Aleš Čermák – Janek Rous
Do you ever feel that the hectic lifestyle of today has taken its toll on your health and mental contentment? Have you been suffering from fatigue, insomnia, exhaustion, feelings of hopelessness and stagnation? Are you often sick? Couldn‘t that actually mean that you are unable to listen to your deeper self, take a rest or generally slow down? Don‘t worry you are not alone!
If you had met me a few years ago, you wouldn’t believe your eyes. I used to be nervous and hasty, stubbornly clinging on to my goals, wanting to be the best in everything. After several burnouts I said to myself: “That’s enough! I don’t want to endlessly give in to the pressure of the outside world!” I tried different types of relaxation but I couldn‘t fully identify with any of those. After years of experience with different teachings, therapeutic classes and self-education I developed my own, very simple and effective method that helps myself and thousands of others to find stability and inner peace.
The purpose of the method is to oxygenize the body, soothe and relax your muscles and bring the mind into a state of deep relaxation. Do not worry, the method doesn’t require any special training and can be practiced by people of all ages at any given location. You will begin to see the changes after a short period of regular exercise, and you will yearn to practice the method more and more. The more we experience the method through our own body, the more internal it gets. The more we open ourselves to it, the more we identify with it and the better we get in practicing it.
It is, however, essential to get a deep experience with the method, not just a cosmetic one. I’ve come across many people who were satisfied with a half-hearted version, claiming that they didn’t have enough time and energy, or that they were lacking concentration. Of course they are doing it for themselves, but sometimes they forget or don‘t manage. However, how can we get into a state of deep relaxation if we cannot truly devote ourselves to the method? Sometimes I think that vast majority of people cannot fully merge with the method because of their own inconsistency and never-ending excuses. It often bothers me. It’s a system developed by a human being for other people, designed to serve our well-being. Why do we take it so casually?
Let’s be honest here; who really cannot find a few minutes in the morning after getting up, or before going to bed, during an afternoon break or while taking a tram to work? The rest is just vindications. The same ones we all use to trick our boss, our partners, our children… let’s stop making excuses, let’s try to get as close to the method as possible and deliberately make space for it in our lives. Time is valuable; we should make it meaningful and do something for ourselves. And, more importantly, why not doing so through doing it well?
My eyelids open almost spontaneously with every inhalation. A thin slit reveals the contours of the world, but with an exhale all the structures I didn’t manage to focus on are wrapped again into tones of orange and purple, and so I suppose the sun is still up, but its intensity already lowers. I’m not ill. It is rather a total exhaustion, or perhaps even collapse of the organism. Everything is reduced to these simple alterations – inhalation – a narrow slit of something that I rationally still categorize as the world – exhalation – a physical blanket, causing optical micro-plots. The color palette would probably shift adequately in another time of the day, or in different weather conditions.
Whether I am or am not still here isn’t completely certain and in relation to the line of though, which I’m following, it is not even essential. I cannot conscientiously confirm, that I find myself among active beings. I feel like a mushroom, which rhythmically absorbs and releases everything around and at a certain point stops differentiating between the boundaries of its own being and both the proximate and more remote systems and positions around. It is difficult to reliably evaluate, whether this stands for lethargy, capitulation, hibernation, or a spontaneous transition into a vegetative state. I can’t say that I feel well. I experience nothingness, but one that doesn’t have anything to do with emptiness. Fortunately I’m not at a clinic, where a miraculous ampoule would remove all my symptoms. I am in a state where physical flaws and negative emotions dissolve into their surroundings just to be reabsorbed inside of me. It is very relieving.
In this condition the position of Human is even less sure, than how I have perceived it until this moment. Human longing for survival and control, tirelessly driving the saw through the branch upon which he sits, awakens nor pity in me, neither derision, compassion or contempt. He is still close to me, but in a different way than he used to be. I’m not tensely observing when the branch will break, I don’t follow the film in which he falls in love and subsequently suffers, I don’t blame him for dull decisions and his calculating nature and egoism doesn’t grind my gears. It is questionable, whether Human is even necessary for anything at this point. The matter that I’m talking about, or perhaps even more radically – that I’m becoming, is self-sufficient. She really doesn’t wait for this fool to cut the branch and fall down into her.
I don’t participate in the breath gymnastics classes any more. I am convinced that the instructor firmly believes in the sense of her work, however, I strongly doubt about its actual effects on human health. It offers too simple solutions and is wrapped into excessively attractive slogans and visuals. Yoga masters also limit the freedom of breath, however in their case it serves the purpose of opening new centers of expanded consciousness. There are still some exceptional attitudes to be found, where marketing and utilitarian manipulation with psychosomatics isn’t the key to the entire methodology. Getting yourself to believe that you feel better needs to be distinguished from an actual improvement, and this is precisely where lies the largest weakness of breath gymnastics. It provokes the desire to continue through laboratory-produced endorphins, which have a specific odor and taste in the human body. It reduces the complexity of choice to an escalated polarity: you either breathe with us, or against us. I assumed that the only alternative is not to breathe at all. In my situation, however, brand new horizons unfold. Breathing regardless of the gymnasts with forced smiles, without any excess emotions, in a phase, which seems neither initial, nor terminal. Perhaps even breathing without the body, or without Human. I don’t mean this pejoratively. From where I am, it appears very realistic.