Want to learn yoga?

A young man who is interested to start learning and practicing yoga has the intention to find a ‘yoga teacher’ to learn about yoga and/or the yoga practice has an opportunity to meet a person who could deliver the teachings and practice of yoga to those who are interested in learning and practicing yoga.

Instead of thinking, “Dear teacher, how can I serve you and what should I do, as I hope you would receive me as your student (to be a student of yoga) and teach me about the teachings and practice of yoga?” this young man asked, “I have been looking for a yoga teacher because I am interested in yoga and want to learn and practice yoga, but first, I need to know what is your level in yoga and what qualifications you have?”

Most probably, many ‘yoga teachers’ would respond with, “I am an advanced and experienced yoga practitioner cum yoga teacher with certain years experience in yoga practice and teaching yoga, and I am a qualified (x) level yoga teacher with many ‘Internationally recognized yoga teacher certifications’ affiliated with such and such ‘yoga alliance’ and ‘yoga association’.” And this is something in common among many ‘yoga enthusiasts’ in the world of yoga.

Does one needs to acquire and possess ‘qualification and certification of peace, kindness, compassion and forgiveness’ to be peaceful, kind and compassionate, to be able to forgive and let go, or to be recognized as a ‘peaceful, kind, compassionate and forgiving being’?

Did any of the ancient buddhas, yogis and gurus had been ‘certified’ by (?) and be ‘qualified’ with one or a few ‘certification’ of Buddhism or Yoga that indicate such and such level in practicing, enlightening and teaching, for being what they are?

Contemplate, reflect, realize.

Hugging and touching?

In this era of the so called modern and highly developed society, most people perceive and observe the practice/habit/culture of ‘hugging’ and ‘touching’ as a form of showing love, acceptance and friendliness among beings, while they would feel awkward, bad and wrong, or even be offended, if some people don’t have or don’t observe the practice/habit/culture of hugging and touching.

Many yoga practitioners or spiritual seekers might also think and believe that ‘open mind’ and ‘loving kindness/warmness’ means people need to be affectionately hugging and touching one another to be showing non-discrimination, non-separateness, non-intimidation, love, acceptance and friendliness towards all beings, while the absence of hugging and touching is being perceived as ‘closed mind’ and ‘unloving-kindness’/’coldness’ that portrays the quality of discrimination, separateness, intimidation, lovelessness, non-acceptance and unfriendliness. Many also believe that the lack of hugging or touching by another being is highly detrimental to physical, mental and emotional health. They expect all beings, especially yoga practitioners or spiritual seekers should be constantly and actively hugging and touching all other beings that they come in contact with, to show that they are genuine yoga practitioners or spiritual seekers who embrace loving kindness, who are open minded and compassionate beings, while they would be puzzled by the very few of the yoga practitioners who don’t have or don’t observe such hugging and touching habit/culture.

For yoga practitioners who truly want to open their mind, is to be free from being conditioned by such worldly egoistic thinking, belief, values and practice, where the mind understands that ‘the existence and non-existence of open mind and compassion’ is nothing to do with ‘the presence and absence of physical hugging and touching another being’, where it’s nothing bad and there’s nothing wrong with the society having and observing the hugging and touching habit/culture, especially if the minds are pure and desireless, and it’s also nothing bad and there’s nothing wrong with those who don’t have or don’t observe the hugging and touching habit/culture either. Accepting all and everyone as they are, even though certain people behave in the way that goes against the thinking, belief, values and practice of the majority of the society.

Hugging and touching or not, doesn’t really determine the presence and absence of the quality of ‘non-discrimination’, ‘non-separateness’, ‘non-intimidation’, ‘love’, ‘acceptance’ and ‘friendliness’, while the quality of non-discrimination, non-separateness, non-intimidation, love, acceptance and friendliness aren’t necessarily have to be shown/portrayed by physical contact of hugging and touching one another.

Most people would feel rejected, unloved, left-out, depressed, lonely and meaningless upon the absence of physical/mental/emotional interaction of hugging and touching from some other beings. And hence, many people would think and believe that the solution is to be actively giving and receiving affectionate hugs and touches among beings.

It’s the ignorant egoistic passionate mind that has attachment and expectation towards the appropriateness and disappropriateness in social behavior and interaction that would feel rejected, unloved, left-out, depressed, lonely, meaningless, piteous or offended upon the absence or the lack of love and affection in the form of hugging and touching from other beings.

Contemplate upon why the ancient teachings/practice of yoga emphasized on the important observation of solitude and seclusion of non-physical/mental/emotional contact and non-physical touching with any other being, where yoga practitioners and spiritual seekers were being advised to observe solitude and seclusion for a prolonged period of time, to free the mind from the worldly habitual passionate desire of craving and clinging towards love and affection, to free the mind from ignorance and egoism, to silent/annihilate the modification of the mind.

