It is a reality that a conscious, healthy, calm and balanced lifestyle is the key to live with better life quality. Yoga is a great tool to take care of the body, but it is not limited to that. The importance of YOGA in our daily life is deep, complex and accessible to everyone, and that makes it a fascinating universe.
When we talk about yoga, it may happen that we think of ONLY one of its fields: maybe the physical (ASANA), the philosophical or maybe the emotional.
And, as we think and know that it is a discipline made up of essential threads that interweave it, we wanted to share with you a little more about it.
That’s why we took the opportunity, on this international yoga day, to talk about this topic
Carmen is a friend of the house from many years ago and this summer she will also be our resident yoga teacher. And we are very happy and proud about it. She has just moved to live in Cadiz and we love to have her closer to us.
We invite you to tell us your opinion about it and to come and try her classes: Monday to Saturday, 8.15 am in the middle of our gardens.
This is the interview we made to her:
What is yoga for you?
For me Yoga is everything. I could say that yoga is union, but I would be just snorkeling on the surface. For me yoga is diving, it is going deep into myself, into my being, looking inside.
Yoga is to face your fears by clearing patterns acquired unconsciously by our society, culture or education. Patterns of thoughts, actions or words in which “we have to”: “We have to buy a house, we have to get married, we have to start a family, we have to be wonderful, all day radiant”.
We become dolls, hamsters that spin and spin on their wheel without realizing that we are not going anywhere, that we are trapped. And for me yoga is awakening. If yoga is good for something, I think it is to make us freer.
How did yoga come into your life?
Yoga came into my life in a moment of anxiety. I didn't know how to identify it at that time, but my sister told me that she was a battered woman and she couldn't tell my parents or nobody. It was our secret. I was dying a little bit every day struggling about how to help her. It literally changed my life.
And within my daily anguish, one day I overheard a conversation at work in which one person told another that they knew a girl who had opened a "weird" place where people went to breathe and felt good. I had to ask for the phone number of that girl who was a yoga teacher. She is Arantxa Bermejo, currently founder and president of the association Yoga
Especial which is responsible for bringing yoga to people with special needs doing a magnificent work of yoga for functional diversity.
That day changed my life. I get tears in my eyes just remembering it. I needed help and she reached out to me. She taught me how to breathe as I came to her yoga room with a pretty acute level of emotional stress. She taught me how to take care of myself in a nutshell, through yoga.
What did you feel yoga brought to you when you started? Has it transformed over time?
Soon after I started, I felt like I freed myself from anguish. I transformed the energy, started to take care of myself inside, doing pranayama (conscious breathing), meditating and practicing regularly. My problems were the same, but the way I dealt with them had changed.
And to the question of whether it has been transforming, I have to say that at the base, no. It brings me the same thing, stability, perspective, and a new perspective. It brings me the same stability, perspective, love for myself and for what surrounds me. But I would say that what has changed is my relationship with yoga. At the beginning you practice two or three times a week. And as you become more committed to yourself and to that way of life, your relationship with yoga is daily.
Taking asanas out of the equation, how do you practice yoga in your daily life?
Yoga is eight steps or links. The asana is probably the least important, but the most well known. Every day I try to meditate twice, to open and close the day. But out of all theory I will tell you that for me, there is yoga in everything.
The real yoga is outside the mat, there is yoga in everything you do with love. There is yoga in the scent of a flower if you stop to observe it, in the smell of salt when you dive into the sea if you open your senses. There is yoga when you help a stranger on the street, in that smile when you look into someone’s eyes, when you listen to a friend who needs to tell you their problems. You can be doing yoga all day long.
There is no point in doing spectacular yoga postures and then being a selfish, distrustful person.
If you had to choose 5 tips for people who want to start practicing, what would they be?
Not to have prejudices.
If you fail in any of these for me, you are lame. Having prejudices such as:”I am not flexible”… means you are making excuses for not reaching the second tip which is the commitment to yourself.
If you don’t have the commitment with yourself, you won’t have constancy. If you don’t have constancy, you will not create enough confidence to give yourself to learn from a teacher.
And by not complying with the four tips above, you will obviously not be honest with yourself or with others.
If you had to share one piece of advice with yoga practitioners, what would it be? What
advice would you give to a teacher who is just starting out?
To yoga practitioners, I would tell them to always let themselves feel. The practice is not always the same. Sometimes it feels like you are going backwards but you just need to rest. Intuition does not fail.
And to a teacher who begins to teach I would tell them to be a student all his life. Humility is a treasure that we do not always know how to preserve. Sometimes the ego can make you believe things that are not.
What conscious routine could you recommend to start connecting with yoga and a conscious, slow and healthy lifestyle?
A very simple routine could be:
-5 minutes of alternate breathing (Nadi Sodhana) every morning upon waking and five rounds of sun salutation A.
-Nourish yourself by chewing your food well without looking at your phone or TV, simply aware of the food that nourishes you.
-Caring our gestures and words throughout the day so as not to harm others.
To learn more about Carmen you can visit her new project, called GaneshaExperience.
We also invite you to try her classes, Monday to Saturday at 8.15 am in our gardens.