What does it mean to follow the Way of the Warrior, according to Bushido?
When I was 15 years old, watched a TV demonstration of Hankido, a martial art from Korea, based on Hapkido. I felt immediately attracted to it, and a few days later convinced one of my best friends to go and take a look, which resulted in almost 3 years of practice. This was my first conscious encounter with the Way of the Warrior.
Everything regarding martial arts and oriental philosophies filled my mind and my heart, and made me explore into them with big curiosity. This brought me naturally to Japanese warriors, the Samurais, and for the first time I had a feeling like, «maybe if there is a past life, I was surely one». Which is a very strange feeling, why somebody from a south american country, would feel such a big connection to a way of life originated in a very different country and time. There are not many logical explanations, but I am very sure that most of the people have had this «experience».
The Samurais, followed the Bushido, a philosophy originated in Japan, which mixed confucianism, shintoism (japanese shamanism) and zen buddhism. It reflects a very high standard of how a Samurai code of Life has to be and followed. The main teachings of it are resumed in 7 virtues that every Samurai (Warrior) should follow carefully and with discipline.
I believe that the Way of the Warrior, is a theme that captivates many, men and women equally. There are plenty of books, teachers and movies that talk about it. And I truly believe, that when you feel yourself so connected to something, you should study and try your best to understand it.
There are many philosophical and spiritual ways in our world, that explain how to follow the Way of the Warrior. Some of them very similar to each other, and I invite you to explore and have your own experience of what does it mean to be a Warrior.
Here I let you some books that could interest you, about Bushido and the Way of the Warrior.
Are you coming to Saint Tropez area, and you would like to practice yoga?
Here I wrote this article for you to know a little bit of what you will find if you practice with me.
Where does it come from?
Vinyasa Krama Yoga was developed by Srivatsa Ramaswami, direct student of Sri T. Krishnamacharya, who trained with him from over 30 years. The base of its practice is to connect the beautiful flows and transitions with breathing, generating consciousness in a harmonious way, uniting movement with a focused mind.
Fast or Slow?
There is a misconception on Vinyasa Yoga, that it has to be done fast.
Normally we will go to Vinyasa classes where you don’t stop or hold the Asanas. But in my personal opinion, we can’t move fast, if we can’t move slow. Only through holds, we generate self knowledge of each Asana.
Many movements are way harder when we do them slow, and the way our body improves is much more efficient, regarding strength, endurance and control.
Also, the correct way to practice Vinyasa Krama Yoga is, that if I move slow, my breathing should be slow, and if I move fast, my breath has to go fast. This requires a lot of concentration and focus, to really generate union between them.
Normally in my own practice, I prefer to start slow, until I feel 100% connected into a flowing breathing movement. Then it starts being faster and with less time holding the Asanas, but only in a speed that the breath-movement flow is not lost. If my breath starts being faster due to lack of endurance, then I will come back to longer holds.
I picture it as a dance, both (breathing and movement) have to go together at the same pace, otherwise the rythm is lost.
Sequences and Creativity
What happens if we always repeat the same sequence? We get very good at it, but at nothing else.
That is why, I believe that we have to explore different ways to come from one Asana into another. Different ways will generate different connections in our nervous system.
Once we get good at some basic movements and transitions, we should explore into different ways to reach them. We develop an encyclopedia of movements in our brain and body. And from time to time, get back to the basics and repeat them again, so we widen our base. Through time and practice we will be able move in lots of different ways and our practice will seem limitless.
The only constant is change. One day we will choose a peaceful relaxing practice and some other day we will prefer a vigorous one. Depending in how we feel, what our body and mind needs, external circumstances, etc. So we should play with this, feel free to create and explore, and the most important thing, learn to listen to your body.
Because we should always aim for balance, if we only practice in one specific way, we lose our balance too. Our practice should have several goals, rather than just relax, or strength or flexibility. It should take them all in account and give time for all of them to develop.
We will always have some preferences, such as doing handstands or just sitting into breathwork and meditation, but because we are a whole, and this practice focuses on that, then we have to practice what it doesn’t feel confortable or fun to us. With the correct guidance and support, we will learn how to reach new limits and produce a true change in ourselves.
Does the practice has to adapt to the practitioner? Or on the contrary, the practice should be rigid and is the practitioner that has to adapt to it?
I believe that is the practice the one that has to be adapted. First, based on the nature of our bodies. Our body structure will tell us, where our limits are. Then, after getting better at practicing within them, we can start exploring the possibility of widen them, little by little. But always considering our health and well-being as a priority.
Sometimes in the same classes we will find people with very different level of practice and physical conditions. In my experience, high level practitioners tend to focus their practice more specifically, and novice practitioners, will do just what they can.
