Even if you never think about the future, but life will make you bravely jump into the unknown
When I was little, what I afraid of the most was my mom making me go to the store alone to buy something; I always had fears of talking to strangers and being in unfamiliar places. That is why traveling alone to some far away land was always something I very much wanted to challenge myself to do.
After graduating from school, I immersed myself into my work. Before I was even twenty, I already started to have back problems. I often worked late into the night. The sense of achievement from work was as addictive as drugs and I thought to myself that the company really needed me. This went on until the year I moved away from my family and broke up a relationship at the same time, a time when I felt lonely and negative. So I wanted to change myself. Life can’t just be about working, going home, watching TV, then sleeping. I started going to the gym to work out and that’s when another phase of my life began…
Yoga Transformed Me
It reminded me that there are many things that I cannot control; I needed to let go and surrender to life
After work and all day on the weekends, I would take lots of classes at the gym. It first felt pretty good but then the next day I would be so sore. At that time, I was not able to be aware when my body was fatigued. After my first year of working out there, the gym began to offer yoga classes. Without knowing much about yoga, I took classes thinking it would help with my soreness and that was when I became more aware of my body. Then I started to practice Ashtanga Yoga with Ming. His strict teaching greatly influenced my pre-practice preparation, attitude, lifestyle and diet. The foundation of my Ashtanga Yoga was set.
In 2007 I went to Goa and Mysore, India, to practice yoga. That was the first time in my life that I have travelled far from home and it was a beautiful experience and it made a long lasting impression on me. Later when I came to SPACE YOGA to practice, I would take time to communicate with my mind and body, to experience the present moment by moment. I was not born with an athletic body, nor did I graduate from the right major, so I needed to spend more time and work harder than other people in Yoga. I still feel that way now. When I realized Yoga was really what I wanted to do with my life, I quit my office job of 14 years.
Teacher Shirlyn had helped me set up the foundation of my practice, as well as providing much encouragement and support. Body and mind are connected. When there is something the mind can’t let go, the body will have the same response. My shoulder and chest have always been tight. When someone had opened up my sealed heart by chance, it was then that I realized there was pain hidden deep within. There was the sudden passing of my mother that I had to let go and felt I needed to be responsible for the family instead, taking care of their health and so on. I thought I could do it; I would fill up my days with many things to do. I thought I didn’t need any comforting, but my body spoke up and I had to listen. When I was able to let go of many self-imposed responsibilities, I felt truly open.
The Unimaginable Inner Power
The key that ignites our potential exist in the formless thoughts and motivations. Once found it will help us achieve our goal
Friends took me outdoors. I started liking white water rafting, mountain climbing, river trekking, rock climbing and other activities. First time I climbed Jade Mountain, the sea of clouds were so beautiful that piqued my interest in climbing other high mountains of Taiwan. My second high mountain climb was up to Jiaming Lake. Its long steep trail challenged me to observe my mind, to take careful steps and to adjust my breath. It took all day and we reached the lake to set up camp right after sun down. I wasn’t able to see its beauty until the next morning when the sun started to rise. No wonder it is called “the tears of the angel”, the sight was worth all the effort.
I like what the guide said: “In climbing, you observe the sights when the weather is good. You observe yourself when the weather is bad.” Now I started doing various activities, such as canoeing and diving. It requires a lot of courage each time when I am in a strange environment. I often use my breath to ease my mind.
In the past two years I have been going to Kaivalyadhama Yoga Institute to study pranayama with Tiwari. I really like his talks of bring yoga philosophy into life. Through his teachings, I became calmer and more able to let go of many attachments. Now I really enjoy the energy that the breath brings me.
Yoga is to balance every level of life, helping us settle our mind. With a heart filled with gratitude, I like to thank all of my teachers and friends. It is because of you, that I am who I am today. Thank you!