“Do what you love and never work a day in your life”,
they said. But will passion pay?
I’d like to think that pursuing a “career” in yoga would be a rewarding one, but there are a myriad of reasons one could think of to prove otherwise. In this modern, material world, money talks. There is no denying that. In chasing success, people often attribute being successful to having attained the 5 coveted “C”s – cash, car, credit card, condominium and country club membership. In a traditional sense, it doesn’t seem quite feasible to achieve all that as a yoga teacher. Instead, it would be much safer to take the well-beaten path to success through getting a good degree, landing a well-paying job, and slowly climb the corporate ladder through years of dedication and hard work.
It’s an ironclad argument that I can’t refute, but I think life should be about taking the road less travelled, right? Life is only as limited as one would allow it to be, and I believe that anything is possible with DESIRE and IMAGINATION. It would be meaningless to work for an organisation one couldn’t care less about (and vice versa), handling issues that have absolutely no material impact on one’s personal life, in exchange for money. Thanks, but no thank you.
Borrowing Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 5 rules for success, here’s what I hope to set out to do:
- Find your vision. Achieve world fame through teaching and curating content to inspire and influence others to learn the art of yoga.
- Never think small. Build my own community and become the highest paid yoga teacher in Singapore and the region. In the process, give the best of my abilities in my capacity as a teacher to spread healing, harmony and happiness.
- Ignore the naysayers. There will always be detractors along the way, ignore them, and stay focused.
- Work your ass off. Keep practicing hard, break new limits, never stop learning.
- Give back. Offer yoga as a form of rehabilitation, help others who are suffering to reshape their lives.
Time (and perhaps the cosmos?) will decide if the path is mine to take. Nobody said it would be easy, but what is seemingly impossible can become reality with a little faith.
Always have faith.
Prior to joining the YTT200 at Tirisula Yoga, I’d never
given much thought to what yoga actually means to me. I attended my first class
in 2013, in my first year in University abroad, as a means to fit some exercise
into my otherwise sedentary Student Life. After I returned to Singapore, I
continued with my yoga practice, but never committed to attending more than 2
classes per week. There were even periods where I missed practice for weeks at
a stretch when I had to travel overseas for leisure or work.
Barely into my first week of training did I realise that I had merely been skimming the surface when I considered yoga to be a form of physical exercise. Delving a little deeper into the theoretical side of yoga has helped me see that yoga is truly about mental (and spiritual) practice as well: connecting with one’s inner-self through the cessation of thoughts, to feel the body and energy from within, so as to enter into a realm of intense present-moment awareness. By knowingly tuning out, albeit momentarily, of the non-stop 24/7 commentary in my mind, and through focusing on the breath and the present moment, things suddenly appeared much brighter and clearer. It is difficult to explain in words, but perhaps the inner transformation can be described as feeling like something opened up on the inside, allowing me radiate love and light from within.
The part I found most meaningful in the first week of our
training was learning about Yama – one of the 8 limbs of yoga – and its 5
characteristics that are listed in Pantanjali’s sutras:
- Ahimsa (non-violence). To exude kindness, thoughtfulness and friendliness in thought, word, and deed.
- Satya (truthfulness). To carefully consider what is said and how it could have an impact on others.
- Asteya (non-stealing). To eliminate the desire or action of taking things that rightfully belong to others, non-hoarding, accepting things as is and not regretting or missing what is “absent” at this moment.
- Brahmacharya (celibacy). To move into the infinity. Non-lust, continence and self-control.
- Aparigraha (non-possessiveness). To be content with what one already has.
The above, simplified for brevity, are virtues that I hope to consciously apply and stay guided by in living life, and in relating to and taking care of others whose paths cross mine.