Reading this book remind me on twelve years ago when I was still studying on college. I took architecture major at time. I thought my college years would be very pleasant. I thought I would just drawing and coloring, everyday. Just like on the kindergarten, but of course in different level.
Expectation always hurt. First year on college, my head almost exploded because every day I had to attend calculus class, fundamental physics class, engineering mechanics, environment fundamental, philosophy and history. I remember instead of learnt how to draw a house, I had taught to observe the materials that I thought they had no correlation on architecture stuffs. Like paper, cardboard, toothpicks, pieces of glass, etc. I didn’t do coloring on my first semester. I started to coloring on my second semester. But my lecturer just allowed us to use only five different colors. There are black, white, yellow, and red, blue. Yes, just those five basic colors. And my lectures also didn’t allow us paint the picture. They just give a homework to make hundreds gradation colors with those colors. At the time I thought, how I would become a genius architect if even on my first year, we never ever try to design any single building.
On the third semester, we finally were facing architecture design class. I thought, it’s the time showed off our real identity as a future architect which hidden before behind numbers and history things. Again expectation always hurt. We didn’t design any building or house. We designed a garden and fence. My friend from other major, my family, my cousins, even my boyfriend(s) laugh at me. I felt I just wasted my time, my youth, my (parent’s) money. Until at the fourth semester, we learnt how to design a house. Finally.
On the beginning of the class, my lecture said that we might be surprised or shocked on our first semester curriculum. Might be exhausted with the classes that we had to pass. But all of them are the basic. The fundamental. Before we start to build the future, we have to learn from the past. Why we have to learn philosophy and history, because we are lucky enough not to experience ancient’s experiences to learn something. Experience is the best teacher. But experience always takes much time. And we are lucky enough not to travel through time and distance to learn that experiences. We just have to read and think about it.
Why we have to learn calculus, fundamental physics, engineering mechanics, and all that numbers stuff, just because we have to balance our imagination and real circumstances. Later, we may think to design the building that people will never imagine before. But the building will become a real building if it can be built. That’s why numbers, technique, science are important. Because they make people stay grounded and not only live on the dream and imagination. Design not only drawing and coloring. The great design is the one that can be realized.
That theory is similar with yoga. Overall, yoga is not limited only on physical practice. Moreover, yoga contains philosophy, history, calculation of risk benefit and art as well. Yoga is not limited on beautiful movement, pretty poses, and match sequences.
Moreover, the architecture design delivers a personal product result. Just like yoga. Architecture involves the different human taste. And take consider into the user. Totally similar with yoga which is every human body has a different condition. One person maybe can be so flexible while other maybe very stiff in the same pose. That’s why yoga is personal. Competition and comparison are not applicable in yoga. Everybody has special body condition and structure. And every body has their special purpose on doing yoga. People may want to do yoga because they just want to move but doesn’t want too upbeat. Others maybe just want to release the tension and find the mindful and peaceful in yoga. Other may want to go deeper. Want to find more spiritual result by doing yoga. That’s why, yoga is personal. No perfection. Only progression.
When I read about cakhra and prana, I remember one day my lecture gave us homework to do a research about home designing concept with environment and philosophical approximation theory. So, at the time I wrote about Fengshui. The concept of fengshui according to my understanding is similar with prana and chakra on yoga. About how the energy was transformed and moved. Fengshui was always interesting for me until now. I always curious, how the color, the material elements of nature, the placement of objects so detailed styled by fengshui. And it can stimulate the energy and personal mood. In architecture, I learn how to build a building and as much as possible create synergy with the surrounding environment. Because what all the things we do always leave a path, an effect. And all we want, the effects are positive.
If architecture is about creating and sometimes developing a building from nothing or one point to something more useful and meaningful, yoga is about developing ourselves. If architecture discipline is about creating a firm and comfortable place and facility for human’s activity, then yoga developing a body and mind to facilitate the soul. So the soul can live comfortably inside the body and do its natural duty.
Just like architecture, yoga also needs a fundamental theory to go into comfortable and stable position. In architecture, I have learnt about Vitruvius theory. Vitruvius believed that an architect should focus on three central themes when preparing a design for a building: firmitas (strength), utilitas (functionality), and venustas (beauty). I also think that it is similar with what I learn about sthira sukha on yoga. Firmitas is just like sthira concept on yoga, in which we must be firm, strong and sturdy. So we can get the maximum benefit to our body. If we comfortable into the yoga, I believe we can also optimize the benefit or the function of the poses. Yoga it self is also beautiful. Just like venustas on architecture. Not only the poses, but also it purposes. When we do yoga, I feel personally beautiful. Inside out.
Indah Nildha, May 2016