One of the common practice/observation in the Ashrams is about none should be physically touching one another regardless of among the same or different gender, especially the swamis, monks and nuns. But, nowadays, in many of the ashrams, even many ‘modernized’ swamis, monks and nuns also don’t observe this practice anymore, and they mingling intimately with one another and the people who come to the ashrams, not to say many of the householders who identify themselves as ‘yoga practitioners’ or ‘yogis’. Many ‘yoga teacher training courses’ also emphasize on the physical hands on adjustment, where the many graduated ‘certified yoga teachers’ think and believe that it’s what a good and professional yoga teacher should be doing/practicing while teaching classes and while socializing/mingling with the students or the yoga community outside of the classes to develop stronger connection and relationship among one another.

There’s nothing wrong with the worldly egoistic thinking, belief, values and practice that propagates widely about “Everyone needs love, affection, hugs and touches.” But that is not yoga practice at all, as that is indeed empowering ignorance and egoism. It’s not any different from keep feeding sugary drinks to the children or keep providing drugs to the people to make them feel ‘happy and good’ from the momentary effects of sugary drinks or drugs and from the gratification of desires by giving people what they like and want. The yoga practice is to free the mind from ignorance and egoism, to realize selflessness/oneness/non-separateness, where there’s absence of needing/craving/clinging towards physical/mental/emotional love, affection, hugs and touches from other beings. There’s no need of developing stronger connection or relationship between ‘I’ and ‘the others’ in selflessness/oneness/non-separateness, as connection or relationship doesn’t exist in selflessness/oneness/non-separateness. There’s neither ‘I’ nor ‘the others’. There’s no ‘I’ need to be healed by ‘spiritual healing hugs and touches’.

A truly ‘healthy and compassionate’ society exists along with the minds that are free from ignorance and egoism. Everyone can be kind and loving towards one another out of selfless compassion, not because everyone ‘needs’ to give and receive love and affection to and from one another through certain action in order to make the egoistic minds feel good, happy, love and meaningful, or not to feel rejected, unloved, left-out, depressed, lonely, meaningless, piteous or offended upon the absence/lack of love and affection through certain action from other beings, as the ignorant egoistic minds think and believe that it’s so bad and terrible if there’s absence/lack of any form of love and affection among one another.

Be free.

Looking for yoga school or yoga teacher training course?

Imperfection exists in all and everything including different yoga schools or yoga teacher training courses and the people involving in running the yoga schools and yoga courses.

With an open mind, without expectation, be ready to inquire the truth of everything, including all the teachings and practice presented by the yoga school or in the yoga teacher training course, and without regret towards one’s decision of choosing the particular yoga school or yoga teacher training course.

Dealing with all the pros and cons or imperfections existing in the yoga school or the yoga teacher training course with an open mind, and be able to make decision without regret, is indeed the practice.

Follow one’s conscience towards finding which lineage of yoga that one would like to explore and experience. It’s okay if one finds that after experiencing a particular lineage of yoga, one realizes it doesn’t suit oneself. If so, be open to experience some other kind of lineage of yoga, until one finds the most suitable one. In the end, it’s not about which lineage of yoga or yoga school that is the best among all, but it’s whether the mind is being unattached towards and unidentified with the particular lineage of yoga, the yoga school, the teachers, the yoga teacher training course, and all the desirable/undesirable or agreeable/disagreeable experiences.

Above all, it’s not about getting the best ‘Internationally recognized yoga teacher certification affiliated with such and such yoga alliance/organization’ from the best yoga school and yoga teacher, but it’s about being open-minded upon coming in contact with the different kinds of teachings and practice from the different lineage of yoga, to be purifying and quieting the mind, inquire towards the truth of all the teachings, and the truth of ‘I’ or ‘who am I/what is the ego’, realizing selflessness/egolessness, be free from ignorance, egoism, impurities, restlessness and suffering.

Attending many yoga teacher training courses in certain yoga schools and attaining many yoga teacher certifications and teaching many hours of yoga classes doesn’t determine whether the mind is free from ignorance, egoism, impurities, restlessness and suffering, or not.

In the end, one will realize the greatest teacher and the greatest ‘yoga course’ is the mind itself upon being rendered pure and quiet through the different kinds of persevered practice, being unattached towards and undisturbed by all the mind perception of names and forms or the activities/modification of the mind, of all the agreeable/disagreeable, pleasant/unpleasant, desirable/undesirable experiences, and be able to see the truth of things as it is, be free from ignorance and the by-products of ignorance.

Those who are free from ignorance and egoism don’t need to attend yoga teacher training course or attain ‘Internationally recognized yoga teacher certification’ to be peaceful and compassionate, or to disseminate the knowledge of yoga to those who are in need of the teachings and practice to be free from ignorance and egoism.

The ‘real’ Guru/teacher is the one without a ‘certificate’/’recognition’, without a ‘school’/’ashram’ and without giving ‘certification’/’recognition’ to anyone.

Yoga classes, yoga courses and yoga retreats?

Those (the minds) who are free, who are peaceful, who are free from ignorance, egoism, doubts and impurities, they don’t need to learn or practice yoga. They don’t need to attend yoga classes, or yoga courses, or yoga retreats.

