be free, be happy, be peaceful

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

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Yoga Is Within Everyone

It doesn't matter if we are flexible and strong or not and whether we are physically fit or not, yoga is not about the ability of the physical body to do this and that.

It is about mindfulness, purification, controlling the mind, detachment, letting go and be at the present moment, from moment to moment. By controlling the body and the breath, it can help us to have control of the mind. By controlling the breath, we are controlling the prana. By controlling the prana, we are able to control the thought waves. It is because the mind is moved by the prana. Through calming the breath, the prana is calm. When the prana is calm, the mind is calm as well. The mind will be calm and still, not being agitated or depressed. When the mind is under controlled and is calmed, wisdom will arise. Having wisdom, ignorance disappears. Without ignorance, there is no more unhappiness, fear and worry. Everything will become clear to us.

All the yoga practice - yama (restraint), niyama (observance), asana (posture), pranayama (control of breath), pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (silence) are the practices to help us to go beyond the mind and realizing the Self - Self-realization. When self-realization takes place, wisdom and compassion will arise within us which will remove all the impurities of ignorance and suffering.

The purpose of yoga practice is to know our true Self. By knowing our true Self, we can know the truth of things (all are names and forms that are subjected to impermanence and that all are non-self - dependent on the elements to be exist) and able to accept the reality as it is, able to let go, not attaching to whatever the mind perceives through the senses, and not being conditioned by the limitation of the body and the mind.

We are not this body, this body is not us. We are not this mind, this mind is not us. The body and the mind doesn't belong to us either. The body and the mind is subject to impermanence, it will change, decay and disappear.

And thus, yoga is about attaining peacefulness, not being affected or influenced or disturbed by whatever we see, hear, smell, taste, touch and think. And be at the present moment from moment to moment. Letting go of the past instantly. Not projecting into the future. Being aware of the present moment now.

This peacefulness is not conditioned by the ability and condition of the physical body and the mind.

It is not about we can perform headstand or not. It is not about our feet can touch our head from behind or not. It is not about standing on one foot for a long time or sitting in padmasan (lotus posture) for a few hours.

Yoga is not limited in the two hours of yoga asana and pranayama practice. It is not about practicing yoga asana and meditate for a few hours a day everyday. It is not something that we can see with our eyes, or hear with our ears. It is not something that we do or don't do, can do and cannot do.

Yoga is happening every moment in our hearts, in our lives, about being aware of what is going on in our mind. Be the witness towards all the happenings in the body and the mind. Practicing non-attachment towards the body and the mind every moment. Practicing non-attachment towards the sights, sounds, smells, taste, touch and thoughts all the time. Be free from the dualities of different names and forms. Be free from likes and dislikes, craving and aversion. Be free from the condition of the body and the mind. Be free from ignorance and suffering.

Beyond happiness and unhappiness is true happiness, peace and silence. And that is yoga.

And so, everyone can practice yoga. In fact yoga is already exist in everyone. We just need some guidance to help us to purify our mind, to control and transcend the mind. Once the mind is purified, calm and still, we can reconnect with our true Self and identify with the inexhaustible, unlimited and unconditioned wisdom and compassion. With wisdom and compassion, there is no more doubts, fear and worry. There is no problems.

Everything manifested from the mind. Everything dissolved in the mind.

The mind is not something good or something bad. It is just being what it is. Whether the mind is in a state of peacefulness or disturbance, it is just the mind. As long as we know how to not attach to the mind and be a witness of all states in the mind, know that all these states of mind are transitory and they are not us, and let them go, we will be at peace immediately. No happiness, no unhappiness. It is beyond happiness and unhappiness.

The first step to realize yoga within us - is to know what the mind is and how to not attached to the mind. Detachment is the initial practice and the end of practice as well. At the end, it is beyond attachment and detachment.

All the yoga asana, pranayama, concentration and meditation in a yoga class is there to help us to achieve that, by purifying and calming the body and the mind. It is a de-programming and re-programming process. It is detaching and attaching every moment. Detaching from the negative and attaching to the positive, until we are beyond both the negative and positive. It is surrendering our ego and transcending all the names and forms, the body, the mind, the intellect...

All are eligible and entitled to go back to our true nature.

There is no meanings being able to perform many difficult and complicated movements with our physical bodies, but our mind is not at peace. There is no meanings being strong and flexible but our hearts are not happy, full of fear and worry. The ability, strength and flexibility of the physical body is subject to impermanence. If our confidence, happiness and meanings of life are based on the ability, strength and flexibility of the physical body, we will be in suffering soon. We will be lack of confidence, unhappy and feeling of meaninglessness when the ability, strength and flexibility is not the same anymore due to the inescapable decaying effect of the physical body.

True confidence, true happiness and meanings of life are not based on any of these impermanent names and forms. It is free from judgment, comparison, competition, and expectation. It is being able to accept ourselves as we are at this present moment now, this is the condition of the body and the mind, this is what the body can do and cannot do at the present moment now. Be very comfortable with ourselves and be free from all conditions. It doesn't matter if the body is experiencing pain and illnesses, and soon this physical body will decompose.

It is when we realize our true Self and that the Self is not separated from all and everything that our mind can perceive. And what lies beyond the perception of the mind (when the mind stops, the intellect stops and the ego is annihilated), is without names and forms, without qualities, without birth and death, pure existence, pure knowledge and pure bliss.

Realize that we are love itself. We will stop looking for love and attention from the outside. We are the wisdom and compassion. We can share and give so much inexhaustibly without fear and worry. We are free.

May all beings be happy.

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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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