Thursday, January 21, 2021

What have I learned from Ashtanga Yoga?

Having a daily yoga practice is not that hard. What is hard is letting go of laziness to stand on the mat everyday. If I really want a consistent daily ashtanga practice, I need to set my daily sleeping patterns more firmly and overcome laziness, fatigue and tiredness.

The great thing about ashtanga is that it'll continue to improve through life and age has nothing to do with ability in yoga. Indeed, practicing ashtanga yoga daily into 60s is my goal. It will keep me fit, confident, strong, flexible, mentally and physically balanced, and of course self-disciplined.


I have nothing to do, nowhere to go. I feel lost and alienated from this world. I don't believe in relationships and I'm not sure does family has any value at all.

Instead of living the life that suits me, I'm looking at my faults, constantly bending myself to this society who desperately trying to fit me in the corner that others had placed out for me. I'm compromising, observing and blending, read, selling my soul time and time again.

I see the practice of ashtanga yoga as an answer to stop all that and to unlock the secret to happiness. It turns me around toward myself. The practice shows me that I have choices. Everything that is in front of me is here because I, and I alone, have put it there. I see it is a time to call myself out and to face my life as it is.

Looking in the mirror I have no idea who I am. How can I possibly expect anyone else to knows me when I'm a confused and distorted mess, a mixture of everyone I have allowed to influence me, along with all the negative self-beliefs I've somehow inflicted on myself.


I clearly see that I'm not living the life destined for me, I'm living for everyone else and I am doing a pretty bad job of it.

I've no intention to visit other places. Ashtanga yoga put me in the present moment with no future and no past.

I'm not interested in something new, new hobbies, new books, new relationship. I don't give a damn if I am single or not. I don't care of changing my eating habits. I don't want to stop smoking and drinking.

Let it be as it is. Each time I mess up, I confront it and I face it. Why, what and how have these things happen? What have I learned? And the answer is always the same... nothing. There is nothing to be learned from life, society, world, people...


Ashtanga practice thought me to live now in the moment between two breaths. I've discovered that when I'm there, I'm far less likely to keep tripping up. Although I do mistakes, I see things sooner and understand the reasons behind my mistakes. All my mistakes have been done because I was believing the thing was true.

Thinking something is true is my bad conditioning. Believing in nice loving relationship, honest family, true friends, the honest world with beautiful people, I attracted all kinds of rubbish into my life.

But ashtanga practice showed me that I am never the same person on the mat doing it, so also others are not the same. As soon as I unlearned all of the rubbish about my uniqueness and how special I am, I began to feel the presence more. My reality is a mirror and whatever is going on in the inside myself, is radiating out.


This repetitive, stubborn and hard practice has made me realize that I'm living a lie, living according to society’s expectations of me.

I've stopped thinking about other people. And I've stopped caring about what people are thinking about me. I've stopped caring if people are liking how I'm dressed, what I say, or if they value my opinion or not.

Ashtanga practice is hard and ultimately self-defeating endeavor. But it thought me no to give a shit  about anyone or anything. And that, is liberating and refreshing and simply the best and most loving thing this practice ever did for me.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Welcome to new zmark.ca 😘

I have completely removed relationship, dating, daily life and world categories and all posts that belongs to them. I will not write about daily life anymore.

I write here about ashtanga yoga and awakening. It is all about my understanding and observation of life. It is my practice of simple living.

I am not saying that I know something. I know nothing. I don’t have any answer to give you. I write truth as I see it, with bad grammar. Take it as that. But I must tell you, we are all bound by our own concepts and beliefs.

There is no right or wrong, it is not important, really, by time, you will see that you were wrong about everything. 

I write articles about living life by being awake with special attention on the beauty of being content with what you have and who you really are. Sometimes I go off the topic and write like a nihilist or as one woman said, as a fatalist, but that is not really what I want to convey.

I enjoy my life and I am content with what I have — but I know that without improvement, no matter how happy I am, the things will eventually go downhill. So I fight and strive for better.

If you’re unhappy with your life, it’s because you’ve chosen to be unhappy. 

It sounds harsh, but it’s completely true. Pardon me, you are reading my blog, so you're neither homeless nor clinically depressed nor the one who undergone terrible tragedies or abuse in your past. You're normal human being so this applies to you.