Those (the minds) who are not free, who are not peaceful, who are not free from ignorance, egoism, doubts and impurities, they might want to learn and practice yoga, by attending yoga classes, or yoga courses, or yoga retreats, to learn and practice yoga under one or a few yoga practitioner(s) (teachers) who know the teachings and practice of yoga.

Somehow, some of those (the minds) who are not free from ignorance and egoism, who are not peaceful, who are interested in attending yoga classes, or yoga courses, or yoga retreats, are ignorant towards oneself is being over-powered by pride and arrogance. They are not really interested in ‘learning’ and ‘practicing’ yoga under the guidance of other yoga practitioners. They think they know quite a lot about the teachings and practice. They think they have been doing yoga for quite some time or a long time. They think they are quite ‘experienced’ and ‘qualified’ yoga practitioners or yoga teachers, as they have attended one or many yoga workshops, yoga courses, or yoga teachers training courses. They think they are quite ‘advanced’ on the path of yoga. They are not ‘open-minded’ to learn and practice yoga under other people’s guidance to be free from ignorance, egoism, doubts and impurities. They attached strongly onto their habitual mind behavior pattern and their way of thinking and belief and practice. They cannot be opened to investigate or experience something that is different from their thinking, belief and practice.

They want to interfere with how the people running the yoga schools, the yoga studios, or the yoga retreat centres, and what the teachers teach and how the teachers teach the classes, or courses, or retreats. They criticize the way of the people running and teaching the classes, courses, or retreats, about the format, the schedule, the accommodation, the facilities, the environment, the staff, or anything that they think it’s not the way that they like it to be, or not the way that they think or expect it should be. There are many things that they dislike and disagree with, that they cannot tolerate or accommodate. They reluctant to adjust, adapt and accommodate something that is different from their habitual comfort zone, thinking, belief and practice.

They expect/demand the people to run the yoga schools, the yoga studios, or the yoga retreat centres the way that they like it to be, and they expect/demand the teachers to teach what they like and want to practice and don’t teach what they don’t like or don’t want to practice. They expect/demand the teachers to teach the classes, the courses, the retreats the way that they like it to be. They get very annoyed and irritated when the teachers teach something that they don’t like and don’t want to learn or practice, or the people running the classes, the courses, or the retreats the way that they don’t like and don’t agree with. They expect/demand everything about the entire space of learning and practicing yoga to be the way that they like it to be, or the way that they think it should be.

These people (the minds) don’t just not really learning or practicing yoga, though they think and believe that they are very ‘serious and advanced and certified’ yoga practitioners and yoga teachers, but they also generate inconvenience, disturbance, doubt and obstacle for others who are interested to learn and practice yoga, those who ‘are aware of’ or ‘know’ their minds are not yet completely free from ignorance, egoism, doubts and impurities. The minds that are free, they won’t be affected or influenced by the ignorance and impurities of others, but most minds are not free yet, they will still be affected and influenced by the ignorance and impurities of others. But, it doesn’t mean that these minds are bad or negative. All minds are free to behave the way that they want to behave and react the way that they want to react, whether they are aware of their own behavior and reaction, or not.

And hence, when one thinks and believes that oneself is an ‘experienced’ and ‘advanced’ and ‘certified’ yoga practitioner or yoga teacher, and one wants to inform/tell other people about how experienced and advanced one is on the path of yoga, then know that one doesn’t know what is yoga, yet. Those who know yoga, they have no attachment or identification towards the experiences or levels of their practice, or be proud and arrogant about what they know or realize from their practice. They mind their own practice and they don’t need to attend yoga classes, yoga courses, or yoga retreats.

Those who are not sure or have doubts about their practice or what they think they know, and are interested in attending yoga classes, yoga courses, or yoga retreats to learn and practice yoga under the guidance of other people, must learn how to allow the mind to be opened to learn and practice yoga under another person or other people, while not by pushing away or arguing about something that the mind dislikes and disagrees with, but to investigate the truth of everything that the mind comes in contact with through direct experience.

What the mind agrees with and what the mind disagrees with, are not necessarily the truth.

One doesn’t need to like and agree with everything, even if it’s part of the teachings and practice of yoga, but remain equanimous, being undisturbed or undetermined by what the mind dislikes and disagrees with, is already what yoga practice is about.

Be free.

People’s power?

People’s power is no doubt very powerful, of course. There’s no doubt that other than the greatest power of nature, it’s the people’s power that is so powerful and influential that it influences the condition or situation of the world, in a country, in a community, in a company, or in a family, through their thinking and behavior, making the world a better or worse place to be in. But what is influencing the people’s thinking and behavior is more powerful. And so, what happen if ignorance, egoism and impurities is the power that influencing many people in the world to think, behave, act and react?

Even those who think they are good people who want to be good, who do good actions and don’t do bad actions are not necessarily be free from the influence of ignorance and egoism and impurities. If the mind thinks and feels, “I am disturbed, disappointed, frustrated, threatened, depressed, angered or hurt by something that I think is bad, negative and wrong”, know that this is ignorance, though there’s nothing wrong with this reaction of thinking and feeling in such way reacting towards certain perceptions of names and forms that the mind believes as bad, negative and wrong. The power of ignorance is so great that the mind doesn’t even know it is under the influence of ignorance, thinking that it is wise or smart enough, or it is wiser or smarter than others. And the ego doesn’t like to hear or be pointed out that it is the product of ignorance, and would feel offended or humiliated or intimidated.

