In the yoga asana practice class, it's about thinning out and eradicating ignorance, egoism and impurities in the process of learning and doing the different yoga asana poses or exercises, by integrating the essential teachings of yoga into the yoga practice and in daily life, to be influencing the states of the mind, bringing the mind into the present moment, and rendering the mind focused, relaxed, calmed and quiet, free from restlessness, to prepare the mind for meditation and self-inquiry.
There's only one type of yoga class, that is about the yoga practice to be annihilating the idea of 'I' by eradicating ignorance, egoism, impurities and restlessness while learning and performing the yoga asana practice, breathing exercises, concentration practice, relaxation, and etc.
The yoga class is being delivered in a spontaneous way without any pre-planning of what to teach, as one will never know what will be there beyond the present moment, but only what is here in the present moment, of what is available or not available and what is possible or not possible, that is changing every moment, but teaching the class as it goes, based on how is everyone acting and reacting in the yoga class while learning and performing or trying to perform the different yoga practice, that is allowing the yoga students to come in contact with the essential teachings of yoga, to have direct experience towards the teachings, to be developing correct understanding, that leads towards the thinning out and eradication of ignorance, egoism, impurities and restlessness, efficiently.
All and everyone come into life existence as it is, while learning and evolving as it is, as life is.
There's no separation of different levels of yoga asana practice classes. There's no beginner class, intermediate class, or advance class, including those that have been teaching yoga, regardless of how long one has been practicing or teaching yoga. Allowing everyone under different physical conditions and different states of the mind, different experiences in the practice of yoga under different brand names and styles, different physical ability and limitation, personality, social background, educational level, profession, understanding, thinking, belief, desire and expectation to be in the same class. There's no authorization, certification or qualification involved for the learning and practice, or upon the end of learning and practice. As the presence and absence of ignorance and suffering is nothing to do with all the different qualities of names and forms.
Someone who is very strong and flexible and has good stamina, someone who is strong but not flexible, someone who is flexible but not strong, or someone who is not strong and not flexible and has no stamina, or someone who has good stamina, but is not strong and not flexible, they all just do what they can do, as they are, in the present moment, without attachment or identification, without judgment or expectation, without comparing or competing with others or with oneself in the different practice session. They might look or feel differently from one another while being in the same position or in the different positions, it's not important.
The asana position or the particular exercise has no quality or intention to be easy or difficult, to be gentle or intense, it's merely how everyone reacts differently towards the same or different asana poses or exercises depending on their physical condition, skill, stamina, strength and flexibility as well as their states of the mind in the present moment. And all is impermanent. Today is easy, tomorrow might be difficult, and vice versa. That will allow the mind to understand about everything is neither good nor bad, neither positive nor negative, neither meaningful nor meaningless, neither right nor wrong, but it's how their own mind reacts towards everything based on certain existing condition and influence in the mind.
It's all about developing right discrimination that leads towards non-separateness in the world of many diversities, that give rise to unconditional peace and harmony in oneself, that contributes peace and harmony into the surrounding environment. It is not coming from any particular quality of name and form to be determining whether there is the presence of peace, wisdom and compassion in the mind, or not, or whether the mind is free from ignorance, egoism, impurities and restlessness, or not, and is free from the suffering deriving from all that, or not.
The first few sessions are highly important. It's not so much about teaching some basic yoga poses, basic breathing exercises, basic chanting, basic concentration, or basic relaxation. But, it's to allow the minds to be opened, without expectation, even before learning to be performing any kind of yoga practice under certain names and forms, that might or might not initiate a tiny spark of 'awareness' or 'awakening' in the mind towards itself, that initiates or leads the mind onto the path of self-inquiry and self-realization, even if the mind is still very much under the influence of ignorance and egoism. Or else, even after many years of performing certain yoga practice in silence, or in mindfulness, regularly, and gaining all sorts of momentary health and fitness benefits, the mind might still have no idea towards what is yoga and the yoga practice.
Begin the yoga class with -
- Allowing the body and mind to be in a most relaxing position. What is the most relaxing position for different people with different physical condition, ability and limitation, can be very different from one another.
- Guiding the minds to be focusing on the basic abdominal breathing for a few moments, regardless of being in what kind of relaxing position, while letting the practitioners know that they can change the position at anytime if they start to feel discomfort being in a particular position for some time, even if it seemed to be the most comfortable position in the beginning. That is already the first lesson about direct experience towards the truth of impermanence and selflessness.
By observing the breath coming and going, will allow the mind to see the selfless impermanence in the breathing, where even if without the awareness towards the breath, the breath is still coming and going, and one day it will stop coming and going. Suffering will arise, if one just want to breathe in and doesn't want to breathe out, and vice versa, or not breathing in and not breathing out. Suffering will arise when the mind tries to control, or interfere, or go against the natural process of selfless impermanent changes. That basic understanding will eventually leads the mind towards seeing the selfless impermanence throughout the entire body as well as in the modification of the mind, where there is no 'I' throughout the body and the thinking mind. It's also the lesson about regardless of what position or movement, action or inaction, comfortable or uncomfortable, it is not important at all. All are impermanent. It doesn't determine whether a mind is peaceful, wise and compassionate, or not. Even the presence of ignorance and suffering in the mind is also limited and conditional, selfless and impermanent.
