By Lek Kittikunadul
Sometimes I ask myself about things in our life, why they happen that way and think if it does not happen that way, what the result would be. Then I try to prove it. When I was young, I used to wonder why a pendulum in a clock swung. When I was a little boy, my dad had a clock with pendulum at home, I climbed up and touched the pendulum. It fell off. The clock was so high that I could not set the pendulum back in the clock. Then my father walk-in and saw me holding the pendulum in my hand, he punished me for that. I was a curious boy. I liked to see how toys worked and what they are composed of. When I wanted to know why a robot could walk, I unscrewed them and took it apart but could not put it back. That was why I destroyed so many of my toys. When I went to Sea World in San Diago, there was a shark teeth on display, with the fence protecting it. I climbed inside and touched the shark’s teeth to see if they were so sharp that it could eat a human being. Then the alam was sound loudly so I ran away so fast luckily, there are no security guard around.
When I was about 16 or 17 years old, I came to visit my brother who studied in L.A. at that time. He took me to Las Vegas. We stay in Treasure Island Hotel. One evening I walked back to the room. I saw a fire alarm sign and a word “pull”. So I pulled. Everybody in the hotel heard. I ran to our room. My brother asked why I did that. I answered the sign said ”pull” so I pulled. I would like to know what would happen when I pulled. However, I could not stop the alarm so I ran to the room. My brother had to ring to the security and said it was an accident.
I wonder what makes things work, what makes the world spin but I never wonder how our body works or what makes life to be this way. When I learn yoga, I start to study anatomy, tissues, the mind and Neuro-Linguistic Programming. I want to understand how life works and why we acts the way we acts. Enter
I am a person who would like to do what I will. I do not like the rules. I try to experiment and find the answers by myself. When I first studied yoga, I had to do exactly like my teacher. I would feel wrong if I teach yoga other ways. I must do the alignment or sequence according to my teacher. But my body didn’t felt happy, It felt like I do that because it the way it is. However, everything changed after I read “Awakening the Spine” by Vanda Scaravelli for 4 years ago. In the book, there was a picture of Vanda who was about 80 years old in advanced asana. It looked so easily. The book changed my thoughts about yoga that we can practice yoga without torture our body. Vanda said that “our body wanted to sing” ( not screams). I felt that in the past I raped my body. My body was in pain because we want our body to be flexible in a short time. The mind is faster than our body. We fight all the time with our own body when we practice yoga. Many asanas create pain. The next day, we do not want to do it again but the mind says we have to do it. So we force our body again, so it become an endless loop.
Last year, I had a chance to learn with Diane Long who was the student of Vanda Scaravelli. On the first day, I did not understand why she gives a guiding like that, why she had to say the same thing so many times which I have no idea what she was talking about it sound making any sense. For exemple, when we did the Wheel, she said “Let the head invites the spine to the hip and the hands invite the spine to here” or “If the muscle disregards the freedoms of this hip and knee joint than the muscle cannot involved in the freedom of Pelvic joints.” I did
not understand what she mean even a week after that. When I asked her, she but her answer is still not so clear for me. I asked other students who English is their language if they understood but they did not understand either. Nevertheless, when I was back to my hotel room and do myself practiced, I heard her voice in my head and it was like my body knew what it should do, every parts of the body communicated with one another my feet can communicate to my hip and the hamstring was open up. The muscles and tissues worked well together. I understood the word “freedom” in asana practice for the first time. There was no difficult asana poses when training with Diane. The important thing is not the asana, it is the principle. If we understand the principle, we can apply it to any asanas. After the course, the way I look at the body and my perspective in yoga change completely.
Things that happen in the body reflects the mind. If the body feels free, the mind is free. To understand the work of the tissues makes asana practice easier. I understand why Diane used complicated language. She did not want us to find reasons. She did not want us to think. She wanted our mind to find the answer. Remember the mind controls the body. If we can communicate with our body, we can understand the mind work too.
Each yoga style has different purpose. For me, asana training is more than postures, it is the tool to our inner world. Yoga is not just an exercise, it elevates life. It helps us to know everything we do within our body. It is the utmost knowledge that we cannot find anywhere else.