The wise won’t be disturbed nor determined by the ignorance of others of all sorts of ignorant thinking and behavior, or what the mind thinks and believes as bad, negative or wrong. If one will be disturbed and determined by the ignorance of others of their ignorant thinking and behavior, or what the mind thinks and believes as bad, negative and wrong, or be disturbed by the condition and situation of the world that is not how one would like it to be, then this mind is under the influence of ignorance.

One can choose not to be disturbed or determined by the ignorance of others of all sorts of ignorant thinking and behavior, or not.

The wise don’t have any intention to change the world. They allow everyone to be free from ignorance, or not, through everyone’s own interest and effort. If people are not interested in freeing their mind from ignorance, that’s their freedom.

Even the enlightened liberated beings can’t change the world or take away the ignorance in others or remove ignorance from the world. If not, the world is already be free from ignorant beings/thinking/behavior. One can only free one’s mind from ignorance through self-initiative, self-effort, self-discipline, self-inquiry and self-realization.

If there are people have the great ambition to be ‘superhero’ to change and save the world, that’s their freedom.

The YTTC or Yoga Teachers Training Courses is about being a platform for truth seekers who are interested in attaining liberation from ignorance and suffering to learn and practice yoga to become their own teacher to perform self-practice/Yoga Sadhana, to attain self-realization and independence, and when one is free from ignorance and suffering, the world will have less a being under the influence of ignorance. And one can share one’s self-realized knowledge of yoga with others, where yoga asana practice is one of the many practices to purify and quiet the mind to prepare the mind for meditation. But nowadays, many YTTC are not about developing serious self-practice or Yoga Sadhana to free oneself from ignorance and egoism, but, it’s mainly about to be equipped with some ‘teaching technical information’ for ‘teaching yoga (asana exercise) classes’ to most people who are not really interested in the elimination of egoism through the practice of silence, desireless, dispassion, self-discipline, self-inquiry and self-realization, but more interested in empowering egoism and gratifying their worldly passionate desires of craving and aversion especially towards enhancing physical health and fitness level, physical appearance and ability through performing the yoga asana exercises, while some others are interested towards developing mental psychic power for different reasons or intentions.

“I have been doing some yoga regularly for some time. Now, I want to learn and do more yoga. Can you teach me?”
“Really?”
“Yes! I am really interested to learn to do all the yoga poses that I am still not able to do. I also want to know what are the different muscles groups that we use in the different yoga poses and their specific benefits related to health and fitness. I hope to become a yoga teacher to teach yoga classes someday. I need to make my body healthier, fitter, stronger and more flexible so that I can do lots of the yoga poses to be qualified to join the yoga teacher training course. I also want to feel better about myself, because right now, I am not very happy with myself, my yoga practice, my physical appearance, my health and fitness level, my job, my life and my relationship. Many yoga teachers say yoga can gives us lots of benefits to improve health and fitness, and make us look good and feel good about ourselves, and become superhuman with superpower to do anything that we want to do with our body and mind. They say yoga can make our body stay young and strong, that we won’t get sick and we can defy aging. They say by doing yoga we can defy gravity and we can fly. And they say practice yoga can also have all our desires come true. I want a better life, a better body, a better relationship and a better job. I really want to learn and do yoga!”
“I can teach you yoga. But first, you will need to let go all these desires of what you want and don’t want.”
“This is not the yoga that I want to learn and do.”
“Be happy then.”

What muscles groups are being used in the yoga poses has nothing to do with the realization of yoga or selflessness

There are many ‘yoga teachers training courses’ emphasize on training the ‘yoga teachers’ with the knowledge or information about anatomy and physiology for performing and teaching the yoga poses, while there are yoga teachers who emphasize on explaining the different types of muscles group that are being used in the different yoga poses or exercises, as well as the different types of benefits of the yoga poses in their yoga asana classes, and there are yoga practitioners who want to know what type of muscles group that they need to engage in order to perform the yoga poses, and of course, they want to know the different types of benefits that they would get from performing the different yoga poses.

There’s nothing wrong or bad with this emphasis on the knowledge of the mechanism of the physical body and the benefits of the different exercises in fitness training, but this is pulling the mind away from the yoga teachings and yoga practice about letting go egoism of attachment and identification with the existence and the function of the body and the mind, and letting go attachment and identification with the actions and the fruit of actions, to annihilate ignorance and egoism to transcend suffering, to realize yoga or selflessness or unconditional peace and compassion, where all these realization has nothing to do with the physical condition, appearance, fitness level, performance, ability and limitation, or the knowledge of fitness training and its benefits.

One doesn’t need to know the names and forms of the muscles and their specific function, to have peace and be compassionate.

