I recently participated in Instagram Yoga Challenge as one of the host and therefore was posting several Asana photos everyday as part of the challenge. I wrote some text to go with the photos and I thought that it would be nice to have them in one place also.
This first set of photos are taken in Helsinki Keskuspuisto, or the Central Park as we call it. Being in Finland, however, the Central Park is more like a natural conserved area of pine and fir trees forest so dense and thick that you would feel that you are in the middle of real nature instead of only 5 minutes away from the highway connecting Helsinki and Hämmenlinna, which is the biggest inland city in Finland.
We are very lucky to live only 5 minutes walk from the forest and to have the edge of the forest as our backyard. Coming from a dense metropolitan concrete jungle of Jakarta, Indonesia, where greeneries and fresh air is a rare luxury, to have this abundance of nature and fresh air is such a blessing and I would have to say that it has converted me from the ultimate city girl into a forest-dwellers wanna be.
Anyway, I hope that you will enjoy the photos and the stories as much as I enjoy taking photos and writing about them. The real joy is actually to go out in the forest, playing around and having so much fun being so close to nature while doing one of my favorite activities ever.
ARDHA CHANDRA CHAPASANA : The Half Moon Pose
I was walking around the forrest and saw this rocky hill with the sun setting in the background, shining upon the pine trees. It was challenging to balance on the uneven ground, but once I found my center, everything comes to place and finally I can stay there for a while, feeling the strength, expansion and freedom of the heart. Being centered is when you can find the balance even when the surface is imbalanced. After all, life will always presents us with rocky surfaces.. so why not start by striking a pose? One each day, one for every single rocky surfaces that appears in front of us.
NATARAJASANA : The Dancer Pose
The Nature has given us an abundance of love and magic, just like that little golden rays of sun that appears unexpectedly from behind the trees. To me, the Dancer pose is one of those magical postures that combines strength, balance, focus, expansion and most importantly, Grace. When you try too hard, sometimes the grace is lost. I feel that grace comes when you can feel what is really going on in your heart when you do the postures and stop worrying so much about how you look in the postures. It is that feeling of lightness, happiness and joy that creates the expansion, openness and flow. Sometimes you just have to forget the world, leave your worry, and be one with nature. Embrace your feeling and start flowing with an open heart.
BAKASANA : The Crow / Crane Pose
Bakasana was the first arm balance I learned. It is an interesting one because it requires a stable control of the core, which was something that took me awhile to learn back then. In the beginning I thought that it was about having a strong arm and a good balance because I thought that the weight of the body is solely taken by the arms – but it turns out that very little weight is actually being placed in the arms. The real bakasana should make you feel like you are floating, balancing the force of going forward and going backward, while continuously lifting up from the core at the same time. And when I finally get it, I just want to do it again and again!!
EKA PADA RAJA KAPOTANASANA : The King Pigeon Pose
A Fear to Love is the greatest fear of all. As a human being, we crave for love but we fear rejection, and thus we have the tendency to close our heart, to put up a wall that guard our fragile heart. .
Eka Pada Raja Kapotanasana is both a Hip and Heart opening posture. The Hip is the area of the second chakra, which governs emotion and relationship. While the Heart is the area of the fourth chakra, one that encourage love, gratefulness, forgiveness and compassion. To practice this Asana is to allow your body to slowly melt into a deep backbend while creating a feeling of great expansion in the heart. To explore the feeling of love, to ignite your long-loss passion, and to believe that Love, is the greatest gift of all.
Love comes in waves of giving and receiving. It is always harder to accept than to give. When you accept, you become vulnerable. You open up a space which has been closed for a while, and it takes courage to be exposed, to be vulnerable, to be loved. When you give love, you are in control. When you accept love, you are giving up your control.
Both of my teachers, OP Tiwari and Paul Dallaghan always says, “have trust.” Including a trust in life. The process of life. This is how your practice will grow. This is how you will find the truth.
And by never giving up on Love.
Be Courageous, Be Love and Be Free. Are you ready?
SHIRSASANA : The Headstand
A Inversion Asana such as Shirsasana puts you in an unfamiliar situation of having to be upside down, to look at the world from a completely different angle. It is also a difficult posture that requires a lot of courage – to stay up and balanced on your head and forearms -; and determination – to keep on trying even when you keep on falling. After all, that is how our life is. The wheel of life continues to turn, to take us up and to bring us down; and all that we can do is to keep on going, to never give up and to always give our best in everything.
Life is an abstract painting of vibrant colored joy, happiness, sadness, success and failure. Keep trying. Because without falling, you will never know the joy of flying.
Posted from Helsinki, 26 September 2017