Welcome to Hañsa Conversations! The Hañsa philosophy is based on a therapeutic idea that is relational and adaptable. Through this podcast we want to create a deeper conversations to build sensitivity and awareness around movement practices and life in general. So, welcome and listen in!
You can also listen to Hañsa Conversations on the following platforms:
Ep. 1 – The Quarantine
With most of the world’s population going into social distancing, isolation, and quarantine, what can we do, individually, to maintain and manage health – physically and mentally?
Read transcript here
Hi, I’m Meta. Welcome to the Hañsa Conversations – a podcast. The Hañsa philosophy is based on a therapeutic idea that is relational and adaptable. Through this podcast, we want to create a deeper conversations to build sensitivity and awareness around movement practices and life in general. So welcome. And listen in.
This Meta from Hañsa Indonesia, and I have Vincent Bolletta, the founder and director of Hañsa and you are here in our very, very first Hañsa Conversations – a podcasts.
So, um, yeah, so both Vincent and I have been wanting to do a podcast and we finally get around to do it right now because both of us, like the rest of the world, are in some kind of quarantine at the moment. So Vincent, would you like to share with everybody where you are at the moment and your situation?
Sure, sure. Sure. So I am in Beijing. So I arrived probably two days ago feels like last week. So I am quarantined in a lovely Hotel in Beijing. And, you know, just going through the motions really, of trying to organise myself within the next 12 days or so, what to do, and also set a routine in place for myself so that I maintain a certain degree of activity and positivity around all of this. It’s been a bit of a mission getting here, but now I’m settled. I feel comfortable and now it’s a matter of just being stable.
How’s the situation there? I mean, outside of the place where you’re quarantined. Are people going back?
Yes, I look out the window. There’s there’s definitely a lot of movement, people, traffic. I think there is still a number of restrictions in terms of travel domestically. Also there’s still a number of restrictions in terms of how many people can congregate. The studios are still close and things seem to be getting back to normal. I believe the cases the coronavirus cases now are not transferred domestically. They are coming from international arrivals. So there is so there’s a number of I think, policies in place to make sure that they don’t have a second wave of this coronavirus.
Yeah, get it. Me On the other hand, I am right now in my hometown of Bandung, Indonesia. I’m putting myself through self isolation is because I’ve been traveling a lot. And I just want to be careful and not becoming a risk to everybody around me. So yeah, I’m also not getting out much, but that’s a good thing.
Yeah, it gives us It just gives us a chance to regroup in some respects, because we’ve been very busy. And I think this is an opportunity really just to consolidate all the work we’ve done and strategise for things in the future.
Yeah. So with this, the idea with this conversation is really both Vincent and I wants to find a way to sort of share more of a deeper conversation, I guess, understandings of the Hañsa, through I guess, what do you call it, as an audio format that can reach everybody around the world and since most people in this world are going through isolations of quarantine, it seems to be the right topic to talk about this hot issue. So I guess what I want to start this conversation with is that since everybody’s stuck in their own homes, what can we do as individuals in our own isolation to maintain some level of health?
Well, that’s a that’s a very good question. For me personally, what I am setting up to do is organizing a routine where I practice my yoga, my Tai Chi, and also because of my position, I’m also creating new programs. So I spend a lot of the morning in a practical physical situation where I am moving my body. But more and more important to that, you know, it’s it is trying to define for yourself On a daily basis, a routine that keeps you motivated and at least it has a level of purpose and enables you to move into activities, whether it be physical, whether it be more contemplative or just creating creating opportunities for yourself to work at a schedule that is maintained. And I think I think the discipline in maintaining a schedule is essential in these in these situations.
Yeah, I agree with you. I think that that really helps to get into routine. I know it’s quite difficult though. I feel that all of us are now trying to deal with this new change adapting to a new way of living and, and it’s something that we are trying to navigate, I guess.
Yeah, yeah. I agree. And I for me what I’ve noticed the best biggest change is the pace that we approach today. And I’m finding that my the pace is much slower or it has to be approached with a slower attitude. And because it’s very easy to ingest a lot of things that we want to do in a day within the space of a half a day, and then there’s nothing left to do. Or we find it difficult to find things to do. And so moving at a slower pace has been one of the one of the biggest observations on my part and also shifts that I’ve needed to make,
or what kind of shift, do you
well in terms of a shift, it’s more perception. I have I have time I have plenty of time, where in the past, that the feeling was I didn’t have time and I had to rush whatever activity that I needed to do, or get whatever job I had at the moment done as quickly as possible. And now like, there’s a few things that are coming up that I like to do after my quarantine. And now I find myself already rushing into these jobs without sitting back contemplating First, the nature of the job looking at more of the detail of it, and also more importantly, you know, really considering the bigger picture. And then and it’s like, and then I’m sitting at the computer going oh, I’ve got 12 days really here, and there’s no real hurry for me to finish it tonight, you know, and so, so, it was that was that shift.
And it does that, but it does take a while I think.
Yeah, thank you for sharing that because I’ve been feeling I’ve been feeling like, sometimes I feel like I have so much to do and I have to rush it. And then sometimes I feel like I have so much to do that I just don’t want to do all of them, like at all. So I need to find the right pace to actually navigate through that. And, and this is quite beautiful because one of the things principles that do you always mention in terms of hañsa practice is to do it slowly and in the right pace that you’re not in a hurry that you can taste the movement that you’re doing, and you’re aware of everything that’s happening in that moment. So that’s really beautiful.
That’s right. And I think you know, the Hansa principles really come come to light in these situations in ways that are not just theoretical anymore or somehow sit outside of our reality, but can be really embodied and truly felt on our physical and mental level. And why is that that really brings more intimacy to these principles and what Hañsa actually means and, and so to, you know, to move through these moments with, with a level of stability and a level of being present to the fluctuations, we’re both, you know, have emotions because it’s so uncertain. And all of this, you know, there’s so much of an unknown at the moment. And and I catch my I catch myself sometimes going, you know, or feeling very unstable ungrounded because, you know, I can’t project what I’m doing next week or what’s happening in the future, what is what’s gonna hold for me? Mm hmm. So so all of a sudden, it’s, it’s it really does then, you know, make you consider what I’ve been teaching for the last few years. In a way that’s, you know, Much more practical and much more, you know, outside of the yoga and that in the real world in real life, that these principles really do expand beyond just the yoga room or the physical practice. It’s really, I think, attitudinal. It’s, it’s a way of perceiving life. And, you know, funny enough to slightly digress, you know, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve got a little book with me, you know, and it’s the Tao, I’ve been reading I’ve been reading that in the last few days. And you know, it’s a very clear message in terms of moving with a very I suppose a grip that’s not too tight but not too loose either. It is and I think, I think and I think if we, if we can just strip it back to its, that is the practice of yoga is being able to find that middle path if you like, as the Buddhists talk about that middle path between, you know, holding and and also being loose enough at the same time. And, you know, to be structured to have a structure, but at the, and the next consideration also to have that formlessness you know, present to you as a choice when needed. So, so and this is, you know, very clear opportunities for that, to now be practiced, and be realised, it its deepest sense.
Right, right. Right.
So, I mean, talking about that the middle path, I mean, I’m just gonna bring it to a slightly more practical sense, I mean, and bring it to for example, maintaining a self practice at home. Yeah. I and probably many people, before all this, have been conditioned almost in a way of trying to maximise the use of free time, like trying to do more more work because now I have free time. And sometimes there’s that desire to apply that as well to practice, right, like, Okay, this is a good time to practice whatever I, I can’t accomplish yet. So how how can we use that idea middle path into our self practice at this time?
Yeah. Well, that’s that’s a very good question. I mean, you know, we were looking at a one word from the perspective of work you know, managing our approach so that we don’t just fill our time with you know, jobs, you know, administration work or what have you. So, so we’re tempering, we’re tempering that but then I think also at the same time, we need to also temper our practice when we have time as well because it’s we can easily over practice as well. So my my approach in the last few days being in quarantine is to do little practices. But more regularly. So, my practice Yeah, so my practices will be 20 minutes long. Let’s say yeah today my practice is 20 minutes long and then I had my breakfast and I did some chores around my room and then I did a Tai Chi practice as well which again was 20 minutes. So it was this little bites but there’s this consistency to it and what I’ve what I’ve found is if these are dotted throughout the day that they give me a chance to regroup and ground down again,
you know, through the course of the day, it gives me an opportunity to, to re establish a level of stability that sometimes, you know, we can get lost with with the wealth of information in terms of what’s happening out in the world. And it’s it’s hard to decipher what is factual and what is very subjective and emotionally based and charged. information. Yeah. So and it’s easy, you know, and the social media influence to, to lose a liberal perspective around, you know, what, what is supportive and what isn’t supportive in terms of of information? What do we need to know and what can we disregard? And that becomes really hard to sift out. Yeah, but what I, what I found is that doing these little tiny practices that again, you know, I want I want to flow through my day, you know, I want my day to be have to have this rhythm. So these practices have a level of ease to them, right is that that that is maintained through the roof once I finish, it’s maintained through the other parts of my days or other parts or the other activities that I do.
