Reflection: Yoga and the light

Some people tend to say, yoga is not my thing. For most people, it takes one negative impression of a “yoga” session for them to arrive at the conclusion that they cannot do yoga.

Yet, most people know yoga as the physical exercises in commercial classes which only flexible people can do. Through the past 4 weeks, I have came to realise that doing poses is just a fraction of yoga that happens to be the most tangible. Apart from the physical poses, there are there ways of life and mindset that a yogi could suscribe to, such as Yama, Niyama; breathing exercises such as Pranayama and more:

1. YAMA
a) Ahimsa (non-violence)
b) Satya (truthfulness)
c) Asteya (non-stealing)
d) Brahmacharya (transformation of the sexual energy)
e) Aparigraha ( non-possession)

2. NIYAMA
a) Saucha (purity of mind)
b) Santosha (contentment)
c) Tapas (Austerities transform impurities)
d) Swadhyaya ( self-study)
e) Ishwara-pranidha ( surrender of the ego)

I signed up for the 200H YTT course to learn about what the simple word yoga actually entails, to detox from the realities of the corporate world and to find some alignment and direction. In short, to look for a solution to what some may term as the quarter life crisis.

Halfway through the course, I also decided to experiment with being a vegetarian for half a month. It is difficult to explain the changes that I have felt in the past month. Generally, I feel the following personal change in me:
– More at ease to embrace myself and not take myself or anyone too seriously
– More conscious about my bad habits/ thoughts and the implications
– Clearer frame of mind in terms of what no longer serves me and what is worth pursuing

I have learnt that we all have a gift in us that we have to find and utilise, and
that nothing in this world is eternal to be taken too seriously. My takeaway would be to change my way of life and every little action, even when no one seems to be watching because our soul is.

The end goal: “Yoga- the union of individual consciousness with supreme consciousness.”

Thank you to my classmates and teachers for sharing your positive energy this special July. Namaste 🙂

planning and neutralising

I have practised yoga without really understanding the logic behind certain poses that we do. Typically, we go through a sequence of poses during classes. While it may seem effortless to follow through a class as a student while “emptying your mind”, I find it interesting to learn in Tirisula YTT that much behind-the-scenes work is needed to properly plan out a class. For instance, in an average lesson plan, we have to prepare for the following:

– Intro (3-5min)
– Admin (1 min)
– Warmup (10min)
– Asana (30 min)
– Pranayama (3-5min)
– Relaxation (5min)
– Closing (2min)

As part of the asanas, counterposes are important in order to return the body closer to it’s natural state. This will leave less room for injury and over-extension. An energy-inducing asana cannot be left without a counterpose.

Typically, poses such as urdhva mukha svanansana (upward facing dog) will be followed by Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog). Matysasana (Fish pose) is a counter pose to many inversion poses like Sarvangasana (shoulder stand).

The counterposes help to neutralise the asanas that we practise. It may be easy to overlook the importance of counterposes as they may seem too simple for some. Yet, rest and focused breathing is necessary for our bodies to relax and prepare for the next steps. The same logic applies to music, when rests cannot be ignored in a piece. This theory can be applied to the approach of our daily lives. It is important to recognise that taking a breather is needed to maintain a good spiritual and mental balance. Brainless but neutralising activities is needed to bring things back to order and keep stress at bay.

Hatha Yoga

Self improvement through yoga

Doing yoga and practising yoga with perfection and precision makes a whole world of difference. 

Throughout the past 2 weeks,  I learnt that the key word is Precision! I learnt that every pose and action that we do have to be precise. It has been eye-opening for me that there is so much more room to correct and adjust.  Personally, it has been about 4 years of going to various classes and studios to “learn” yoga, where the occasional alignments helped to tweak and correct certain postures. The adjustments that i have learnt in the past 2 weeks from Paalu, Wei ling and my classmates would probably take me more than 2 years to realise if I did not sign up for this course.

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