I've attended a 2-day workshop, Shambhavi Mahamudra. Its a mouthful to pronounce and I've no concrete idea of what to expect prior to it. In a nutshell, we are supposed to learn a 21-minute practice derived from yoga that will deliver physical and mental wellness.
But what led me to attend this workshop?
The idea of spirituality is vast. It doesn't only encompass religions but also other forms of beliefs that support your emotional system. In general, anything and anyone that makes you feel strong could be your spiritual support. And the closest thing that I can relate to would be yoga.
I've been a yogi for the past 6 years with multiple breaks in between. Either I'm posted overseas for work (very bad excuse) or I'm advised not to practise because of my medical condition (slipped disc). I returned to my mat early this year after my slipped disc has stabilised. Maybe much has happened during the break, I took a rather different approach to my practice now. I used to be that competitive yogi who will match pose for pose in a class, not to perform any lesser than those around me. For now, understanding the theories behind yoga has shifted my perspective.
Yoga has a spiritual side to it and I started looking around for answers. What's beyond physical for yoga?
I chanced upon a series of philosophical talks by an Indian guru who is based in US on YouTube. To be frank, he came across as a fluke more than a guru on our first "encounter". But I didn't want to shut my door to anything or embark on this journey with a closed mind. I started listening to more of his talks and even paid to attend a webinar.
Did I benefit from them? I guess pockets of information here and there did changed my perspectives on certain things. It made me leveled minded at times but I need to constantly remind myself of these values. But one thing that connects his teaching with me is yoga.
My experience at Shambhavi Mahamudra
The workshop was pretty intensive with a 12-hour session on the second day. It was even more daunting when I'm attending it alone. But I was pretty determine to find out what's installed for me and what good I can get out from it.
Apart from the actual practice we've learned, there were many fresh perspectives they've shared about life and one was exceptionally memorable. The workshop facilitator was talking about adversities in life and why many people find it negative when life doesn't happen the way they've expected. But if you were to look from a different perspective and adopt "watching a movie" as a metaphor: how many of us would label a movie as "boring" and "so predictable" when it turned out to be what we've expected? And when a movie doesn't comply to our predictions or expectations, it will be "witty", "interesting" or even "amazing"? Why we can't accept unpredictabilities in life as a positive energy and enjoy how life should be – full of ups and downs that will bring you to amazing places.
At this juncture, a participant asked a question "how do we accept setbacks, downs and negativities?"
Ok, this is when the philosophical part kicked in. (Brace yourself)
The facilitator brought up the idea of breaking a wooden rod with your hands. It may be hard because the rod is the resistance. However, if you were to break "emptiness", you can't break it because there isn't any resistance. And this is how you should accept negativities. The only reason why we cannot accept negativities in life is because of our innate resistance towards them. If we were to understand these are part of life, we would be able to see them from a different angle.
But having said that, it doesn't mean you've to accept things or people you don't like. But you should accept the fact that you cannot accept these, understand the feeling and move on.
At the point of time, some of the things made sense while some didn't. But I love the movie metaphor and believe it's definitely something that can help many of us in life.
Though there were uncomfortable moments at the workshop, I'm glad I took the step to attend it. It will be hard to take it as a whole but I will be able to extract those that suit me and will make a difference to my life.