I love that. And that’s such a great idea. Because I think it’s so important right now to also take care of our mental state. I mean, there’s a lot of anxiety and fear that comes out. And as a result of everything that’s happening in the world, and from your personal life and morning practice. And I spent time before the practice, doing the hañsa seed practice just to sort of ground myself and then I meditate afterwards. And it’s very good to start the day but I, I do notice that throughout the day in with just checking news, listening to news talking to people, then I lose balance again. And but if I see it as like, how about I have several practices throughout the day, then it might help a lot in terms of managing those emotions or whatever comes up.
Yeah, yeah. And the practices don’t have to be physical they can be Breathing based practices that can be contemplative, you know. But my suggestion is any, you know, any movement you know, a movement to me, anchors us into a physical reality that then tends to negate some of the, you know, emotional fluctuations. So I try and create practices for myself that, that have that contemplated effect. So they’re not just physical, but they also touch upon my mind’s attention, field of attention and its ability to be stable. And so they’re very contemplative in nature. So, and I like combining movement and mindfulness. and I think to me, these practices are very sustainable and you know, if I feel ungrounded and I try and sit down and and try and be still and contemplative or introduce a breathing practice I sometimes agitates me even more because the stillness and the agitated mind, there’s too big a gap between the two. And so, when I add movement, I think the gap narrows and my mind settles. And there’s a greater degree of, I suppose, evolution of establishing, again, that rhythm that I spoke about, which is ease and grace. Yeah,
yeah, yeah. I agree. Totally agree. I feel that I can find certain kinda a better stillness and movement, as I move, yeah.
Yeah. Yeah. Just the other thing, you know, just because my like, my mind is like everybody else’s mind and when I project into into, you know, the uncertainty of the future, you know, fears come up. You know, and, and, and they can sometimes be be overwhelming, but what i is trying to find some level of recognition of the reality of now where I am now and you know, I and I’m in a safe space, you know, I’ve got a roof of my head. Yeah. And I’m comfortable. I know my family is safe as well. They’re doing okay, they’re thriving. So when I bring myself back to actually the reality of now, you know, the what, what is actually truly happening now, in terms of myself and my family. And, and, you know, most people I think there’s a kind of detaches me away from those again, projections of uncertainty and the fear that builds up and the emotionality that also starts to pulsate at a higher higher rhythm.
Right, right, right. Yeah, I think I I agree with you like bringing the bringing everything to now is really, really helpful and yeah, and talking about that unsteadiness because of fear. I mean, I’m not trying to be morbid of anything, but a lot of people are probably thinking about death a lot, because we see the numbers of people dying on the world are rising every day. Yeah, and, I mean, how do you have any suggestions on how to manage that? Or how to deal with that, like seeing those numbers every day rising?
Yeah, that’s that’s, I mean, we relate to to to these numbers, because a one also shows our mortality as well. But at the same time, you know, death undermise if you like, and the uncertainty of life and our Life. It’s a really big is a really big topic. And so, and then just like, you know, the day, we take small bites out of the day, we take small bites out of our practice. And eventually, you know, those those bites, you know, these small bites we come to the end of the day, and it’s another day down in quarantine. And so, and then it says the same with death, you know, we take small bites out of it rather than and so what enables us to understand how to take small bites or what how big of a bite we should take or how we should approach it is really something that we build over time and it’s not an instant cure. You know, and so, a regular practice to me is is is what enables you to become resourceful enough to deal with this level of our existence that is inevitable. And so it’s just for me, the practice gives us the tools to deal with our own mortality or own death, but also gives us the tools to, to live as well more positively and with with greater intimacy with life, even under the shadow of death, it enables us to be present to both. And I think sometimes it’s easy to become overwhelmed by what we see in the news. But there’s still a lot of life to be lived. And there’s still a lot of life to be felt, and the feeling and the feeling of life. It’s always paradoxical and we always do what there is this level of joy that we can feel but what comes side by side with that is also not so good stuff as well,
and that is all part of that. So to live a meaningful life or purpose for life is to be able to navigate both is with as much equanimity and balance. But this is built over time. I don’t, I don’t think you can do it all in one go. And I think, you know, our practice is it is what it is, we practicing to live. We’re practicing to die. We’re practicing to be able to accept both at the same time.
Oh, I love that.
Yeah, yes. So, so to me, that’s, that’s what a practice is all about. And you know, and if we if we knew straight away how to do it, then we wouldn’t be practicing, would we?
Yeah, I like what you said about we’re practicing to live and we’re also practicing to die because it’s really they go hand in hand. And, yeah, there’s no death without a life. There’s no life without death.
That’s right. That’s right. And so, again, that’s how tightly Do you grip on how loose you hold the grip as well. So and in every situation, every day is going to be a different day. And, and, and again one of the principles that I teach I think in hañsa is the ability to adapt, because because everything does change or at least fluctuate and, and and as you as you know the rhythm the rhythms that you get out there you can adapt to those rhythms and, and and move in time with those rhythms. So the disturbanc is less.
Yeah, I agree. And I agree with what you said that it is a practice because whenever I get into that state of fear, I mean my practice normally practice of gratitude or trying to remember what I have at this moment, and that helps me a lot. And then once I remind myself of life, I mean, it’s quite paradoxical of like, the more I accept the reality of death, the more I accept, like, yeah, I’m just gonna, I’m gonna die one day and that’s okay. The more I, I, what’s the word? I appreciate life so much that I want to try to live it as much as possible that I want to try to create a bit more longevity in my life.
Yeah, yeah, I agree. I agree. And I think I think, you know, I don’t, I always, always moved to the word acceptance. You know, I think that enables us then to, to broaden our view a little bit more when we fall under, or at least we use that word as in gratitude as you see it as a beautiful word too. And I was thinking about gratitude before. Because that that, you know, enables us to really appreciate where we are now. And for some of us, we were in a, you know, in a position that we can we can share these teachings or we can share our experiences in ways that really do support people and I and I feel blessed in that way to be able to do that.
Yes I agree, I feel blessed as well. Well, we’re coming towards the end of this this conversation, but we went really deep today and didn’t mean to go there quite deep. But I guess, is there any thoughts or other parting messages when it comes to this conversation we’ve talked about before we end the conversation.
Oh, that’s Yeah. Yeah. I not really I mean, I think I think it’s been quite a quite a good discussion, you know, in terms of how to manage oneself as perfectly as possible in these situations, but also having questions, bigger questions around not just this moment, but the way we perceive ourselves generally in life and in some of the things that we align with and how some of these things, you know, not necessarily supportive now of us.
So, so I think, you know, like anything, when a moment has multiple layers that are both very tangible on the surface, and I think very, can be really experienced. But then, you know, we have other layers to the experience or to the moment that are much deeper, they are much more emotional and psychological. They lead into abstract realms. And so, you know, for me the human experiences is is amazing, the human condition is amazing, it’s just multi dimensional. And so, so for me, the practice is really an exploration of what it is to be in this body. And, and I and I think We just have numerous opportunities to consistently delve into what it is to be alive. And but to have this unique body and also, you know, the narratives that come with it. And I mean, I think it’s, yeah, I think every moment gives us that opportunity. It’s just a matter of aligning to that moment,
you know, Yeah, I agree. I feel that there’s a blessing in disguise for behind all this quarantine and isolation because I feel everybody is given the time to actually do that. And it’s not easy. I mean, like you said, that with change there’s always some discomfort because we’re not used to it. And but if we can stay with it. And we can actually ponder for like a little bit, what’s behind that has come through it or how we actually perceive life. We might actually learn something from it.
Yeah, yeah, I look. Yeah. You know, it’s about being able to build the resources to deal with certain discomforts. And that takes time. But, you know, slowly, slowly, step by step. Just, you know, my, my only finish really here would be, you know, let’s just be kind to ourselves around all this process.
So, that’s a great closing message. Be kind of ourselves, everybody. All right, well, thank you for having a conversation with me. Thanks for technology that allows us to actually have a conversation.
It’s amazing, isn’t it?
I love it. I love it. We are physically distancing ourselves, but we are still able to talk as a community.
That’s really cool. That is very cool. Thank you Meta for your time. Really appreciate that having the chat. It’s really been cool.
Yes, thank you, everybody, and see you are yeah see you in the next hañsa conversation.
