We bathe in the stream   Brother, sister You are the love that flows through me You are now a part of me (Pachamama, Costa Rica November 2012) -o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o- Will you soon become just a memory? I wonder what it is that I will remember the most… Will it be your smell or the way you walk? Or maybe your smile this morning as I woke up.   Will I remember you laughing? Will I remember that kiss that never was? -o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o- Love and Happiness, Mannu

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

Namaste Madiba

To me,this week has been emotional to say the least. As I learned last week about Nelson Mandela’s fragile condition I remembered his book “ Long Walk To Freedom” and how it impacted my life ever since I read it a few years ago. As I reminisce on those pages today, the words take on a different meaning. Perhaps because now I am reading them as a Yogi and not just an admirer of the revolutionary (which I still am). This week I have been letting Mandela and his life inspire my practice on and off the mat. I have been reading his quotes in my classes and I have been hoping for him to either recover or leave his body in the most peaceful and dignified manner Mandela’s story is one of the most remarkable and multifaceted ones of our time. It is one of a young boy who came from a little rural town to become the first elected president of his Nation. It is also the story of a man who wouldn’t give up his beliefs of freedom and equality for all even if he had to sacrifice his family, his friends and his life. It is a tale of endurance and an example of how far can the human spirit go even when the body has been imprisoned and mistreated. But most importantly, I think, it is a story of transformation and humility. Most people know Mandela’s story. His 27 years long ordeal in prison and his coming to presidency and efforts in uniting a very segregated South Africa. What many tend to forget is that just before being imprisoned, and tired of the slow achievements of his movement, he created and lead the Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), or "Spear of the Nation." The MK was the violent, militarized wing of the African National Congress. He was responsible a few bombings, for organizing violent resistance and planning guerrilla warfare. However he wasn’t able to fulfill most of this plans as he was imprisoned in 1962. This is where, to me, the most inspiring part of Mandela’s story takes place. Something amazing happened to him in prison. He transformed. He changed from deep within. He turned resentment, bitterness and maybe even hatred into forgiveness. He changed violent revolution for peaceful resistance. He chose the path of Love. Some of the most remembered of Mandela’s tales take place…

Yoga and Me

Last weekend I attended a weekend workshop with Kino MacGregor. Kino is an amazing world known Ashtanga teacher and I was very excited to learn from her. Although the weekend was mainly focused on Asana and technique, there was some time to discuss very briefly some of the more subtle and philosophical aspects of Yoga. At some point one of the attendees asked about the meaning of the word Yoga to which Kino responded something like this: "Yoga is a very broad concept and in India alone there are many different schools of yoga without counting the numerous ones recently created in the west. We could spend the day talking about yoga means union, or the Sutras say this or The Gita says that, but I would invite you to ask yourself what Yoga means to you..." Kino's reply was excellent. It left me wondering and gave inspiration for this post. In the most strict and brief manner, Yoga means union. However we must remember that translating Sanskrit is never that easy and, depending on the context, Yoga can translate as connect(ion), to add, contact, method, application or performance. Going back to Kino's question, what really made me think, and inspired this post. What does Yoga mean to me? Again, there is not a simple answer to this question. As a practitioner the first thing that yoga did for me was returning me that sense of possibility. Knowing that everything is achievable just by trying and then just discovering that the beauty is in the trying not the achieving. Yoga taught me that it is ok to be me however I am, as it is not where you are in your practice that matters but that you practice. Yoga taught me that life is great. Even in the most difficult moments life is great just as there are difficult asanas or moments in the practice. As I dived deeper into my practice, transformation started to manifest. First, in my body, but most importantly and surprising to me  in my relations. As I became more compassionate with my body and my Self, I became more compassionate, patient and understanding towards others. Yoga let me empty my Self with each exhale so that I could receive Love Happiness and blessings with the next inhale. At some point I started inhaling more Love and Happiness than I could contain. That's when I realised I had to teach.…