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Teacher of June 2014 - Denise

The Meaning and the Expectation of Life

If we really want to understand the meaning of life, then we must first live in the present, moment by moment. Through our pure awareness seize each second of each minute. As consciousness is forever and with an enthusiastic (virya) attitude towards life, each moment will be meaningful and life will have its greatest value!

Life is permanent. It is the physical body that changes. The quality of our lives and our attitudes towards life depend on the balance of the three Gunas, the three creative “tendencies“: sattva (balance), rajas (change), and tamas (inertia). Have you ever contemplated what you are chasing after in this life? What is it that you want out of life? In Vedas, the Indian philosophy, there are four aims in life: Dharma, our divine duty, responsibility; Artha, the means of life, including material prosperity; Kama, pleasure of the senses; and Moksha, liberation. All of these are developed within a healthy mind and body. There are times that we are living in suffering and we get stuck, but when wisdom resides in that inner source, all will be liberated and we’ll see that deep within is that eternal light of awareness. There many great ways to elevate one’s awareness. Things like yoga, meditation or reading Bhagavad Gita can all initiate the connection within. The value of our lives is realizing that the joy of life is everlasting, blissful and worth sharing.

My yoga practice and style was all determined by karma. I believe in my life, change is ever present. Everything that happened is all connected to karma. Everything in the universe all has direct interconnection, like the fall and rise of a wave. Every single thing is influenced by others; it is never independent. This belief led to a profound realization that when we have correct action, it will reflect correctly in our lives. Every thought and deed is like a seed (bija). And I finally comprehend the true purpose of yoga: it is not about teaching you to avoid suffering (duhkha); it is about lessen your suffering and at the same time avoiding sowing the seed of future suffering. Good thoughts, good actions and good speech are what we really are, our true form, and our purest manifestation. As the energy of the ultimate universe surrounds the individual universe within, what I sense is the eternal bless. And this process of the back and forth connection is Yoga.


Mind constantly seeks outwardly. Though the seduction of the senses, it becomes more and more removed from the inner self. The mind may be free, but the sound of the inner voice is blocked out; you may depend on the external power to live, but forget to look internally. This is a two way street; you actually can go inward and go outward. The blind spot of a yogi is going too far within and only live in the world of the ego.

Yoga is to unite, to integrate the mind and body, the individual self and the universal self. It is a path and an experiential process. Like drinking water, only through tasting it, that you know if it is cold or hot.

In a blink of an eye, I have been teaching at SPACE over 6 years now. It was actually back in 2008 when I started teaching here. As I reflected back on this journey, I wanted to say that this is a good place, a place where the teachers can grow and advance their studies. I love the practice of yoga. I hope to maintain the frequency of the practice and quality and continuing self study (svadhyaya), and dedicate these efforts to my students. Now I hold even firmer in my belief in committing myself to yoga teaching, being steady in yoga, like being secure in the universe. Wishing everyone would join in together in this practice of the self, with constant gratitude, joy and never forget of being in the present moment.

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