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.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

4 Day 3 Night Langkawi Relaxed Yoga Retreat - May 7th to 10th 2010

Come and join us for a 4 days / 3 nights relaxed yoga retreat in Langkawi, Malaysia.

This retreat starts on May 7th at 2:30pm and will finish on May 10th at 12 noon.

All levels are welcome.

Retreat fee is Rm 1,470 per person for single room and Rm 1,320 per person for twin sharing.

The retreat programme includes daily twice 2 hours yoga asana sessions and morning & evening meditation sessions everyday, jala neti kriya, and trips to the waterfalls and some other fantastic destinations in Langkawi.

Food (vegetarian meals, fruit and snacks) and accommodation (air-conditioning, hot & cold shower, fridge etc...) are included with a free Yoga Now T-shirt, neti pot and free airport or ferryport pick-up and drop-off.

Our yoga retreats are for anyone who wants to practice yoga and meditation while having some free time visiting to some nature attractions on the island.

Please contact us at yoganow@hotmail.com for more details and reservation.

A deposit of Rm 300 is requested upon reservation. Booking can be made through our website http://www.yoganowmalaysia.com/retreatfees.html

You may also call us @ +6016 2715 082 or +604 9559 082

Looking forward to seeing you in Langkawi.

Om Shanti,

Meng Foong

Relaxed Yoga Retreat Outline

Day 1

* 14.30 Tea and light snacks
* 16.00 Yoga class (2 hours)
* 19.30 Dinner
* 21.30 Guided meditation

Day 2

* 7.45 Jala Neti Kriya
* 8.00 Pranayama and guided meditation
* 9.00 Yoga class (2 hours)
* 11.30 Brunch
* 12.00 Free time / Optional walk or visit
* 15.00 Tea and light snacks
* 16.00 Yoga class (2hours)
* 19.30 Dinner
* 21.30 Guided meditation

Day 3

* 7.45 Jala Neti Kriya
* 8.00 Pranayama and guided meditation
* 9.00 Yoga class
* 11.30 Brunch
* 12.00 Free time / Optional walk or visit
* 15.00 Tea and light snacks
* 16.00 Yoga class (2 hours)
* 19.30 Dinner
* 21.30 Guided meditation

Day 4

* 7.45 Jala Neti Kriya
* 8.00 Pranayama and guided meditation
* 9.00 Yoga class (2 hours)
* 11.30 Brunch
* 12.00 Check out

Friday, April 23, 2010

Karma Yoga - Selfless Service - Renounce The Fruit Of Action

The one who is sharing the knowledge and joy, wisdom and compassion with all without the differentiation of good or bad beings, superiority or inferiority, without any expectations for the results of the action, without the identification as the doer of the action of sharing and giving, and who is beyond action and inaction, beyond success and failure, beyond praise and condemn, beyond attachment and non-attachment, is merely acting as an instrument to serve the universal consciousness for it to act in the world.

This selfless being may or may not be named as a “Karma yogi”.

Attach towards “I don’t want anything” or “I don’t want to receive anything” also is an attachment.

Every action or sharing is just a flow of energy exchange, both giver and receiver are giving and receiving in a natural form without the intention or identification of giving and receiving. It is not about one is giving and the other one is receiving. It is both giving and receiving between both giver and receiver at the same time. This is pure action, selfless service, karma yoga. It is beyond “good” intention to give. It is beyond the action of “giving”. It is intention-less.

No body is “giving”. No body is “receiving”. Nothing is being “given” or “received”. But the act of giving and receiving is unceasingly happening within and without the entire universal consciousness.

Form is emptiness. Emptiness is form.

No attachment, no non-attachment.

It is beyond attachment and non-attachment.

Om Shanti.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Being At The Present Moment - No Fear, No Worry

I would like to share with you something about the present moment now and how it can help us to remove fear and worry.

Today, one of our students asked us whether we are happy to have moved to Langkawi, living in a small village rather than living in Kuala Lumpur, a big city. He also asked us whether teaching yoga in Langkawi is any less opportunity or less "business" than in Kuala Lumpur? He also asked how could we give up our life, jobs, family and friends in Kuala Lumpur just like that without feeling fear and worry about the new living environment and to start a new livinghood?

