Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Why I love my job

Photography: Bartek Korpacz

I can’t think of any other more fulfilling job than being a yoga teacher. In fact, it is more of a genuine and life-long passion and I will always be in awe to those mysterious sages from the Himalayas or southern India, who devoted their lives to explore and then transmit this profound knowledge of yoga. A random stepping onto a mat many, many years ago in a yoga studio up north  in Maine turned out to be the best decision I have met to date. Practice. I am present and everything else vanishes. I am at ease. I am love. I know who I am. I am.
This magical moment, right before the class when people come spreading their mats on the floor. There’s silence or soft music (ok, sometimes it’s chillout or indie rock) playing in the background. The alchemical process is just about to begin, I am excited and it makes me shiver. So why do I love my job?

 It’s a source of a tremendous sense of contribution

Teaching yoga revolves around being with people and for people. I see it as service that stems from nothing else but true vocation. It’s not just some mumbo-jumbo poses I perform to show off in order to boost my self-esteem. Naïve as it may sound, I do get this incredible feeling of accomplishment. Life has been made of up and downs, a never ending cycle of hitting one’s more lower lows, and then making it through again. And my experience is that yoga works every time – be it an aid for the aching back or the hurting soul.  I enjoy making my students discover their bodies may do miraculous things and be with them at those unique moments of happiness when they’re finally able to touch their toes in a forward bend or believing in them more than they do believe in themselves. Through yoga I want to make them feel they’re where they have to be. Both in life and in the practice.
So someone has just left the studio relaxed, someone avoided a knee surgery, quit smoking, gave up beef having read my article on cows in India. Once after a class someone told me they’d cried in final relaxation, because suddenly they’d just felt they wanted to live so bad. Suffice it to say that it left me completely perplexed and inarticulate as it was a time when I myself lost almost all interest in life and thought nothing out of the ordinary would even happen to me again. Et voila – in such a dark night of the Soul I managed to evoke this all embracing love of life in another person. This is what I call satisfaction.

     It inspires never-ending progress

Being a yoga teacher implies a constant self-update, not only when it comes to one’s personal practice in the form of asanas, but also integration of the whole Self, life as well as biography – every time from anew. Yoga workshops, therapeutic approach, journeys to India, journeys within myself, further studies on yoga philosophy and texts, ayurveda, Sanskrit… Life’s an adventure and yoga by all means makes it an extraordinary one! At the same token, I myself learn so much from the people I teach, from their behavior, bodies, ailments, wounds and stories…

 It’s not a job, it’s a lifestyle

Yoga teacher belongs one of those very few professions where there’s virtually no distinction between a private and professional life. In other words, you have to live what you teach. Yoga is not just some weird pretzel-like gymnastics, it’s the science of the mind and emotions that gives one a plenty of multi-purpose tools for handling suffering and accepting what comes, with the emphasis on moral principles, yamas and niyamas. A yogic lifestyle embraces regular personal practice, proper dieting, meditation, keen interest in human & animal rights, conscious consumerism and conscious tourism, fair trade, volunteering, social activism… What’s also truly magical about yoga is that it gradually permeates every sphere of one’s life adding light to our dark places and helping eliminate habits that don’t serve us any more, such as addictions or destructive behavior. This all keeps you in check – without an established rather restrictive routine any yoga teacher will burn out within a blink of an eye.

     Yoga stands for relation

First and foremost, the relation with myself, this amazing Soul dwelling in my body, breathing and witnessing life. Yoga has taught me to look for relations that are nourishing, in which me and another person - like two rivers flow harmoniously in some more or less tangible direction, our currents immersing and merging, with pleasant interaction between the temperature of our waters. Relations in which everything naturally falls into place  and I don’t have to suppress my potential in order to be liked. Relations that allow me to breathe and expand. The most fulfilling and memorable yoga classes I have ever taught were with people I may somehow relate to. They probably didn’t even know that they constitute my firm pillars and their very presence in class gives me a tremendous sense of support. Yes – it works both ways. Same as I’m there for my yogis, I need them to be for me. I need exchange, heart-to-heart communication. And without the shadow of a doubt I may say that I receive so much more than I give.