How do we find a balance under this circumstances? I believe that, by focusing on the base, even a high level practitioner will gain from it, and the novices will learn and have fun at the same time.
Opening the door to Meditation
Moving in fancy ways is fun, but Yoga is much more than just movement. It should be a door to Meditation.
We should at least have as we have a yogasana practice every day or 3 times a week, we also should meditate in the same way in a different practice time or moment, but we all know how hard is to do this, very few have the discipline to get into it for a long period of time, and I include myself into this group. That is why, when we practice Yoga, it should be taken as an opportunity to meditate, first in an active way, and then, spend 5 to 10 minutes sitting down.
If we don’t do this, then Yoga transforms only in a gymnastics practice. Which for many, including myself, is a deformation of its original purpose.
As I mentioned before, the practice has to adapt to each person, but it also should keep a certain structure that enables anyone to develop all kind of skills, and meditation is one of them, probably the most important one.
There are enough studies that reveal how good is meditation for our health and life in general. And originally, Yoga was developed, to enhance the practitioner capacity to stay in a sitted position for meditation. So even if we end up doing fancy handstands or backbends, we have to remember, that the real purpose for our practice is to meditate.
Vinyasa Krama in Saint Tropez
If you read until this point of this article, you will know exactly what will you find if you attend to my classes. Private or groupal, the base will remain the same. We will work hard, to gain focus and control, over our mind and body.
I invite you to practice with me, in any circumstance, as a Private course or Group classes. We will learn the bases of Pranayama and Meditation. We will talk about some deep concepts that can clear our understanding of life and ourselves, and we will practice and sweat together in the rhythm of Vinyasa Krama Yoga.
Are you coming to Saint Tropez area?Click here, for more information. To check pricing and schedules Click here.
I was in Chile having a successful job as personal trainer but I felt something was missing. I had this deep feeling of travelling and see for myself, how could be to travel and work as a fitness coach in other country, in a beautiful and magical place, close to the sea, and surrounded by nature. I really thought about doing this for a long time, and after a year, I threw myself to the experience.
This article is meant for anyone who is wanting to do the same. Maybe you watched a motivating video in your instagram, or maybe you have a friend that is doing it too. Maybe you feel you have accomplished almost everything society wanted from you, and now you are looking for a change. Something more sintonized with your spirit.
The reasons can be multiple, only you know what is better for you. So I will just leave part of my experience here, so it serves to you.
Many people asked me when I was already there. I would say, that it was a mixture of intuition and circumstances. First, I had Mexico in mind long time ago to visit. Second, I wanted to go to the caribbean sea. Third, I was looking for a place with nature and interesting things to do, at the same time, didn’t wanted to go to a big city or to a remote place, just something in the middle. Fourth, the first time I was in Tulum, during my travel through Mexico, I had this special feeling of «I would live here», and even I knew amazing places after this first visit, none of them gave me the same sensation, so I went back to Tulum and decided that I would stay and do the bet (this decision was the most difficult and transformed my life forever, for a better life).
How did I start?
I just sent email to all hotels and Yoga studios and Fitness centers I could find in a google search, presenting myself with a little resume and a link to my social media and websites, asking for an interview or chance to work there. Went knocking door by door, doing the same. Until someone gave me the chance to start, and then everything just went forward like a snowball.
Would I do this again?
Yes! Totally, but with some considerations and deeper goals in mind that just having the experience. Because is never enough, when you are a seeker, you discover that there is a part of you that only shines when you set foot out of your confort zone and do what you love. Its risky, its dangerous, its difficult, and lonely. But at the same time is one of the best experiences in life for you self steem, for your soul, for your personal and professional growth.
You see, I had in mind a dream. My dream was to have a carreer jump into an international public, use all the skills I got and learn new. Reach new people and add them into my life, not just as figures in the social media, but as a real human, doing real things. Not only locally, but globally.
My suggestions to you:
Learn and use new languages. In Tulum, english is a must, because of the international audience. You have to be able to give classes in english and if you know more languages, they add up. When you contact possible places to work in, do it in english.
Have a medical insurance, just in case. I had dengue and some infections due to street food, so is good that you consider this.
Don’t be afraid. Nobody knows you, so consider yourself starting from zero and give yourself the chance to be who you are. There is nobody to impress. Be yourself, do what you love, show up and give your best.
Consider the visa permits to stay in the country you are visiting and have the necessary money, to go out and come in again if you plan to stay longer. Also have a money reserve or a ticket to go back to your country just in case there is an emergency.
