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Teacher of April 2014 - Yifen

Back when I was in Junior High, I wanted someday to have the ability to chat with my idol, George Michael, fluently in English and to tell him personally of my admiration of him, I started learning English in earnest. Any degree of fluency and speed that I possess now when I translate yoga workshops can be traced back to that time of listening and singing English pop music.

Educated in Chiayi from Elementary School through High school, I was always a good, well-behaved student. That’s why when I went up North to college and joined the Sight and Sound Club, I was really inspired by many of the strange yet talented club members, the ones that are always walking on the fringe of the mainstream culture (some even crossed over). I’ve learned to hold on to my principles, make good judgments, and then be free to enjoy life my way.

After graduation, I have always worked in the pop music industry or jobs having to do with speech communication. I was a sales clerk in a record shop, a production staff in a record company, a radio show production member/host, an online newspaper reporter, MTV Taiwan music programmer, occasionally I have even written music reviews for what was then still popular music print media. All of this time, the experiences I gathered were to be in touch with all walks of life, observe the trends, integrate all the information, then express and communicate in my own words.

“As long as you are standing on the Dharma of this life, the whole universe is there to support you.” When I quiet down to write this “teacher of the month” essay, these words spoken by my main teacher, Andrey Lappa, during our Universal Yoga Teacher Training came into my mind. From eleven years ago when I first took up yoga simply wanting to do some stretching, to later becoming more interested and spending years of trying all different styles and attending all types of workshops, to four years ago deciding to teach and translate, I realized through these experiences that if I really surrender myself to a yoga lineage, every step that was taken before is truly for the purpose of preparing to take the next step. As I think back to each major turning point of my life, from my student days to now, I truly believe guidance from beyond will guide your towards onto the path of Dharma.

And now I have come to the realization that yoga is a complete system that needs no secondary word to it. Yoga’s meaning is to control, yoke, balance and its aim is to end the root of suffering, dissolving the conflicting dichotomy. It is Atman and Brahman integrated as one. Sounds esoteric? Too deep? That is right! That’s why we have to keep on learning to understand. When any doubts arise during practice, you just need to come back to the meaning and the aim of yoga, and then the answer will naturally be clear.

I’m grateful to many teachers on this path of learning. I’m especially thankful to Master Andrey Lappa, who is ever-striving in deepening his own studies. His every word is like a gem. Its insight helps to solidify my faith to be on this path of transmitting yoga while enjoying the whole process.

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