  It’s based on creativity and freedom

Even with such a conservative approach as a fixed sequence of ashtanga yoga as taught in the lineage of Sri Pattabhi Jois, no two classes are ever identical. The truth is that group dynamics and needs will always vary, and thus, the teacher has to tune in and be flexible while adjusting alignments, telling an inspiriting story or throwing a joke. What mantra do we chant on that particular day? What lecture should I give people so that they may apply this knowledge to their mundane off-the-mat experience? How to honor someone who’s got birthday and instead of partying came to yoga? How to inspire others that there’s something more to life?

Thank you. OM.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

A butterfly being born

In the eastern thought everything comes down to suffering
For all is fleeting
we're all lonely
in the end we get sick, age, and die.
That's it.

But I'm just thinking that
Right now someone in the world has been havin a fantastic time
Someone's just fallen in love
Laughed like crazy
Made their dreams come true
Someone's experiencing what true friendship is
Spring has come and the sun's embracing us with its unlimited warmth and power

Elsewhere a butterfly came out of its chrysalis and flapped its wings in all its splendor

Love Poznań & Love Life!!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A pearl

 A pearl from the Vajrayogini empowerment and retreat in Warsaw as taught by lama Tsering:

Meditation means accustoming our mind to the clear state so that it may later transmit onto life without division between our practice and everyday life.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Reconnection with the Divine


The shala is full and I barely take a breath between one class and the other
People spread their mats 
what I sense from the group is a mixture of elation, fatigue, and uneasiness.
Especially if they're new in here.
This unquenchable thirst that drives them to explore things
or more exactly: brought them to yoga.

oṃ bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ...
I begin the Gayatri mantra and everybody joins

I have the power to uplift myself and others through my voice
chant silently when I lie in bed and can't sleep
So simple and thus implausible
Whenever I experience solitude and alienation
I know I've lost my connection with the Divine
and I begin to sing again


I dance immerse in the sublime chant rampant and untamed
fulfilled intoxicated Sarasvati Mahalakshmi Durga Devi lose my senses...
Oxun ocean the Amazon a mystic I'm soooo happy to have gone astray

My throat has opened and the sounds are pure

When I sing
I'm not scared of receiving love
I'm not scared to follow my heartline, my enlightenment
My highest excitement
And I love.

Oxun lava meus olhos

Oxun meu coração
Oxun flor das aguas
lava meu coração.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Yoga Year

I consider myself the luckiest person on earth
I have this amazing ability of resurrection
So even though my biography so far may remind a roller-coaster
where my "highs" are high beyond belief and my "lows" are like periods of decaying Lazarus in some tomb-cave
I'm alive and kicking!

It was the worst and the best year of my life.
I'm just holding this copper Durga coin in my hand
A goddess with the tiger
I live and breathe yoga
It runs in my veins
May I always have the courage to follow my highest excitement
May my life be of some use
May my blog bring comfort and inspire
May iy bring some anesthesia for the hurting hearts

The best and the worst year of my life.
Two sides of the same 2014 coin
Loss, divorce, severe depression, loneliness, nothingness, emptiness, burning desire to die
And out of this despair what manifested is incredible friends (old and new), my yoga teaching job - my true vocation & living my dreams, the most extraordinary yoga master ever - somebody whom I had been seeking all my life, dharma retreats which just keep me in check, fun, music, art, Ph D, beauty, joy, open heart, my unfaltering belief in the Absolute wisdom of the Universe
Abundance of experiences

This morning I taught a New Year yoga class
and afterwards one of my students told me it had been the best morning in her life in ten years
She cried in the final relaxation and felt relieved
I find it really rewarding
I'm in the right place

If there's somebody most intoxicated by love of life
it's me
This love just runs in my veins
And I feel so glad so magically happy
So free and excited about his New upcoming Year

Thank You all very much for being with me
(I know I'm a blogger slacker, I'll improve, I promise)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Kto ma dobre serce i czysty umysł jest bodhisattvą - wizyta JŚ Garchena Rinpocze w Warszawie

