Fitness Magazine

Life is Not a Problem (Rerun)

By Ninazolotow @Yoga4HealthyAge
by Nina

Life is Not a Problem (Rerun)

In the Kusama Room by Brad Gibson

When I was in Holland and Denmark, the last couple of weeks, I was dealing long-distance with a family situation. It was hard to be so far away and be unable to help in person, and I even considered cutting the trip short and going back home in the hopes that my physical presence could help solve some of my family member’s problems (I’m being purposefully vague here, to protect someone’s privacy). Brad thought I should wait because the situation was still unfolding and he felt I could be of more use at a later date. So for a while, I just monitored the situation from afar, mostly texting back and forth because my family member was afraid a phone conversation would be too emotional. 
After a few days of that, I started getting more and more anxious myself. One night in Copenhagen, I started to recognize the physical and emotional symptoms that I experience when in high stress mode (which can lead to an anxiety attack). So I asked Brad to step in for me temporarily and I took some time to calm myself down by practicing—if you know me at all by now you can probably guess—Legs Up the Wall pose (see Featured Pose: Legs Up the Wall Pose). As always, that helped me quiet my nervous system. (Thank you, supported inverted poses!)But even after that I was still worrying in general about my family member, and what I should or should not do about the situation. So I was up very early the next morning, unable to sleep in even though I was on vacation. What I did with my time was to spend some time researching Copenhagen to see which more offbeat things I could come up with to do (most people just tell you to visit the castles, which is kind of like saying when in New York, visit the Statue of Liberty). And I remembered then that Kierkegaard, a philosopher who Brad and I both studied about in college, was from Copenhagen. So I started reading up on him. And when I found a list of some of his most famous quotes, one jumped out at me:“Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.” —Soren KierkegaardI instantly felt a sense of relief. Somehow just reading this statement allowed me to step back a bit from the family situation and let go of my attachment to the outcomes of my actions. I was still going to be helping as much as I could, of course, but anxiety started to lessen. Kierkegaard’s thought (he was considered to the first Existentialist) seemed very yogic to me and seemed related to the concept of detachment (see Acceptance, Active Engagement and the Bhagavad Gita). Today I’m trying to find a quote that reflects that same concept, and for now, the best I can do is this quote from the Bhagavad Gita, in which Krishna explains to Arjuna that a yogi is one:“Who unperturbed by changing conditions sits apart and watches and says “the powers of nature go round”, and remains firm and shakes not.” —translation by Juan MascaroWhen Brad woke up, I excitedly told him what I had discovered. He loved the quote, too, and we started to wonder if we might visit Kierkegaard’s grave. A little research told us that he was buried in a graveyard quite far from where we were staying, and we decided that we didn’t want to give up a whole day in the city just to go there. But we did keep talking about Kierkegaard as we walked about his city, and almost took on that quote of his as a mantra.One way Brad and I are compatible is in the way we like to explore a new city. We go everywhere on foot without a big agenda and spontaneously explore the things we stumble upon. For example, one day our agenda was simply to check out the oldest bakery in the city and try the snegles (cinnamon rolls!), and we ended up passing by the Round Tower on our way there so we went on in (it turned out to be one of the most beautiful interior spaces I’ve ever been in). On our last afternoon, we decided to walk back to our apartment a different way just to see what we might see, and ended up walking past the Royal Library, which was not a destination we would ever have picked. And, lo and behold, there it was, in the library garden, a beautiful statute of Kierkegaard.

Life is Not a Problem (Rerun)

Kierkegaard Statue by Brad Gibson

P.S. If you look closely at the photo of the Kusama room, you can see our reflections.Subscribe to Yoga for Healthy Aging by Email ° Follow Yoga for Healthy Aging on Facebook ° Join this site with Google Friend Connect

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