From Namaste Festival 2013

Lately, it has been tough weeks for me. This extremely volatile, turbulent weather (plus stress) of November almost leaves me nuts, cranky, fragile and sick(ened). My body has been acting out quite many times. After 3 years of relatively disciplined healthy life style (which rules and regulations I don’t blindly follow, actually), I fell sick. Badly enough. And a little bit too long to recover, which also again put me in such a distress. Being sick in Jakarta is terribly costly, to say the least.
I got even crankier when I did have to turn down someone’s offer to blog for this annual well-being themed festival. The more I tell people about how disappointed I became, the more I need to distract myself from the whole yogic stuff going on there.
So somehow, I got this God-sent friend who is kind enough to let me use her entrance pass. That meant I could be attending some classes with brand-new teachers to offer new experience. Call me a frugal yogi, and I don’t mind at all.
The two classes I happened to attend today were related to one particular type of movements in yoga: inversion. Tiffany Cruikshank’s started at 8 am and Briohny Smyth and Dice Ihda Klein’s at 10.30 am. The fact that all these three gurus are young (at least that’s how they look to me), fabulous, super fit, and inspiring in some way in their class is just too obvious. They’re simply hotties, but they also do yoga. Great combo. We yogis and yoginis are at times superficial, too. So we let ourselves drool over their hard-rock abs, solid shoulders, slender figure, and the entire showcase of physical agility and prowess.
After not plunging myself intensely in inversion or backbending world, today I was abruptly made to do that. To put it bluntly, I felt reluctant. I felt too lazy for even showing off that I too can be and can do awesome challenging poses like what Tiffany, Dice and Briohny do. But this time, either I think I just need to recover from sickness perfectly first or pure reluctance which comes out of nowhere, I have truly lost that degree of candor I used to have when I practice challenging poses. I tend to feel the control over my ego and begin looking inside. I don’t say I am completely free of the urge to show off, to flaunt my talent, but I can say I am less impulsive when experimenting with this body. It was a toy, but is now slightly turning to a shrine.
I do what I can do rather than what I think I must do because I can do. People overestimate me when it comes to yoga (thanks to my reckless and agressive uploading of tons of pictures on the web). They always think I can do all, so there’s no reason for me to say no, or not to try. But there’re times when I have no options but listening to my own voice.
I must admit, I am no huge fan of yoga anymore. I am now less enthusiastic when I attend yoga classes or workshops. All is because… I need to love yoga in a more balanced way. I don’t want to love it too much, so much that I can turn to hate it and never come back to it for the rest of my life. I love yoga just naturally. There’s no expectation (including expectation of becoming a guru). There’s no target (target to achieve certain results, build some strength, flexibility or money). That how nature works. It doesn’t haste, yet everything is accomplished, says Lao Tze.

Listening to Everybody’s Got to Learn Sometime by Sharon Corr

Am enjoying “Take a Minute”. Alas! The brand new single isn’t to be listed on Path just yet.

Listening to Everybody’s Got to Learn Sometime by Sharon Corr

Preview it on Path

“For Sell” atau “For Sale”?

Sekali lagi. Salah kaprah yang membuat gerah. Saya putuskan untuk memberikan sedikit penjelasan yang segamblang-gamblangnya. Mungkin akan sedikit terkesan menggurui tetapi saya tidak peduli.

“For Sell”

Pertama-tama yang patut dicamkan ialah kelas kata tiap kata tersebut. Maksud saya, apakah kata-kata di atas termasuk kata kerja, kata benda, kata penghubung, kata depan, kata seru, dan sebagainya.
Jadi kata “for” termasuk preposisi/ kata depan dan kata “sell” termasuk kata kerja (sell-sold-sold).
Nah, menurut aturan tata bahasa Inggris kita tidak bisa menggabungkan begitu saja preposisi dan kata kerja pertama atau infinitive. “Sell” tidak ditakdirkan mengikuti “for”, begitu singkat cerita. Namun, kita dapat menggunakan kata benda (noun) setelah preposisi. Tak cuma kata benda, kita juga bisa menggunakan frase kata benda/ noun phrase (misal “the red lovely fancy car”) dan gerund (contoh “rolling”, “rambling”) karena keduanya dianggap setara dengan fungsi kata benda dalam kalimat. Sekali lagi, preposisi hanya bisa diikuti dengan kata benda atau unit lain yang setara (gerund dan frase kata benda).

