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Surya Namaskar, sun salutation, is a vinyasa sequency in yoga that most yogis and yoginis are very familiar with. A vinyasa means that the postures are following eachother in a flow that awakens the prana and that doesn’t let you rest in between.

Last night, I was contemplatingchange and how life actually is a vinyasa sequency. A sequency where we sometimes rise up, go backward, bend over. We get scared and jump back, we hold our breath and endure, we come down on our knees and we rise up again… Sometimes, we’re cobras spitting poison to protect ourselves when we’re intimidated and sometimes we are dogs, following someone else’s lead.  Other times we are brave warriors, fighting for what we want life to be, and other time we are pigeons, ready to fly off in a blink of an eye, or equestrians riding the waves of opportunity…

Life is ever changing – the only constant thing is the fact that things will change by law of nature because everything is movement going forward and everything that doesn’t serve you anymore is being left behind. Stopping the flow of life is like asking mother Ganga to stop flow for a second, so that you will have time to think things out… She wouldn’t! She would say: ”Sorry child, but I’m moving… are you flowing with me? Swimming in me or drowning in me?”.

My favourite animal is the cat. Cats are in my eyes beautiful, independent, smooth creatures here to teach us dignity, self-respect and love. My friend claims they are unfaithful, but they are not – you just have to learn to read them and realize that cats don’t ever accept what a dog would… A cat can never be forced into submission. You have to earn the cat’s respect and trust and then only will it purr and be your best friend. You also need to see the subtle signs of the cats mood changes to predict when it will pull out its claws. A dog is a simple and obvious creature; barking, gnarling, showing its teeth, whining, waving it’s tail in quite apparent ways. While a cat’s mood changes can be seen in its eyes and a slight flattening of the ears as it starts to lose patience with you.

Have you ever seen a cat fall and how elegantly it lands on its feet, even from high heights? It manages to do this because it’s flipping around in the air, while falling. It ”rolls with the punch”, so to speak. I believe we can learn a lot from that; when life brings us changes, whether anticipated or not, we need to roll with it, flip our mind around in the air, land on our feet and get ready for the next challenge… the next asana.

Yesterday, my friend and I were discussing opportunities. What is opportunity? They say that luck is merely the ability to see an opportunity coming your way and have the wits to catch it. Perhaps that’s true! But I believe that there is no such thing as an objective opportunity. All opportunities are subjective, because unless the offer sparks something in your heart that you desire – it is not an opportunity but an offer and offers come and go every day. ”Chai? No thanks, not today…”, ”Mangos? No… not really in the mood right now, maybe tomorrow!”, ”30 camels for your daughters hand in marriage? No, have no real use for 30 camels, sir…”… those are all offers, not opportunities, unless you would die for a cup of chai, a sweet mango or suddenly find yourself in immediate need of 30 camels. It is only an opportunity if you desire what you’re being offered.

With practice, the asanas included in Surya Namaskar are being stretched by your discipline and ability and you gradually find out your own boundaries. You find out how low you can go in Downward Facing Dog without losing your touch with the floor, which is symbolically important for staying grounded in this world. If you’re going to have your head in the sky, you need your feet firmly placed on the earth, right?

In the Equestrian you may take the chance to find out how open your chest can get. To which extent are you willing to reveal your heart and keep it open? Can that position be held or do you slam the door to your heart shut again, at the first sign of danger or disappointment? How far back can you bend for someone else before it gets painful? May the Warrior teach you how to stay focused and balanced in life, with your eyes on your dream and may Headstand make you look at life from another angle.

The point I’m trying to make is that to cope with the constant changes of life, we need a well practised life vinyasa to master the changes successfully, roll with the punches and spin around like cats in the air. We need to be chess players, ready to reposition when our opponent is blocking our way in life and get ready to choose a different path, but always make sure that your heart’s in it. Without the support of the heart, nothing works and all opportunities are mereley offers!

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