I used to see everything in black and white. Since I went to India I started seeing the world in colors.
I don’t know if it was because of all the colors of their traditional saris, or the colorful Indian markets and streets, or perhaps it was meeting the diverse group of people from all over the world. All I know is that when I came back from India I wasn’t color blind anymore.
For years I’ve been seeing everything only in black and white. There was even no grey, just black or white, no room for any other color.
It was hard, specially in relationships with other people. I was like a policeman, not allowing anything to exist outside the two poles – black or white, bad or good, no other way. I was so sure I made my life easier that way. I thought by putting everything in two boxes my life would be more organized and there would be no room for doubts. Of course I was wrong, life wasn’t easier that way. But I didn’t know how to do things differently.
Yoga is not black and white either
I came to India with determination to find the one and only true yoga. I was sure it exists – the most traditional, the one that Patanjali knew 5 thousand years ago, the one that is free from all modern influences. As my colleagues from the yoga teacher training course can remember, I was looking for this one and only truth so hard, I annoyed everyone with my questions. Specially the teachers. And I annoyed myself too, because I never got the same answer. They varied from teacher to teacher. I was never completely satisfied. And that made me even more troubled.
I started looking for answers in books. But even there I got conflicting information. There were no two teachers who taught Sun salutations in the same way (and all of them were claiming that their way was the traditional way!) and there were no two books with all the same names for the yoga poses! It was stressing me out not to know which was the right way. For me there was only a right way and a wrong way. And I HAD TO KNOW THE RIGHT WAY!
The guru opened my eyes
I’m not sure in which moment I just relaxed and stopped worrying about these things. Maybe it was when I had a conversation with one of my teachers, who was younger than me but much wiser in many aspects. I asked him about his guru and how he found him. He told me: “Finding your guru is not important. Life is not about finding a person who will be our teacher. Everything is our guru: nature, experiences, animals. The right guru will come at the right time. Let him come to you, when you will be ready you will surrender to him. But don’t just surrender to a guru, always be sceptical and check them first. If someone recommends you a teacher, check them before blindly trusting them.”
Having plenty of trust issues I didn’t believe surrendering to the wrong person could be a problem for me. I was already very sceptical towards many teachers. But I agreed with him that everything around us is our guru. Most of all, I realized I am my guru as well. So I started listening to myself more and trusting my inner wisdom. It was then that I realized there are some things outside of the black and white areas. I started doing the variations of poses, pranayamas or sun salutations that made sense to me. My reasons were based on research and experience. I realized everyone else is doing the same, and we are all different. If I ask a question to a million people I can get a million different answers. I understood how and why poses changed with time, and that was ok. I decided to teach my kind of yoga, which is a mixture of different types of yoga, but that’s ok too, because all of them have the same goal – enlightenment. It doesn’t really matter how we get there. Different things work for different people.
The only thing that’s black and white is the yin yang symbol
All this changed my perspective about everything in my life. I became less strict with labeling and judging people, situations, things. Before they were only “good” or “bad”. I try to see beyond that now, by noticing the good in the bad and the bad in the good. Now the only thing that’s black and white for me is the yin yang symbol 🙂 It made me understand there is not one thing in the world that is completely good or completely bad. That realization made a huge impact on how I see myself as well. It made it easier to accept some aspects of myself, and it made me concentrate more on balance. But most of all, it made me see there are so many beautiful colors in the world! Why concentrating only on two?
I wish you all a rainbow of colors in your lives! 🙂