“For Sale”

Dengan menggunakan kaidah tersebut, kita bisa menggunakannya untuk membetulkan “for sell” yang jelas salah menurut kaidah bahasa. Alih-alih menggunakan kata kerja “sell”, kita harus menggunakan kata benda dari kata kerja “sell”, yaitu “sale”. Dan omong-omong ucapkan “sale” dengan benar juga. Saya kerap mendengar “sales” dibaca /sales/, apa adanya. Bacalah kata bahasa Inggris dengan cara bahasa Inggris yang sepatutnya. Bacalah “sale” atau “sales” sebagai /seil/ dan /seils/.




Dengan demikian, yang betul adalah “for sale” (preposisi + kata benda). “For sell” (preposisi + kata kerja pertama) tidak bisa dibenarkan karena menyalahi aturan baku tersebut.

The Digital Pilgrim

It was quiet inside. Few people were seen. The art gallery was as clean as wards of hospital. The only difference was no sick men moaning in pain in white beds.
He mumbled the words, whispered and hardly spoke like others. He respected the gravity, the silence and paid homage to it by making as little noise as he could. He even controlled his footsteps, so as not to spoil the serenity of the gallery.
This Saturday afternoon was supposed to be his spare time to go out. Anywhere but there, yet he decided to be there. Amongst the artworks. He was convinced later that spending time in such place would provide him a little sense of relief.
The young man in his late twenties was never a huge fan of arts, artists, or pretending to do so. He merely came in and felt invited by the contemporary artworks displayed by the gallery owner, a middle-aged woman of high social and economy status. The status was so high she thought her gallery was getting obsolete and couldn’t contain her beloved art collections any longer. She desired more majestic, more capacious, more gallery so every visitor would be struck by overflowing awe. The gallery would be demolished within months and it would move to a new venue on the dome of some skyscraper.
He looked relatively eager with the whole collections exhibited in it but he didn’t manage to find the personal connection with almost all of the artworks there. Until he discovered one on corner, just near the entrance.
He stood in his full length. His eyeballs were rolling as he observed every and each inch of the contemporary art installation before him.
It was just a plain board with some light bulbs inside it. Nothing shows specialty or extraordinary stuff that leave people drop their jaw. Yet, the young man did.
It was titled “The Digital Pilgrim”. A screenshot of someone’s Facebook wall. The owner, who was a young father of one, was deceased and all the digital friends who knew he was dead dropped a sentence or two in the comment box, wishing him to be somewhere (presumably) up there with the Creator in total eternal peace, that they thanked the poor deceased fellow for having been so kind and great a buddy, a son, a father, a coworker, a hangout friend who never bored, and et cetera and et cetera. The thread was growing longer and longer.
He apparently died untimely and a bit too early. And he was so missed by anyone who liked him. Greatly missed. What had been the cause of his death was not known from the thread. He might have been hit by a truck, or a cardiac arrest, or a terminal disease unknown until the last minutes. But the curious young man guessed he was killed by a traffic accident.
Traffic accidents murder hundreds of other humans every minute. The young man’s sister was no exception.
All of a sudden, he found his eyes watery, abnormaly too moist in a dry aired room like this gallery, in which moisture gets a bad name. He almost shed tears and started gasping for smooth breath. He was lucky not to be around a big crowd of visitors. So he decided to let the tears flow a bit. The hollow within him was so profound and sucking him like quicksand. He was lost for a moment, sobbing controllably.
A couple of minutes later, as he gained his composure, he acted normal again, tears were no longer present, eyes were blinking dry. Only he and God knew he wept. The curator wouldn’t find out. Neither would the gallery keeper he had befriended long before that.
He went out of the exit and found no one at the reception desk. He was so relieved as he didn’t have to endure some other small talks with his acquaintance who happened to be working as the gallery keeper and made up his mind to leave without further delay.
A few hundreds of steps from the gallery, he got his phone out and impatiently viewed his late sister’s Facebook wall. Her account was still alive, as it should be.
That very day was her birthday. And he forgot, though he subconsciously knew, he tried to bury the memories. Nearly all the memories about his sister’s untimely death. Because the pain would not vanish anyway. It never has and never will.

