After several sports related injuries and post surgical pains, my knees were in a really bad shape. Two years ago, under the recommendation of my first yoga teacher, I started practicing yoga regularly.
In the first year of my practice, the yoga classes I took happened to focus on flexibility. Since I was naturally limber, I was able to get into the poses with relative ease. At the time, I thought no matter how difficult the pose was, all I needed to do was just put in some effort and brute force to acheive the pose. I was quite satisfied with my own speedy progress in the practice. And soon I was practicing with an inflated ego.
In the second year I joined SPACE Yoga. With my incorrect assumptions of how to practice and a flexible body, I started it off by taking Ashtanga and Flow classes. Not even a month into it, I found that my right wrist was so severely injured that it affected my daily life. It was so painful that I had hard time falling asleep at night. And even in practicing the most basic pose, the downward facing dog, my wrist was so sore that I couldn’t stay in the pose, never mind practicing other poses that required the use of hands for support. I kept going to doctor’s for physiotherapy to try to heal my wrist, but my condition was persistent. Sometimes it was better and other times it got worse again. Frustrated, I was sinking into a dark place of inner conflict, where there was a storm raging inside. I kept criticizing myself: “I started yoga to heal my knees. How come I now have a new injury?” During this dark period, Justin was kind enough to advice and show me adjustments for various poses. He also shared his own experience in dealing with injuries. And through Shirlyn, I learned how to live in peace with my pain. Her positive energy was the warmth I needed during this dark time. It took about half a year for me to wake up from this nightmare. I am very grateful to both of them for their support and encouragement. This experience with having an injury made me realized I needed to slow down my pace and examine the way I have been practicing. I needed to go back to the basics and build a solid foundation first.
After practicing consistently for some time, my past injuries seemed to only surface slowly and they continued to bother me. I started to explore the spiritual aspect of my practice. A few months ago, I added Prema’s meditation class as a part of my weekly practice. Following Prema’s gentle guidance, I was able to explore that blurry, unclear part of myself deep down inside, the part that I have been unwilling to face and acknowledge. My attitude in dealing with things had a big turning point when I realized the insight of “problem is the answer”. When there was a problem, I learned not to resist it or run away from it, but to accept it and face it with courage. This change allowed me to gain an inner sense of peace and stability. It even made me want to develop a deeper understanding of yoga.
To that end, I joined Naichin’s teacher training this past April. Aside from gaining professional knowledge of yoga and asana, I tried to face everything with an open mind. With an attitude of “blessings with love” towards all things, I found myself much more accepting of things around me. It is my belief that by sending out and giving love, it will one day come back. And by immerse in the flow of grace, a broken heart can be healed and the power to believe in oneself would be awakened. Now I am no longer amongst the dark clouds. In fact, I am bathing in the warmth of sunshine.
I like to thank:
Prema for her spiritual guidance;
Naichin for leading me into Grace, the river of love, allowing me to immerse in the joy of it all;
All the SPACE teachers for your diligent instructions during class and the care after class;
SPACE Yoga for providing such a wonderful practicing environment;
All my friends and family for your support and encouragement, without you I would not be who I am today;
And all that I have experienced on this path.
I wish to share all my joy with those in need.