It was so strange (but not surprised) that I realized that I couldn't really give definite answers to these questions. Simply it's because they are irrelevant questions for me. I couldn't give an answer of "yes" or "no". Because the moving from Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi is not something better or worst. There is nothing to be compared about. There is no comparison or expectation in me. It is not making me happy or unhappy. I am just being at the present moment now. Everything just happens naturally due to a cause. It is not something that I want or don't want, like or don't like.

For start, I never felt that I had to give up anything. My life is not in Kuala Lumpur nor in Langkawi. Life is not being bound by a place. It is unlimited by time and space. Life carries on wherever I go, whether staying permanently at one place or visiting places or on holidays.

This is not a new life for me. Life goes on but just being at a different place and having different routines. I still eat, drink, act, rest, share and be happy.

About jobs, I never see that teaching yoga is a job nor as a business. It is merely sharing, giving and receiving. Through the grace of the universal consciousness, we share the knowledge and joy of yoga with the people who need the knowledge and joy that derive from wisdom and compassion. At the same time, these people who learn yoga from us support us to continue in this sharing of knowledge and joy with some other people by giving us some fees for our living and for the maintainence of the yoga centre so that other people can have the opportunity to come here to learn yoga. This is giving and receiving, or energy exchange to keep the wheel of dharma continue to turn. This is a great merit. Both the teacher and the students are sharing by giving to each other and receiving from each other. There is no gain and no loss.

Teaching yoga or sharing the knowledge and joy is not limited by a place. It is unlimited and unconditioned by time and space. I can teach or share yoga with anyone who are in need of knowledge and joy, at anywhere and at anytime. It is not limited in a yoga centre, nor limited in the two or three hours yoga asana class. It is in life every moment. It is not about the asana exercises at all. It is about unleashing the wisdom in everyone by realizing the Self. With wisdom, there is no ignorance. Without ignorance, there is no unhappiness or suffering. It is not about the fees also. Those who could not afford to give anything, still can receive the gift of dharma, the knowledge and joy from anyone who are practicing yoga without name and form in the heart, in life, every moment. While those who can give and support the wheel of dharma continues to turn, can provide the teacher and the yoga centre with some fees to keep them survive and to share with more people who are in need of knowledge and joy.

Whether in Kuala Lumpur or in Langkawi or in somewhere else, I still share yoga with all. There is no differences at all for me to teach yoga in Kuala Lumpur to a group of Chinese Malaysian who come for classes regularly or teach yoga in Langkawi to people who are coming from many different countries just for one or a few classes. Everyone still gets the same benefits from the classes. Wherever people need "me" to be there, I will be there happily. It is not about I want to live in certain place and start teaching yoga there to make a living so that I can live in a place that I like. It is the sharing of yoga that brings me to wherever I am and allows me to live at that place. I don't need to worry about living, money or anything at all. Even if there is nobody coming for classes, it still doesn't stop me from having yoga in me and sharing yoga with all. Even if I have to suffer hunger and die of hunger, and if that's my karma, let it be.

I am very grateful and appreciate what I am having now and what I am doing now. In the past, maybe I was selfish, unhappy and grumpy, but it was already the past. Now, is the only reality. Now is what matter most. And the future not yet come, why worry about what I am going to become? Now, I am fine. Now, I am peaceful.

I never thought of teaching yoga before I started teaching yoga. I never thought of living and teaching yoga in Langkawi before we moved here. Everything just happened. This house that we live in and teach yoga was there waiting for us to come. It was empty for nine months before we moved in, despite all the houses around here were fully occupied and this is a popular area for tourists to rent a holiday home for short stay and long stay.

Yoga is not a "business". It is not about how much money we can make from teaching yoga. It is not about less people or more people coming to learn yoga from us. It is not about the price of a yoga class that we charge people. It is not about whether we can teach a "good" class or not. It is not about the people are satisfied with our teachings or not. It is not about "thank you" or being "ungrateful" or not. It is sharing, giving and receiving at the same time. It is unlimited and unconditioned by name and form, good or bad, big or small, success or failure, praise or condemn. It is all about selflessness, compassion and wisdom. It is beyond all the names and forms. It is beyond likes and dislikes. It is beyond "teachers" and "students".