One doesn’t need to know which muscles groups are being engaged in order to hold a spoon and pick up a spoonful of food and put the food into the mouth and chew the food and swallow the food. One doesn’t need to know how to engaged a specific muscles group to move the legs forward or backward to walk or run or kick or jump or turn upside down. One doesn’t need to know which muscles to be engaged to smile or to frown.

There’s nothing wrong if people are interested to know the names and forms and the functions of the different muscles and muscles groups, and there are many books about fitness training, anatomy and physiology or biology for them to study about the mechanism and function of the physical body, and all these knowledge can be helpful in the improvement of the quality of life, but the realization of yoga or liberation from suffering has nothing to do with the accumulation of knowledge or the quality of life. People might be highly knowledgeable and have a higher quality of life, but might not necessarily be free from ignorance and egoism and suffering.

The doctors can use their medical knowledge of the physical body to cut open the body to find out the disease inside the body, and take it out for us, and fitness instructors can use their fitness training knowledge to provide us with health and fitness advice and an efficient health and fitness training program to make the physical body fitter and healthier, but no physician or fitness instructor can cut open our mind to find out the ‘disease’ inside the mind, and take out the ‘disease’ for us. Having a super fit and healthy physical body also doesn’t guarantee that our mind will be free from ignorance, egoism and suffering.

Ask a physician or fitness instructor, “Which muscles groups are being engaged in order to free the mind from ignorance and egoism and suffering, to know the truth, to realize selflessness, and be peaceful and compassionate?”

Be free.

How yoga is being perceived as one type of physical health and fitness exercise

Some people asked us if we teach TTC (Yoga Teachers Training Course). No, we don’t.

Anyone who has realized selflessness and unconditional love and peace through self-realization, who knows the path to free the mind from suffering that derived from ignorance and egoism (attachment, identification, worldly desires, craving and aversion), not necessarily that one has to be a yoga practitioner and disregards how long one has been practicing yoga, one can share the knowledge of selflessness and unconditional love and peace with anyone, without the necessity of becoming a ‘yoga teacher’ to ‘teach yoga classes’. One doesn’t need to attend TTC to be trained to become ‘qualified yoga teacher’ to ‘teach yoga classes’ to share the realization of selflessness and unconditional love and peace with other beings. One doesn’t need ‘approval’, or ‘authorization’, or ‘qualification’, or ‘certification’, or ‘affiliation’, or ‘graduation from TTC with excellent results’ to share the knowledge of unconditional love, peace and fearlessness through self-realization with other beings who are in search for liberation from ignorance and suffering.

Attending TTC and graduating with excellent results from TTC doesn’t determine that one is, or will be free from ignorance and egoism. Teaching yoga is nothing to do with ‘professionalism’, or ‘teacher training’, or ‘certification’, which is part of the worldly ideas born out of egoism.

TTC are a platform or medium for anyone, including those who have never done any yoga practice before but who have the interest to know about yoga, to be open-minded and be humble to learn about the teachings of yoga, and begin their self-practice with self-discipline to purify the mind to free the mind from egoism and ignorance. Once the mind is purified and has realized selflessness and unconditional love and peace, one can share the knowledge of selflessness and unconditional love and peace with other beings without intention, without identification, without attachment.

Meanwhile many of the ‘professional TTC allied with yoga alliance’ are about being a platform or medium for people who think they know a lot about yoga and that they are good enough or ready to become ‘yoga teachers’, and they think they need to attend ‘internationally recognized TTC allied with yoga alliance’ to be trained ‘how to teach/conduct professional, safe, effective, creative, fun and motivative yoga asana exercise classes’ to acquire some kind of ‘internationally recognized certification allied with yoga alliance’ so that they can find a job called ‘yoga teacher/instructor’ to teach/conduct ‘yoga asana exercise classes’ in yoga centre or fitness centre or community centre, and lots of these TTC exist to cater to their ‘needs’ to provide the appropriate ‘training’ and ‘certification’ that they are looking for.

These ‘professional’ TTC also teach about the teachings or philosophy of yoga but emphasize mainly on training the people about how to teach/conduct a ‘yoga asana exercise classes’, about how to give instructions, how to perform the yoga poses, what to do or what not to do, what are the benefits of the different yoga poses, the breathing exercises, the relaxation and the other practices, how to make physical adjustments, what are the ‘correct alignment’, general knowledge to share in the class (about diet, lifestyle, positive thinking, anatomy, physiology, health and fitness, stories telling, philosophy, and etc), how to interact, what is a ‘good teaching technique’, or a ‘good practice’, or a ‘good class’, how to make the students or clients happy and satisfied, how to ‘touch’ people’s heart, and etc. It is a great contradiction because during the philosophy class they teach/talk about “perform all your actions without attachment and identification, renounce the fruit of actions and allowing the fruit of actions to be there as it is” but then in the ‘yoga asana classes’ is about feeding the egoism of both the teachers and the students – empowering the identification and attachment towards the action and the result of the action. Such like, “I am a good yoga teacher who teach/conduct good yoga classes” and “I am a good yoga student/practitioner who performs the yoga poses nicely and achieves good results/improvement from the practice”

Love and peace has nothing to do with how a person look or feel while being in particular yoga poses, or what is the physical condition, ability and limitation, or what type and how much benefits coming from the yoga practice. People don’t have to put their bodies in any particular yoga poses to be kind and compassionate, or to be peaceful. The impermanent physical condition, ability and limitation doesn’t determine a being would be free from ignorance, egoism, impurities and suffering, and be compassionate and peaceful, or not.