22 November 2013

Sceneries I Imagine during My Savasana

Savasana or corpse pose is the most physically passive asana (yoga pose) that a yogi has to do at the end of practice. While some gurus guide students through body mapping or body scanning (bringing awareness to every inch of the physical body by mentioning almost all body parts from scalp to toes), I prefer letting my imagination wander to staying inside my body. I really wish I could go to these places and maybe never come back for good. There’s nothing I wanted to do here but running over and over again until I am panting and catching breath endlessly. But I cannot do it anyway unless I have some clean clothes with me in my bag. Oh, but in the world of imagination, I can take the liberty of not giving a damn to that causalities and pragmatism. Why must I bother thinking critically in such a silly way? I must drop it and enjoy my imagination instead. And this is silly because that’s what is constantly happening in my brain in the course of savasana. I just can’t stop this brain from overthinking. “Monkey mind”, as they call it. Perhaps mine is not merely a monkey’s. It is a restless owl’s, so restless and anxious I cannot keep my Self stand, or (in this very case) lie down, still even when I have to. I can’t tell what is wrong inside my head… and heart. That being said, it may take me another 1000 savasanas to really master the art of controlling the wild mind of mine.

Elizabeth Gilbert’s Most Fundamental Rule of Writing

Gilbert sharing some interesting view on creat...
Gilbert on her TED talk  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


If there is one contemporary living author whose work I really adore now and fervently reading today, that’d be Elizabeth Gilbert. She’s… I don’t know how to put it… intelligently sexy or sexily intelligent. Oh, whatever, but the point is she’s got what it takes to be my writer idol. And of course, her degree of candor, outspokenness and devotion to writing charm me whenever she speaks.

Here is how she set her mind prior to pouring her thoughts onto paper.

“One of the rules that I have as a writer and the one that I got from my older sister who is a brilliant writer is NEVER sit down to write anything whether it’s a newspaper article, a novel or anything, until you know precisely who the one person that you’re speaking to and have it be one person only. And each one of my books has been written to different persons and it’s a really important decision as I begin a project, “Who is it going to be?” because it affects the way you speak. You speak to different people diferently. So I wrote the entirety of Eat Pray Love to my friend Darcy who lives in Brooklyn. She’s a very funky hipster Christian. She and I had… Her father is a Lutheran minister and she became a punk rocker and then kind of drifted back towards Christianity but in a very skeptical and complicated way. She is a single mom who went through a shattering divorce, she’s been through a terrible depression, she’s a novelist whose work I really admire. And she’s somebody who in the year prior to my going on a journey I was close with as we spent a lot of time talking about the issues that subsequently became discussed in Eat Pray Love. So when it came time to write the book, it was the letter to Darcy. And so when people say to me,”I feel like you’re directly speaking to me, I’m like well that kind of speaks directly to somebody.”


She continues…


“When you present something of yourself in any form into the world, that is scary. The thing that wants to protect from that is going to stop you from doing it by any means necessary and the best is telling you you’re not worthy of even attempting…that’ll shut you up. And it often works, and I feel like just… Some of the motherliness, you have to be kind to yourself, you have to be forgiving to yourself, some of the stubbornness. And stubborn about wanting to do this work and be more stubborn than that voice. I stubbornly love and respect this work. And you have to sort of outendure it. That voice will tire thatself out. Hopefully, sooner than the part of you who just insists on being hurt, insists on trying.”



