Featuring Lílian Lana from Brazil

Sunday, 30 August 2020

Written by Justine of Just Yoga

Thirty year old Lílian Lana, is a yoga therapist living in the Amazon Forest near Ji-Paraná city in the Rondônia state of northern Brazil. Lílian was introduced to yoga over twenty years ago, when her parents who used to practice it, would wake up before the sun to meditate and study Buddhism.

In 2013 Lílian was working at an Ashtanga Shala as a massage therapist, but was totally intimidated by the practice almost to the point of being afraid. She didn't know what to expect from a yoga class, and avoided it. Finally the curiosity got the better of her and at the end of 2014 she took her first class. By 2015, she was hooked and when she was moving to São Paulo that year, she gave herself her first Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) course. Her yoga teacher, in the big city of Sao Paulo, believed that yoga was indeed brought about to ease suffering and takes yoga to the ones that need it the most - the homeless, the elderly, and disabled people. From her teacher, Lílian also developed this strong commitment to take yoga to everyone, everywhere.
"I can definitely say that yoga was a turning point in my life, since the first class, I was in love."
In 2019 Lílian did her second YTT, this time in the birthplace of yoga, India. She studied in the holy town of Rishikesh which nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas. She found it to be one of the most wonderful and immersive experiences that she has ever had with yoga, and often longs for that experience again. Before lockdown, she was going to go back to India to study further, but with so many schools offering their courses online now, she can still access it at home.


During the pandemic, Lílian took her classes online. She has found it a very interesting experience especially where people use music with nature and forest sounds. She finds the forest sounds to be truly healing, soothing and calming. Living in the Amazon Forest, she is able to offer this live for anyone, anywhere without any pre-recording.
"When I started to study it as the great philosophy that it is I just realised that everything that I believed, the ideas I had about the world, mankind and society where already written in sacred texts. Yoga really fitted me or I was the one who was made for yoga."
Lílian really believes that yoga helped her with some health issues which she had. She had a severe pain in her neck from pinched nerves near her spine. She recalls how the pain used to spreading in her body, reaching her arms until the tips of her fingers. She knew it was not just the physical pain, because she had a lot going on in her personal life at the time. She also ended up with a nodule growing in her thyroid gland.

"And I felt that I was dealing with emotional blockages and western medicine couldn't help me. Then I sat in meditation every chance I could, visualizing light on my spine and also ending the situations that had blocked my voice and my wishes. Alas it all disappeared and I no long had any pain"
Lílian believes yoga brought her the knowledge of everything that she was repressing and that was trying to find a way out of her. Yoga to her is a tool that teaches you how to let go of everything is not good for you. It can also help you get to know yourself more; who you really are, always were and will still be, after the body dies.

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (one-legged king pigeon), Upavistha Konasana (wide-angled forward bend), Balasana (childs pose), Sirsasana (head stand) are Lílian's favourite asanas that just feel very comfortable and homely like to her body. She loves the way the one-legged king pigeon pose elongates her back, opens up her hips and relieves pressure on her lower back and sciatica. The wide-angled forward ben complements this by also opening up her hips. Childs pose gives her the relaxation she needs between poses. The headstand gives her the opportunity to see things from a different angle, which she enjoys. Lílian enjoys the flexibility of her body and works daily in getting it strong. She says practice is the only way to obtain success with yoga asanas.

"Yoga teaches me so much about detachment. As Lord Shiva tells Arjuna: "We should do whatever we feel is right, whatever our heart and intuition decide, and not worry about the results." Just work for the light and let life flow; observing and not absorbing."
Lílian believes in learning from every situation and not avoiding things because they might feel uncomfortable; but stepping up and offering your vital energy for humanity in any way you can.

She definitely recommends yoga to everybody, and has a dream of when yoga will be humanity's natural state. She remembers when she prayed to have time to work on her self anytime of the day that she needed it, and for a few years this has been her reality. She teaches yoga at home, and whenever inspiration or need arises. She just gets on her mat, sits in meditation and practices what she studied from the sacred Sutras and other books. Lílian can say that she organizes her life around her yoga practice. Her family is very supportive of her passion for yoga and they also practice with her, making it wonderful to have this at home.

Lílian thinks many people see yoga as a popular fitness exercise, but she knows it is more than that. It is such a rich and beautiful philosophy to her that she dares to say that the most important part of yoga is not done on the mat but in your day-to-day life. It is the way you talk to people; your habits, if they are harmful for you, to others, for the planet; what do you do with this gift that is the present moment; the kind of internal dialogue you have with yourself; how to express your creativity; how to accept the situations happening around you; and finally how to learn from all of them. She believes the more you realise you're not just this body, the more calm and peaceful you get, as well as the more in touch with this eternal light that lives in us all.

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