I hear you, your life is crap, and of course, you're going to be unhappy. Your job isn’t going well, your relationships aren’t going well, your finances are very bad, you're overweight, your life is a mess.

It’s not the conditions that make you unhappy, but your choice of thoughts, your attitude.

When you're unhappy, you focus on all the bad things in your life. Not only that, but you continually think about how bad things are, you complain, and you ask, “Why me?” You walk on the verge of inaction and eventually depression. You become grumpy and cynic. That, in turn, only made the situation worse. It certainly does not help you.

I am not saying focus on only good things in your life and have positive thoughts. Observe your life from the outside, from the position of  a passive observer. Notice your patterns of behavior, you strength and weaknesses. 

I urge you to be satisfied with less, with a simpler life, rather than always wanting more, always acquiring more. Examine why you want more, and solve your issues. At the root of wanting more is not being satisfied with what you have. 

Having a touch of indifference towards world generally helps you. Complaining, being grumpy, or negative will not improve your chances to get things better. Actually, that leads to bigger problems.

When you find yourself unhappy with something, or with what you don’t have, take a moment and become aware of your surroundings, of yourself as being alive. And things will change.


Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Don't give a shit about anything or anyone

In 20s you hope something will come.

Whatever life you have, in 30s you are always talking about truth. Whatever you occupy yourself with, you think that it leads somewhere, moves you toward some goal, that there is meaning in it.

When you rich 40s, you think you already know so many "truths", like it was toilet paper or something and you got a supply in the closet.

But what you learn, as you go beyond 50, is there ain't no truth. You clearly see that the meaning, once you cherished so preciously, is just a creation of your imagination where everything is real...  but not true.

In 50s you are no longer certain what your purpose is.

Your parents, relatives and friends start disappearing from your life. Seeing the dear people vanishing from your world, you may feel somewhat alienated, what drove you in the 30s and 40s no longer drives you in 50s.

Yup, all there is is a bullshit, pardon my vulgarity here. Layers of it. One layer of bullshit on top of another. And what you do in life after 50, you pick the layer of bullshit that you prefer and that's your bullshit, so to speak...

What I have learned so far, in a gradual manner with lot of mistakes, is that by being alone I have left the ordinary life behind and that I must adopt a new way of life if I am going to survive. I have to proceed strategically with a great care for my well being.

I am wondering how many of you think like me. You live moment by moment but sometimes you have to stop and look what have you lived, in its totality, to make sense of general direction.

What is your life anyway?

Listen to parents. Go to school. Get a job. Toil through eight or nine hour days. Get married. Make kids. Get divorced. Go home to an empty house and eat leftovers while watching re-runs. Go to work. Go home. That's it.... and then you die. Well not much I would say.

Do you know who is Jiddu Krishnamurti?

Just briefly, he was a great spiritual teacher, a saint. His life story is quite fascinating. As a kid, he was roaming barefoot on the streets of Calcutta when he was discovered by Annie Besant, the one of the leader of Theosophical Society. She moved him to London where he was groomed to be the new World Teacher. Ten years later, he rejected this title and withdrew from the Theosophy organization behind it. He lived his entire life smiling and giving lectures...

During the one of such lectures, Krishnamurti asked the audience if they wanted to know his secret. The lecture hall went silent, and everyone leaned forward... "You see," he said, "I don’t give a shit." (I’m giving a little spin here, this was not his vocabulary. He said “You see, I don’t mind what happens.”)

That's it, my dear friends, the real secret of happy life. Don't give a shit about anything or anyone.

This society drill into your head, day and night - people who made it! Made what? Maybe they become rich. So what? They are still or even more frightened and confused, they are puppets like the rest of this modern society. What does it mean, "They made it"? Having a lot of money, a big house and an expensive car have nothing to do with being a success. Do you call that making it?

What "success" really means?

Answer for yourself, I just want to tell you that you are being cheated all your life, living in the world of false beliefs, false preconceptions, having the personality based on imagination.

You know what? Fuck beauty contests. Life is one fucking beauty contest after another. You know, school, then college, then work, fuck that. And fuck the air force academy. If I wanna fly, I'll find a way to fly. You do what you love, and fuck the rest. - Dwayne from Little Miss Sunshine movie


You give a shit and that's why you are unhappy, stressed and depressed. You create, project, maintain your own image of reality.

