be free, be happy, be peaceful

May all find the teacher within to guide oneself towards unconditional love and peace

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Live Yoga



Many people do yoga or practice yoga asana everywhere in the world nowadays. It is a very good thing. It doesn’t matter if people are doing it for spiritual enlightenment and peacefulness, or as a fitness training to improve strength and flexibility, or as an exercise for good health, or as a hobby for passing time, or as a slimming program to achieve a desirable body image, or the combination of the above all. Because even if there is no yoga philosophy being mentioned in a yoga asana class, the exercises of different asana poses and the breathing exercise will still have an effect on the body and the mind. It helps to relax the body and calming the mind. It gives fresh energy into the system and brings cheerfulness or positivity into people’s personality. It is really great. It is life transforming even when we didn’t have the intention to transform anything.

For people who are really into yoga and wish to go deeper into the actual practice of the teachings and to cultivate the meanings of yoga, then we are not just talking about doing a few hours of asana practice or going for some regular yoga sessions in a yoga class and do some yoga once in a while or everyday, but we are actually live yoga every moment in our lives even when we are asleep.

Yoga is not so much about the ability of the physical body to perform some asana poses and it is not about the strength and flexibility of the physical body at all. The asana practice and breathing exercise is just a tool for us to influence the body and the mind for us to be able to practice concentration and meditation with a calm mind and having a strong and healthy body for us to perform all the practices for our own spiritual growth and to engage in selfless service to benefit other beings.

Yoga is every moment in our life, in our heart, practicing concentration and awareness on what we are doing at the present moment now, letting go the past instantly from moment to moment, not projecting into the future, not having fears and worries, remain peaceful and calm all the time unaffected/uninfluenced/undisturbed by what we see, hear, smell, taste, touch and think. We stand as a witness towards all the thoughts, feelings and sensations that is happening in the body and the mind all the time and stop identify ourselves with the body and the mind. We also observe all the phenomena of impermanence that is happening in our life and in the world and not being affected or disturbed by them. We practice detachment from the ego, the likes and dislikes, the cravings and aversions from moment to moment. We practice cheerfulness, fearlessness, determination, perseverance, tolerance, acceptance, adjustment, adaptation, accommodation, humility, forgiveness, patience, loving kindness and compassion in our heart, in our thoughts, actions and speech in our daily lives.

Our self-confidence and happiness is not determined by what we can do and cannot do. It has got nothing to do with all the names and forms or activities or happenings in our lives and in the world. It is not about us feeling good or feeling bad about ourselves or about other people. It is not determined by all our feelings and thoughts. It is the true confidence and real happiness that come from within, not from the outside world of many names and forms.

We are always content with simplicity and worry-less. We are not being lead by our body, the mind or the ego. We are not being determined by the ever-changing mood swing or mix feelings in the heart and not being controlled by the craving and aversion of the body and the mind. We are not being determined by the impermanent conditions of the physical body, its ability and its state of health, and remain peaceful, calm and content all the time. We accept the conditions of our body and the mind as they are, as it is, at this present moment now for what we can do and cannot do, for what we did and haven’t done. We accept the world and everyone as they are, not trying to interfere, or to control, or to change the law of karma and the impermanence. We can do our best for the benefits of the world and to share wisdom and knowledge with all the living beings, and be kind and compassionate towards all beings and give what we can give, do what we can do, but remain unattached to all our efforts and the results. We should be wise, compassionate and generous to give and share, and do everything without any intentions or differentiations, just like the sun, the space, the air, the water and the earth provide everything to all but without any intentions or differentiations of likes or dislikes, favorable or not favorable, good beings or bad beings, spiritual or not spiritual, wise or ignorant, healthy or not healthy, fit or not fit, beautiful or not beautiful, young or old, men or women, friends or enemies, can move or cannot move, normal or abnormal, and all other qualities of different names and forms etc. And above all, give without any expectations of the result. Just give and let go. Not attached to the actions and the fruit of action.

We also let go any judgments, comparisons, competitions, criticisms, and vandalisms. We only have good wishes and good will for all beings. We are not affected or disturbed by other people’s judgment, comparison, competition, criticism and vandalism. We don’t mind about all these things and not pay any interests in what other people do and don’t do. It doesn’t mean that we don’t care, but simply because we cannot control how other people want to think, act and speak. We can only control our own thoughts, actions and speech, and watch our own mind all the times, minding about our own practice of what we should do and should not do.

We are totally aware of the wrong doings or evil doings that is happening in the world, but we don’t have to be influenced or affected or disturbed by them. We don’t have to be irritated, agitated, frustrated, angry or hate, and disappointed by all these happenings. But we can try our best to prevent more wrong doings and evil doings in the world, and to share the knowledge of selflessness and educate people about the awareness of right conducts, right views, right thinking, right thoughts, right actions, right speech, right living hood, right understanding, and be kind, be compassionate, be selfless and be wise. We can perform all these selfless service for mankind and humanity, but remain calm, peaceful, happy, cheerful and energetic. Most important is detached from our efforts and the results.

We cannot stop the earth from spinning. We cannot stop anyone from being good or being bad. We cannot interfere, control or change the law of impermanence and the karma of other people, we can only control or change our own karma and accepting the law of impermanence. Once we were born, we cannot avoid growth, changes, weakening, decaying, old age, illness and death to this physical body. We cannot stop other people from feeling happy or unhappy, doing good or doing bad, but we can choose to be happy or unhappy, to do good or do bad, in ourselves.

It is up to each individual to be aware, to change, to evolve, to improve, to be happy, to be kind, to be compassionate, to be wise, to be selfless and to know the Truth. We can only help the world by engaging in selfless service sharing the wisdom and educating the people with right knowledge, sending our compassionate thought waves and good will into the world to all beings wishing all beings peace, selflessness, compassionate and wise. Do whatever we can with our thoughts, actions and speech for the well-being of all but without attaching to it. Be happy, be free. Be ourselves, be true.

We do not just “do” yoga for a few hours a day. We live yoga every moment in our lives, like the breathing and the heartbeat, unceasingly even when we are asleep. Keep purifying our mind, watching our mind, detaching from our mind, the ego and the senses, be kind and compassionate to all and to our own self. Not attached to all the names and forms – fame, wealth, health, appearance, knowledge, titles, achievements, relationships, success or failure, good or bad feelings, happiness and unhappiness, likes and dislikes, craving and aversion, praise and censure, birth and death, past and future. Not attached to “I”, “myself’, “my life”, “my believe”, “my practice”, “my understanding”, “my knowledge”, “my achievement”, and “my world”; not attached to all beings, happenings, good and evil, and the world.

Live yoga.

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Know thyself. There is no existence of 'I'. Everything is impermanent. Be free, be peaceful, be happy.

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Pantai Cenang, Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
My husband and I run ongoing yoga retreats in Langkawi Malaysia. We teach traditional Hatha Yoga - a combination of Asanas (postures) and Pranayama (breathing techniques) and relaxation, that has given benefit to millions of practitioners over thousands of years. Our yoga studio is situated in Langkawi. We also run yoga retreats in Europe and India.

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