About family and friends, I never felt any separation from them at all even though we are not together in the same place or not living under the same roof. I also have no craving for love and attention or companionship from anybody. I have all beings as my family and friends anywhere and anytime, it is not limited in the family ties or in personal relationship or friendship. My "relationship" with everyone is not limited in this life time also. Or more precise is that I don't see myself are different from anybody and are not separated from anyone or anything. I am never lonely, even though I am alone all by myself. Once I am beyond all the differentiations of name and form, and beyond the separateness and different relationships with all, there is no more "attachment" nor "detachment". There is no more fear and worry. There is no more togetherness or separateness. There is no more loneliness or needing love and attention.

Attachment only exists when there is separateness. When there is no more separateness and all are one, where is the attachment? Attachment happens when there is "something" separated from us, for us to attach to. And if there is no attachment, there is no need of detachment. It is the same, if my thoughts, action and speech are purified, there is no need of self-control, self-restraint or observances.

I had never "left" anyone even though I am not with them at the same place anymore, or not seeing them and not being with them at all. To care for somebody and to share love and joy is not necessary to be with somebody, being together all the time and do things together. In the heart, in our consciousness, we can give and share so much but it is unseen by the eyes, unheard by the ears, unsmelled by the nose, untasted by the tongue, untouched by the physical body and unlimited by the thinking mind. I am with all, all the time, through out the causeless universal consciousness. There is no boundaries. There is no separateness of space, time and form.

I am happy and contented being here in Langkawi or when I was being there in Kuala Lumpur. I don't feel living in the city is a problem nor do I feel living in a small village is any less than living in the city. Some people say that living in the city is very nice and comfortable, very convenient, and lots of things happening. Some other people say that living in the village is better than in the city because it does give us a better quality of life. They all are right.

For me, it is not about to live in a better place or not, or to obtain a better quality of life or not, but as long as my heart is peaceful and happy, wherever I am, it is just fine. Everywhere has its pros and cons. There is no perfect place in the world, if we are not satisfied with our own self. But everywhere is fine when we are satisfied with our own self. Yoga is everywhere, in and out, up and down, exist and non-exist.

I wasn't unhappy about living in Kuala Lumpur when we moved to Langkawi. I wasn't looking for a place to move away from where I was. I wasn't looking for doing something differently from what I was doing. I just be. Be at where I am now. Be at the present moment now. There is no fear, no worry about different environment or about the future. I surrender completely, allowing life and yoga to bring me to wherever I am.

If Kuala Lumpur is not the place for me now, let it be. If Langkawi is not the place for me later, let it be. Most important and the only reality is, at this present moment Now, Langkawi is the place for me. That's why I am here, and not somewhere else. Why do I need to worry? Why do I need to compare the past and now? Why do I need to project so much for the future?

Yes, I am happy living in Langkawi now, but that doesn't mean that I was not happy living in Kuala Lumpur. I am happy anywhere, even when I was living in the "lowest" quality of living environment in Sri Sentosa where there were many gangsters, drugs dealing, fighting, violence, family problems and community gossiping. It didn't change me into a bad being or made me a better being than other people. It didn't bother me, my life and my peacefulness. The poor hygiene in that area also didn't make me sick or unhealthy. I am still what I am. In fact living in a worst environment can be a good training ground for compassion and wisdom. I had no fear at all. Most of the times I came home late at night after teaching classes, walking alone on the street from where I parked the car and I was living by myself alone. The only apartment there that has no grills on the door and windows is my apartment. One of the students stopped coming for yoga class because she has lots of fear and she felt insecure when she was in my apartment. She has the right to feel like that because in the past she had been robbed just in front of her house. From then on, she was full of fear whether she was at home or on the street. I wish her peace and wisdom, may she be free from this great fear one day.

Teaching yoga in Langkawi is not any less or any more than teaching yoga in Kuala Lumpur. There is no gain or loss teaching yoga here or at somewhere else.