If one truly knows what is yoga or has realized selflessness and unconditional love and peace, one doesn’t need to attend TTC to learn how to conduct ‘yoga classes’ to attain ‘certification’ to be ‘authorized’ to become ‘professional internationally certified yoga teacher’ to be teaching or passing the knowledge of yoga to other beings, or to be compassionate towards oneself and all beings.

No doubt that there are ‘TTC graduates’ who realize yoga through the practice of silence, self-inquiry, dispassion and right discrimination, and they may or may not be teaching ‘yoga classes’.

The attachment towards the performance/results/effects/benefits of the yoga practice, and the emphasis on the technical/professional teaching instructions about “the correct body alignment of each yoga pose”, or “how a yoga pose/position should look like”, and the ‘positive’ encouraging words, cheering and hand clapping to congratulate or give encouragement, such like ‘Well done!’, ‘You can do it!’, ‘You did it!’, ‘That’s very good!’, ‘You’re amazing!’, ‘Awesome!’, ‘Feel strong!’, ‘Be strong!’, ‘Let’s boost your confidence and self-esteem!’, ‘Yoga strengthens your body and mind’, ‘Yoga elevates your mind!’, ‘Yoga makes you feel great!’, ‘You should be proud of yourself!’, ‘I am so proud of you!’, and etc, as the core structure or important qualities of the ‘yoga exercise classes’ are indeed feeding the egoism (attachment, identification, craving, aversion, judgment, comparison and expectation).

But there is nothing wrong with all these TTC producing ‘internationally certified yoga teachers’ teaching ‘yoga asana exercise classes’ because most people who want to attend yoga classes are only interested in doing something that will make them feel good and look good, or give them the benefits/effects/results that they want. Being conditioned by worldly ideas, people evaluate a ‘yoga teacher’ based on their ‘qualification’ and ‘certification’, their ‘professionalism’, their ‘ability’ to give a ‘good yoga exercise class’ that can make them look good and feel good physically and mentally, or their up-to-date tips/general knowledge on the latest styles and techniques and about health and fitness. Many people are not interested in the practice of silence, quieting the mind, self-inquiry, dispassion and self-discipline to be free from ignorance and egoism, mainly it’s because people don’t think their minds are influenced by ignorance, they don’t think they need to free the mind from egoism, as they love their ego of who they think they are. They don’t see what’s wrong with egoism. They enjoy being passionate about worldly life and social activities, and spend most of their effort on gratifying all their desires, and do what will make them feel good and happy as the meanings of life.

All these TTC graduates are ‘good people’ who have ‘good intention’ and hope to ‘be qualified’ to share yoga with other people, and it makes them feel meaningful and happy when their students look good and feel good about themselves after taking yoga exercise class with them. There’s nothing ‘wrong’ with that.

It’s like many children don’t like to eat healthy food, the parents or care-taker might give them something that they like in return, such like desserts, to persuade them to eat the healthy food that they don’t like to eat. And the parents feel happy seeing their children eating the healthy food and enjoying the desserts afterwards. So everyone is happy. That sounds very ‘good’. Eventually, some of the children might start to realize why it is important to eat the healthy food, and even without any desserts in return, they will eat the healthy food out of their own choice. But very few children will have the self-realization, and in the end, they are addicted to the desserts, and they won’t be happy unless they have their desserts. Just like people won’t do something that is good for them or other people unless they will get something that they like and want in return. This is not yoga.

Imagine when a great ‘yogi’ who has attained self-realization and is compassionate comes to the yoga centre and offer himself to share the knowledge of yoga to whoever are interested in learning and practice yoga, and the yoga centre staff ask him, “Do you have internationally recognized either 200 hours or 500 hours yoga teacher certification allied with yoga alliance?” The yogi tells them, “No.” And they tell him, “Sorry, we only employ ‘qualified’ professional yoga teacher with internationally recognized yoga teacher certification allied with yoga alliance to conduct yoga classes here.”

Everyone has the freedom to choose what they want to do with their life, their bodies and minds. If people are contented with living a restless passionate worldly life full of attachments and identifications, and are okay with being the slave of their desires of cravings and aversions, and enjoying doing some yoga exercise regularly that will make them look good and feel good, that’s their freedom.

Be free.

Want to teach yoga? (3)

When one performs the action of teaching yoga or yoga exercises to other people, one will identify oneself as a yoga teacher who teaches yoga. One has good intention that one wants to share what one learned and realized with other people. One might also think and say that one is sharing the knowledge of yoga with other people, and share one’s love and peace with other beings. There is nothing wrong with these ideas. Just that there are still egoism, attachment, identification and separateness existing in all these ideas or understanding.

