Yoga classes are in great demand, as there are many people interested in joining yoga classes. And there are many “yoga classes” available in many places in the world, where people can attend one or a few “yoga classes” everyday, or a few days weekly or monthly, or once in a while. But, what is a yoga class?
Yoga classes that exist under certain names and forms that are available in particular time and space, with some teachers giving some forms of yoga teachings and giving instructions on how to perform some yoga practice (including the basic observations of Yama and Niyama, yogic cleansing practice, selfless service, study of the teachings of yoga, chanting, yoga asana practice, pranayama, concentration and meditation practice), act as the doorway to yoga, or as a foundation for us to start to perform our own yoga practice to eliminate ignorance and egoism. And yoga practice exist everywhere and in every moment, unconditioned and unlimited by name and form, time and space. It is not limited in a “yoga class” getting some instructions from a teacher to tell us what we should do and shouldn’t do.
When we attend some “yoga classes” or “yoga courses”, our motivation or intention is to learn about yoga and the yoga practice which can lead us to realize yoga, under a teacher’s guidance and advice. But, we have to walk the path by ourselves. The teacher cannot do the practice for us, cannot eliminate the ignorance and egoism in us, cannot free us from suffering. Nether by attending “yoga classes” regularly due to the reason we don’t have self-discipline to be performing our own regular yogic practice will guarantee us liberation. It’s not about attending a “fitness training exercise class” doing some yoga asana exercises under the instructions of a teacher, to attain some physical and mental fitness and health benefits, to boost our confidence, self-worth and physical performance. Though there is nothing wrong with this intention and expectation for attending “yoga (asana) classes”. As just by performing regular yogic exercises without the intention for spiritual realization will also bring some basic purification effects to the practitioner. But without the practice of non-attachment and letting go of the egoism, ceaseless impurities keep arising in the mind, which hinders the mind to see the Truth of things as they are.
There are people who carry out the teachings of yoga in all aspects in everyday life, but they don’t or never attend any yoga classes at all.
After we learn about the teachings and practice of yoga from some yoga teachers, and have certain degrees of awareness, basic understanding, non-attachment, self-control and self-discipline; then the entire worldly existence is a yoga class or journey that allows us to materialize the yoga teachings and practice at everywhere and in every moment.
Every single life experience that made out of the objects of names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses of sights, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations, and thoughts, are the yoga teachers who carry the teachings of yoga. The mind itself is the greatest teacher among all, as well as the yoga practitioner. The mind is teaching and training itself. And what enable the mind to be at peace, and be free from egoism and attachment, unattached towards all the perceptions of names and forms, unaffected, undisturbed, uninfluenced and undetermined by all the pleasant and unpleasant life experiences, and be free from any impurities, is the yoga practice. Realization of the ultimate Truth, of selflessness, oneness, non-duality, fearlessness, attributelessness, namelessness and formlessness, transcending birth and death, is yoga, or liberation.
The moment the mind comes in contact with the objects of the senses, perceiving names and forms, whenever there are thought activities or thinking process happening in the mind, there is when and where the yoga practice is happening. The yoga class, the yoga session, the yoga teachings and the yoga practice, the teacher and the student, are all happening in the mind in this present moment now, no matter who we think we are, where we are, how we are, in actions or actionless, under any conditions or circumstances, yoga practice exists in every moment of life existence.
Observe, be aware, no attachment… Perform necessary actions, duties and responsibilities, selflessly without identification.
There’s no success nor failure, no good nor bad throughout the journey.
Just that, when there is attachment, suffering exists. When there is no attachment, suffering doesn’t exist.