mardi 19 juillet 2011

YOGA AND THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS


YOGA AND THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS
Do not use Yoga Practice as a short cut to become “Happy”. Practicing yoga to reach a state of happiness/ bliss is an arduous process. Yoga is not just about doing body postures, breathing or meditation alone.
In the desperate search for happiness, many try various ways among others doing Yoga as an exercise, practicing Meditation, dabbling in Chakra Alignment or healing with Crystal Therapy. Many of them are looking for a quick answer to their life-long problems and confusions.
Growth is renewing ourselves over time, and not an accumulation of various ways (techniques) to reach happiness. There is no shortcut; weekend attempts to learn Spirituality (retreats) would fail to attain the results they seek.
I know a good friend of mine, with emotional trauma stretching years into her past, who would try anything to find a quick fix, but she is no better off afterwards. It is almost like those who seek almond kernel cure for cancer, instead of going through the process of healing with suffering through chemotherapy and radiotherapy.( at least that is what our knowledge in the West permits us to seek).
To know WHO you are is a journey, in this world where you are measured by WHAT you are or what your success is measured by what you are.
It is a common misconception that Physical exercise or exertion can improve your spirituality.( in this category falls the Practice of Yoga by most westerners). Physical exercise (extreme sports or power yoga) is geared towards competitive spirit, the very same thought processes that you need to leave behind in your search for spirituality.
In Yoga sutra of Patanjali, the codification of Classical Yoga ( more than 2000 years old) there are only 2 verses out of the 195 aphorisms (sutras) dedicated to Asanas or Postures. They are explained below:
Third rung of the Eight Fold Path is Asana: The third of the eight rungs (2.29) of Yoga is Asana, or postures.
Two essential characteristics of postures: Yoga has been defined as the mastery of the thought patterns of mind field (1.2), so that Self-realization can be experienced (1.3). To be able to do the meditation practices that allow this, it is essential that the postures be (2.46):
• Steady, and
• Comfortable
Techniques, including the practice of Yoga as an exercise alone would be ineffective if your goal is growth in your spirituality.
Classical Yoga with its eight fold path will help in increasing / transforming our understanding of ourselves in the world in which we live in.
This world and us, work and family included, would see better mutual relationships. Self-improvement is not incongruous with increase in a productive life at work and a more congenial life with the family.
Many techniques, including psychological counseling, will help in overcoming the melodramas of the moment but certain Yoga philosophies will help not only the big dramas but also the nuances of smaller dramas in your life.
(The first result I noticed after one week of Classical Yoga Philosophy, done with Mun Ching, a recent graduate of the Yoga Institute, was that the Time Urgency was gone because of a better time management, which occurred spontaneously). Apart from the melodramas evident to every one else in our life, Classical Yoga allows us to see and address the melodramas which are taking place purely in our mind. (reminds me very much what Meher Baba said: Only you know what roles you are playing.)
I am trying to practice the following yoga sutras 2:33 and 2:34
If troubled by perverse thoughts, there should be habituation to the contrary (feelings).

Since the perverted thoughts like violence, whether done, caused to be done, or approved, whether proceeded by greed, anger or ignorance, whether mild, moderate or strong, find their unending consequences in pain and lack of knowledge, there should therefore be a cultivation of contrary feelings.
(Trying to apply to even simple interactions with people, directly or in my thought)

So we can choose, either using Yoga Practice as a form of Exercise with a fringe benefit of relaxation or delving deeply into its philosophy and let it change our way of thinking and living. (“lifestyle”).
I am very grateful for the time spent at MeherYoga Lifestyle Coaching in KL, Malaysia with its founder, Mun Ching Yong.