Sumur Resapan Tak Kunjung Dirapikan, Kenyamanan Pejalan Kaki Jakarta Terusik

Saya bukan pembenci Jokowi-Ahok, bukan pula pendukung setia mereka. Saya hanya warga pendatang biasa yang ingin menyuarakan kekurangnyamanan saya sebagai pengguna trotoar karena proyek sumur resapan, yang setelah beberapa pekan belum tampak ditutup dengan tanah agar permukaan trotoar kembali rata dan mulus seperti semula. Mungkin penggunaan kata ‘mulus’ agak terlalu berlebihan karena trotoar yang saya maksud (di jalan prof. Dr. Satrio) itu belum bisa dikatakan rata dan mulus sama sekali. Tetapi bahkan sekarang kondisinya malah lebih parah dari sebelumnya. Jika kondisi jalan macet, kami pejalan kaki harus turun ke bahu jalan dan membahayakan diri dengan berkompetisi bersama pesepeda motor yang bersemangat menerjang semua di hadapannya. Mereka terus memacu mesin di tengah kemacetan. Dan sekali lagi pejalan kaki menjadi korban. Lagi-lagi menjadi korban dari kekurangsigapan pelaksana proyek dan kekejian pengguna jalan. Sebuah kisah pilu yang tak pernah berakhir.
Sementara itu, biarkan kami pejalan kaki terus berkubang lumpur, naik turun trotoar yang hampir hancur lebur, kehujanan sambil berpayung di bawah pepohonan dan bernaung di halte yang bocor di sana-sini.

When Sharon Corr Wants You to “Take a Minute” in Your Mundane Life

Take a minute, just a little time
One more moment, for a little while
When I go, I’ll be back before you notice
One last chance before I say goodbye

Take a minute
Take a minute

Time is running I have to go
But as I turn to leave
I see that look you know
You cannot hide every time we say goodbye

Take a minute, just a little time
One more moment, for a little while
When I go, I’ll be back before you notice
One last chance before I say goodbye

Take a minute
Take a minute

I know we’re oceans apart
But someday soon we’ll lie under the moon

In each others arms
In each others arms

Take a minute, just a little time
One more moment, for a little while
When I go, I’ll be back before you notice
One last chance before I say goodbye

Take a minute
Let’s take a minute
Take a minute
Let’s take a minute

Tanda-tanda Anda Sudah Menemukan Guru Yoga yang Tepat

Menemukan guru yoga yang sesuai dengan kepribadian kita bukan perkara mudah. Tingkat kesulitannya bagi sebagian orang mungkin sebanding dengan mencari pasangan hidup, ada semacam ‘chemistry’ yang harus terbangun. Apa itu ‘chemistry’? Bisa jadi itu sebuah elemen X yang tidak pernah bisa dijelaskan atau diidentifikasi secara spesifik, terukur dan akurat tetapi kita hanya bisa merasakannya di dalam jiwa. Mungkin sesuatu yang berada di luar jangkauan akal sehat tetapi membuat kita mampu berpikir lebih sehat karena jiwa kita serasa terguyur cahaya setelahnya. Ringan tetapi bertenaga, lega tetapi juga tidak hampa.

Sebagai seorang pembelajar dalam yoga, murid perlu mengasah kepekaannya pula agar bisa mengenali guru mana yang sesuai atau kurang sesuai untuknya. Kebutuhan akan guru yang tepat membuat latihan menjadi lebih nyaman dan menyegarkan tidak cuma dalam aspek fisik tetapi juga batin.

Bagi Anda yang masih mencari-cari guru yoga yang tepat atau sudah memiliki guru tetapi masih merasa kurang nyaman saat berlatih, mungkin paparan saya berikut akan bisa memberikan sedikit pencerahan.

Sangat mustahil untuk mendapatkan guru yoga yang 100% sesuai dengan keinginan kita, tetapi jika Anda merasakan beberapa hal seperti berikut ini, Anda mungkin sudah menemukan guru yang setidaknya mendekati deskripsi idaman Anda.