I didn't give up anyone or anything at all. No past, no future, I am just being at the present moment now, being at where I am now, doing what I am doing now.

All are impermanent. There is no certainty in everything. Life is transitory. Why worry then?

When we are selfless and compassionate, there is no fear, no worry. Fear and worry exist when we are attached strongly to our body and the mind. Fear and worry come from the mind. When we are no more identifying with the body and the mind, fear and worry will vanish.

May all beings be happy.

Om Shanti.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Reviews On Yoga Retreat With Yoga Now Malaysia


It seems like a lifetime ago that chance / karma ( whatever you want to call it ) brought me to your yoga class. What a difference 8 days can make, eh? Looking back I realize how exhausted I was both physically and mentally.

I take from this retreat more than new muscles, flexibility and a straighter back! I no longer feel like I am wandering lost through life. The wisdom you both have shared with me has impacted me more than my 4 months of travelling combined. So that the highlight of my trip is not the partying on Khao San Road, the sunrise over Angkor Wat, or the elephant riding in Chiang Mai - it's the last week spent here, sweating and gaining a transformed perspective on life.

Thank you for all your care, support, and kindness. From the chanting to the food to the philosophy - I loved every moment. Namaste!

Tamara Bain - Canada - 8 day intensive yoga retreat.

Reviews On Yoga Classes With Yoga Now Malaysia




Thank you for teaching me so much about yoga - the body, the mind, the philosophy - it all gives me so much. And thank you for your patience with me when I was learning to do headstand. I feel so happy. The best wishes to you.

Jane - Denmark

Reviews On Yoga Retreat With Yoga Now Malaysia



I knew as soon as I saw your website that yours was the right retreat for me.

It just felt right from the first day. Meng Foong thank you for all the discussions and helping me to work on myself. Marc, thank you for your support and all the meditation we've done. I know I am taking so many learnings from both of you. I hope to see you both sometime in Melbourne.

Theresa Saldanha - Melbourne - 5 day relaxed yoga retreat

Sunday, April 18, 2010

April 28th - May 2nd 2010, 5 Days 4 Nights Langkawi Intensive Yoga Retreat

Welcome to Langkawi, Malaysia.

Come and join us for a 5 Days / 4 Nights Intensive Yoga Retreat in the beautiful tropical island of Langkawi starts from April 28th 2:30 pm to May 2nd 12:00 noon.

This retreat is suitable for anyone who has great interest in the traditional yoga practice at all levels and experiences.

5 days / 4 nights Intensive Yoga Retreat Outline

Day 1

* 14.30 Orientation
* 15.00 Tea and light snacks
* 16.00 Yoga class
* 18.30 Free time
* 19.30 Dinner
* 21.00 Guided meditation

Day 2

* 7.30 Jala Neti
* 7.45 Pranayama & Guided Meditation
* 8.45 Break
* 9.00 Yoga class
* 11.30 Breakfast
* 12.30 Free time
* 13.30 Strength and flexibility workshop
* 15.15 Tea and light snacks
* 16.00 Yoga class
* 18.30 Free time
* 19.30 Dinner
* 21.00 Guided meditation

Day 3

* 7.30 Jala Neti
* 7.45 Pranayama & Guided Meditation
* 8.45 Break
* 9.00 Yoga class
* 11.30 Breakfast
* 12.30 Free time
* 13.30 Advanced practice workshop
* 15.15 Tea and light snacks
* 16.00 Yoga class
* 18.30 Free time
* 19.30 Dinner
* 21.00 Guided meditation

Day 4

* 7.30 Jala Neti
* 7.45 Pranayama & Guided Meditation
* 8.45 Break
* 9.00 Yoga class
* 11.30 Breakfast
* 12.30 Free time or trips
* 15.15 Tea and light snacks
* 16.00 Yoga class
* 18.30 Free time
* 19.30 Dinner
* 21.00 Guided meditation

Day 5

* 7.30 Jala Neti
* 7.45 Pranayama & Guided Meditation
* 8.45 Break
* 9.00 Yoga class
* 11.30 Breakfast
* 12.00 Check out

The course fee is Rm 2,160 per person for single room and Rm 1,960 per person for twin sharing.

