THE WINDS, THEY ARE WHISPERING. CLEAR MESSAGES SENDING STAR FELT INSIGHTS AMONGST THE AIR, AIDING THE BLIND WITH SIGHT..
There are times I feel Blind. Yoga helps me see. More than that, others aid in reflection for me to see my blind spots, that which I may be in denial towards, or so deeply rooted in habitual pattern, that it has become the norm. Alas, living with Eddie (if you've been following these words, you may have an idea of the radical mirror he has been holding in front of me!) i do wonder if anyone reads these..... in hopes my experience can serve as a mirror for you, in some way of thought and relation to this journey we call our lives....
the past 64 days have enveloped me in the intense studies of the subject of yoga. Now I am traveling in northern India for 14 days before ejecting myself into the solo flow of synchronicity! My teacher Eddie Modestini has reflected my blind spots to me- especially over the past 42 days while living in India with him! Here, I will share 10 self realizations - that are quite vulnerable for me.... from an outsiders view, it may not seem like much. (Which is a self defense mechanism for me to say! Gotta protect that bugging ego! Ha!) It's the shift of internal change that yoga creates for us to see ourselves..... and do something about it. I'm trying!
Through the days of watching these thoughts arise, more and more as I let myself ride the wave with as much grace as humanely possible while in the YogiK Kiln- I began to feel like I wanted to run and hide, in fear of my nakedness being seen by the outside world- but especially by myself. Sometimes fear and shame came up. No matter the depths of where the samskara's origin was from, I •Feel• a great sense of virya <COURAGE> and Sraddha <FAiTH> as I carry onward. 2016 gave me such challenge. It gave many of us challenge! There was an upheaval of opportunity at my door. Positivity and optimistim continued to linger its fire through the crescent moon's lingering light... assuring me that there will always be a thread of LOVE LIFE woven into my being. I don't feel I have it figured out, whatever it is. I'm doing my best to show up and love the process, baby!
- I LOVE music. It's my life, as much as yoga is. Music brought me healing. Music HEALS. I could spend hours writing about my love for music and what it's dance means to me, what is produced within on a deep visceral level... but this is about my blind spot. Music has become a double edge sword in my awareness now. At first, I denied it, but then I observed it in action. I can use music as a mode for distraction to avoid some certain pain that can arise in certain scenarios or elongated quietude (separate from sitting practice). My stimulus was always peaking while in Bangalore. Bangalore is just crazy in comparison to other Asian cities I have been to! As my stimulus peaked, I used my (thank god) wireless Bose headphones to enter a world of musical creation met with running thought, riding the sound wave. Well... what to do? Next time in stimulus overload, notice before I mindlessly act. Dissect experience. Identify and get clear on frustrations and what I desire.... and see what happens when focus is brought to breath... or more enjoyable for me as of recent; the residue of Sarvangasna! I can use greater discernment for music in my ears- mainly for when I want the bubble of symphonic thought to take its inward journey away from the buzzing world that is present. I notice I use this to also connect with my friends in the force of the dance space continuum. I FEEL you, tribe! I dance for life with music, without music, cause you raise my stoke level! (You know who you are!!!) the source of silence.
2. I have spaced out in the asana's for years! At many times- yes, there is presence... but I have allowed myself to space out and allow so much to pass through me. I realized this while studying with HS Arun in India.
अनुभूतविषयासंप्रमोषः स्मृतिः ॥११॥
anu-bhūta-viṣaya-asaṁpramoṣaḥ smr̥tiḥ ॥11॥
Memory is reflected from a retainment from direct conscious experience
Perhaps it is rising up from an old story of mine. Being less adequate in school, the slower learner. Facing the hardships I found of learning how to pay attention, listening, and truly understanding. Or maybe that's my own bullshit excuse. Maybe a bit of both. There is a fear in me of knowing that I learn very slowly, and I don't wish to frustrate my teacher... that's for me to work through. I have used vinyasa yoga as a means of continuous movement, having thoughts and understands be in constant flow, just like the practice of vinyasa. To some extent this was reflected in Ashtanga yoga, with the holding of postures for some more breaths. Slowly there is a little more o settle into. Now.... there is a level I am experiencing of staying in poses for 5-30 minutes- and I space out. I lose focus on the sequence... of what's happening in my body.... of where I am in the world. Woah, space cadet, paging ALEC!!! GTFdown here!! I have had it placed in front of my attention of what it means to be a student... of what it involves to pay attention and truly •learn• yoga. I at least have some prime time examples to learn off of. (Full prostration in gratitude)
3- solution to #2- I will write the sequence of a class every time I practice in 2017. This is an amazing way to cultivate Smriti- or memory and understand why the teacher taught what they did. Everyday we wrote the sequence down and I couldn't find the value in it until my time in Bangalore was almost to a close. Well... better late than never! Now I see great value in this... it was hard for me to figure out how to remember.... the dust is settling. Can't wait to raise it back up at burning man though ;)
4- I have to get shoulder surgery. Well, gawd Blessit. Fix up my left labrum, doc. And please know I hope to return to these photos. (Flips through Light on Yoga) these will be the words I have when I meet with my doc in April. Nov 2015 I got in a snowboarding injury and immediately I knew I hurt myself. Denial for one year. Boom... 💥
"In the tumble of the black ice that caught my edge, i lay heavy in the cold ground as snow pierced through my back, face and neck. The winds whispered I was okay... which was met with a numbing sensation along my left arm. It could be worse, they said."
