Interview with Carlos Rui Ferreira
“Yoga has nothing to do with the hippie movement”
Goes to India two months every year. Why? To recycle Yoga techniques. Actually, for Carlos Rui Ferreira, therapist and teacher with 42 years, Yoga is an art. It is trendy, but it has a potential that most have not yet discovered. Complements it with the Japanese technique of Shiatsu.
Invest—Starting with Shiatsu: How it entered in your life?
Carlos Rui—It was a time when I had to make choices from a professional standpoint. Emerged as a form of physical approach with a component of movement and an approach that was beyond what we normally do in the West as manipulative therapy, which is a bit empty of content. It lacked something that I found in Shiatsu as art. This about 20 years ago.
In—When you started in Portugal, felt some sort of prejudice or resistance?
Carlos Rui—At the time, these arts were at the beginning. These alternative solutions, in terms of alimentation and health care were incipient. It was almost a desert and people were not aware. There wasn’t plenty of receptivity.
In—What has changed in the meantime?
Carlos Rui—In the last decade, particularly in the last five years, there was a huge openness. Today, people are more naked from conventional pressure than 10 years ago. More and more people seek this kind of alternatives and, most importantly, seek answers with quality, with a critical sense more refined.
In—What are the most immediate effects of Shiatsu as therapy?
Carlos Rui—First, Shiatsu is a preventive therapy. Its primary field is in preventing our immune capacity, physical, emotional, etc.. Mainly aims to maintain and enhance our natural ability to recover from stressful situations in this aggressive society. As secondary role, can act as a complementary therapy to other therapies that are more associated with acute and severe cases.
In—What does a person feel?
Carlos Rui—Decompression of every muscle and nerve structure. Manipulations are made with hands, feet, there are adjustments in the joints and spine, allowing much of the mental tension to be decompressed by the decompression of muscles.
In—Where does the Shiatsu come from? It is a syncretism of Sino-Japanese…
Carlos Rui—Much of the [non-medicated] medical therapies come from China. Shiatsu, in 1926, begins to have an expression as organized structure, joining the traditional Chinese arts with the traditional Japanese arts.
In—What Shiatsu means?
Carlos Rui – “Shi” is finger and “Tsu” means pressure. Finger pressure on the body. Shiatsu does not use needles, it does not use any instrument between patient and therapist.
In—What are the possible relationships between Shiatsu and Yoga?
Carlos Rui—First, are two arts, one is Japanese, the other is Indian. I started with the Shiatsu as a specific technique of physical approach to the other person; Yoga is important if the person has his own practice. There are some points of intersection there, because both work with the body: Shiatsu requires addressing the body of another person; Yoga requires knowing the person’s own body. It is complementary. For example, a therapist who is unaware of his body will not be an exceptional therapist.
In- Yoga is very introspective?
Carlos Rui– No, it’s not very introspective. It is even quite external, contrary to what was thought in the 60s and 70s, people sat and stood waiting for rain and imagining I do not know what… Yoga has a very strong approach in physical posture, too forceful in terms of movement, breathing activity, relaxation techniques and mental control. It has nothing to do with what was transmitted by the hippie movement. In India, Yoga is not that. Yoga is very dynamic.
In—There is much demand?
Carlos Rui—I have all classes full. I have no ability to respond to all the people who come to me in Yoga.
In—How can you synthesize Yoga?
Carlos Rui—First, Yoga is an art. Then as art, through the physical postures will improve the alignment of your body, gaining a better awareness in its movements, improves muscle tone. At a respiratory level, teaches the practitioner to breathe better, how to yield your breathing, which is crucial. If you do not breathe properly, our cells are not oxygenated. Most people have a rate of 15-18 breaths per minute, and after a year, year and a half of practice, this rate will go to 8-10 breaths per minute, which is a huge saving effort. Relaxation techniques will allow you to gain awareness of your body and how to relax your physical body and its nervous system. It improves your concentration and location of attention.
In—You can do it by yourself?
Carlos Rui—The Yoga wants the practitioner to be self-sufficient. But do not confuse this with grabbing a book and start doing Yoga. If you can not swim, it’s like reading a swim book: read it, go for a boat, jump over and swim to the beach… In Yoga, it is the same: no one learns from a book or through photographs. You should learn from a competent and trained teacher.