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Teacher of July 2008 - Naichin Tang

Physical body - Primary food

"What to eat?" This is probably the most common question for us city dwellers. When we talk about food, other than fulfilling our hunger, we more or less have some general knowledge about the nutrition of food. Actually, the foods you eat are secondary to all the other things that feed you—your relationships, career, spirituality, and exercise routine. Those are the things we call primary foods. All that we consider today as nutrition is really just a secondary source of energy.

Think back to a time when you were passionately in love. Everything was exciting. Colors were vibrant. Intimacy was magical. Your lover’s touch sustained you. You were floating, gazing into each other’s eyes. You forgot about food and were high on life.

Remember, when as a child, you were playing outside, having fun? Suddenly, your mother announced dinner was ready, but you were not hungry at all. The passion of play took all of your attention.

Sometimes we are fed not by food but by the energy of our lives. These moments and feelings demonstrate that everything is food. We take in thousands of experiences in life that can fulfill us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

We hunger for play, touch, romance, intimacy, love, achievement, success, art, music, self-expression, leadership, excitement, adventure and spirituality. All of these elements are essential forms of nourishment. The extent to which we are able to incorporate them determines how enjoyable and worthwhile our lives feel.

Observation of mind - Where is your energy?

The way we practice on our mat, reflects the way we live our lives. If you are a perfectionist, the practice of yoga asana can surely become a tool for self torture. The desire to conquer challenging postures, will cloak the inner joy of simply “being”. If you are often half hearted in your endeavors, the full spectrum of life can hardly be experienced. When we begin to see ourselves with honesty, clarity, without any judgments, then we are also able to receive the teachings from our inner guru.

Spirit – Remembrance

Remembrance, "Ishwara pranidhana" in Sanskrit, is one of the Niyamas revealed in the Yoga Sutra. It reminds us to remember our divinity within, devoting ourselves to union with the supreme. It is a conscious awareness that we can use in our thoughts, words, actions, and relationships.

Union – Celebration of life

To live a balanced holistic life, we start from taking care of our body – the temple for our soul. Be mindful of what we feed ourselves, and choose consciously nourishing life experiences. Trust that we have the power to change; let go of limited thoughts of ourselves, and allow every moment in life to be brand new. As our spiritual awareness keeps growing and becomes more expansive, we naturally become more open to Grace. Let’s express this creative freedom and make life fun, exciting and inspiring!


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