Fee includes teaching, meals, snacks, beverages, trips, simple accommodation (with air-conditioning, hot shower, fridge, tea making facilities…), a Yoga Now T-shirt and yoga mat bag, neti pot and free airport or ferry port pick up. Meals and snacks will be simple nutritious vegetarian food.

A non-refundable deposit of Rm 300 is requested upon reservation.

Looking forward to seeing you in Langkawi.

Om Shanti,

Meng Foong

Yoga Now Malaysia

yoganow@hotmail.com

+6016 2715 082

+604 9559 082

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Yoga Workshop In Penang, Malaysia May 15th & 16th

Yoga Now Malaysia will be teaching a Traditional Hatha Yoga workshop in Penang on the 15th and 16th of May 2010 for two days.

This workshop is organized by Echo Yoga Centre in Penang island.

Meng Foong will be teaching a 3 hours traditional Hatha Yoga master class on both days.

Marc will be teaching a 3 hours yoga class covering asana, neti kriya, pranayama and meditation on both days.

For further details please contact Echo Ng at +6012 4939563

Or email her at echoyogacentre@gmail.com

Saturday, April 3, 2010

About Ashrams

We may not know every yogi and ashram in the world especially those who are not exposed to the media. There are many famous yoga teachers and Ashrams in the world but there are also many other saints and sages that are behind the commercial world of name and fame, doing lots of selfless work to propagate humanity, compassion and wisdom. Not knowing these selfless people doesn’t mean that we deny their existence. We know that there are many of these selfless yogis out there renouncing the worldly name and fame but continue to contribute to the world in different ways. We respect all who are directly or indirectly involve in the propagation of humanity, compassion and wisdom. Even though we don’t know everybody in the world, we will always know that there are many other people who are practicing yoga and sharing yoga and wisdom with many others. My respect to them.

For many of us who are looking for a yoga place or a yoga school (Ashrams) to learn and practice yoga, we will have questions about which school or Ashram should we go to, which teacher or guru should we learn from, and should we stick to one guru and one ashram or should we learn from many teachers and experience many different Ashrams or yoga schools.

Many people will first look at those famous Ashrams, affiliate yoga schools and famous yoga teachers because the habitual worldly conditioned mind is always looking at the “beautiful” appearances of things where the mind determines the quality of things from the appearance, such like the quality of the teaching curriculum and the recognition of qualification from the world of “affiliation”.

Nowadays it is not surprising that people go to a yoga school or an Ashram mainly to obtain a recognized certificate for them to find a job called “yoga teacher” in the world of competitive “qualification”. No doubt that most of them also are sincere in sharing yoga with all, not because they just want to earn money from teaching yoga class.

It’s just that the people in the world is heading towards the “importance” of a piece of paper recognition more than the real practice and spiritual enlightenment of the person. And what is stranger is that just one piece of paper certificate is never enough because the teachers think that they need to acquire and possess as many certificates as possible. The students also think that their teachers should possess or acquire many recognized certificates from attending many workshops and courses or else they are not a good teacher because they are not up to date with the “latest” trends in the yoga industry or not learning the latest “technique”, and that they are not improving themselves in the competitive world of “elite”.

Technically there is nothing wrong about wanting to learn more, to improve and to obtain certificates and recognition, and most important is to teach better quality classes. It is very good indeed. But obtaining many certificates and qualifications by going through many courses, studying and remembering a lot of names and terms, passing many examinations, learning and performing many complicated asana poses in a competitive manner (competing with others and with our own self, challenging ourselves to go beyond the limitation of the physical body), is nothing to do with the internal self-realization that derives from self-control, purification, dispassion, discrimination, compassion, wisdom, selflessness, ego-lessness, non-attachment, non-duality of namelessness and formlessness, non-identification with the body and the mind, beyond good and evil, and transcending positive and negative, success and failure, happiness and unhappiness.

