Creating music and practicing yoga are both big part of my life. I won’t be talking about music here. I will talk about my thoughts on yoga…
Yoga is like cooking
The culinary preparation can be time consuming before a dish is presented on the table. Likewise, the practice of asana can take a lot of effort as preparation. Even though my classes tend to work on strengthening muscle, but my teaching really focuses on setting a fundamental base, then slowly build up step-by-step. It is about gradually finding the subtle sensations; sometimes they can even be a small surprise. Also, it is about being in alignment and enjoy and have fun with the practice. As for getting into the final pose, if you can, congratulations for opening up the body; and if you can’t, it doesn’t matter, at least we are enjoying the practice.
The ups and the downs of the yogic path
Someone had calculated once that it takes ten thousand hours to become an expert in a field. When I first started practicing yoga ten years ago, it was like animal needing water, my body longed to stretch, flow, be still, focus and breathe. If I didn’t move for a day or two, it just didn’t feel right. Because practicing yoga alignment was just so interesting and fun, like falling in love for the first time, I passionately immersed myself in it. And now yoga has long been a part of my life; it is like we are an old couple maintaining a deep and long relationship. However, when the effort and reward of the practice becomes disproportionate, there are let downs. As it turned out, not everything about yoga is wonderful. Yes, yoga has brought me the delight, but at the same time, it also has shown me the cold, bloody truth. I couldn’t just take the good without the bad; I must accept them all. In between the yes and no, likes and dislikes, attachment and detachment, black and white and all the other dichotomies, I needed to find a balance, a compromising gray area where I can find inner peace.
At the same time, I’m grateful for all the challenges that came with facing unfairness in life. I’m even more grateful for all the good that had happened to me and not taking them for granted. I often wish that being a person was as easy as practicing asana. But, that is my yogic path. Even though I have spend enough time on it, but I’m not quite there yet; I’m still working on it.
“Everyone can be great, because anybody can serve”
Once a teacher had told me this saying and overtime as the concept fermented, it affected my attitude towards teaching yoga. Teaching is about serving. Every time when I see students enjoying the practice and the breath, focused and concentrated in observing my demonstration, excited in telling me how they just did a asana that they have never done before, joyfully become aware of a sensation or showing the relaxation and joy on their face after practice, all of these feedbacks are the only motivation for teaching. The thought of students being energized after their practice, so they can better to take care those around them, thinking of these butterfly effects can make my inner “tail bone” wiggle. I am nobody, but I feel great!
Now I would try a few different things occasionally within my comfort zone, but I ‘m grateful for this stage, because when I hear a good song, it’ll still give me goose bumps and move me to tears. I’m grateful that there are still fun and interesting things that make life colorful and not numb, and a curious mind that is eager to learn. I’m thankful to my family for always being straight and honest to me. I also like to thank all the teachers and students who I have been teaching and growing with, especially Teacher Dong (the best time of my yogic life has been the summer practicing underneath the tree), Felina and Naichin (for enriching my body and mind). Other teachers I would like to thank are the ones I have been studying with online: Marc Holzman, Jason Crandell, Darren Rodes, and Christina Sell, as well as the ones I have studied with in person, Tara Judelle and Noah Maze. They have been a great source of knowledge nourishing my growth as a teacher. Lastly and also most importantly, I like to thank SPACE for providing the environment for me to grow and the opportunity to serve the students.