You’ve been listening to Hansa conversations, a podcast. Please follow us on Instagram and Facebook. Learn more about hañsa hañsa.yoga on the web, where you can also purchase online practice videos to practice at home. Don’t forget to sign up to our mailing list to get updates on our latest news. So join us on the nice hañsa compensations and thank you for listening.
Ep. 2 – What is Hañsa?
In this episode we take a step back to share the story of Hañsa – how did it come about and what are some of the ideas, values and philosophy behind it. Hopefully, this gives you a little bit more understanding of Hañsa.
Read transcript here
Hi, I’m Meta. Welcome to Hañsa Conversations- a podcast. The Hañsa philosophy is based on a therapeutic idea that is relational and adaptable. Through this podcast, we want to create a deeper conversation to build sensitivity and awareness around movement practices and life in general. So welcome and listen in.
Welcome again to Hañsa conversations. I’m Meta from Hañsa Indonesia. And there’s Vincent here on the other side. He is the founder and director of Hañsa. Hello,
Hey, how you doing, Meta?.
I’m doing good. How bout you?
Good. Thank you very, very good.
So today Vincent and I want to do this episode to give everybody a little background on what is Hañsa. Because some people know about Hañsa, but not everybody know about Hañsa. So we think it’s just good to talk about it a little bit more to give some background and some ideas and philosophy behind Hañsa. So to begin with, Vincent, why don’t you tell everybody a little bit about your background? And what led you to creating Hañsa?
Sure, sure, I think probably we start at the beginning and that I got into yoga in 1989. I was working in a health and fitness centre in Auckland at the time, and I ended up meeting a chap who was the manager at the time at the at the fitness centre that I was in. And he was doing this really strange thing called yoga and at the time, I had no idea what it was because I came from a more of an athletic and sporting background. So this was completely new to me. But what I really appreciated and enjoyed was the artistry and the aesthetic of his body moving in space in a particular way. And so that attracted me to the practice, purely purely the visual aspect of it. The artistry for me always struck home because I always wanted to be an artist. I always delved into some sort of painting and photography. And I’m quite I’m quite a visual person. So it really became attracted by it.
I mean, over the years in terms of where I am now, I went through a whole variety of different experiences in terms of what yoga is, I delved into a number of practices from early on, which was Iyengar yoga and then slowly moved into more vinyasa based practices. About you know, there was parallel journeys between Yoga in the health and wellness industry, I was working in. At some point, there was a little contradiction. And I wanted to dedicate my time more to yoga. So I made a decision to just follow the path of the practice of yoga and only teaching yoga, I have I have worked in a variety of different position in the health and wellness industry, and so always had some sports science background associated to me. So it’s always informed my practice in some ways in terms of the practical and functional components, so that but you know, but there was something about the practice that was still a mystery to me. And I really enjoyed it. And I wanted to share my experiences of what I was getting from the practice
And so I embarked on a teacher training in the mid 90s I think it was, and, and then at that time, there was no 200 hour, you know, yoga Alliance training. what I ended up doing was a two year apprenticeship with the school of yoga at the time, and the Yoga Alliance sort of came in more or less after that when I finished or I’m not sure how long after I finished but it was basically a process of learning how to teach through the practice and also watching my teacher teach. So it’s really hands a hands on situation and there was many hours involved in learning both the practice itself and making sense of it and some of the reasons why we were doing what we’re doing and then at the same time trying to learn how to present it in particular ways that suited people’s bodies and and also their particular needs that they had which were very individualised.
And so I went through this whole process and, and at one point, I think, in this journey I got a little bit dissatisfied with not so much with the practice of yoga, but the delivery of yoga and its presentation. I felt there was some conflicts that were emerging, you know, because I was seeing people becoming injured through the practice, I was also noticing that what we were asking people to do was contradictory to what the body could do on a reasonable level. And so that took me a little bit further down into the practice of therapy. What was therapeutic about yoga and how can we make this more specific and, and also, how can I present them ways that really honored the the principles of therapy within the yoga practice. So that led me to to America. I did a training in the Vini Yoga with Gary Kraftsow. Yeah, which completely revolutionised my practice in particular ways that I had to deconstruct what I learned in the past before and really learn again what what the practice of yoga was. And I am indebted to a number of teachers, but I think Gary was probably one of the first teachers that kind of opened my eyes to other possibilities.
And that kind of led me down a particular path for inquiring more about therapeutics and also using bodywork to support people’s general function and body awareness so that they can move with with a greater degree of confidence and also move in ways that were were supportive of them. And I think eventually, eventually start to, what I think eventually ended up doing is I ended up creating my own language around it and decided to create my own system around it as well. And this is where Hañsa came, or what was born from: all these years of experience and observations of what works and what doesn’t work. And also, you know, the uniqueness of the practice and more importantly, how to present it in ways that has to adapt depending upon who’s in front of you. So I wanted to create a particular educational system that taught this to teachers. And so Hañsa therapeutics was born. And and so
How long ago was that?
Well, really, it was about five years ago that really, I cemented the process more. I mean, it was always developing towards this particular point where eventually is. I don’t want to call it Vincent Bolletta Yoga, I found that to be a little bit strange and because it was more about an idea and a, and a philosophy and so so five years ago, basically gave it a structure gave it a name. And then Hansa came from that. And so it’s been it’s taken 30 plus years to get to this point. And and I think it’s still evolving, personally, and I think it’s, yeah, it’s closely associated to my own personal experiences that I’m that I’ve had and still having. And but at the same time, I think it’s a practice that also is being added to by other people that are part of the Hañsa community and their understanding and my my observations of them. So I like to think of the of this process as something that’s not stuck or rigid that it does move according to what is needed at that moment. It does adapt itself to the demands. But there’s some really cool principles that hold it together as well.
Right? Yeah. I’m like, I’m very thankful that I come across Hañsa. And I’m very thankful that you’re creating this out of your years of experience in the industry and dealing with people so. So but why the name Hañsa? I mean, you could pick any names in the whole world and why Hañsa?
Well, that’s a that’s a really good question. I mean, we were sitting around a little coffee table. There’s three of us and trying to figure out you know, what is this process and what does it all mean? And And how can we define it through a single word? And, and the idea of the swan came about and Hañsa, really is, is the description of the swan in Sanskrit. And I really quite liked the word itself. And to me the Swan, well in many cultures the swan is seen as something that is graceful and elegant and there is a sort of transcendence into it as well. And, and, and it, I think also solidify the idea that you know, the Hañsa practice is about empowering individuals. So, you know, we all have our own inner teacher with our own inner knowing to some respect. So and the swan does represent the inner teacher. So it fitted really nicely I think it came about with with really finding the right look right word that was simple. And but that word being quite powerful and deep and
and then and it encapsulated also the last 30 years of practice and and i think Hañsa the swan really has done that.
Unknown Speaker 11:21
Yep, I think so I think it’s a beautiful word and the swan is a beautiful symbol to describe, I guess in picture format of what is Hañsa. But you mentioned about inner teacher. Can you talk a little bit more about that and how that idea of inner teacher is applied in the principle of Hañsa?
Sure, so, you know, with the principle of, of teaching and therapeutics it’s about becoming more sensitive to one’s own personal needs, but also looking at ways that sometimes we tend to sabotage what we need, and through certain habituation or certain expectations that have some flawed narratives associated to it. And so, the whole process is this, this voyage of discovery of what what is useful now may not be useful later on in the future and it’s trying to kind of filter through what what is appropriate what what is serving of us in this moment, and, and then at the same time becoming, you know, sensitised to these needs both physical energetic emotional as well. So it’s always re emphasising re emphasising, if you like, for the practitioner to, or the teacher to, encourage the practitioner to take responsibility for for themselves and encouraging and shifting the power dynamics towards more the student and encouraging the student become more discerning around what they do, and how they do it. And sometimes the reasons behind that. So, so the idea of the inner teacher fits really nicely with this process of trying to empower individuals to make decisions that’s appropriate to them and their life in that moment, and how to support and negate some of the habituations that tend to sometimes lead us astray.
Yeah, yeah, I feel that the discernment or like being our own teacher, takes a lot of awareness. And I feel that that might be the difficult part, in my opinion, how to start building that awareness so we can actually become our own teacher so we can actually see what is serving us, what is not serving us somehow, so we can actually make better decisions to, to pick something that is better for us. So, how do we create, like, make our awareness more sensitive, I guess?
Well, that’s a very good question because it isn’t, It isn’t that easy. it’s um, there is there is a number of default patterns that we fall into. But it basically starts with movement, the choices that we make with our body and also the way that we utilise our body in space. So and these movement really is an expression of our innermost motivations. So it so when we look at when we look at movement, we see now the way that I see it, it’s multi layered. So it’s not just a physical act, but there are certain pathways that people choose and those choices are sometimes, so reactive, and also unconsidered, not from a negative perspective, because they just become so deeply ingrained in our neurological system.
