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昨天與一位義大利籍的朋友聊到瑜珈。對話過程其實蠻有趣的。因為生長在東半球,你很容易忘記自己每日所見、每日所聞,對西方的朋友來說有些事情是有多麼的難以理解。這段對話讓我對於瑜珈的認知思考了一陣子,因為我必須對她解釋瑜珈的概念以及練瑜珈的目標所在。我得到的結論是:我對瑜珈一無所知。

何謂『知』?我可以告訴你我的經驗。我可以與你分享我都練哪些體位法、如何做、甚至做哪些體位法會帶給我什麼樣的感覺。但我無法告訴你瑜珈的真諦。因為這是需要每個人親自去體驗、去尋找才能找到的。如果要我敘述,我可以講上好幾個小時。我可以從經驗分享,講到我對練瑜珈的期許。但我對瑜珈到底認識多少?

每個練瑜珈的人,都在朝聖。朝聖的目標,就是那個內在的自我。事實上,瑜珈沒有一個最終的目標。因為瑜珈是湧無止盡的淨化著你五臟六腑以及你的心靈。一個真正的瑜珈人,會毫無猶豫的否認自己到了瑜珈最高境界。因為瑜珈沒有最高境界。

只要你活著,呼吸著,你的身心一直都在工作著,並累積著壓力。通常,大家習慣採用『速度』以及『動力』去釋放壓力。但實際上,你的心臟跳動地越快,你反而是更激動。壓力沒有離開,只是你地注意力暫時地被轉移了。瑜珈、太極、以及各式各樣地靜坐法重要的地方就在於她們能夠完全的移除你心中的壓力。讓你確實體驗的身心的平靜與安寧。練不同的體位法為的就是藉由這樣緩緩卻徹底的動作,漸漸的達到身心的寧靜。將廢氣排出,再使新鮮的空氣流入體內,淨化五臟六腑。需要強健的不是外部的肌肉,而是內臟功能。就因為你看不見他們,不代表他們不重要。反而正是因為你見不著他們,使得他們更是重要。

但因人而異也是真的。有養舞蹈,適合你可能不適合我。游泳可能適合我,但又可能不適合你。我不是在對運動做任何的評論,反而想指出的是想指出瑜珈如何不能算是一種『運動』。因為你沒有在跟任何人比賽。就連你自己也不能算是一個競爭對手。因為只要有『競爭』的觀念在腦海裡,就很自然的會產生壓力。在練瑜珈的時候,你超越的是自己,但是你不是在跟自己做比賽。你是依照你自己的能力漸漸地、用適合你自己的速度在進步。今天某個體位法你可能無法做到。但下次你再嘗試,可能就發現你做的到了!瑜珈不是在教你定下你自己的目標並設立一個完成的時間點。而是一個很自然的進化。他帶來的改變逐漸的。但你也有可能偶爾體驗到突然間的甦醒,使得你剎那間看清瑜珈對身體的好處。

這世界很多事情都是雙重性的。有黑,就有白。有陰,也有陽。他們是對立的,但同時也是互相依賴著的。這不只是瑜珈的根蒂,而對於太極以及靜坐學來說也是如此。你動,因為你想要定下心。定心,則是為了讓接下來的腳步更扎實,更沈穩。這是一個永無止境的循環。雖然這個概念是抽象的,但是他並不難理解。唯一的祕訣就是要你自己去親自體驗。

我們都知道如何『敘述』一件事情。但我們『懂不懂』又是另外一回事。重要的不是我們是否了解一件事情的概念,而是我們是否能夠應用到日常生活中。我常常抱怨我壓力有多大,但我內心明白,因為有了對瑜珈最基本的概念,使得一但熬過壓力時期,我就可以透過瑜珈來解放壓力。

但說了那麼多,我還是常常為了顧品質又為了與時間賽跑,常常還是屈服於壓力之下。我也還是經常自己找到可以不用練瑜珈的藉口。就連那些已經練到每天都有辦法貢獻時間來練瑜珈的『大師』們,都不可能會承認自己對於瑜珈有多深入的了解,那我憑什麼?

