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Yogi of Febuary 2007 ─ Shine Chen

One day I woke up and realized I was just another person caught in the illusion that I was living. My life was just as busy and just as mundane as most others.  I had become like a robot.  Sometimes when waiting for the traffic light to turn, I would drop into a complete blank space until the moment when the light turned green again.  That is when masses of people and vehicles rush onto their next destination. I became confused.  I started to wonder, will we lose something if we wait for another 90 seconds at the traffic light?  If not, what do we get from that 90 seconds we fight for?  Why is everyone in such a hurry? On the bus,  passengers who are getting off at the next stop seem to panic as they squeeze their way to the front, even though everyone at the front is also getting off. This happens everyday on my way to work.

When I suddenly noticed that my life was so ordinary, I longed for something different. Back then I didn’t realize that Yoga could bring that change for me.

Yoga came as a pleasant surprise in my life. A few years ago, my curiosity led me to a Yoga class at a gym. After that first class I didn’t return for a few years. It wasn’t until 4 months ago, when a conversation with an old friend rekindled my curiosity; this time, strongly. I searched online and in person for a few studios in Taipei. I became a new born baby to Yoga.

From the first time I came to SPACE, I felt that I belonged to Yoga. I suddenly met wonderful people and Yoga began to unfold. My first teacher, Emma made Yoga light and playful. It wasn’t dreadful at all. At first my Asanas were all over the place. I was thankful for the small and friendly Gladys, who reminded me of the importance of breath, especially in challenging poses. One Saturday after class I was convinced by Nikki to attend Russell’s Ashtanga Demo, where I witnessed India’s ancient heritage. Sally encouraged me to take Mysore practice after my first class with her, which turned out to be tremendously wonderful. She even reminded me to continue my practice before she left Taiwan. Then I tried an Anusara class and met Felina. She helped me to realize Yoga is more than just Asanas. I started to explore the deeper layers of Yoga. I have to thank her for inspiring spirituality in my practice. It wasn’t until recently that I felt Axl’s patience and care towards beginners.  Underneath his severe words lies a beautiful heart. In addition to these fantastic experiences at SPACE I started meeting other yogis in Taipei. At Mont et Flow I met Felly and Ivy. Their enthusiasm and our conversations were simply unforgettable

I think I am very lucky when it comes to Yoga practices. I have always been healthy, sporty, and I watch my diet. In addition, I have met several teachers who are of great help to me. My first OM opened my mind to having first time experiences in every practice; to being a beginner. I am now able to feel my body and my soul like I never have before. Gradually, I am able to discern concentration from distraction, progression from regression or vice versa. Little by little, I learn to draw my awareness within, to place the pain derived from the Asana in every breath, and to release stress in my daily life at the turn of every day and night. I also started reading about Yoga, from which I understood that even in the most ordinary life, we possess the most extraordinary power to disengage ourselves from outside temptation and inner desire, and to return to stillness and boundless freedom.

Keep practicing, one day you will discover the wonder of it, and your life will change. This is my answer to people who ask me about the secrets of Yoga. May every practitioner who surrenders their body and mind to Yoga find peace at every moment. Namaste.
Each month we will honor a SPACE student for his or her passion and dedication to the practice of Yoga. May their stories serve as inspiration to us all!
Asana of the Month
We will focus on a different Asana every month and delve deep into and explore all its inherent possibilities!

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