A chewy first course of yoga

Shritanu, Koh Phangan, Thailand.

I am on the veranda of my little hut on the beach. It is dark but I can hear the sea. The tide is high, the water is 20 meters from here. It is quite warm – I am only wearing shorts – but there is a small breeze. My stomach is full from the red curry I just ate. It wasn’t as good as the curry I had yesterday but still ok.

My legs are tired and my calves are sore. This morning I was picked up by my new yoga friend at 06.00 in the morning to go for a run. In Hong Kong I bought Vibram Fivevingers and this was my chance to break them in. Running on the se shoes demands a different running technique and I bought these shoes deliberately because I want to force myself to integrate this new technique in my life. But because the strain on the body is different one has to go though a period of adaptation and suffers primarily from sore calves.

Last Monday I started a month-long yoga course. Today was my third day. I must admit that I am disappointed and I really hope the feeling doesn’t persist. The idea is that the Agama Level 1 Yoga Course gives you insight in what yoga is according to Agama. Although I had a great experience with Agama teachers in India and the school has a great reputation on the island I feel that this place lacks authenticity and quality. I have been training with them for only 3 days so I hope I will be proven very wrong as soon as possible but I think what I am seeing is the problem of success. They seem to be producing so many teachers and the system is so fixed that I feel like I am dealing with Agama robots, produced by the Agama system. So I am learning the Agama system by teachers who memorized the prescribed lectures word for word. A lot of information is handed over. Ideally, the information is fascinating. But in every lecture there are too many claims that are obviously incorrect and/or incomplete and still presented as the ultimate truth. Let’s be honest: it annoys the shit out of me.

The yoga is presented as a spiritual practice, a way to enlightenment. The method is to open the chakras by doing the asanas. After my Kundalini rising experience in India I am very, very interested in opening the chakras so I hope I am in the right place. I am open minded enough to believe in the existence of energy from the earth and the cosmos. Or actually, it is not a matter of an open mind: I have experienced many mystical and paranormal things. But don’t tell me that astronauts come back from space with deteriorated bodies because there is no ‘teleuric energy’ (earth energy) in the cosmos and not mention the absence of gravity in space and its effects on the body. If you really claim to know the truth you don’t have to manipulate the facts nor blatantly ignore the scientifically proven answers.

In general I am surprised and amazed by the fact that it is so difficult to find good teachers. At least it has been for me. Maybe my standards are high, maybe I am looking in the wrong places. But what I am learning is that a good teacher is a rare thing on this planet. There are plenty of bad teachers though. But this night is to beautiful to get into that topic now.

Let’s see how this unfolds. Maybe and hopefully I have changed my mind completely in a week from now. It has happened to me before so it can happen again.

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  1. suri says

    It is good to see you are using your critical thinking skills, there is a lot of deceit and erroneous information in the spiritual scene ….perhaps you should check out Julian Walkers posts on elephant , he proposes a kind of spirituality that is based on reality as oposed to one that is based in superstition and magical thinking .

    “The thing is there are perhaps two kinds of spirituality:
    1) Spirituality that encourages us to adopt beliefs that distort reality in order to make us feel better.
    2) Spirituality that suggests that we face reality in all its shadow and light with courage, compassion and curiosity and learn to tolerate our true feelings….”

    Good luck!

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