20 July 2014

For the students whom we open and close the practice with Chants:)

I decided to introduce opening & closing mantra to a group of students fairly new to the Ashtanga practice yesterday. However tongue- twisting it may be presented at our tongues, I was glad that they were very open to give it a try and sing along with me.

Mantra, is one aspect that draws me into the practice, i love how the vibration we created can really  centre my mind, and the resonant after gives an amazing feeling of calmness. 

The concept of singing the opening chant is a great to platform to withdraw any external distractions and get drawn into our centre-- before starting the practice.

Personally, though i may not understand completely the real meaning of each verse

due to the language barrier of Sanskrit--- English translation however only offers a very surface explanation of the mantra;

I take upon the chance to thank the many previous teachers along the lineage who relentlessly passing down the knowledge for over the centuries till today---

Patanajli ( the sage name that appear in the opening mantra, is believed to the the first person who created the yogic knowledge that makes applicable throughout the years of generations--- on the book of Yoga Sutra)  so that we get the chance to learn and be in touch with the practice for our well-being. 
While after the physical practice, the closing mantra plays a good role as the closure of all those self- exploration, emotions roller- coaster and self- confrontation that happens during that 1.5hr to 2hrs hard work. 

It sets as a gentle reminder and appreciation for ourselves of making the time, space and effort to be in the practice, and for the craves of the self-knowledge. Always be grateful for the opportunity to be on the mat. 

The very first year when i started attending yoga classes in a big yoga studio in Singapore, the teacher would lead us into an "Aum" before starting the class. Which i loved it how it sets us in the right attitude after all those hectic rush and stress from work. 

Thereafter, the teachers stopped this practice instructed by the management, as some members were not comfortable with it. I felt a little disappointed of course and ridiculed by the discomfort. 

For those who were not comfortable could choose not to join in the "Aum" and wait for the rest; respecting the ancient practice, instead of stopping everyone from it just because of personal mental imbalance. 

It was a little saddening to me personally, because then the idea of yoga practice becomes so physical and concept of exercises ( which is definitely not)--- the contortion of the underlying purpose of the practice continues as the whole system was broken down into pieces. 

Soon after, i was drifting away from commercialize classes, because they no longer able to feed me answers for my questions other than on a very physical level. 

Now, as being a yoga teacher myself, that gave me a motivation to bring the connection of the physical ( asana)  practice and the more philosophical part of the practice to my students--- along with asana, we need to go beyond and understand the intention of the yogic system. 



01 July 2014

梦想.लालसा.aspirasi. Dreams.

One evening, on my way to a class on a taxi....

While enjoying the moving scenery, the smoothness of the wheels on the road and listening to this interesting interview made over the radio of a mandarin channel;

With a veteran local actor who recently started his dream project of directing a film entering into the China market, 朱厚任 ( Zhu Houren)--- talking about a topic on 梦想 ( Aspirations). 

My attention immediately shifted from gazing of the passing trees & blue sky filled with fluffy clouds to him. What has this man who has already been around for more than half a decades has to talk about dreams at his age. 

Him talking about how much courage he took to step out from his comfort zone from being just acting to directing, he mentioned one sentence that came closes to my heart:

孩子的梦想,往往都是被父母吹灭
The dreams of a child, are usually tarnished by parents. 

Such reflective sentence came from his mouth of being in a role of a parent himself, was such a warm-heartening and relived from my constant tug-of-war with my parents. 

As i've mentioned in my previous blog posts, i admit that I'm probably the most rebellious child in the family--- i am not guilty at all:) 
In usual cases, my parents will only support my idea only after the change is a successful one. Which upsets me, sometimes. 

The closest kin are the ones who can hurt us most, because the relationship is close enough for that. 
Till today, i get constant disagreements with my parents for the kind of places i love traveling to, the activities that i enjoy doing and the community of people i love to engage with--- and the many life choices of micromanagement can really drives me crazy.
I've seen children growing up to become unhappy adults, compromising their happiness for the sake of the expectation from their parents--- the vicious cycle is just going to pass on to the next generation; my self-duty is to identify and cut this pattern for a happier and healthier future generation. 

Of course, in the view point of parents, i understand all parents want the best for their children. They love me as much as i love them. The antagonist appear when they are trying to fit me into their boxes-- and i'm highly sensitive for such manipulation. 

I remember how my parents will always show me all the negatives news articles after my travels to India and Indonesia, or after my dive trips--- hoping to plant the seed of fears discouraging my future travel plans to these countries again. It didn't work to favor them:)

Once, i nearly lost my own identity and started to take over their insecurities about so many things in life--- realizing that my constant fighting with their resistance was making me really tired. 
I've grow enough to understand that i may not need to make my parents happy the way they wanted to mould me to be right now;

the least i can do is to make them have no worries about me for being able to take care of myself--- they will be happy when the day they can truly understand me * crossed finger for the day to come sooner*

People wondered why i love traveling away for so long, especially to my favorite comfortable hide-out in Mysore, India. While many may think that my months in Mysore is a vacation---

Its not.

Being in Mysore, puts me into a reflective mode: it gives me enough space to really breathe into who i am and ground myself into where i want to move forward as a person in future--- its a spiritual luxury--- something i can't get back home filled with constant disagreements of my growth into blooming of who i really am. 

Listen to yourself, that's matter most. Consistently listen to the voice inside, and do what is right for yourself--- everything will fall into place beautifully when we least expect. 






30 June 2014

Yogic tools to be In-sane.

My working- partner of 6 years and counting, Shirly always reminded me how already lucky that i touches the yoga path comparably in young age. I know, and i do remind myself everyday to put those acquired knowledge into good use. 

During one of my lowest point in life, when i thought i've just murdered myself emotionally---- i was having such a lousy mood on the plane all by myself. Just wanted to be left alone on that journey. 

This flight attendant walked up to me, with a wide smile, offered me a packet of nuts-- i rejected his offer initially, and he went on jingling the packet in front of me-- as if trying to make a child happy with candies ( i felt like that, seriously!) I looked at him and smiled for his nice gesture, and took the packet. 

Told myself that moment,
" Adeline, you just have to meet one good soul, and everything will fall into place nicely."

And it did. I begin to experience how my choices & lifestyle is creating a positive effects in the different connections & relationships with the people around me. For once, i knew that the universe had been taking care of me.  

This, i am truly glad that i started the yoga path early-- acquired at least the basic tools to maintain some level of sanity in the most insane situations i am/was in. 

I know that even if my whole world seems to be shattering, i can always fall back on my yoga practice with full trust. The yogic tools will always be there for my use to fix the pieces together. 

I've been through times when doubts, objections & expectations being thrown at me all at once--- every time when i thought i'm going to lost my ground, or even doubting myself so much;

I forced myself to the mat and practice---no matter how difficult it is or how much i wanted to avoid. 

Growth happens in most difficult time; i must admit that practicing yoga has accelerated the rate of maturity and my perception towards many things that i didn't manage to see in the past.

So, i'm secretly glad that i traded off corporate job & a degree paper for an"unpopular" choice of being a yoga teacher. 

I too want to pass a small message to all practitioners who had already dropping into a couple of yoga classes on & off many times--- start appreciating your time and effort for investing part of your life on the mat and the practice....

Because, one of this day, you will be real grateful that you have these yogic tools in your pocket that to survive in thunderstorms :)