We explore the world of yoga and mindfulness with Memo Singh, a seasoned yoga practitioner and spiritual human, whom we are grateful to bring into the CARAVANA FREETHINKERS 2022 EDITION.
Memo is a kindred spirit who has journeyed through life to seek truth and transform as an eternal student empowered by ancient wisdom.
In this intimate discussion, Memo reveals the challenges and plateaus of being a mindful human, being human in the modern world by tapping into the past to sow seeds of positive evolution for body and soul.
“..Yoga can be anywhere that you put your attention- your full attention. Mindfulness: that’s yoga, that’s a way of being artistic in who you are..”
What elements of yoga first inspired you to become a yoga teacher?
It’s a compliment for me to be called a teacher, though I am always practicing as a student. “Teacher” is a title that people like to give you because you have more experience in certain topics and aspects than others. But this doesn’t mean that I am a teacher, I am still a good student.
What has been a personal revelation you’ve experienced through your journey with yoga?
What I’ve experienced in my years of practicing is that no matter what, yoga always works for something. Even if you are practicing in a certain way, or reaching a certain objective, it opens up many possibilities.
One of the biggest revelations for me is that yoga can be anywhere that you put your attention- your full attention. Mindfulness: that’s yoga, that’s a way of being artistic in who you are. Yoga is everywhere, and it’s a lifestyle that requires a lot of awareness, and discipline to keep that awareness when the mind shifts and perceptions change. This is why it’s important to keep this awareness and see our reality clearer.
Yoga is everywhere, but techniques like Ashtanga, Vinyasa, or Kundalini, work for specific results that create a certain type of yogi adapted to these modern times. Yoga is a way to figure out who you are in this reality.
What are some of the challenges that arise for yoga teachers; energetically and emotionally?
The challenge is to break that romanticism of being a yogi. We get angry, sad, happy, and excited by everyday, silly, and random things, to the most extraordinary things that impact us. The challenge is to be you beyond what you think or what is expected. Expectations of what a yogi was in the past are different in the times we live in now.
In the end, the challenge is to be YOU.
Back then, to be a yogi was an ascetic- that is, outside of society. Today, we are yogis in society. So to be your true self and a yogi today has its challenges. Sometimes you can lose yourself in thinking you’re a master, but at the same time, you feel you’re so small in the grand scheme of everything. Humbleness and simplicity keep life a surprise, as an element that will constantly change as you change; that’s the challenge not only for yogis but for everyone.
To be you, to not be influenced by the philosophies and ideas and form, but to find who you are in all of this and free yourself.
Do you have a favorite style of yoga that you practice, or do you combine different forms?
I don’t have a favorite. All of them are incredible. For me, I choose Kundalini yoga, or it chose me. I didn’t look for it, it just happened. I wanted to do something else and then it happened that I wanted to do Kundalini first. But I like to combine other practices depending on how I feel and what I want to achieve, too.
Choosing one can make me fall into a fantasy that that form is the ultimate way, and that’s not it. For me, yoga can be anything- cooking, cleaning, et cetera. You could call it karma yoga, bhakti, or emotional yoga. In the end, my favorite practice is yoga which is not called yoga.
What are your personal ceremonies or rituals outside of yoga that you practice?
Some of the ceremonies I practice besides yoga is Temazcales. I like to go places where people have already been walking this path and know the process, those who are not doing it for money or fame.
Another practice I love is going out to the desert and meditating by myself or with others who like that too, around a fire. Not necessarily doing a specific ceremony with medicine like peyote, but simply being there and feeling the vibe and the immensity of the desert. This lets me connect with all of myself.
For me, that is the best ceremony, the best medicine. Being there with the vastness of the desert and warmth of the fire.
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