I am to get surgery for the longevity of my practice, of my career, for the life of teaching Yoga- all within a desire to be in Integrity. It will be an arduous road of thrill getting this surgery. I seek the light, I invite the darkness.... both of them have their sexy qualities for me. Characteristics that seduce me in their rapture, sometimes in their paradoxical happenings. A sublimation of life unfolding before me.... riding the wave.
5 I need to learn to control my flexibility. So much of my performance has been in ego, and I humbly admit that! There is a desire to be seen, a thrive for attention. Let me tell you... it wasn't always like that. When I first came to yoga, I had little confidence in myself, no security in my body, and a lack of awareness in life. Arm balances did indeed, alter all of that. Being injured has been one of the great blessings to befall me in my life, and it is a lesson lasting well over 2 years, one that I'm sure will follow me into my adulthood and the remaining 3/4th of my life. There is a great value in the asanas and what their intensity can bring. However.... a time and a place. If you visit my instagram and go back 2 years and slowly scroll to present.... there is a slow decrease of postures. I did and do post postures... yet there is a different vibe to them- and I'm trying to get clear with myself on what and how I'll post postures. How to be different than the crop. Postures, They inspire. Perhaps...... just check yo self- before you break yo ego on the cliff side and then you gotsta pull yourself up the slippery slope!!
BKS iyengar says "I used to play.... now I stay". In commentary on movement in and out of postures.
6 I have relied on capability to carry me through the practice. Capability has taken me far into my body, FAR too quickly as I didn't have a proper teacher to guide me through the obstacles of what it is to be hyper flexible. I have developed reversed curves in my spine. My thoracic spine goes out, and my lumber goes in. Should be Vic versa. More on this later. When I met Eddie, he immediately put the reigns on me and brought me back. He was surprised that I listened.... thinking I would break sooner than I did. I feel open to the guidance, even if it means starting groom ground zero. Standing poses, 5 minutes each side. This is my assignment. (Without using my left shoulder or arm.....)
7 ^^ following number 6.... to not use my left shoulder. Hmmm. Well. I'm a bit of an extremist! Super flow mode at times, where at other times, I may stubborn and on fire. I take things too literally. Sometimes acting with a linear train of thought and understanding can hinder me from having my own natural creative experience of what is being offered.
Understand the rules and stay creative within them! My feet and hands aren't tied up. Whether it's in an asana and I'm seeking peace in a pose, not pain.... there will always be a way to create a new experience for my body. Just as much in life. Just as I have been open from evolving my practice from vinyasa, to ashtanga vinyasa yoga. And finding Iyengar yoga and Soft supported asana work, I feel I can find a way to flow within the gates of life. there's multiple entry points and exits!
8 it's time to grow up. This trip is two months underway and I feel shifts on an internal level, but there's something else I can't quite put into words. Perhaps it doesn't need words. I'm finding myself in the world, finding ishvara in myself and the surrounding world. I'm learning who I am. I lost Alec Vishal Rouben in months of 2015 and 2016. I felt like I didn't know what I was doing. Or who I was (am) becoming. I had begun to let fear penetrate my reality. A fog of awareness.... But I did and do know : I am so blessed to be Alec Vishal Rouben. Despite having a very strong daily committed practice, I fell out the mindfulness involved. It was a routine. I'm re-finding what it means to break down the walls of pattern, and see the world with new eyes. I wish to know my internal experience, with unwavering contentment, conviction, and a light that shines bright in the world; piercing the corners of darkness in myself and in the eyes of others. Expanding the lineage of being a human being.
9 I have to get a job. My game plan... April / may get surgery and heal for 3 months returning to basic movement for my left arm. Probably more basic than I can imagine. Fly back to Maui for a month of studies with Eddie modestini (I'm going back into the kiln!!!) then back to Boulder and get job for some months before returning to India to study with Arun! (but I won't tell my employer that!) I have resisted getting a job for so long. But I need to make the leap of making more of my own money. There are many reasons why this is obvious and a no brainer. I have shame around my reasons, and acknowledge them as old fears hindering my growth. I don't wish to teach 10-15 classes of yoga a week! I've tried it and it's not for me. 4-6 classes is my key. I do wish to travel the world teaching, and that will come, first I must put years of studentship in. Money will come. I'm not chasing money, I'm chasing yoga- knowing money will flow. But I must gather money on level of integrity so I can continue to live this radical amazing lifestyle I do.
10 your word is STRONG and the universe will listen. Besides praying for master yoga teachers to come into myself and guide me.... I told the universe I want to be single in Jan 2015 for one year after I ended relationship. It's so crazy to me how this manifested!! What a wild ride it has been these past 12 months. With reverence I bow to the stars and spirit for always supporting me. Trusting the dance, trusting myself, getting on the mat when in doubt.... I yearn for relationship and partnership. I feel so strongly that she will reveal herself as I continue to follow yoga. I feel in my hesrt, she's out there and she's a yogi! Yearning for a beloved someone doesn't take away my desires for touch with women, connection, and play with those I meet amongst this walk of life... yet I know the one I'm to dive deep in with, speaks the language of YOG! For me, this will originate in getting a job too. Growing up, more and more, each chapter in life moving forward.
it's good to reflect and write things down. It's better to ACT. Visions are just that, if they do not unfold in reality with intentional actions. I'd rather live in a world of radical change that seemed like a nightmare than in an world of illusion & idealized perfection. I have shared a bit of what's been in front of my face the past 2 months - and maybe something stuck out for you! As an aid for you to go inside yourself next time you hit your mat.... and find some level of stillness.
Grow and evolve.
Explore and experiment.
what are you discovering in yourself? I would love to know and hear. Feel free to reach out. I love you. 💕