So it’s to strip it back first to the movement process. And then eventually, it starts to dig deeper and, and sensitise ourselves to both the way that we move and the quality of that movement. But then also, you know, the reasons why we move in particular ways whether it be posturely orientated, or just moving across the room in a particular way. And so, is to strip it back to what I called the seed form. So, really making the movements really small initially, and so that we can become more observant, because then when the movements are quite small, there’s little disturbance, the mind can be a little bit more attentive. So the movement is is reduced, the mind becomes much more attentive, so it becomes much more mindful of the situation or what is presented to them. And then this is where the work begins. And you’re right, in some respects of what you’re alluding to. It’s a practice. So it does does take time. And it is built over time outs in our sensitivities, and obviously, our observational powers. And so, you know, the system itself starts at, you know, with the body but eventually moves more and more to the more abstract rounds of our mind and fields of attention and some of the narratives that we we align with that determine some of their reactivities in our physical structures or movement and movement processes.
Right, right. So all this I mean, we talk about movements and And one big part of Hañsa is the flow, the Hañsa flow. On the surface obviously is such a beautiful choreographed sequence that is done quite differently than any other flow sequence out there. So, can you talk a little bit more about that and how what you just mentioned with with the seed of it, how does, how can people find that through the Hañsa flow?
Sure, absolutely. So, all the seed practices are aligned with some basic developmental processes and patterns. So and these developmental patterns are just basically the way we learn to move our bodies and eventually, you know, as a young child move from lying, to rolling, to hands and knees, to squatting, to eventually standing. So, you know, when we strip back movement to these basic fundamentals, what happens is that we start to see where these fundamentals break down. And where the fundamentals break down also general function breaks down as well. And and in associated with this lack of functionality, also these overall general lack of sensitivity and awareness to that part of the body or to that movement process.
So as we as we build on these seed practices, what’s starts to happen is, we start to see movement is a continuum rather than these kind of individuated processes. And so the Hañsa flow basically was has developed from this continuum and Hañsa flow basically expands on the seed practices in particular ways that’s much more elaborate and much more expressive, and obviously, has a much more and what would you call it, and it’s much more expansive in ways in terms of the way that, we we we express the seed processes.
And so Hañsa flow for me is basically a therapeutic practice. And because it’s alignment to the developmental stages of our physicality. And it’s done in a particular way that challenges not and not just that the development of and the functionality of our body but also encourages us to become more self aware on a three dimensional plane. It also encourages us to sense space in the same way. It also encourages to support ourselves when we enlarge patterns of movement to consider that support from the inside out. Because there’s certain choreographic components to it. It’s also about challenging one’s cognition and heightening that level. And but it’s, more importantly, it’s about moving with a sense of ease and grace and a measuring movement. From the sense of ease rather than effort. And so what I like the thing that that Hansa flow has, and in comparison to what may be other practices out there is that movement should be easy, or we’re looking for pathways that enable a sense of ease and fluidity. And so and if we’re struggling with a certain pattern of movement, and then it’s about how we navigate that pattern, how we problem solve the situation so that we can become more efficient in the way that we move and from A to B as an example.
So it’s encouraging. Yeah, it’s encouraging really much more greater conversation around what movement is. Movement is not just the physical process of moving your levers in space and muscular patterns and and maybe Trying to coordinate these muscular patterns, but it’s also about perception. And it’s also about attitude. And it’s also what we what we align with in terms of motivation. And so this to me is really important because it also encourages a much broader view of the human experience when the body is moving. And, and to me, this is much more, what I’ve seen in the past at least, much more successful in navigating habituation is that seemed to be really difficult to change and people’s bodies. When we expand the conversation, just beyond just the mechanics of it. I mean, it’s easy to be mechanical, it’s easy, it’s easy to be linear, but to change a habit or to change a postural tendency, there has to be a deeper purpose and reasoning through that individual. There has to be also an emotional content that gives gives it more reason to change And so if we can expand the conversation incorporate these things as I’ve started to notice that there’s greater degree of transformation that starts to happen.
That’s interesting though because I mean, if you want to change something, in movement there’s so many components in a movement. If you compare it by fixing it in a mechanical way, you can easily like just point to one part and obviously can try to change that. But with movement, suddenly there’s so many things you have to pay attention to. But you said that you’re seeing that it is a better way to integrate change when you’re trying to change certain habits? Is that right?
Yeah, well the change happens when when the conversation is broader, rather than being narrowed to a basic function and mechanics. Mechanics and functions are important. And but if we become stuck in those conversations, then generally the underlying pattern doesn’t generally change. And so yeah, so what we’re encouraging is a greater degree of connectivity to to the pattern from not just the physical component, but from a level of perception, interpretation, motivation and attitude as well.
Right. Okay, so some more of a integrated outlook of it all Yeah, like you said, broaden the perspective. Right. And I want to,
Sorry, just interrupt for a moment. But when the body is moving, everything is moving. So it’s not just one muscle, but there’s a whole variety of things that are happening at the same time. And it’s not just, you know, physical, it’s also if you want to go to your breathing rhythms to also the way that your mind is operating and also riding the rhythm of that movement. So when you move, everything moves, so one clear thing that I encourage the students to look is rhythms. Rhythms are really important. Energetic rhythms, breath rhythms, your mind has a certain rhythm to it as well. And it’s quite interesting that these rhythms are energetic. Waves of energetic rhythm. So once we start to become more observant of these rhythms, we can start to see both the consequences of these patterns and at the same time, you know, we can choose when is most appropriate to interrupt it so that the outcome is different. And the way that we interrupt it is also another something is something else in question to. But really Hañsa flow is about the observation of rhythms, that is based upon certain certain grounded physical functions that are developmental and evolutionary in their way and but it has to be more than just that, as I said. The conversation needs to expand more to also the mental aspect.
Right. So we’ve talked about the flow, but a big part of Hañsa is also the therapy aspect of it. And flow is derived from that. And so when it comes to rhythm, is this something that you also observe when it comes to, to Hañsa therapy and to the therapeutic elements of it?
Yeah, absolutely. And one thing that we teach in Hañsa therapeutics is observation or diagnosis and assessment. And so, and there’s multiple assessments, from clinical to movement, to energetics, to manual assessments as well. And each assessment sort of kind of expands on the previous one and by the end of it, you should have an overall good general viewpoint of that person’s tendencies, postural tendencies, and the way that they will organise themselves in space. And so, and what happens is that most habituation or habits have its particular rhythm to them, you know, or sometimes I say they have a particular sound to them. Okay, yeah, like a song, you know, people’s habits have a song to them, it has a beginning, middle and end and then it kind of repeats itself.
And so, okay. So the therapeutics is all about observation. So, when I’m teaching teachers, really what I’m teaching them to do is to become more observant. And one of the things about the therapeutics that I like is that the more you become self observant of your own particular needs and some of the things that you’re doing, there’s a quite interesting paradoxical process that starts to happen is that you start to see other people in more clearly as well. To be, for me to be a good yoga teacher is all about having good powers of observation. And, and, and what are you observing? human behavior, human tendencies on on all levels and because most people’s, if you like physical issues are related to a repetitive pattern, and that the body now can’t deal with it or cope with it anymore. And so to me that this is really important, if you can see these patterns, then you can interrupt these patterns in a very, very subtle way to redirect it in a particular way that the outcome is now slightly different.
Right. So is it right to say that Hañsa is a study of one’s behavior? I mean, more importantly, our own behavior?
Yeah, yeah. One of the Hañsa philosophies is the study of of one’s experience that we’re having And try to be as objective and discerning as possible around it. Sometimes when we study experiences, we can, you know, compound subjectivities. So the study of our experience, the study of, of the consequences of that experience is also really important. I mean, but we use different tools, you know, and like I said, we have diagnosis, clinical diagnosis, we also have the idea of bodywork too that heightens our sensitivities. We have also specific rehabilitated tools that we work with that, again, are directed towards restoring function, and working at and reclaiming certain neurological patterns or neuromuscular patterns that have become out of sync. So, we have these sets of tools and particular structures that are in place for the teachers to utilise. But also there’s enough flexibility available to them that they can adapt to the situation that’s in front of them or the individual that’s sitting in front of them.
Yeah. And Hañsa a lot of teacher trainings. And as you mentioned before, that you teach a lot of teachers as well. But I feel that is actually the things that is taught in all the different trainings actually is really good for everybody. I feel that it can benefit everybody actually, wouldn’t you agree?