Abandon all the worldly ideas that derived from worldly thinking and beliefs under the influence of egoism, desires of want and don’t want, identification and attachment towards certain qualities of names and forms.

Some people compare the teachings of yoga with the studies of the psychology of human beings, and think and say that they are very similar to each other, that both are dealing with human minds and its problems, or the illnesses of the mind. But, their approach in dealing with human minds’ problems are really the opposite of one another. The studies of psychology are still very much based on worldly ideas, thinking and beliefs under the influence of egoism. It is based on the egoism and empowerment of egoism. Like in most of the empowerment workshops and psychotherapies, it’s about making the mind to think and feel “I am strong”, or “I am positive”, “I am good”, or “I am healed”. The empowerment of egoism might can bring momentary relief from some negative elements, and it’s like the different medicines to cure certain mind diseases, but it won’t stop the mind to continue to contract illness or sickness. Any kinds of empowerment strategies and workshops coming from the points of view of psychology studies are exactly the opposite of what yoga is about. While the teachings of yoga is about how to free the mind from contracting diseases, where the root cause of all mind diseases is ignorance and egoism. There’s no need to take any medicines if there’s no disease existing when ignorance and egoism is annihilated from the mind. The one who needs to be empowered to think positive, to have hope, to be healed, to feel strong, confident and good about oneself, is the ego. When one realized yoga, or selflessness, or egolessness, or non-separateness, being free from ignorance and egoism, there’s no need any kinds of empowerment to make one to think positive, to have hope, to be healed, to feel strong, confident and good about oneself.

Empowerment ideas and workshops are to empower one’s worldly self-image and identification with certain qualities of names and forms. The ego is the one who needs a strong identification of “this is who ‘I’ am” that attached to certain qualities of names and forms to be somebody. The ego needs affirmation and recognition from oneself and from others to be somebody.

While the teachings of yoga is to be free from all kinds of worldly self-image and identification with any qualities of names and forms. There’s no need to be somebody with a particular identification.

There’s nothing wrong with the good intention of wanting to share something that we believe is good with other beings, but we are not free yet if we still think and desire to be sharing something with other beings.

Everyone realizes the one nature of unconditional love and peace which already existing in everyone. The knowledge of yoga, or unconditional love and peace is not something that is given or shared by someone or coming from somewhere, but it’s the nature of every being. The knowledge of yoga is not something separated from unconditional love and peace. The realization of the knowledge of yoga is the realization of unconditional love and peace, and vice versa.

There’s no ‘I’ am giving or sharing the knowledge of yoga, or love and peace coming from ‘I’ to other beings. There’s no ‘I’ love other beings, or other beings love ‘I’. The one who expects to be loved and the one who wants to love or give love, is the ego.

Other beings are not taking or sharing the knowledge of yoga, love and peace from ‘I’.

Everyone is not separated from the one same nature that is existing in everyone (non-separateness), is very different from someone is sharing something with other beings (separateness of subject and object).

There’s no ‘I’ am sharing something with other beings.

No one is giving. No one is receiving.

There’s no egoism, attachment, identification or separateness.

When there are still the ideas of ‘I’, ‘I’ am and ‘I’ want, existing in the mind, we are not free yet.

Go beyond or put aside all the worldly thinking and beliefs, and qualities of names and forms, and contemplate on all the teachings of yoga and realize selflessness, or egolessness, or non-separateness.

If one hasn’t realized the teachings of yoga, what does one teach to other people?

Om shanti.

Want to practice yoga? (4)

All the yoga enthusiasts or practitioners are being taught that one shouldn’t follow or blind-believe in any teachings or philosophies from anybody and anywhere, including the teachings of yoga, but to perform self-inquiry to investigate into the truth of all the teachings of yoga. That action of self-inquiry is indeed the main yoga practice. All the other yoga practices are there to assist the mind to be able to be free from all kinds of restlessness and impurities, and allowing the mind to know the truth or seeing the truth as it is.

Contemplate on these teachings to attain self-realization of the teachings of yoga :-
– The body is not me, I am not the body. The mind is not me, I am not the mind.

– Selflessness or the annihilation of the egoism – There is no ‘I’. ‘I’ doesn’t exist.

– The root cause of suffering is ignorance – not knowing the truth of ‘I’ and all the perceptions of names and forms, the illusion of the existence of ‘I’ generates attachment, identification, desires, craving and aversion, reactions of likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements, pleasantness and unpleasantness where all kinds of impurities arise and influencing and determining the state of mind.

– Go beyond all the qualities of name and form, including the body and mind and worldly conditioned thinking and beliefs, realize the truth of non-duality or non-separateness or oneness.

– The truth of names and forms is just what they are. Everything is neither good nor bad, neither positive nor negative, neither right nor wrong, neither happiness nor unhappiness.

– Know thyself or knowing oneself as the highest duty above all. All kinds of duties exist to support the highest duty towards oneself.

– The law of impermanence – there’s no ‘I’ exists in all the impermanent changes or transitions, or forming and deforming.

