YogaRocks Crete: “Nature is the teacher” with Danny Paradise

So we are back over a week now from this amazing Yoga Retreat at YogaRocks in Crete, Greece. And still, once in a while some pictures, emotions, memories are popping up in my mind. As I just completed a “How-satisfied-have-you-been”-Survey for the hosts I became aware again of how beautiful and outstanding this week was. Meeting Danny Paradise, who has been practicing Ashtanga Yoga since 1976, was another great experience. Very much into shamanism and indigenous rituals we got a light feeling for what his concept of “Nature is the greatest teacher” is. It’s believed (and I do so as well) that you can receive all information just sitting in nature and asking for help & guidance. Yoga hence is a tool to communicate with ones true Nature, it’s about a meditative communication with nature. Furthermore Danny’s belief also corresponded very much with Krisnamurti’s teachings, as he said “I’m not a guru. I don’t follow a guru, I don’t believe in Gurus. You yourself are the Teacher.” Beautifully said, and with such great depth in it. From our first to our last breath we meet so many Teachers in our life. But Gurus? You Yourself are the highest Teacher. What truth could one teach you that is not already inside you anyways. Ultimately Yoga is a private journey, even though people or teachers can accompany us, guide us.

Since talkings came towards death I want to share some thoughts & talks with you as well. At first, there is no death, there only is transformation. And death itself can be a very much delayed process if you use these ancient tools of which one is Yoga. Yoga shows you how to age with vitality, clarity & tranquility. It gives you a clear indication of how to age. As you create life you also create death. So if you want to die as a yogi, live like a yogi. Use & practice Yoga as a way of healing. Trust the process and surrender. Don’t try to understand each and everything, since healing is way beyond the rational mind. Always do we search for causes of crisis, disease etc. Though the root cause of depression is: NOT TO FOLLOW YOUR DREAM. Meaning not taking the necessary steps to realize your dream. Yoga helps to create & expand your dream, since it is constantly expanding your focus. Everything is an endless process. Or as Krishnamacharya said “Yoga is for fulfilling your personal destiny.” So the idea is about manifesting your dreams. And manifestation is a result of intention. As intention therefore creates reality, the intention is what is important, what we need to give attention to.

There where these four simple yet deep questions we talked about and which should be considered by everyone:
Am I happy in what I am doing?
Is what I am doing adding to the confusion on earth?
Is what I am doing adding to contentment & peace?
How will I be remembered?

Worth thinking about. Remembers me also on a quote of David Swenson I heard in one of his and my very first Yoga workshop: A Yogi is someone who leaves a place a little nicer than it was when he arrived.

And not only did we have the chance again of such deep & fulfilling talks with a great Yoga teacher, also was there one experience I won’t forget for a while… During Pranayama lesson, it was again and again, that one of the cats and some birds came over and joined us during the practice of breathing techniques. Danny mentioned then, that the animals can feel our calm and steady breath, so that we are on a same energy level, on a same frequency of breathing… It didn’t seem so logical at first, until we experienced the pure magic of it in the afternoon: Bildschirmfoto 2014-10-02 um 00.12.25Floating in the turquoise blue sea, just off the shore, with the waves, and right at the point before the waves were breaking we floated with mask and snorkel so we had nothing other to do, no rowing, getting up to breath or anything interrupting… When I realized that these small fishes were coming closer and closer to my body, 2,3,4 of them, just floating WITH ME in an intimate distance of maybe 3cm only, and acting as if I would be one of these huge fishes, or a blue whale, just staying with and besides me, calm, trustful, relaxed, for as long as I went in there… We just floated together, and I could feel this togetherness. Oneness with nature. Same energy, same vibration, same frequency. It just felt as the most natural thing. No separation between the sea, water, fishes, the moving stones at the bottom and myself. Just like an entity. And the mind became quiet. The heartbeat became calm. The breath became even… NATURE IS THE TEACHER.