- Guiding the mind into relaxing the entire physical body part by part, by letting go any existing physical tension in the physical body as much as possible, which will also lead to release certain tension in the mind, allowing the mind to be relaxed. A relaxed mind will be more open and focus, as well as making it easier for understanding the basic and yet essential teachings of yoga, to be integrating the teachings into the yoga asana practice. It's not about 'achieving' relaxation, but more about 'letting go' tension, while allowing the body to be relaxed, or not, even though the two of them seem to be the same without any difference, but it will make a huge difference in the understanding of the mind. And it's okay, if after trying to relax the body, but the body is still unable to be relaxed, and learn how to not generating and accumulating unnecessary tension in the first place. It allows the mind to eventually understand what is performing action without attachment or expectation towards the action and the fruit of action, and not being determined by the action and the fruit of action.
It's about letting go the urge to be in control of or interfering with the law of nature. There's no need to be challenging the limitation of the limited conditional selfless body and mind, or forcing the body and mind to go beyond its limitation, in order to be achieving all one's boundless passionate desires, or constantly struggling to be going against natural selfless impermanent changes. One shouldn't be struggling even in the yoga practice, not to say, to be frustrated about something in the process of learning and performing certain yoga practice.
Such as, if the mind starts to be struggling or frustrating while trying to observe the breath, or while trying to focus and concentrate, then it is out of the practice already. It's about knowing and accepting that the mind cannot observe the breath, or couldn't focus and concentrate in this moment, and even this is also impermanent, it will change. No need to struggle or be frustrated about anything. Just try, and see what happens. If the mind wanders away, gently bring it back to the point of attention or concentration, without force or struggling, without judgment or expectation.
In the first initial class, and the next following classes, while teaching and guiding the minds to be performing certain basic yoga poses and exercises -
- Guiding the minds towards what is open-mindedness, non-blind believing, non-blind following, non-blind practicing, non-blind agreeing and disagreeing, where it is okay for the mind to be disagreeing towards certain teachings or practice, and doesn't like or doesn't want to practice certain teachings or practice that is contradicting towards the existing belief, values and practice in the mind, but more importantly, is not to be blind agreeing or blind disagreeing towards anything, but be opened to inquire the truth of everything, including all the teachings and practice of yoga, as well as all the existing belief, values and practice in the mind that is influencing how the mind thinks, believes and disbelieves, reasons, judges, feels, desires and doesn't desire, behaves, acting and reacting.
- Deliver about what is non-important or irrelevant and what is essential or relevant on the path of yoga towards the realization of unconditional peace and harmony deriving from correct understanding, or wisdom. This unconditional peace and harmony is not the same as the momentary pleasant satisfactory state of mind that is induced by certain physical and mental activities or drug usage, or upon coming in contact with pleasant, agreeable and desirable experiences, or upon the gratification of desires. Where all kinds of yoga practices are there merely to be helping the mind for developing and empowering the supportive elements of inner stamina, inner strength and inner flexibility for fueling the path of yoga, which is patience, determination, perseverance, forbearance, tolerance, acceptance, adjustment, adaptation, accommodation, and etc.
Patience, forbearance, tolerance, acceptance, adjustment, adaptation and accommodation is all about oneself being patient, forbearing, tolerant, accepting, adjustable, adaptable and accommodating towards something that is unpleasant, disagreeable or undesirable to the mind itself. It's not at all about coming from oneself expecting others to be patient, forbearing, tolerant, accepting, adjustable, adaptable and accommodating towards oneself for being unpleasant, disagreeable and undesirable to other minds.
It's also not about expecting understanding, agreement, sympathy or empathy from others towards one's imperfection or suffering. Most minds feel disturbed, unhappy, offended, hurt, unloved, left out or meaningless upon the absence of patience, forbearance, tolerance, acceptance, adjustment, adaptation, accommodation, understanding, agreement, loving kindness, support, encouragement, console, sympathy and empathy from others towards one's suffering or imperfection, it's all because of the presence of expectation from oneself towards others should be showing all these names and forms unto oneself, instead of oneself is being free from such expectation, and allowing others to show all these names and forms towards the suffering or imperfection in oneself and/or others, or not.
What the body can do or cannot do, can achieve or cannot achieve, and what the mind can understand or cannot understand, knows and doesn't know, has or doesn't have, feels or doesn't feel, likes or doesn't like, agrees with and doesn't agree with, is not important at all. It's about do what is possible now, and letting go what is impossible now. What is possible and impossible in this moment, are also impermanent. It's about respecting the truth of selflessness and impermanence.
It's about performing the practice according to the physical condition and the state of the mind in the present moment now, which is impermanent. Accepting the selfless body and the selfless modification of the mind in the present moment now as they are, allowing them to change, as they are, and accepting all the selfless impermanent changes as they are.