A person who doesn’t know how to read and write or not knowing the Sanskrit or not knowing any asanas, it still doesn’t stop him or her from attaining self-realization without going to a formal yoga school or Ashram or having any teachers at all.

If a person is really self-realized, this person will be transcending all these names and forms, and not needing any recognition at all. There might be superficial or technical value in these paper certificates but there is no spiritual meaning in these paper certificates because they cannot determine or represent the state of mind of a person, nor can it determines the depth of insight development in a person and the continuing development unceasingly until complete self-realization takes place. And since everything is impermanent including the practice and clarity of the mind are not permanent either, that’s why no one can be judged on a piece of certificate about his or her state of wisdom and enlightenment. We all are still under purification process to eliminate the ego and all the impurities.

In real, there is no such thing as beginner practitioner and advanced practitioner spiritual wise. Ignorance and wisdom is the same in everyone. When there is ignorance, there is no wisdom. When there is wisdom, there is no ignorance. Physically, people are having different level of strength and flexibility and this generates the different levels in the asana practice, but that cannot determine the spiritual state of someone. A person who is very stiff and weak, and couldn’t perform any asanas, but still can attain spiritual enlightenment.

A piece of paper means nothing to a person who has attained spiritual enlightenment and is one with the whole universe. Everything is he. He is everything. Nothing is separated from him. He doesn’t need a certificate to feel good and confident about himself and his achievement in spiritual understanding. Nor does he need to prove to the students that he is qualified and is good enough to make the student have confidence in him.

If a person in search of a guru and want to look at the guru’s qualifications and certificates and looking at what type of certificates can the guru issues to him when he finished a course with the guru, then this is not about yoga anymore.

Yoga “studies” or spiritual ashrama sadhana is not about one month or one year course and after that we are graduated and will have a certificate qualifying us as a successful yogi or a qualified yoga teacher. It is a whole life learning and practice, unceasingly purifying the mind, until the mind is free from all impurities. In the path of yoga sadhana, certification is just a game for the worldly minds. There is nothing wrong but it cannot represent yoga.

Take Buddha as an example, did he attain an enlightenment certificate from a school or from a teacher certified him as an enlightened being and he was qualified to teach and help other beings to be free from suffering?

A yoga school or an Ashram is a very good place for us to learn what is yoga and yoga sadhana, the discipline, the philosophy, the scriptures, the Sutras, the Sanskrit, the spiritual development, the yogic lifestyle, the ancient wisdom, the traditional practice, the mantras, the mudras, the kriyas, the many paths of yoga, and other forms of different practices, and of course the technical side of the asana and pranayama practice and meditation. It is a good place for Satsanga – wise company and sattvic environment that is very important and condusive for our spiritual growth. But it is not a guarantee for spiritual enlightenment or guarantee as a compassionate and wise being. Enlighten or not, compassionate and wise or not, are all up to our own self, our own mind. It is not the Ashrams or the teachers can give us that.

It also depends on what type of “yoga” we are looking for. If we just want to learn fitness yoga or asana exercises only, then there are many yoga teachers and yoga centers in the world that can teach us yoga exercises. But if we are sincerely looking for yoga teachers or yoga schools that can teach us the ancient yoga, then with pure intention and great humility, a guru or a few gurus will come to us naturally when we are ready, or we will be going to the guru when the time is right. The mind is everything. Everything comes from the mind. It’s our thoughts attract what is coming to us.

Without humility, there is no use to go to any gurus or Ashrams or yoga schools. It will only bring more troubles for ourselves and to the Ashram and guru.

The real guru is with us all the time. All the other teachers are there to help us to see or to realize this guru in ourselves. Once we find this guru in us, everything is our guru. God manifests in everything to guide us and teach us to become selfless. When we are selfless, we are free.

Teachers are not necessary to be human beings, they can be anything. A dog, a car, a house, a young child, an ant, a tree, our own mind, the senses, the ego, the likes and dislikes, our own feelings and emotions are all our teachers. And so, it doesn’t matter if we are learning from many teachers or only from one teacher, at the end it’s all about our own Self.