Have you seen them? Articles, books and internet pages about how to get rich, how to change your habits, how to change yourself from a looser (as you are now) and become a winner (something in near or no so near future). Those articles and books are designed to give you a bad feeling about yourself. Nothing else!

Take this simple truth about life given to you by a great saint Krishnamurti. Don't complicate the simple words. You are pushed to believe that you have to succeed in whatever you do, you follow ridiculous ideals which you will never attain. You follow lies in the name of truth, and display enormous ignorance in the name of knowledge.

You are convinced that things come from the outside of yourself and that somehow you must change them. So you are always one step behind, watching the events as they recede. Turn around, face the events as they come to you.

...and this is what you need to know.

The life is a dream, your dream, your show

When you demand nothing of the world when you want nothing, seek nothing, expect nothing, then LIFE will come to you uninvited and unexpected.

It is your world. There is no one else here, just you, and nothing is being withheld from you. You are completely on your own. Everything is available to you.

No one else has anything you need. No one else can lead you, pull you, push you or carry you. No one else is necessary to your happiness.

The life is your dream because you are asleep, you can wake up. If you understand that, you will understand that this is the best news you could possibly receive. 😉



Sunday, January 17, 2021

Interview with Sharath Jois

Ladies and Gents;

Today I have a special guest from the Ashtanga Yoga World. Here with us is Sharath Jois, Director of Ashtanga Yoga Institute, a grandson of Guruji Shri K. Patabhi Jois.

Sharath was born on September 29, 1971, in Mysore, India to Saraswathi Rangaswamy, daughter of the Guruji. Sharath learned his first asanas at age seven and experimented with postures from the primary and intermediate series until he turned fourteen.

Today, Sharath rise six days a week at 1:00 a.m. to do his own practice before the first students arrive at the K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute...


Welcome to zmark.ca...

I have the left knee pain. What is your recommendation, should I do my daily yoga practice with modifications?

Sharath: Prayatna shaithilya ananta samapattibhyam - Yoga Sutra 2.47. Releasing the effort, not pushing so hard. You should practice, but you should be careful. Do not push too much until you feel better. You should go slowly, let the body change, and don’t rush it. Flexibility will come. When doing this practice, exercises and sports can make you stiffer and susceptible to injury. There is no need for other sports activity unless you really like it, and then, you can do that once in awhile. Injuries or pains that you get by asana, asana can heal.

How yoga should be practiced?

Yoga should be practiced as a spiritual practice. It’s not just like an exercise. If you do like that it has certain limitations. If you do it like spiritual practice, there's no limit for that. You can go higher dimensions and higher levels in this practice. So it's always good to practice thinking it's a spiritual practice and we should bring spirituality in our practice. That is very important. Instead of just doing it like exercise, aerobics, gymnastics. If you bring more spirituality in your practice, then I think it’s more effective. This whole practice will be more effective. So students have to bring that.

I have my weaknesses - I am lazy and weak... What are the best ways for me?

Whole practice is done to get rid of all these like I told you kama (lust), krodha (anger), moha (attraction), lobha (greed), madhya (pride), matsarya (jealosy) – these 6 enemies should be removed by practicing yoga. Once you get read of them which each and everyone has the light inside you, the liberation will happen. You get liberated from all these and nothing will affect you. The whole practice is based on that. That’s the main reason why we do the yoga practice.

So I have to practice 6 days a week. What happens when I practice for an entire year?

We become happier, we get peace of mind. We can get rid of lots of problems, both mental and physical. All over the world, there are people suffering from stress, Ashtanga Yoga gives us the strength to deal with it.

I eat meat drink beer and wine. Do you consider me as committed yoga practitioner?

To eat meat is to kill another being and that is the opposite of ahimsa, non-violence. When it occurs in nature it is a different thing - a tiger that eats meat does so without destroying the ecological system. Alcohol is against yoga because it will affect your inner peace and your practice.

Is there an age limit for practicing yoga?

A child should be eleven years old to start practice, but there is no upper limit. Yoga will keep happening within you until you die if you keep practicing. When we reach a certain point in our practice, yoga becomes part of ourselves, part of life, like one of your arms. It cannot be removed. It's not possible to say: tomorrow I don't want to do yoga. That would be like cutting off your arm.


