START OF THIS SEASON: Sunday 11th April 2021
April 2021 marks a new beginning for me after a year of detachment from what is considered a normal life until March 2020. Sometimes it was easy and often not. The way in is simply more difficult than the way out. But if there is no more outside then the only option is to travel inside. I have made that journey before and each time it brings me new insights into my own functioning; in how and why I do things the way I do them. I am now ready to travel out into the world again in a new way and hope you are too. I have two questions for you and in the meantime will give you my own answers to those questions, so that you will know the why of Open Air 2021.
You don’t have to answer immediately. It took me a long time before I could name it. From that moment on a lot became clear to me and the solution appeared step by step. That was astonishing. Well, my body made itself felt. Someone told me it has to do with my age. That I have to accept it. It is true that we humans get older in years and that does not mean that our bodies have to suffer. My first discomfort started a month after my studio closed a year ago. It was a mild muscle ache in my right upper arm. I hadn’t done anything strange except that I had stopped doing yoga because a three-month rest break from everything I normally do seemed like an interesting experiment. I tend to ignore aches and pains and physical discomfort. I did that now, but it didn’t go away, it just expanded. For example, I suddenly felt the muscles around my hips. Every time I got different signals from various parts of my body. One day more uncomfortable than the next. I’ve walked a lot (ouch, my knee), worked in the garden (ouch, my back), and sat at my desk (ouch, my neck) to write the book about the family. On advice I started being lazy and did nothing (grumble and misery) and in the meantime I was able to focus less and less. Or was I never really able to do that properly?
Well, I figured I was never good at that. I can deliver high performance and work extremely concentrated, but not from a relaxed posture, I have noticed in this Corona year. Under pressure, with a deadline and a lot of stress, I do fine, but without that outside pressure my thinking suddenly drifted in all directions. It took a while for me to become aware of that. From that insight more followed and I got to work, because yes, I want to get rid of those physical discomforts that do not belong to older age and how wonderful would it be if I could concentrate on a project in complete relaxation?
Before you feel physical pain or an emotion in your body, there has been a thought that you have taken for truth in your subconscious mind. If that thought is in balance with your soul (that which makes you a living human being), then nothing is wrong, but if that thought comes from wanting to meet the demands of the outside world then over time your body will let you know. For example, as a child you have learned to serve the other person and to make sure that he or she is well. Simply said, the other first and then you. Over the course of your life, in order to meet that requirement, you have taught yourself to ignore your own desires and feelings. You did that unconsciously, otherwise you could not sustain this behaviour of ignoring yourself. If you do that long enough in your life, then at some point your body mirrors the soul pain you are suffering and the Corona Standstill 2020 accelerated that process. That is why I hear so many of those complaints and I also suffer from them myself. The example I gave is arbitrary, it can also have another cause. It is important to know that it is about subconsciously suppressing feelings. You do not have to name exactly what those feelings are, you will find out automatically, without words. Naming is coming up with a new story in which you still remain a kind of victim. I think it can be done differently.
The goal of Open Air 2021 is that in the long run you can go with the flow of life without resistance. The means is your body, because your body is you. It is not a separate entity. You are every cell, molecule and atom and they are permeated with spirit, your soul and all your thoughts. Think of it as energies that permeate everything. You and far into the universe. We humans are so deeply connected with each other that being together and practicing together can have an exponential effect.
What Sunday mornings will look like depends on how nature feels and how we feel as a group. I did come up with a form to maximise consciousness.
I ask you: how are you feeling? You close your eyes and sit still with that question.
Then we are going to move the body. No matter how much discomfort you have or how young or old you are, move with me. Feel, experience, love your body. Ask yourself what you are feeling. Stick with it. Don’t make up answers. Just ask the question, massage it with your breath and feel deeper and deeper.
In the deep relaxation that follows, the devoted attention to yourself can cause that first unconscious thought to appear in your consciousness. You may be surprised, you may be moved. Whatever it is, say goodbye to that thought and breath in gratitude. Go with the flow of life and you will find that the discomfort wears off over time.
We conclude with tea and something sweet and who knows a conversation.
Where: Quinta os Chões, Pasmal, Ponte Velha (let me know if you need directions).
When: Sundays without rain 10:00 am – 11:30 am. Start: 11th April 2021.
Bring along: yoga mat, blanket, pillow, warm or cool clothing. Check the weather forecast.
Donation: € 5 per Sunday