Yes, I agree. I mean, I think Yoga is for everybody. So we have to create a platform that that’s accessible. Sometimes, you know, current situations in the yoga community, you know, certain practices are not accessible to people because, you know, it requires a high skill level function. Sometimes beyond what people can do. But to me yoga should be accessible to everybody. So the practice is adaptable to the individual needs. I think this is really important. And then then Yoga is serving people in particular ways that I think honours the if you like, the tradition. So it is for everybody, I think the practice should be for everybody. And I think if we can approach the practice with the idea of therapeutics, or at least through the lens of therapeutics, and then we can make choices around sequencing, what postures we choose, more appropriate to the situation, to the classes to the individuals that come into those classes.
Yeah, I absolutely agree. I like the adaptable elements of the Hañsa flow, particularly. I like seeing how people with no experience of yoga before come and take like Hañsa fow classes. And again, seeing immediately how their mobility improved how their stability improves, and how just from a simple Hañsa flow, there’s already changes in the body that brings them better balance. So yeah, my, this is one of my favorite reason why I love the Hañsa flow so much.
Yeah. And for me that the narrative around Hañsa, the Hañsa flow is to make it easy. You know, how can you bring grace and beauty to your movement? I think this is this is very different to the way that sometimes yoga is spoken about. And when we had that kind of approach and motivation or theme behind our practice in our classes, I think as you’ve just experienced yourself in your own teaching. No, people do align with it that really beautifully and we do start to see changes. Changes that I think are surprising for a lot of people.
Yeah. And the idea of easy I don’t think it’s something that is difficult for a lot of people just because, that’s life in general, for some reason, we’ve been conditioned to strive hard or to work hard to put so much effort into the things we do that to, to change the perspective and start doing things in an easy way is is difficult for a lot of people and that takes adjustment. And people have their own perception as well because easy, some people take the word easy to be, what do you call that? Like, like a collapse almost, like there’s there’s no energy to it. When easy actually requires a lot of stability and a certain kind of power? Yes. So it’s interesting when it’s, a part of this whole thing is also to to have that shift in perspective.
it’s a shift in perspective, it’s a reorientating one’s values as well around effort. It’s also understanding that easy is not necessarily a weakness, easy actually enables you to be more adaptable to the situation, and more sensitive to the situation as well. So that you know, it gives you greater choice too, easy. And it’s a it’s a way of navigating obstacles in particular way that makes it more sustainable. And if we have to push against obstacle, or we have to force ourselves through obstacles. That’s not a very sustainable thing to be able to do. Our body loses its resilience over time. We do get older. So learning how to navigate our life, our movements, our choices. Through this one word, you know, ease or sometimes I use the word grace. I think it’s very powerful. Very, very powerful. We we taste the movement more, we become more intelligent and the way that we use our body. And as I said before, the way we navigate obstacles are also much more considered and much more discerning.
Right. So with Hañsa, what actually is your intention? Like you’re teaching a lot of people you’re spreading this principles and philosophy? What would you like to see most in people by sharing Hañsa?
Oh, I think for me Hansa is something that grows. That’s and and something that actually is independent of me. And that, you know, I mean, I have some priciples that I that I work with and follow. And I think it’s a practice that is for everyone, as we said, and something that enables people to reclaim if you like and empower themselves. Hopefully it helps people navigate life not just the way that they move but the way they live. I think it’s a it’s a practice that aligns to helping and serving people. I think that any yoga practice any worthy yoga practice really is there in the service of people rather than the other way round. So for me, you know, Hañsa is about the individual. It is about also creating creating a community that supports itself and and supports others. I think it’s to me Hañsa, it’s a philosophy more than anything else. I don’t think it’s an it’s a philosophy that like, I think what we’ve seen yoga over many hundreds of years develop and evolve, according to who is viewing it and who is practicing it. So, you know, I’m, the hope is that just this this thing Hañsa, this this process called Hañsa, you know what we know of it today in 10 years time is going to be different again, in a way that’s much more serving of of the public or the individuals that are in front of it.
It will be so interesting to see it in 10 years time. I mean, how much difference Have you seen in the last five years in the evolution of Hañsa?
Lots actually and I think you know, one of my flaws and one of my I suppose strength is I can be quite abstract. And so and so over the years, you know Because I’m trying to create a structure to be able to present my, my experiences, what I’ve noticed is that it’s a much more tangible format now that I’m working with, which is really, really great. And so it’s much more, there’s more, it’s much more concrete in the way that it’s when it’s expressed and protocols in place that serves people’s interests and supports them. Also, animation, there’s a, there’s a much more logic to it. So it’s already evolved so much from the early days where it was just this, you know, numerous experiences trying to be filtered through and to this kind of conversation. But now now there’s more structure to it, and I think that’s a good thing. And, but my hope is that that the structure doesn’t become too crystallised and that it still remains loose enough or open enough for different interpretations to come in and different experiences to reinform it.
Yeah, yeah. So just to summarize some of the things that we’ve talked about, if you were to pick three words to describe a Hañsa, what would it be? Or what are the three things again?
Okay, well, so So we work with ease. So I like the word ease, I think, I think you could even replace that with grace. I do like the idea of flow. And I and when I say flow, it’s, it’s something that’s quite deep and meditative and has depth to it. And I always associate water with that. And the last one, I think, again, it comes down to the idea of self empowerment. Taking responsibility for our life, taking responsibility for our choices. Good and bad. So yeah, so it’s about giving the person the choice, the tools, the resources to be able to deal with that. So, for me, that’s what what Hañsa is, is to empower people is to move it and move away from some of these dogmatic processes that we see, in most cases
Yeah, I agree with you when you say that. It’s like tools because to me, Hañsa, Hañsa to me has given me tools to understand who I am, not just the way I move but the way I think and the way I perceive things. And not just that it also gives me tool to navigate areas where I find barriers or problems. So there’s a lot about problem solving and how to how to support myself. So to me Hañsa is all that, like tools to help navigate me, myself when I move or navigate life in general.
Yeah. Yeah. You know, I did think about this in that, you know, I may have mentioned it in one of the previous podcasts, but you know, hopefully it’s tools to help you live well and die well. Yeah.
Yeah. We all want to die well, yes.
That’s right. Yeah. So yeah,
So not many people have encountered Hañsa before. So where can people find Hañsa? Where if they just want to practice the flow, or if they want to take workshops, and they want to do training?
this is your marketing bit.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, that’s right. Well, the best thing is to go online at www.Hañsa.yoga. And you’ll find everything there in terms of schedules. There’s online practices as well, which have been more and more updated. There’s trainings, there’s also some descriptions about Hañsa and certain pathways, if you’re interested in becoming a teacher or therapist, that gives you some background information around the pathway that you follow. So it’s all online basically. But you know, you can follow us on Facebook and Instagram, just opened a Twitter account.
You did? Alright we’re gonna be on Twitter guys, I guess.
You know, and then we have have these, obviously, these podcasts. And so you’ll find those in a variety of different platforms. One is Patreon and then there’s others like anchor.fm, and so forth. So So yeah, so we’re around. So yeah, if you just Google us, I suppose, or Yahoo, or whatever is your search engine? I’m sure we’re on there.
Yes. And some areas of this world, there are some local teachers. And you have a few in New Zealand and you have a few in China. Yeah.
Yeah, there’s a few in New Zealand, few in Indonesia, like yourself.
Yeah. And there’s a few. There’s a few in China as well. Hoping to expand Hañsa and more into into Europe too sometime in the near future.
Cool. All right. Well, I think that’s a good wrap up for this episode of Hañsa. If you have any questions, write to us. Maybe email us and we’ll try to answer any other questions about Hañsa in future episodes of this podcast. But yes, thank you, everybody for listening. And thank you, Vincent for sharing your story. Always such a pleasure listening to them.
You’re welcome, Thank you very much Meta for your time again.
Thank you and we’ll see you in the next Hañsa Conversations.
You’ve been listening to Hañsa conversations a podcasts. Please follow Hansa yoga on Instagram and Facebook. To learn more about Hañsa at hansa.yoga on the web, where you can also purchase online practice videos to practice at home. Don’t forget to sign up to our mailing list to get updates on our latest news. So join us on the next Hansa conversations and thank you for listening
Ep. 3 – Change
With the COVID-19 pandemic, our whole world has changed. In this episode, we talk about change and why dealing with change is difficult? This pandemic has also brought yoga & wellness classes to online platforms. We discussed its possible impacts on the practice of yoga and how we can maintain our self-practice during this time of change.
Read transcript here
Hi, I’m Meta Welcome to Hañsa conversations- a podcast. The Hansa philosophy is based on a therapeutic idea that is relational and adaptable. Through this podcast, we want to create a deeper conversation to build sensitivity and awareness around movement practices and life in general. So welcome, and listen in.
Hi, everybody. Welcome back to Hañsa conversation with me, Meta, from Hañsa Indonesia and Vincent, the founder and director of Hañsa. We hope everybody’s doing well, today. How are you, Vincent?
