24 Apr 2011

Existential Happiness

The Myth of Sisyphus, has this week provided me with a little thought nutrition and so I have manged to roll my as....ana up the hill through injury, which, by the way, is getting better. There I was, miserably imagining myself a sisyphus, doomed to work through yet another modified practice.

Why have I always thought exestentialism to be so bleak? The absurdity of our existence, doing the same thing over and over again, not just ball rolling asana but everything, waking, eating, sleeping, working, cleaning, conversations. Yet this is life. Years ago the routine, the repetitiveness, depressed  me, I had to give up my existential reading in order to get out of bed and deal with life.

But now, since daily yoga practice, I have become more at peace with existing, and found a happiness less dependent upon external factors.  Still very much a work in progress, but there IS progress.  Especially with  ashtanga, practicing the sequence over and over and over and over, going deeper and deeper.  The forms are the same yet the currents run deep. Repetitive, yet always different. I never would have thought that after seven years of primary I am still very much engaged with the practice, still discovering, not just the phsycial, but the mental, the energetics, the whole lifestyle, the never ending practice that is life.  Enjoy the process. 

The words of Albert Camus hit the yogic spot

"The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man's heart.  One must imagine Sisyphus happy"

Be happy to exist.

Happy to practice everything.

Oh and big thanks to my fellow ashtangi artist friend Birgit Deubner for letting me post her photos of "Sisyphus Dungbeetle"  which she rolled around the city of Liverpool. 


  1. Great quote and fabulous pictures! Thanks.

  2. dear Esther
    wonderful imagery and thoughts.

  3. Thanks guys, I was so impressed by these photos..and the way Birgit pushed a huge dung ball in a beautiful red dress, celebration of existence x

  4. Great post, Esther. I really like those Sisyphus DungBeetle pictures :-)

    Yes, I can relate to what you said about having to give up your existential reading in order to get back of bed and deal with life. I used to be really into existentialism, but I found that I tended to be down and a bit depressed at the same time. Which eventually caused me to move away from Existentialism.

    Which is ironic, because the way I see it, Camus and Sartre's overall message is for us to embrace life by radically creating meaning in the absence of ultimate meaning. Maybe the thing is that we need to be existential heroes in our own lives, and not just read and think about being existential heroes. And I really feel that the practice helps me to do this.

  5. Oh, I meant to say "get out of bed', not "get back of bed" :-)