Choose the right season. Places like Tulum in which many people go for vacations, has of course high and low season. If you are planning to go for the high season, expect to have a lot of competition, many other yoga, meditation and fitness teachers and alike, want to do the same. I started in the lower season, this made it a little easier to find a job, and if you focus on doing your work right, and in positive relationships with the bussiness owners, you can expect to have better oportunities for the high season.
Enjoy it. You never know if this is going to be the last time you do something like this. The amount of things we can really put under our control is so few that really, don’t stress if things don’t go the way you planned. Just go with the flow, enjoy the ride and be literally like a sponge. Absorb all the experiences, into you, keep the beautiful and good people in your heart and of course your social media, and let go everything else.
In the end, the main actor and creator of your life is you. Follow your heart and intuition, it will serve you as a compass when you feel lonely or lost, avoiding trouble and dangers that may show up in your journey.
Be aware of some people, because not everything that shine is gold. Many people are waiting for persons with their heart open, to take some kind of advantage, so don’t loose yourself, remember who you are, your roots and the people who love you back in your country. Because you are going to be the ambassador of everyone and everything you learnt at home.
I wish that if you are reading this, to take the decision to jump out, DO IT, fearlessly and with love in your heart. Don’t travel to escape your reality, don’t explore the world with unresolved relationships and feelings. Do it because you are complete, and you feel ready to give your best out there. And if at any moment, you need someone to express or communicate your thoughts and feelings. You can write to me, I will be happy to answer.
Some time ago I started practicing Yoga for various reasons. But every time I practiced, would let me with more hungry to learn more about this discipline. So just for having a deeper learning, decided to make a Teacher Training, in order to really get myself involved.
Of course there were more reasons than just curiosity, and later the practice and the teacher training process, opened new viewpoints of understanding, of myself and Yoga. In fact I never thought of myself on becoming a Yoga Teacher, but life and its constant flux, just made it happen, which resulted into a very deep gratification, being able to connect with other people in a completly different way, as I was used to do as a Fitness Coach. Also, the practice itself changed, not just by doing it for myself, but for sharing it to others, which gave me a rich feeling of gratitude.
The day I started to practice Yoga, was specifically for developing more flexibility. Because I was seeing that this was a big difficulty that interfered with my overall fitness training, my body was stiff, which was not really pleasent, and by following a good friend’s suggestion, in order to avoid future injuries, specially in the back area, I started by doing Sun Salutations (Suryanamaskar)everyday.
When you start working out and being more conscious about your own body, you start learning about your own anatomy, and you can discover that we are build through chains of systems that interact and connect to each other, in order to function correctly. Seems obvious, but normally we don’t have this kind of awareness when «moving», so by our own mistakes and lack of body-consciousness, and also because of bad coaching, we injury ourselves, and this may result into having to stop our training, depression and sometimes, having worst injuries, without turning back to a normal condition.
So, I started to practice Yoga, which was specifically about flexibility. But later, as my practice continued I discovered that it could also develop my strength and control over my own movements. And this really amazed me, because I was used to one kind of training, and this opened my eyes into a better understanding of my body and mind, strengths, weaknesses and new abilities like balance, inversions, etc.
Also I learnt new ways to move my body, that opened my creativity and connection to it. Suddenly, training was way beyond repetitions and progressions and weights, it was more about connecting, understanding, reaching, opening and closing, stretching, focusing not only in movement, but also in my breathing, my eyes, the intention of where and how I gaze, the rythm and speed. It started to become less about control and more about letting go, acceptance and self awareness.
My most precious thing I have been learning and developing is about being always in balance.
Because Yoga is about finding your center, and expand from and through it. And this can be applied to anything, like our job, relationships, food, fun, etc.
Of course what can you expect from a 5000 years old discipline? Non the less. But for me, Yoga, even if I wanted to practice it for physical aspects, was also a way to link the spiritual development together with the rest of my life, like putting together the puzzle.
And it was a good decision, because I learnt that originally, Yoga was created by ancient spiritual seekers to able their bodies endure long hours of meditation. Even in Buddhist text you can find evidence, that taking care of our physical condition was a priority in order to accomplish more advanced spiritual states.
This gave me other kind of motivation for my personal practice (Sadhana), and finally I felt that by following this path I could master myself in all areas, that as a world citizen from the XXI century, I look forward to accomplish, by creating a lifestyle of success and wisdom, happiness and consciousness.
From here on, I invite you to explore and find your way to develop as a complete human being. Why? Because is nice and fun. Because you will discover more about you than in any other activity our society has to offer.
One way to be in balance is to recover and practice the old knowledge that was left by our ancestors before us, while embracing the world we are creating today, finding the center in between technology and nature. Not for us, but for the good of our future generations.
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