I’m good. Thank you. Coming to the end of my quarantine here in Beijing, so facing potential freedom on Friday.
That is very, very exciting. I hope you find your freedom soon.
Yeah, that’s right. Me too. Me too. Okay. Otherwise, things are flowing, I think, nicely, as they are. And yeah, so each day is a new day.
That is very true each day is a new day. Well, that actually lead us to the topic that we want to talk about this week, which is change because everybody can see it that our lives now is changing. We are made to stay at home, do work from home and just find things to create in a confined of a space. So, there’s a lot of changes that happened lately, including in the yoga and the wellness industry. So with change, what I’ve been seeing or hearing from people, is that there has been a lot of anxiety and adjustment just just trying to deal with all the changes that we have to face these days, so just wondering, why is it so hard for us humans to face change? Any ideas, Vincent?
Thank you, I think I think we are creatures of habit. And there’s certain comfort to be had and knowing what’s going to happen day in and day out, gives us a sense of security and, and at the same time we can build on a future really. I think it’s, it’s not easy to change because of those internal driven factors. And I think they’re very primal in their organisation. Everything is ultimately about survival. And so and these are inbuilt mechanisms that really create opportunities for us to survive or thrive really in many respects in the environments that we are in. So Change is hard. From I suppose a biological evolutionary perspective. Change is also hard from an emotional relationship as well because we do get accustomed to certain experiences. And also we place a lot of value on those experiences as well. And that gives us a sense of purpose and to continue to pursue whatever it is that we deem to be important. And so, you know, change, change is not an easy matter and sometimes, you know, it requires a great shift. And now, current reality, like we’re seeing now, for for something to change, or at least for our attitudes to perceive something to be perceived another possible way.
So if we are a creature of comfort and change challenge, that idea of comfort, what can we do? I mean, to find certain measures of comfort when everything is changing, there’s so much unknown right now in the world. When it comes to life, career mortality, how do you find little pockets of comfort?
Well, the first thing is we become desensitised to discomfort. And
What do you mean by that?
Well, when we’re in our comfort zones, you know, we’re always looking at the path of least resistance in terms that doesn’t challenge our attitudes and opinions and also some of our choices. And so, so we always gravitate to, you know, pathways that reinforce already well, what we know what we do. So these comfort zones in themselves do imprison us in a in a sensory world where we’re only seeking things that are comfortable we are only thinking things that maintain the status quo. So So discomfort becomes something avoided and also we become desensitized to this conflict in other words, we we don’t see it as of value we don’t see it how this conflict can be beneficial in creating a change or indicating to the body or to us that there is a problem. So I think I think it’s a it’s a double edged sword, you know, because too much discomfort can shy us away from actual change itself, but too little also can keep us in prison and within the status quo. There’s a critical thresh, yea, there’s a critical threshold that I think that we work towards that enables us to see both worlds and have value in both what you know, the pleasure and the pain and how, you know, sometimes actually pleasure too much pleasure too much conflict can lead to eventual discomfort within us. And this is what we’ve been seeing since from an environmental perspective, you know, the conflicts of, of modern day living is creating certain scenarios where, in actual fact, you know, we that that standard of living has been threatened. Cause we’re creating so much consequence through seeking to maintain and our levels of quality of life, elements of choice. All those things come into question.
Okay. So with discomfort, yes, there’s a critical threshold. How can we be okay with some level of discomfort so that we are not desensitised from it?
Well, that’s that’s a good question. And I think, you know, I always go back to what is the practice of yoga and the practice of yoga enables us to build resources both physically, emotionally and on a psychic level, to deal with more to deal with the reality of actually what life is and that is that there is a dualistic relationship that we need to have and that is based upon comfort and discomfort.
Right. It just never stop I think, it’s like a constant dance, I feel, that finding that balance between being okay with certain level of discomfort and then after you being okay with that level of discomfort then in a way we find certain comfort in the new situation or environment that we’re in before, then realising how much are we attached to that sense of pleasure that comes from it, which going to disrupt again, the so called status quo, where discomfort comes again, it’s a constant cycle that never ends. It just goes on and on.
It does, it does. And, you know, I don’t think it’s as black and white. I do think sometimes the choices that we make to support our selves, strategies that really negate pain. So even though we create a particular scenario for ourselves, or we create certain behavioral modes, to avoid discomfort, those behavioral modes in time actually become the problem. And sometimes it’s very easy to delude ourselves. And I was thinking about this just before and how there is so many avenues of deception that don’t allow us to move in the direction of true change. There is always these kind of piecemeal approaches there we we go into, thinking that then themselves the change that we want, in actual fact, they’re not, then there is this deceptive relationship that we have with true change. And most of the time, I think, what happens is that we keep reinforcing the attitudes, opinions and and reasons why we do what we do. So and there’s numerous and we can find numerous reasons why we do what we do. But true change happens at a really deep core level of one’s belief system and also attitude.
Okay. So when something happens from the external like right now where, like change is being given upon us we have to adjust and deal with it. Is this really just an agent of true deeper change, but it’s up to us how we deal with it or how we come upon finding what is that true change within us?
Well, you know, and when something happens like this, some some really important questions arise and, and some really important discussions also need to be had. And, you know, at the, in the initial period of this sort of kind of scenario that we’re in, when our world has been, you know, turned upside down, if you like, and there’s a certain element of being stunned by it. That is the time to really inquire In the unknown, and where would our resistance to it and that resistance usually comes up as forms of fear. And that is that is the time to really start to investigate because before you know, it’s that brief moment of of not been able to put the situation that we’re in in a particular category that we can understand it’s beyond our ability to make sense of it. So there is a purity to that.
But then once the initial situation is subsided, then we start to build up a construct of reason why things are they are, where it needs to be or how it’s going to go. And, you know, we start to sort of try and anticipate the next day the next moment, you know, so that we have a sense of security around the situation, which is so totally unknown and foreign to us because it’s completely if you like, for some turned your world right upside down, you know, yeah, and, and so, so it’s easy then to use the constructs of the way that we’ve perceived life before the change has happened to then try and make sense of this new situation and usually it’s like trying to fit a square peg in a square peg in a round hole, it doesn’t fit. And so, rather than trying to escape this new experience with with old reasoning or old patterns and old, old, worldviews, it’s best to stay in the experience and really sense what it is that is presented for us personally and then, you know, bigger picture sense of the community, you know, culture as well. It’s, you know, the way that I think see life now it’s more of a global culture rather than sort of these individual islands or tribes, then you know, this, this process seems to be more polarising now, as I see this more that we all inter dependent and from a technological perspective, this is much more obvious now, and our economies as well are like that.
So, you know, in saying that, we we can easily become defensive, because of the fear that we have around things, the uncertainties, we can become more separated from from this idea. And so, those those initial experiences that they they are, they are waiting for us to engage in a conversation with the unknown feeling that we don’t generally gravitate towards. And, and that that moment is the most, I would say, the most pure moment to really start to talk about what change is because it’s completely foreign in terms of, you know, just logic and terms of logic where we are as a community as individuals, but more importantly, our fears, our emotions, and what sensations physically we’re having.
Yeah. And you said earlier in the conversation that well, the practice of yoga is teaching us tools to actually deal with situation like this, with change. And I think a lot of people are seeking practices like yoga and Qigong to help them manage this difficult times. And what this change has brought so far and also how people manage the new situation that we have to deal with is bringing classes to to the web. To online level and on one level, I do see this sort of global community coming together because now there’s no longer that boundaries of a physical studio that people can access classes from allover the world, which is quite nice so far. But how do you think this new practice that we have all this Live classes affect Yoga?
Yeah, that’s, that’s a, that’s an interesting scenario that’s evolved and I’m more in the observational mode around that I do have some some concerns as well. And at the same time, I see the positives around this. And now for me Yoga is it’s all about relationships. And you know, in some sense, we are bringing communities together from from one perspective, but then at the same time, just by the sheer fact of, you know, being in isolation and, and having these moments where we are not interacting with people, which is also an advantage to, to eliminate those distractions to go more inwardly and start to cultivate a contemplative mind is, I think is also, you know, it’s quite important and I think these that these, this is a global opportunity really to, to move into these meditative fields because we have now these opportunities that the distractions have been eliminated. And then at the same time, you know, as a byproduct of these more interconnected relationships through the social media of yoga, that, you know, we’re missing the opportunity to become more contemplative, and and to switch off from these things, rather than delve more deeply into it. That seems to be be happening.
And then at the same time, you know, I’ve always been, you know, as an as a catch 22 and it’s I’m part of the system but critical of the commercialisation of of yoga in a particular way that, again, limits the person’s experience to more superficial rounds of sensing oneself. I do have some questions around around the, you know, online processes and weather that we have, you know, because of just by the sheer fact that we don’t have human human contact and it’s more virtual now that there is the relationship that yoga talks about the intimacy that yoga talks about is even more reduced with these online situations.