Yoga is here in our heart. Not just to be found in India. It is not with a yoga teacher or a guru or in an Ashram. The real Ashram is in our hearts, in our lives. It is the entire universe. The yoga schools or Ashrams are there to help us to find the real Ashram in us. The guru is there to guide us to find the real teacher in us. This Ashram and this guru is not necessary a famous public figure nor they will issue us with a piece of paper that is being recognized by such and such affiliation or organization.

Once we find a yoga school or find our guru (our instinct will tell us that that’s the one and it is not necessary that there has to be a yoga school, because the whole universe is an Ashram indeed. A real guru is teaching yoga everywhere and at anytime, unlimited, unconditioned), then stick to that one teacher even though the teacher might not be perfect from our point of view. Don’t look at the teacher. See beyond the teacher and learn the essence of the teachings. If we keep picking out the defects of the Ashram and the teacher, our mind will be too busy with negativity and not be free for self-contemplation. If we keep changing schools and teachers, we will be learning too many different styles and different ways of practice, we will be confused and not going anywhere.

If we are devotional and artistic people, then Bhakti yoga is suitable for us.

If we are sociable, active and helpful people, then Karma yoga is suitable for us.

If we are quiet people (not sociable) and intellectually smart, then Jnana yoga is suitable for us.

If we are combination of all the above or none of the above, then Raja yoga is suitable for us.

Every path will bring us to purification, concentration and ultimately, wisdom.

It is us that walk the path and make the effort to attain the wisdom within us. Not our guru, whether the guru is perfect or imperfect.

Going to an enlightened guru, may not make us enlighten but will guide us in our practice. At the end we have to be independent. If we need to have a guru there to tell us this and that, then forever we may not reach the goal of yoga, liberation.

If we are already asking these questions and are looking for “our” guru, we just need to be patient, the guru will appear in our life very soon. When we found him or her, respect him or her and be very humble. Many people need to serve the guru for many years before the guru teach them anything technically.

This is to purify the mind and to eliminate the ego.

Once the mind is purified and the ego is eliminated, everything will come to the student naturally to open up his or her wisdom. With this wisdom, we are our own guru, the whole universe is our Ashram.

Many people went to the same yoga school or Ashram, some people will be benefited very much but some of them will complain a lots and some people even walk out from the course. Not everyone will have the same effect or experience. The problem is not with the school or the Ashram. It is our own mind rejecting and resisting. It is all up to our own self whether we will learn something or not from the Ashram and the teachers.

My teacher is not in India or in the Ashram. God is everywhere in everything. But the Ashram and India was the place where it allowed me to find my Self. Even though I never met Buddha and Swami Sivananda personally in this life but they are always my guru in a spiritual form. I would recommend anyone to go to an Ashram or yoga school to learn yoga but not for its certification.

If I am happy and compassionate, does God give me a certificate of “good being”? If I am not happy and not compassionate, does God give me a certificate stating me as “bad being”?

If we have a pure mind, everything is a teacher and is okay. There is no problems.

If we have an impure mind, everything is annoying us and we will have lots of problems everywhere.

That’s all.

In an Ashram there are many people, teachers and volunteer helpers. They all are still human beings. If we are wise and compassionate, we won’t see the defects in other people and won’t complain about anything. Just mind our own practice, don’t mind about other’s good and not good.

It is only when we don’t have wisdom and are not compassionate, we will see bad things and wrong things at everywhere and in everyone. But then we forget about our own self is not perfect too. Always keep looking at other people, judging people, comparing people and in competition with people, and have lots of expectation towards the results, the teachers, the ashram, the people, the volunteer workers and our own self is the biggest obstacle in the path of self-realization.

Ashram and guru (internally or externally, with or without name and form) are important instruments for us to cross the ocean of suffering to reach eternal peace. We should be grateful that there are many yoga schools and Ashrams everywhere and we should help to support them to continue to serve all, and bring love and peace to all.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Private Yoga Classes in Pantai Cenang, Langkawi

We can arrange a private yoga class for you at our Yoga Now yoga studio in Kedawang, Langkawi, Malaysia.

Private yoga classes at other venues are not available.

It is open for all levels.