Yesterday, I had a chat with my Italian friend about Yoga.  The conversation was extremely interesting.  Having lived for so long in the eastern part of the world, you seem to forget that some things are just way too elusive for people from other parts of the world to understand.  It made me think for a while, about how much I really knew about Yoga, because I had to explain the concept of the practice, and what it is trying to achieve.  I've found that I know nothing about it.

What is 'knowing'?  I can tell you my experience, i.e., what I do, how I do it, and what doing it makes me feel, but what I cannot tell you, is the true concept of Yoga.  Because that is left for each one of us to find out.  I can go on for hours, telling you what asanas I do, what kind of experiences I'd encountered through practicing the asanas, and what my ultimate goal is in practicing Yoga.  But do I really 'know' Yoga?

Every yogi/yogini is a pilgrim traveling towards their inner being.  The truth is, there is no ultimate goal.  Neither is there a final destination.  It's an eternal progress of cleansing of your inner organs and spirituality.  A true yogi/yogini would never hesitate to deny that they have reached an 'ultimate status' in Yoga.  Because there is none. 

As long as you are alive and breathing, your mind and body are constantly working, and accumulating pressure and stress.  Usually, people tend to prefer activities that require more speed and movement to release their stress, but the truth is, a lot of times, as your heart rate increases, you become even more agitated.  The stress is still there.  It has only been removed from your concentration temporarily.  The significance of Yoga, Taichi, and all different kinds of meditation, is in the way they help one fully 'remove' the pressure and stress, by reaching a peaceful and tranquil state of mind.  The different asanas in Yoga sets out to achieve exactly just that.  Through slow, but thorough, movements, the negative 'chi' is released out of your body, and new, fresh air flows in, cleansing your internal organs.  It is not your external muscles that need building up, but your internal organs.  Just because we cannot see them, it doesn't mean that they are less important.  Quite on the contrary, it makes them even more important. 

True, it varies from person to person.  Aerobics might suit one person better than another.  Swimming may be the perfect exercise for one person, but not another.  I am not judging one exercise from another.  What I am doing, rather, is trying to point out that Yoga is not a sport.  You are not competing with anyone, not even yourself.  Because by competing, it still exerts pressure unto your body and mind, and it does not help you in achieving total relaxation.  What it actually does to you, is it slowly and gradually progresses beyond your limit.  You might not be able to do one asana, but the next time you try, you might find that you can!  Yoga does not teach you to 'set a goal' and say 'when' you must be able to do a certain asana.  You move at your own pace.  The change is gradual, but sometimes you might be able to experience sudden awakenings and become fully aware of what Yoga is doing to your body.

The world is full of dualities.  There is black, and there is white.  There is yin, and there is yang.   They are opposites, yet they are also mutually dependent.  This is the basis of, not just Yoga, but Taichi, and all sorts of meditation practices as well.  You move, because you want to stabilize your mind.  You stabilize your mind, so that you can progress more steadily in your movements.  It is an interminable cycle in which you exist.  The idea is abstract, but the concept is not elusive.  The only secret to getting to know it, is to try it out for yourself.

We all know how to 'talk' about something, whether we truly understand it or not.  The important thing is not whether we understand a concept or not, but rather, whether we can apply the concept into our daily lives.  I often complain about how stressful I am, but deep down inside, I know that I am blessed with the basic knowledge of Yoga.  In this way, I know that once I have survived the stress, I will be able to embrace the wonderful miracles that Yoga will bring into my life. 

Having said that, despite 'knowing' what good Yoga can do to me, I am still often defeated by the stress of time and the desire to meet a certain standard.  I still find ample excuses to get me out of doing Yoga all the time.  Even those who are able to devote time to practice asanas every single day will never claim to 'know' anything about Yoga, why should I?


天仙念:有些文,現在不寫,一輩子都不會去寫...

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天仙 (Celeste)

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