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International Yoga Day

“I’m going back to my roots, to my original mission and dream…to teach people how to be their own teachers, so they don’t need me anymore. My job is to equip them with the tools they need, in order to (as Waylon described) practice in their bedrooms, or on a business trip, or wherever and whenever they want to, without my guidance because I’ve taught them well enough to be their own guide.”

Today, I thank my yoga teachers–you must have taught me very well. Om.

Quote taken from this article.

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My Yoga Mantra for 2015

“When yoga is reduced to a self-obsessed, bourgeois lifestyle distraction, people who are so poor they would never have time to take a yoga class actually die in collapsing Bangladesh sweatshops. So a bare minimum goal in yoga work should be to keep things real.

“I wish that teachers will recognize that the enemy of terrestrial life is global, structural, pervasive and tenacious, and that neither asanas nor meditation can attack it directly. Only boots-on-the-ground activism can.

“I wish that teachers will accept that it is a sign of obsessive narcissism to long for these drives to be erased in a blaze of private enlightenment, and to spend countless hours practicing towards this end. However, they will know that addressing things like attachment and aversion pragmatically in the brief and privileged laboratory of practice can allow the higher yoga of activism to proceed with greater sustainability.

“I wish that every single teacher can start to make this work in simple ways first. Like tithing their monthly income to a warrior cause they publicize through their newsletters. Or by modeling activism for their communities by serving populations without access to yoga. Or by tying access to ‘advanced-level’ practices with strategic (rather than symbolic) environmental work. Or by letting students know that asana and meditation can grant the insight to see that they are in a war that can finally be heroic. By letting them know that practice can give the strength to fight with grace, even though — or especially because — the outcome is unclear.”

Source: http://matthewremski.com/wordpress/the-war-that-no-yoga-teacher-can-run-from/

 

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I’m Back! (For the Umpteenth Time)

This is officially my first entry as an out-of-school…adult.

Since I have been doing my yoga for the last nine months, during the home stretch of my schooling, I could relate to this post very much (except perhaps to the community part) in more ways than one.

Less competition, more community. Less intimidation, more motivation. Less ambition, more transition.”

Full article here.

And this was also my message last week during a lecture-workshop I delivered to bank professionals. You could smell competition several blocks away from the venue. Competition per se is not bad if it does not keep you from getting things done. But it does.

We were brought up to be the best and the brightest and I practically spent half of my life in institutions that made their people think this way. But if one engages in competition, only one wins; the rest loses. In the school of ordinary people where I spent my last four years and recently graduated, people were generally helpful–maybe because we did recognize that we needed help, because we were not the best and the brightest (although I met really brilliant people in that place). Collaboration gets things done. In collaboration, everybody wins.

So the next time I deliver this course, I will keep this lesson in mind.

Om.

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My Mantra

image grabbed from the internet

image grabbed from the internet

 

Adding to this…”and be amazed at how God/the Universe/Allah can do much more through you than you can ever imagine.” It is not the instrument that makes beautiful music; it is the instrument in the hands of the Maestro.

 

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Aparigraha Defined and Then Some

My six-year-old niece: I tried not to sleep all night, waiting for the tooth fairy to come. I did not see the fairy. But when I woke up in the morning, I got money and a toy from the tooth fairy!

Me: Why did you want money?

Niece: No. I did not want money. I wanted the toy and I did not even realize that it was possible for the tooth fairy to give toys!

Let us all repeat after her: I DID NOT WANT MONEY.

Say it again. And again….

*****

Niece (reading aloud a text from her religion class): We are God’s masterpiece. (To her mom) What is “masterpiece”?

Her mom/my sister: It means it is the best. We are the best of God’s creation.

Niece: Why? Everything that God created is the best!

Only the ego would say that we are above the animals, above the plants, above other race or class or _____ (name whatever kind of divide you can think of).

Let us all repeat after her: EVERYTHING THAT GOD CREATED IS THE BEST.

Say it again. And again….

 

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Yoga and Anatomy

My torso is short, my legs are long, my arms are short…I used to say these lines as funny excuses to being unable to do certain yoga poses. At least, some teachers made me believe that anatomical differences are just excuses. But you see, I did measure my torso–it is shorter by two inches than the average adult’s. So what’s two inches?

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Try making a knot out of a four-inch ribbon…then out of a two-inch ribbon. Yes, two inches make a big difference! How much more in a human body? I am now drawn to anatomy, as I have discovered it as a new way of loving my body, loving myself.

Someone asked what kind of yoga I practice nowadays because I do not go to a studio anymore. I said, I do my yoga: I do what my body can and what my body needs. I guess I am doing something right because a few weeks back, my left shoulder which had been “dislocated” (pilay in Filipino, not sure about my translation) since December last year popped back into its right place while just watching TV. WHAT A RELIEF.

Starting to learn anatomy with this video. I hope to watch the rest of the series soon.