But you know, I do understand the reasons why we do we doing this I mean, there is some, you know, practicalities involved and you know, It’s all part of a larger system of supporting one’s livelihood. And so I do I do get that. And as I said, I’m part of that system too. But I did, how can we construct, you know, an opportunity and within these online processes where rather than just offering, you know, one off classes, but can we possibly offer more a educational process where we take people on a journey a period of six weeks or more, can we also encourage people within that time to do some self work, you know, rather than always, you know, because you’re doing yoga at home online doesn’t mean you’re doing a self practice.
And I when I when I think of a self practice it’s completely devoid of any superficial motivational factors. It’s definitely coming from the inside out and not and when you start practicing by yourself without any of these other aspects to what practice is, in terms of, you know, teacher in terms of sequences or what have you, when you start to sit down and really inquire What is it, who is it wants to practice, then yoga really does come to life at that point. Because it touches upon the most deepest aspect of who we are in terms of, you know, some of the values that we have about ourselves about life and some of the opinions with that extensions of these values. And, you know, as I said, if we’re looking at changing anything, it has to go straight back, stripped back to its seed form. So I do see I do see the value of online work, but then at the same time, I’m carefully observing its consequences. And and then what would the new Brave New World be like for the yoga community? When, when things do go back to, if you like, you know, the normal? What we’ve always perceived normal to be?
And, you know, do these new modes of communication, persists? Do yoga studios now, add this to the already current business process? Does that mean technology becomes even more important in the way that we do business? And if so, then how do we safeguard against these factors where we can become easily isolated, as well from from communities, as we know what social media does, and also how it can misrepresent you know values and also, you know, practices that require intimacy, commitment and a level of responsibility. So, yeah, so I’m still in that observational mode.
It’s, it’s hard, isn’t it? I mean, I think then it’s up to us individuals on becoming even more aware of the intention behind doing certain things. Because when we take classes, these online yoga classes on one side I think they’re wonderful because they still give people the sense of community that there are people out there that we’re all in this together, and it’s good to see other people as I see a lot of that is quite important in one way, but then, then it’s up to the individual to also understand that we’re not doing that to run away from the discomfort because it’s so much easier to just switch off the mind and take class from somebody else for a little bit and then move on with the day. But I think right now, like you said, it’s quite important too to do a real self practice where we give time to be quiet to just connect back with what is it we’re actually experiencing. But I also understand this is not easy, it takes practice, because a lot of the discomfort that we talked about earlier are going to come up so so maybe this is about bringing the responsibility back to ourselves on knowing which practice is more serving for us at every single day, I guess. Because every day is so different.
I think i think it’s, again, I like I said there is a positive and with any positive there’s a negative associated to it and it does depend on on the situation. And but if it becomes the new norm and it becomes the new norm for reasons of just, you know, compounding already what people were doing before. And it’s not to say that, you know, that online work can’t create transformative effect. But, I think we have to, we have to, you know, just walk very slowly around these processes. And, and I again, you know, it’s it’s one of those situations that it’s arisen and it’s and it’s interesting to observe and I’m part of, I’m part of that equation as well. So I’m observing myself in it, as I do have, I do have a few, not necessarily doubts, but questions around it and I, and also then I am starting to conclude certain opinions and I want to play devil’s advocate a little bit as well around the process, so that it’s not a complete buy in on my part because I you know, live Is not that simple in terms of it’s how we navigate things. And, and I do understand that businesses, teachers are struggling, I’m part of that equation. Yeah, livelihoods have been affected. So this, to me makes perfect sense in the way that we are now constructing ourselves and or be, you know, behaving in a particular way.
But, you know, again, you know, as we’re moving towards a technological age, where, you know, businesses probably going to be done at home, you know, you know, toying around with virtual yoga studios, rather than, you know, tangible you know, studios that had these large overheads and, and so forth to maintain, to offer people classes and may shift now to a different paradigm of, of expressing what Yoga is. And we we’re becoming, we will become more reliant on technology is as is evident at the moment, you know, in terms of the way that we communicating doing business, and obviously, in terms of our economies, it seems to be the case. Yeah,
I can definitely see that happening. I mean technology taking a rise. We we were on that path before anyway with so many classes going online. But, there’s a worry though. In my mind, I really picture, when we were talking, I really pictured, scenes from films like Wall-E, when we all just become so individual with our VR and and we forget this, we forget how to become a community and we forget how to interact with other people in real life. And I feel that the traditional yoga classes yoga studios is a big part of these interactions, then I worry what will happen if those become reduced?
Yeah, yeah. Again it you know, to me Yoga is a very personal journey and and I think if we generalise the process that in the past has happened and if we become generic about our approach to this journey, intimacy and sensitivity is lost and and i think how do we keep that alive so I think it’s a good challenge rather than being something that isn’t it can be of a negative i think it’s it gives us opportunities to become more creative and how to maybe express those values or express those ideas in ways that we can still honour you know, the individual nature of the practice and especially the individual needs of the practitioner.
And so to me, this is kind of what I teach in terms of therapeutics and and how we can start to take responsibility for ourselves, what are the tools? Are those tools clearly understood? Can they be practiced in ways that are accessible? And does you know the opportunity present itself in a way that these tools can be passed on in ways that really do support people? So that’s, that’s it. I think these are really, really important questions. And I think that at the same time, you know, I think that there’s not they’re just obstacles to navigate and I think we can become very we are very clever as a human species. So I think we can figure it out somewhere along the line.
Yeah, yeah. So on just on a practical level, oh sorry go ahead
Yeah, yeah. No, I just I think there always be a few who are rebellious and, and maybe I’m one of them and we were trying to maintain a level of, rebellious or antiquated I don’t know. So, so. So you know, so there’d be a few that will buck against the system? I’m sure.
I’m sure I am very sure. But yeah, what I wanted to say was just to bring it on a more practical level because now, this has become our new normal, doing classes online. And you also have online classes, online videos, and you’re going to give probably more live classes. But just as an advice when people are taking these online classes, what can people do to bring the experience more for themselves I guess? I’m not sure if I’m making myself clear, but sort of still building the intimacy that they have towards their own practice and using this the tools that you have or the online classes as a way to to bring yoga back to themselves?
Yeah, that’s a good question. And I think you know, what you learn on the online class, start to try and apply in your, in a practice that doesn’t require you to be watching the screen. See if you can start to create space for yourself that’s independent of these, these scenarios. So that you’re you’re now doing a self practice. And so use online classes opportunity to learn new skills or, or sequences that you can follow for yourself by yourself. And I think this this is a good opportunity because then you have to invest time to learn what it is that you that you were taught. And then you have to create the time for you then to do it into again, start to figure it out with your body, what this process is, and then at the same time, my recommendation there would be to choose classes that really then enable level of intensity that you can achieve quite easily and then And that you’re able to manage yourself in space.
I mean, generally, you know, offline classes when you’re in a yoga studio and you’re in a class, I mean, there’s a general compromise between teacher and student, the teacher can’t look after everybody and and then the student should not expect the teacher to look after everybody. There is certain protocols that you’ll have to support people. But ultimately, it’s about choices. And you can’t you can’t eliminate wow, you know, people’s choices. So. So when you put yourself in an online situation, I think the compromises just gets ramped up a little bit more because the teacher really can’t see you.
So you just have to be just more conscious of what you do and how you do it. Choose practices that fit your situation and your body. And we all have our favorite teachers, and I think most of these teachers now producing online classes. So, so yes, absolutely do the classes but somehow fit in time. Fit in a moment or create a space. Yeah, that enables you to connect.
Right, right. So I was thinking while you’re talking that maybe one part that is missing from all this online platform is a little bit more guidance and some teacher student relationship, because in a class, yes, the teacher can’t pay attention to everybody, obviously. But there’s always time when the student can ask questions after class, for example, or something that they’re confused. Maybe that’s what educators these days, or teachers can provide as a bridge between these online practices and self-practices, maybe?
Yeah, no, absolutely. I, you know, I’ve just taught it on an online class today. And I was it was basically, not even online classes, an online lecture, I was just trying to encourage people to connect with a couple of tools that they’ve been, they can practice by themselves. And you know, and it was more for me discussion, which I think is very important. It’s not just about moving your body, it’s about also the nuances of movement and also some of the technicalities of supporting oneself and the situation. So I do, I have been enjoying these online, lectures, classes, stroke classes, because it is now more conversational for me, you know, because there is the opportunity to talk through processes and and i think One of the benefits possibly that I see is that rather than just giving people an experience, like you would go to a yoga studio, now you’re giving people tools and resources to be asble to now develop their own personal practice. And they’ve got time to do that personal practice. Because, you know, I’ve been in isolation for 14 days, I think there’s lots of people around the world in isolation I know in New Zealand, they’re in isolation for a month or so. Yeah. So, so there, there is now these opportunities that we can create schedules for ourselves, create that space, a sacred space that we can now go into, and my hope is that these opportunities, you know, can persist long after these events as well.