Will every yoga practitioner eventually reach enlightenment?

If they develop themselves it can happen. But first, you must allow it to grow inside of you. It is like planting a tree; you must care for, and nurture it, for the tree to grow. Our nurture is the physical, asana, practice. If we keep doing our practice right, samadhi can happen at any time, but we never know when.

Sri K Pattabhi Jois said that "Ashtanga Yoga is for everyone, except lazy people"- But can some be too ambitious with their yoga?

Many people are too ambitious with their yoga. But the yoga process does not happen instantly, it is a slow process. Today everyone wants everything right away, but yoga is not like that. Yoga takes practice to understand. It is like the ocean - you have to dive into it to understand. Otherwise, it's just water.

Thank you, Mr. Jois.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Ashtanga Yoga, loneliness and the lockdown

Loneliness is a complex and usually unpleasant emotional response to isolation or lack of companionship. Loneliness typically includes anxious feelings about a lack of connectedness or communality with other beings, both in the present and extending into the future. As such, loneliness can be felt even when surrounded by other people. The causes of loneliness are varied and include social, mental or emotional factors. - Wikipedia

Lonely - web dictionary
1. affected with, characterized by, or causing a depressing feeling of being alone.
2. destitute of sympathetic or friendly companionship.
3. lone; solitary; without company; companionless.
4. remote from places of human habitation.
5. standing apart; isolated.

It all started when my friend told me that he has noticed a fact that lonely people practice ashtanga yoga. Immediately I heard that I dismiss it. I disagreed and I told him there are large ashtanga communities all around the world. There is Mysore and I explained him the circus around it. People practice together and enjoy free time after the practice.

I forgot our conversation and then I read a blog post Apparently, it’s lonely being an Ashtangi According to the post's title being an ashtangi is a lonely thing but when I read the post I remembered my friend's words.

...Perhaps it is just the type of people whom Ashtanga attracts. Slightly lonerish Type As? Of course there is the ultimate “lonely” part of Ashtanga: the home practice. I assume other yogis practice at home, but I don’t feel like there is quite the same  emphasis on such a practice... Even Mysore practice is “lonely.” Sure, you are in a room with a bunch of people, but you are all doing your own thing...

I, as an ashtanga practitioner, do see this “lonely” feeling of ashtanga yoga. The practice definitely calls for lifestyle changes, an inwardness look and life-introspection. The ashtanga eight limbs are so close to self-inquiry.

The loneliest part of ashtanga is being the one of few who early in the morning roll out the mat each day. In such practice there is no teacher telling you what to do and what are you left to focus on. The breath is all that you have and of course your thoughts...

You feel sad and lonely and perhaps romantic at the same time.  That is the first tip of fearlessness, and the first sign of real warrior ship. ~ Chogyam Trungpa

I have discovered my own understanding of ashtanga yoga. It is not about strength so much as it is about keeping attention on breath and strong core... mula bandha. Only daily practice and endless repetition builds the strength very slowly. Unfortunately, there is no shortcuts.

Daily practice of ashtanga has changed me. I need to go early to bed in order to get up for the practice and due to that I have lost the connection with my friends. During the week I'm not going out with them. On the weekend I am with my girlfriend and when she sleep over at my place I am unable to do my practice as planned.

Can daily practice break up my relationship? I think it can. I told my girlfriend that if she is not satisfied with who I am, she is free to find another guy. It sounds cold but it is not so. I am not talking here about feelings. In order for two people to be together they have to share similar interests.

Serious ashtanga yoga practitioners are people who are going through the stages of the awakening. Most of us are no longer certain what our "outside" purpose is. What drives the world no longer drives us. 
 
Now, in the lockdown things are not different. No travel, panic over infection, continuous flow of negative news, social isolation are all adding to growing anxiety. Being confined to our homes is mentally challenging.
 
We do have more time on our hands, we are at home but there is a constant fight with laziness and depression. We easily miss our practice in the name of Netflix movie, taking a nap, texting and who knows what...

Seeing the madness of our world so clearly, we may feel somewhat alienated from the culture around us. We stick to our practice and we are no longer run by the ego, yet the enlightenment has not become fully integrated into our lives. So, it is true, we are lonely in this world.