When I was little, my father always told me: “To find the way home, we must remove the obstacles on our path. When we have accomplished our life’s work and left our body behind, we can come home, come home to our original true existence.” But, where is home? What is it like to come home? When I first started practicing yoga, there was one particularly challenging yoga class that I took and during Savasana (corpse pose), I found that feeling of coming home. Tears of joy glided down my cheeks. I went from not knowing that the focused breath can lead me into the nature of existence to feeling the Divine Self, feeling the warmth of being loved, protected and accepted.
I started seeking that feeling of coming home in every yoga class, in the pages of yogic texts. Perhaps it was my earnest prayer that allowed me to come across Jivamukti yoga. In Jivamukti classes, we are encouraged to dedicate our practices, dedicated to our loved ones, to suffering being, to ones who had caused us pain, or even to all beings in the universe. Through dedication, we can feel even more deeply how our lives are surrounded by love. Through dedication, we have the opportunity to see our inner wisdom and unconditional love. To practice asana from this mindset, whether the chin touches the shin in forward bends or whether the body can be twisted into a pretzel-like shape no longer matters, because our efforts allow us the opportunity to elevate our consciousness from concerning only about our own self satisfaction to caring about others. It is even elevated to the connection with the universal consciousness.
May all beings be happy and free – Ahimsa (non-harming)
The principles of reincarnation tell us that every action we take, there is a cause behind it. All that we experience in life is the results of the way we have gotten along with others. If I’m currently at a place where I feel self-centered, stubborn, hatred, or afraid of loss, then it is all the manifestation of Karma (action). To be liberated from these obstacles or shackles, the most constructive method is through non-harming (Ahimsa).
Everyone wants happiness and freedom. All living beings have the same wish. Non-harming is to be compassionate towards other beings, with the principle of not killing or injuring life. It is about learning how to coexist peacefully with all beings in the nature and be awaken to the truth of all things are connected. When we rediscover our connection to the universe, we will also find ourselves living in a happy and free state.
Embodying “Love” – Bhakti
Everyday, every moment that we are on this planet we are receiving the love of mother earth. If we didn’t have this rich, diverse biological environment to exist in, human beings couldn’t have developed our so call “civilization”. We are beloved and completed accepted. When we let go of our ego and surrender to that is greater than ourselves, we then can feel the unconditional love. In yoga teachings, we call it “divine love”. Expressing and devoting our love, feeling the divine love and to the end embodying “love” itself, this is “Bhakti”. Yoga is also this feeling of love and the becoming love itself.
“Devoting your love to God is the most direct path to feeling the divine.”
– Yoga Sutra II.45
I’m thankful to all the teachers from the past to present who have been passing down the tradition of yoga. I’m thankful to all the teachers who have appeared in my life for their nurturing guidance of my life. I’m especially grateful to Sharon Gannon and David Life for dedicating their lives to present the ancient yogic teachings in the modern form. Lastly, I like to thank all the students who have ever attended my classes for giving me the opportunity to share my knowledge of yoga and it is the sharing that is my path home.