I think the big adjustments that, as practitioners, that we need to make is that it might be simple to think about but hard to do, is that change in perspective that suddenly now we have the time, I think we talked about this in the first podcast. But even now, even now, after what day 12 of my isolation, I still forget that I actually have the time. So I do my day as if I don’t have the time to just do a self practice that’s longer, that’s so difficult. I didn’t even realise it until like, lately.
Yeah, yeah. So, so yeah, I totally agree. So that means we have the opportunity to create change right now. And it’s a fine edge, you know, it’s a fine edge, we can flip back easily to what we have been doing. Or we can do this new thing in the same way that we’ve done the old thing, which then really what that means nothing has changed. So, so and I heard and this is a great statement from a friend of mine, Graham Mead and he said it this way, which is really cool. And so, “the mind that created the problem can’t solve the problem.” So that means basically change the mind, change the way the mind operates change the way that the mind perceives things, the values that it has about certain things that needs to change too. So it’s a radicalisation. And we are in that beautiful opportunity right now to be radical enough, I think within our own personal space, who to give us ourselves opportunity for that change. And is there for the offering, you know, definitely there for the offering. So time will tell.
So talking about time do you know how long normally does it take for something to change? Because I, I don’t know. I think it takes bloody long time to change something.
Well, the interesting thing it’s, I think it’s quite a deep discussion change because, you know, we we’re changing all the time. And I think the Serenity Prayer is a beautiful prayer that kind of talks about change, you know, and some things we can change and some things, we just have to accept what they are. And knowing the difference between the, knowing the difference between the two, I think, is the practice and the journey of yoga. And as we become more discerning, we know that we need to be putting more efforts in one thing than the other thing, because the other thing is just one of those things, we can’t really change. You know, we can’t change certain aspects of ourselves, but some things we can.
And so I like the idea that the yoga practice and the resources that it offers and tools that it provides, um makes us just that little bit more discerning around the whole process of what it is to be in this body and to go through the experiences that we, we go through. And then some of these things that we are doing are negating our happiness, our where our well being, and what are the tools? What are what are the attitudes, what is the approach that we need to make the change happen.
And so and so, it’s so that’s why it’s not easy because it takes time. It takes commitment, it takes commitment, and I’m and I’m afraid I’m the person that advocates, you know, slow transformative processes rather than these quick, sudden moments of enlightened states. I don’t tend to agree with those because my observation of the human condition and the people that I’ve seen, things take time, you know, and, and, and, and maybe, you know, with technology and our general pace of life, you know, we now don’t perceive to have time. But we do, we do have time. And it’s just a matter of making that choice to say we do. And then creating the opportunity opportunities for that time to be presented.
Yeah, and I like what you said earlier, it’s a great reminder that we are constantly changing. I mean, on an a biology level, we are constantly changing. So maybe the key here is also to just accept that, that that statement that we are constantly changing, instead of thinking that we are a static human being with a static life, and therefore the idea of change is just becoming so difficult when we see it from the perspective that well, even right now as I’m speaking, I’m changing then maybe it’s easier to go through the process.
It can be easier, I think, also, one reason why we don’t accept change because change indicates it’s it’s it’s an expression of also decay you know yeah and so it’s it’s one of those probably innate reactions of you know wanting to keep status quo in our lives wanting to maintain a level of knowing and but change really is quite chaotic aye? there is there’s elements that we can’t control and so you know chaos tends to unground us as we’re finding out. So changes is is chaos and we fight so hard to try and keep an element of order around of our lives because we know that the alternative which is chaos is representation really of a deconstruction of everything that we know and who we are and eventually it may indicate death and this is this is maybe the the, you know, the story or Shiva, you know, the destroyer Yeah, You know. So for any for anything new to appear, it has to, you know, deconstruct to a level where something fresh and new can grow from it. That’s very different to what was originally there.
Yeah, yeah, you’re right. You’re right that, I think it’s quite important to remember the importance of the destroyer. That reminds me of one thing from the Balinese culture which is, it’s called Tridatu or three colors, so they, we see a lot of Balinese, they, they walk around with a bracelet made out of threads of black and white and red and it’s a symbol of the three phases of life, the birth, the life itself, the nurturing phase, as well as destruction and how the three of them are very important and interlinked. That one leads to the other and you have to, we have to accept the destruction as part of life as it is, in order to bring something new to have birth again.
That’s right, and you know, and this can be at the most intimate level of experience, you know, I can, I mean, we can all align with breathing patterns. And we can we know that, you know, a breath in as an example has a beginning, but it must have a middle and then it must have an end. So everything is cyclic, and even our experiences has a beginning, middle and end. So, our ability to connect on such an intimate process, intimate way in these processes, I think is essential. I think it’s really important. I think it does direct the viewers attention to more that life is a cycle. Life is a rhythm, and it’s about aligning to certain rhythms and then offer us the best understanding of our own personal rhythm. And then at this and then at the same time, you know, aligning to these rhythms that we are all in. it’s important to, to enable us to understand that things are not permanent. There is an impermanence to everything.
Now, you know, easy words to say, but really hard to accept, because you know, the implication of change, you know, and, and we’re creatures of wanting to survive. So, you know, we need to anticipate the next moment, we need to know what’s around that corner. Because the uncertainty of every, the uncertainty of everything can be quite debilitating for people fear can be quite debilitating. And I and I’ve seen I’ve seen you know, even you know, really good yoga philosophies become crystallised rather than the yoga philosophy itself is about adaptation rather than that this crystallised understanding of life because life cannot be put in a box cannot be crystallised. There is so many factors and conditions certain elements complexity to life that you cannot just crystallise it, or simplify it with one or two concepts. It’s much more than that.
Yeah. And so, for me, after listening to what you’ve just said, I feel that maybe one thing that we all can practice in terms of finding support for each of us in this time of change is really learning to listen to the rhythm of life. Because as we can learn to listen to the rhythm, then maybe we can stop anticipating what’s around the corner, maybe we can just follow what the rhythm is, and just let that take us to the next step.
That’s so true. That’s so true. And, you know, I’ve written this down and I just like to quote this for you and and so It goes something like this, “we cannot hide to the eventuality of our end. Or for that matter this moment, the only requirement that the practice of yoga asks of you is that you are present to your life, whatever that might be.” So I think, I think that’s it. You know, I think yoga just encourages you to engage with your life right now. Whatever that life is, whatever culture you come from, you know where you are in the world. Yoga just asked you to connect with that. And, and, and, and be intimate with it. Know it fully, deeply well, you know, and then knowing that deeply well, knowing yourself deeply Well, you know what happens, you know, everybody else deeply well, too.
Yeah. Yeah. Very, very profound, very beautiful. Thank you for sharing that.
Yeah, Meta. I just want to just give you one more quote, and this one is something that I wrote So starts off this way, “by many contemplative practices as seen as passive. This is far from the truth. There is a real struggle when we engage reality of our minds. There’s no other experience like it. Here we realise how elusive, clever and elaborate our mind is. That it cannot be subdued by force or overcome by effort. The weaponry that is needed is to succeed and the strife supposed struggle is tolerance, patience and time. What we have entered as far removed from the world, we know what normally live in. there is no fanfare or flags waving, when we triumph over our demons. Or no one to console us when we lose or succumb yet again to the forces that tempt us. The only witness to these events is you. And so for me, this is the idea of self practice, you know, that we’re engaging all these aspects of ourselves and and ultimately there is no winner or loser in this process. It’s that deep, deep, intimate relationship that we’re trying to foster. And so to me, this is the self practice and and I just wanted to share this quote with you.
That is so, so beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing that. Yes.
No worries. All good.
So, I think that has been quite an exciting conversation. And well, we hope that for everybody who’s listening. We hope that gives you some tips and tools advice on how to navigate this period of change. That’s right. And yeah, yeah, I think that’s it for us in this episode. Thank you, everybody, again, for listening. Thank you. Vinent, as always, for your wisdom and conversation. Always a pleasure. So yes, we, please stay well, everybody. And hope to be with you again in the next Hañsa Conversations. Thank you.
Thank you Meta. Thank you.
You’ve been listening to Hañsa Conversations – a podcast. Please follow Hañsa yoga on Instagram and Facebook. To learn more about Hañsa at Hañsa.yoga on the web, where you can also purchase online practice videos to practice at home. Don’t forget to sign up to our mailing lists to get updates on our latest news. So join us on the next Hañsa Conversation and thank you for listening