  1. Anda merasa makin kaya dengan ilmu dan wawasan. Dari hari ke hari, Anda merasakan dalam diri Anda adanya akumulasi pengetahuan tentang cara melakukan yoga dengan lebih tepat dan sesuai dengan kebutuhan secara bertahap. Hal itu bisa diketahui dari aspek fisik, bagaimana kita lebih bijak menghadapi keterbatasan dalam berasana, mengelola cedera hingga mengatasi hal-hal yang lebih halus dan abstrak seperti mengendalikan amarah dan emosi negatif lainnya. Anda patut berbahagia jika guru Anda bersedia memberikan masukan dan kritikan atau mengatakan komentarnya saat Anda memintanya atau tidak. Waspadalah dengan guru yoga yang hanya menyerukan instruksi dengan lantang tetapi terkesan pelit dalam berbagi pengetahuan di balik instruksinya. Untuk itu, seorang murid juga perlu bersikap kritis saat berada di dalam kelas sehingga tidak terkesan menjadi wayang yang bisa digerakkan semau guru melalui kata-katanya. Jangan malu untuk bertanya, dan jika malu untuk bertanya di tengah kelas, temuilah guru sehabis mengajar untuk berbincang sejenak. Guru yoga idealnya mampu menjelaskan perkembangan latihan Anda selama belajar bersamanya. Tentu ini lebih sulit bagi guru yang memiliki jumlah murid yang demikian banyak dan datang silih berganti. Anda sebagai murid hendaknya jangan cepat berpuas diri jika mendengarkan komentar “sudah bagus” atau “lumayan” dari guru. Anda perlu mengorek informasi lebih dalam dari guru Anda. Jika memang muridnya banyak, ceritakan kesulitan-kesulitan Anda dalam berlatih. Intinya, guru yoga yang berkualitas juga harus diiringi dengan kemauan murid untuk bersikap proaktif jika ingin maju.
  2. Guru Anda sangat kompeten dalam mengajar dalam gaya atau aliran yoga yang Anda sukai. Banyak murid yang mengetahui yoga dari foto, video atau sekadar mendengar dari pembicaraan santai bersama teman. Mereka belum memahami bahwa dalam yoga sebetulnya ada begitu banyak pilihan aliran dan opsi. Ada yang merasa terpacu dengan cara berlatih aliran yoga tertentu, ada yang sebaliknya. Jadi meskipun Anda adalah seorang peminat yang masih sangat awam, ketahuilah preferensi dan kebutuhan pribadi Anda dulu baru temukan guru yang sesuai dengan ekspektasi. Dalam sebagian kasus dijumpai murid yang kurang ‘sreg’ dengan gaya mengajar atau metode belajar yang diberikan gurunya. Hal itu sah-sah saja. Bahkan kecocokan guru dan murid juga bisa berubah-ubah sesuai perjalanan waktu karena setiap pribadi manusia itu dinamis, begitu juga guru. Dengan demikian, jika Anda lebih menyukai yoga sebagai olahraga yang menguras keringat, Anda cenderung akan lebih menyukai guru yang menguasai aliran vinyasa yang dinamis, atau jika lebih menyukai latihan yoga yang lembut dan menenangkan, Anda lebih memilih guru yang menguasai yin yoga. Bagi mereka yang ingin mendapatkan manfaat penyembuhan dari gerakan yoga juga bisa menuai manfaat dengan belajar ke guru yoga khusus terapi yang mumpuni. Semua ada segmentasinya dan Anda bisa memilih. Kalau merasa bosan atau ingin tantangan baru, tidak ada yang bisa melarang Anda untuk mencoba aliran atau metode beryoga lainnya bukan? Guru akan mampu membantu Anda belajar dan berlatih lebih baik jika Anda memilih sesuai dengan yang Anda inginkan dan butuhkan. Jika tidak, pasti Anda akan merasa terpaksa dan kurang menikmati latihan yang dijalani. Saat berlatih dengan guru yang sesuai dan kompeten di bidangnya, dengan sendirinya Anda menjadi lebih bersemangat dan terpacu.
  3. Guru Anda membuat Anda nyaman bak teman. Tidak ada diskriminasi dalam mengajar, apalagi jika Anda ikut dalam kelas berjumlah peserta banyak. Guru yang baik mampu membuat Anda merasa diperhatikan. Guru yang baik juga memperbaiki kekurangan muridnya dalam berlatih. Rasa keadilan juga perlu ditegakkan dalam kelas. Guru idealnya tidak hanya memperhatikan satu atau beberapa murid tertentu. Guru yoga yang baik bukan cuma berfokus pada ‘murid kesayangan’ tetapi juga semua siswanya. Kepribadian yang positif dari seorang guru memang berperan penting dalam membuat nyaman muridnya saat berlatih. Namun, dalam beberapa kasus kita juga pernah menemukan ketidakcocokan. Bukannya kita membenci seseorang (dalam hal ini guru yoga) tetapi hanya karena tidak ada sensasi ‘klik’ yang terasa saat berlatih. Bagi Anda yang merasakan klik ini, mungkin pikiran Anda mengatakan,”Hei, aku pikir juga demikian,” padahal Anda tidak mengatakan apapun pada guru Anda sebelumnya. Sensasi klik ini begitu alami dan tidak bisa dipalsukan atau direkayasa seperti halnya perkataan atau bahasa tubuh. Atau bisa juga Anda berada dalam posisi sebagai pengagum seorang guru. Anda begitu mengaguminya tetapi hal itu malah membuat Anda sungkan untuk berbicara terbuka mengenai materi latihan atau kendala dalam berlatih dalam diri, dan malah terintimidasi oleh pesonanya karena merasa rendah diri atau kurang pantas. Pengidolaan berlebihan pada pribadi atau penampilan sang guru mungkin menghambat sebagian murid dalam berekspresi tentang apa yang ia ingin capai dalam berlatih atau yang mereka harapkan dari setiap instruksi sang guru. Maka dari itu, saat memilih guru yoga, Anda perlu merasakan adanya kedekatan (asal masih dalam batas wajar dan etis) seperti teman sehingga merasa nyaman saat berlatih dan berkomunikasi. Jika tidak merasakan kedekatan itu, lebih baik Anda memilih guru lain.
  4. Orang-orang terdekat Anda merasakan perubahan positif yang signifikan. Karena beryoga bukan sekadar olah fisik, Anda juga akan mengalami sedikit banyak transformasi kepribadian menuju yang lebih baik. Untuk merasakan hal ini memang diperlukan waktu yang lebih lama karena cukup sukar untuk diketahui. Dengan berlatih secara teratur dan merasakan setiap perubahan dalam diri pasca latihan bersama guru, Anda dapat menemukan jawabannya. Bagi Anda yang baru saja memulai dan memutuskan Anda membenci yoga atau putus asa karena merasa tidak akan pernah bisa mencapai level praktisi yoga yang Anda anggap hebat, cobalah untuk mencari guru- guru yoga lainnya sebelum benar-benar memutuskannya.