Advance booking is required and is subject to availability. Private yoga class is not available when we have retreats.


We can arrange a private yoga session at the timing that you prefer (only available when we don't have retreats). You can do the class by yourself or with your family and friends (maximum 6 people per private yoga session)

Private yoga individual class - Rm 300 per session


Private yoga group class - Rm 600 per session (Maximum 3 people)

Private yoga group class - Rm 800 per session (Maximum 6 people)

There is water refill for free at our studio if you are coming for class. So remember to bring an empty bottle with you to help keep Langkawi clean and be free from excessive plastic water bottles.

For more details and reservation please contact us at yoganow@hotmail.com

Om Shanti

5 Days 4 Nights Yoga Workshop For Beginners, October 1st - 5th 2010

Good news for complete beginners in yoga.

Come for a 5 days / 4 nights yoga workshop just for beginners only in Langkawi, Malaysia.

The 5 days / 4 nights workshop will cover the basic asana practice, basic pranayama practice, relaxation, yoga philosophy, jala neti, sutra neti, meditation, chanting and additional coaching session in this yoga workshop for beginners.

We will only receive maximum 6 people in this workshop to ensure individual attention for all our participants.


Beginner’s Yoga Workshop Outline

Day 1

* 2.30 pm Registration & Orientation
* 3.00 pm Fruit & juice
* 4.00 pm Basic asana practice part 1
* 5.30 pm Free time
* 6.30 pm Dinner
* 8.00 pm Yoga philosophy
* 9.00 pm Meditation

Day 2

* 8.00 am Meditation
* 8.30 am Break
* 9.00 am Basic asana practice part 2
* 10.30 am Relaxation
* 11.00 am Brunch
* 12.00 pm Free time
* 2.00 pm Coaching (mastering the technique of the basic asana)
* 3.00 pm Fruit & juice
* 4.00 pm Basic pranayama practice
* 4.30 pm Basic asana practice part 3
* 6.00 pm Relaxation
* 6.30 pm Dinner
* 8.00 pm Yoga philosophy
* 9.00 pm Meditation

Day 3

* 8.00 am Jala neti
* 8.15 am Meditation
* 8.45 am Break
* 9.00 am Basic asana practice part 4
* 11.00 am Brunch
* 12.00 pm Free time
* 2.00 pm Coaching (mastering the technique of the basic asana)
* 3.00 pm Fruit & juice
* 4.00 pm Basic pranayama practice
* 4.30 pm Basic asana practice part 5
* 6.00 pm Relaxation
* 6.30 pm Dinner
* 8.30 pm Chanting
* 9.00 pm Meditation

Day 4

* 8.00 am Jala neti
* 8.15 am Meditation
* 8.45 am Break
* 9.00 am Basic asana practice part 6
* 11.00 am Brunch
* 12.00 pm Free time / trip to waterfall *subject to the weather
* 3.00 pm Fruit & juice
* 4.00 pm Complete yoga class
* 6.00 pm Relaxation
* 6.30 pm Dinner
* 8.30 pm Chanting
* 9.00 pm Meditation

Day 5

* 8.00 am Jala neti
* 8.15 am Meditation
* 8.45 am Break
* 9.00 am Restorative yoga class
* 11.00 am Brunch
* 12.00 pm Check out


The course fee is Rm 2,160 per person for single room and Rm 1,960 per person for twin sharing.

All meals (vegetarian meals, fruit and snacks) and accommodation (air-conditioning, hot & cold shower, fridge, tea-making facility etc…) are included with a free Yoga Now T-shirt, neti pot and free airport or ferry-port pick-up and drop-off. Yoga mat will be provided.

A non-refundable deposit of Rm 300 is requested upon reservation.

Looking forward to seeing you in Langkawi.

Om Shanti,

Meng Foong

For more details and reservation please contact us at :-

Yoga Now Malaysia

yoganow@hotmail.com

+6016 2715 082

+604 9559 082

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About Yoga

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

Om shanti

About Me

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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.

Link to Yoga Now Malaysia website

Link to Yoga Now Malaysia website
Yoga retreats and yoga workshops in Malaysia

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