It is not about the yoga poses, or the physical alignment, or the effects of the practice. It's not about the enhancement of physical health and fitness condition, ability, strength and flexibility. It's not about learning to perform some basic yoga asana practice, and then learning to do some intermediate yoga asana practice, and then learning to do some challenging and complicated advanced yoga asana practice, and then learning to do more challenging and more complicated more advanced asana practice, keeps on pushing the body beyond its limitation, until the body and mind breakdown or suffer. One doesn't need to push the body and mind beyond its limitation until suffering from certain physical injuries or until death, in order to be aware of the ego and egoism, to be aware of the modification of the mind, to be aware of impermanence and selflessness, and to be free from ignorance and suffering.
It's about knowing what is going on in the mind and how the mind reacts towards everything via the middle path. It's the implementation of non-attachment, non-identification, non-craving, non-aversion, non-comparison, non-judgment and non-expectation, that will be thinning out the idea of 'I' and egoism, that leads to self-inquiry and self-realization towards the truth of impermanence and selflessness.
- Deliver the basic essential teachings of yoga about letting go the idea of 'I'. It's not 'I' am learning and performing the yoga practice. It's the selfless physical body with the selfless thinking mind is learning and performing the yoga practice.
- Deliver about non-attachment, non-identification, non-craving, non-aversion, non-comparison, non-judgment, and non-expectation towards the action of learning and practice and towards the fruit or the effect of all kinds of actions that is different from moment to moment, while teaching the different minds under different personal experiences, physical conditions, ability and limitation, and states of the mind, without discrimination, superiority or inferiority. Where different bodies and different states of the mind have different reaction towards the different or same practices on different timings or in different practice sessions. And everyone learns to take responsibility towards their own desire and don't desire, action and reaction, and the consequences of their desires, actions and reactions, as well as take responsibility towards looking after their own mind and over-all well-being.
Allowing the mind to have the direct experience towards being aware of and observing the selfless impermanent different physical sensations and different states of the mind in different positions or different practices, of all kinds of random thoughts, ideas, imaginations, memories, anticipations, fear, worry, happiness, unhappiness, hopes, despairs, disappointment, intimidation, self-esteem, pride, frustration, irritation, painful sorrow, hurts, offensiveness, defensiveness, anger, hatred, greed, satisfaction, dissatisfaction, and the spontaneous reactions in the mind towards all the selfless impermanent effects and changes arising, changing, and passing away in the physical body and the thinking mind during the entire process of learning and practicing, without attachment, identification, craving, aversion, judgment, comparison or expectation, while attaining direct experience towards the truth of impermanence and selflessness, during and after the process of learning and practicing.
- Without empowering the egoism or the idea of 'I' in the minds, but guiding them on how to be free from egoism and the idea of 'I', to attain mental and emotional independence, free from craving and aversion, not being determined by the presence or absence of attention, acknowledgement, encouragement, praise and compliment, not being determined by the actions and the fruit of actions, not being determined by duality of goodness and badness, positiveness and negativeness, pleasantness and unpleasantness, agreements and disagreements, desire and don't desire, happiness and unhappiness, meaningfulness and meaninglessness, and etc. And eventually, not to be determined by the specific thinking, belief, values and practice in the mind to think, judge, behave, act and react in certain way.
- It's up to the minds themselves towards what they want or don't want to practice. It's everyone's freedom for what they want and don't want. They can put aside whatever they don't want to practice in the present moment now, but then, be open minded, as they might want to pick them up later.
From then on in all the yoga classes, all kinds of different physical and mental practices being introduced, taught, learned and practiced in the yoga classes, are all about mind purification and self-discipline, and maybe some other helpful observations that lead the mind towards the weakening, or thinning out, or eradication of ignorance, egoism, impurities and restlessness. It's not about attaining the momentary benefits or effects of the different practices, but allowing the benefits or effects being there, or not, as they are, and they are impermanent, and they cannot determined whether the mind will be free from ignorance, egoism, impurities and restlessness, or not, to attain self-realization and be free from suffering, or not.
After learning the basic essential teachings and practices, under the presence of correct understanding, right effort, self-independence, self-control and self-discipline, one stops attending yoga classes and begins self-practice in solitude, and in everyday life.
One doesn't need to be doing any yoga poses, or breathing exercises, or chanting, or ritual, or specific method of meditation to be attaining self-realization, or to be free from suffering, or to be peaceful, wise and compassionate, although all kinds of practices served as the helpful tools.
While the essential teachings and practice of eradicating ignorance, egoism, impurities and restlessness is being practiced in everyday life, at anytime and anywhere, with or without performing specific type of yoga practice under certain names and forms, in all kinds of actions, dealings, ties and connections, relationships, communications, interactions and activities, where the mind is aware of what is going on in the mind, without grasping or attachment, without identification or association, without craving or aversion, without comparison or judgment, and with expectation. Being at peace, content, fearless and worryless under any conditions or situations, being undetermined and undisturbed by any pleasant and unpleasant, agreeable and disagreeable, desirable and undesirable life experiences.
Inquire the truth of everything.