Aku Seneng Ono Sumur Resapan. Tapi Nggawene Rodo Cepet Sithik yo, Pak!


Koyo ngene kahanane dalanan ning kutha Jakarta nek wis bar udan. Opo maneh dina Jumat sore. Wis ora usah sambat nak meh lelungan karo nitih sepeda motor utowo mobil lan taksi. Mesthi macete. Mesthi strese. Mesthi mangkele.
Soko pirang dino kapungkur, trotoar ngarepe kantor panggonku nyambut gawe tambah ajur-ajuran. Ora iso dilewati. Iku amargo pemerintah Jakarta lagi semangat mbangun sumur resapan sing gunane nyalurake banyu udan. Wis ora gumun menowo ning Jakarta banjir kuwi lumrah, opo meneh wayahe rendeng koyo saiki. Mlebu wulan Nopember, udane soyo gede, mendung saben dino. Bu kosku sambat,”Pakeane ora garing-garing amargo mendung.” Pas udan gede wingi, bu kosku yo dadi wedhi olehe nyetriko klambi. Ndheke wedhi menowo kilate nyamber kabel listrik terus nyetrum awake sing pas lagi nyekel setriko. Dadine bu kos luwih milih turu wae. Nyetrikone mbengi sakwise udanr mandhek.
Perkoro sumur resapan, aku yo setuju wae karo pak Jokowi lan Ahok. Ananging kuwi pelaksanaane ojo sampek kesuwen. Delengen dhewe ning ndhalan koyo piye kuwi kahanane. Wis dalane macete gawe emosi, ditambah trotoare ajur mumur lagi diorak arik mbangun sumur. Yo sing sabar wae. Tapi menowo oleh menehi masukan, apike mbangune pas mongso ketigo. Dadi ora kebak blethok dalane mlaku.
Tapi nek wis kedarung yo piye maneh. Sing penting ora suwe-suwe iku mbangune pak! Aku emoh lho nek suwe-suwe nggawene.

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