After years of practicing yoga, 2013 was the first time I stepped on to the soil of the holy land India. Before I embarked on my journey, aside from many well wishes, I also received many friendly cautions: don't drink the water, never eat the street food…etc. When I arrived in India, on the way to Mysore at night, the driver pulled to the side of the street for a rest. He was drinking the Indian milk tea and kindly offered me a cup. Even though all the warnings were going through my head, but at that moment, I decided to toss them all out. So after only three hours being on the soil of India, I was already consuming the milk tea made with water of unknown source from a street vender. I didn't worry about much of anything at the time and as it turned out the rest of the trip went equally smooth and safe.
I often heard people say don't practice yoga because you can easily get hurt. If we already had a negative bias towards something before we got started, it will often attract that actual negative result. There is a saying from the Buddhist text – “Dharma arises from the thoughts of the mind.” Whatever it is we think is what is going to happen. If we practice already with the thought of I can't do that pose or I will get hurt, how can we focus on the good of the practice? If we always filled our hearts with worries and negative thoughts, how can we live life openly and happily?
Speaking of “thoughts”, when I first started teaching yoga, I came to SPACE once to try out a class. I really liked the environment here and secretly wished that I could join the teaching staff one day. This thought planted a seed in my practice and teaching. Many years passed, I almost forgot that wish and unexpectedly it came true two years ago. At that time I was practicing in India, under Teacher Ethan and Teacher Ann's recommendation, I came to Taipei directly after I landed for an interview and successfully received an offer of a teaching position. Sometimes when we stand in front of the door of opportunity, our mind start to waiver. I was thinking I had to leave a familiar environment and students who have followed me for years and go to a strange city to start a brand new life. At the end, I still decided to take on the new challenge and allowed myself to fulfill this long hidden dream.
After I started teaching at SPACE, another thought emerged: I hope to have an opportunity to teach overseas. I couldn't imagine in this February I actually got a chance to go to Japan to teach. Just like this, it's not just about refusing the hidden bad thoughts, rather it is bring “good thoughts” into the practice is what's more important. Every time we stand on the mat, began with chanting and follow the flow of the breath to practice, not being afraid of any poses, but rather learn to respect ourselves through asana. Then what we practice is not just the movement of the body, but it is the experiential realization of how to face life.
When we open our eyes each morning, face with a new day, we can happily live through a day or sadly live through a day. A day passes whether you have positive or negative thoughts. The choice is in your heart.
I'm grateful to SPACE for letting my dream come true. I also hope that through practice, I can share more of these feelings and realizations to others around me.