Yoga- A 2.5 Hour Snapshot of Your Everyday Life

A 2.5 Hour Snapshot of Your Everyday LifeA friend of mine once asked me if yoga can indeed lead you to a transcendental state where you can live in the world without being caught up in the sleeves of human conflicts and emotional turmoil.  I may not have the subtle, radiant aura of Dalai Lama, but my daily yoga practice continuously engenders seasons of newness that I reflect on my own actions.  One of the many beauties of yoga is that the practice is a ‘life capsule’ in its own right in that it taps into all levels of our being from the physical, mental to the subtle body.  Each movement and breath personifies our attitudes, responses, habitual thoughts, natural reflexes and characters. In other words, we can truly study ourselves through observing our movements and breaths which constitute a microcosm of a life journey.  The way to approach yoga is the way to approach life.  There are times when we are active and passive, strong and weak, relaxed and tense, open and close… When I tip over from the scorpion pose, my first instinct is to do it again, and then again and again until I succeed.  When I wake up feeling tired and running out of steam, the mat is the last thing I would forgo.  When all movements and poses seems to be out of whack, acceptance makes me understand that there is always tomorrow to strike the balance.

Instead of letting the setbacks be the stumbling blocks, we look for forward changes.  It is the art of trying and believing in ourselves that take our perseverance to the next horizon.  This is the attitude in life, the attitude we nurture in our everyday practice of yoga to be a better life voyager.  Not only does yoga set the stage of dramas, it gives us personal space to be our own observer, witness and even critic. Imagine each pose is each life encounter, big or small, each transition between poses is a step towards another destination, and the moments of tightness, resistance and fear for the poses are the life-bound stress, apprehensions and anxieties.  By fine-tuning the practice through deeper awareness of the mind and body, we learn to adjust our responses towards what happens around us.  Each time we inject an extra drop of inner power into our practice, we become a stronger self to conquer pain and struggle. We evolve one step of the way along the thousand miles until we find the sanctuary of bliss – true happiness and unity of divinity.

It is no surprise to me that there is still a resolute stigma that yoga is for potential contortionists, it is about eccentric poses for physical appeal, or movements at a snail’s pace which put off six-pack wannabes.  The pursuit is either all or nothing – I am not flexible therefore yoga is unsuitable for me; yoga is tied with religious worships of Indian deities; yoga is for female as portrayed in the yoga magazines; and yoga does not give me a full-on, fast-beating workout that guarantees to unleash stuck emotions in an over-stressed modern life.  The westernised yoga styles are not all to be blamed, however.  I agree a little tweaking to suit the right audience so that this ancient eastern tradition can continue its journey to benefit all individual souls.   Not everyone is given the gift of taking on yoga in its authentic, purest and truest form from the start. That it takes a de-conditioned mind to receive the higher power of spiritual learning.   Sentient beings are constantly labelled by the traffic of the past and future in such a way that they lose the inner strength to unpeel the many layers of social dogma from their own skin.  Yoga is the beginning of this unpeeling process and also the ultimate goal of finding inner bliss and the altruistic self. To steer ourselves along this path of vision, a prelude to the soul-searching discipline such as the simplistic idea that yoga is a relaxation exercise or an alternative after-work workout is all good.  As the seed of yoga starts to blossom inside us, new perspectives will surface to replace any prejudice and confusion about the practice.  In essence, yoga should never be conceived merely as a modality of physical fitness but a wide open platform to welcome degrading souls to its mala (garland) of love and peace.

The demeaning preconception that yoga is a far-fetched, incomprehensible approach to attain happiness and peacefulness is uncalled for.  Our daily practice is the true painkillers to remove enslavement of residual pain and self-defeating curses in our daily lives.  The cue is to project the continuum of our everyday living through the lens of every daily practice.  As teachers we continue to revisit the vast knowledge of yoga by living the practice off the mat and passing on our experience with compassion.  Until one day, we celebrate life as we are fully untangled from the dead weights of negativity and false identities.

Author:  Dorothy Watts. (can be contacted at: strad_loh@hotmail.com )

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