Po raz kolejny nie mogę się nadziwić, że ten starszy człowiek, który spędził 20 lat w chińskim obozie pracy ma w sobie tyle łagodności i ciepła.
Patrzy na nas z miłością, jego słowa trafiają w sedno, a praktyki przynoszą ukojenie.
To musi być jakaś moja niesamowita zasługa, siedzieć przy świętym, przy nim wypłakiwać swój ból, aż moje serce staje się doskonale czystą krainą i przypominam sobie kim jestem.
To musi być jakaś moja niesamowita zasługa, że ból duszy skłania mnie ku jodze, Dharmie, medytacji, podróżom i tworzeniu zamiast robienia rzeczy niekonstruktywnych i poszukiwaniu sensu tam, gdzie jest tylko większa pustka. Ziemia jałowa.
To musi być jakaś moja niesamowita zasługa, że w obecności ponad 200 osób wzięłam mikrofon i zaśpiewałam indyjską ragę, a ludzie dołączyli.
Że spotkałam i nadal spotykam niesamowitych Nauczycieli, dzięki którym uczę się jak osiągnąć pełną błogość, a nie jedynie przebłyski szczęścia. 
To było zawsze takie moje iluzoryczne przekonanie, że przytrafiają mi się złe rzeczy, ponieważ jestem złym człowiekiem. A czytając biografie świętych oraz żyjących nauczycieli okazuje się, że na ogół mieli oni bardzo ciężkie życie. 
Siedzę przy świętym człowieku, przypomina mi czym jest niczym nieuwarunkowane szczęście.
Czuję się nakarmiona.
A poczucie oddzielenia pęka jak bańka mydlana.


Love lama Tsering <3
Naprawdę siedziałam przy samym Rinpocze :)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Getting rid of grains of sand

Yoga is a never-ending process of purification. 
Every time I engage in my practice I let go of a grain of sand stuck on my muddy glasses which prevents me from seeing the reality the way it is. 
Hence my suffering. 
Yoga can be compared to a preparation for a final exam - there's a number of subjects one needs to comprehend in order to happily pass it and achieve this perfect unlimited freedom we all head for. Philosophy-Asanas-Mudras-Pranayama-Shatkarma-Meditation.
One of the most fundamental elements of Patanjali's yoga regarding individual discipline is sauca, cleanliness, understood multidimensionally. 
Not only do we attend to personal hygiene and keep our closest surrounding neat and clean, but also we reach for purifying techniques, proper diet, cosmetics (the latter ones being at least non-tested on animals and paraben-free). 
Then, on a more subtle level we purify our minds from afflictive emotions and thoughts, such as judging, aversion (all our likes and dislikes), envy, attachments and desires. 
Most easily - through  meditation on their imperfection, acknowledgement and awareness where they will take us.
So if I'm jealous of my man for no reason I become conscious that my oversensitive imagination, wild beast is just about to take me to some dark unpleasant place I don't want to be.
Or if I want something so badly it makes my soul cry I contemplate impermanence -  the fleeting pleasure this very thing will finally turn out to be. 
Then it's my choice if I still want to pursue it, not my feverish need.
After all - all my journeys I'd been dreaming so much of, came to an end. 
I would always get back on a plane and land in Warsaw.
Same with my beloved studies, relationships and all I derived joy from.  
Completely temporary (yet refreshing and congenial).

So each time I stand on the mat I transform the tamas of my body and the rajas quality of my mind into sattva. 
Each time I sit in meditation, breathe, do a cleansing technique such as nauli kriya or trataka I get rid of one tiny impression, samskara which will enable me to perceive everything more clearly. 
And it's a never ending story because as the day goes by one thing will irritate us, other attract and attach. 
We will want to reach somewhere, achieve something, we'll use bad language, be unkind, lazy, we'll see ourselves as better, and others as worse or non-deserving (or the other way round).
So not only do we have to purify our long-ago accumulated karma but also the one we're gathering right on the spot.

A never-ending process of purification.