– The observer is undetermined by the action of observing and the object of observation.

– Turning the outgoing mind inward, resting in silence – dispassion and disinterest in worldly objects and ideas.

– The conquest of one’s mind is the highest goal of life existence and to serve humanity.

– The ignorant ones take what is unreal to be real, and take what is real as unreal.

– Performing all duties and responsibilities while renouncing worldly objects and activities.

– The realization of selflessness and compassion will allow one to perform all actions while being undetermined by the fruit of actions, to be liberated from good and bad karma, the cycle of cause and effect, or the wheel of birth and death – Enter into Silence or Samadhi.

– Everything is Maya (illusion). The world is not real and doesn’t exist. Suffering doesn’t exist. Birth and death doesn’t exist. Due to ignorance, the illusory ‘I’ longs for existence to fulfill all its desires. And hence, all kinds of actions and fruit of actions sprung from desires and bring forth the wheel of birth and death, existence and non-existence, all kinds of names and forms are being projected as the worldly existence as the result of cause and effect. Yoga practice is to realize the truth and return to the state beyond names and forms, existence and non-existence, birth and death.

Happy practicing yoga contemplating upon the teachings of yoga.

Om shanti.

Want to teach yoga?

Teaching yoga is not about trying to convince other people to believe in the teachings of yoga, or to persuade other people to like yoga and practice yoga, or recruiting many people to be our yoga students and joining our yoga classes, or to set as an example for others to imitate us, or to build a yoga empire. The students shouldn’t follow or imitate the teacher, or blind-believe in the teachings of yoga or what the teacher taught them. It’s guiding the students to be free from egoism, and allowing them to be free from attachment and identification towards any thinking and beliefs including the teachings of yoga, but to investigate into the truth of everything, to attain self-realization. Everyone may or may not need some guidance, but it’s up to everyone’s free will to change their own thinking and behavior by developing self-control and self-discipline over their own thinking, actions and speech, and attain self-realization be free from ignorance, and realize unconditional love and peace, and stopped hurting themselves and others. The teacher doesn’t and can’t control or change the students, but can only give them guidance and encouragement. The teacher and the student will meet at the right time and the right place naturally when the time has come, without the influence of egoistic selfish desires.

There’s nothing wrong when people think that when they feel unhappy or angry, feel hurt and disappointed, it’s nothing to do with their own ignorance and egoism, but instead, it’s everyone and everything out there that are bad and wrong that give them unhappiness and suffering. There’s nothing wrong when people believe in God or disbelieve in God. It is everyone’s freedom of thought, actions and speech. But when people start to have strong attachment and identification with what they think and believe, there arise separateness, discrimination, prejudice, hatred, violence, fear and unrest in their minds towards others who are different from them. Some people even enjoy being angry and violent. They won’t feel good unless they get angry and violent.

If people don’t like to practice yoga about letting go of the ego, attachment and identification, no one can force them. The teachings of yoga teaches about everyone purifying their own thinking, actions and speech, but respecting others’ freedom of thinking, actions and speech, for what they want to do with themselves, their lives, their bodies and minds. Everyone takes the responsibility for the consequences of their own actions and inactions, for what they believe and disbelieve, for what they want and don’t want. No one can control or purify other’s mind. It is up to each one’s effort and free will to control and purify one’s mind. Yoga never condemns anyone who doesn’t like the teachings of yoga, or who doesn’t want to practice yoga as it is, or who misunderstands about yoga, or who criticizes yoga. Anyone can take up any yoga practice and practice anyway that they like, or do whatever they like with yoga, or they can stop practicing yoga for any reasons. There’s no condemn, or sin, or punishment.

Those who practice yoga, they don’t condemn nor criticize. Vice versa, those who condemn and criticize, they don’t practice yoga. We share yoga out of compassion, not out of egoism thinking that “Yoga is good for everyone. Everyone should practice yoga, and practice properly in a particular way, or else they are insulting the sacredness and purity of yoga.” One type of medicine may cure a person’s illness but may not necessarily has the same effect on another with the same illness, or would it cure some other form of illnesses. People react differently towards the same medicine and have different tolerance towards certain side-effects of that medicine which appear differently on different people. Some people may be a good friend for many others, but may not be a good partner or good parent. There are people dislike and disagree with the teaching and practice of yoga. That is their freedom. We can’t expect or force everyone to like yoga and practice yoga as it is. There are people who never heard about the teachings of yoga and don’t do any yoga practice in a particular name and form, but they are selfless, compassionate and peaceful beings. And if yoga is something sacred and pure, how can it be insulted or contaminated by anything at all?

Some people kept modifying the traditional yoga practices into many different new styles and versions to suit the preferences of what people like and don’t like, what they want and don’t want. Though there’s nothing wrong with that in terms of business marketing strategy and customer service and value, but then the yoga teachers are not really teaching yoga, and the students are not really practicing yoga. Instead it is empowering the egoism, attachment, identification, worldly thinking, ideas and habits, and encouraging the desires of craving and aversion of the egoistic mind. When we practice yoga, we stop giving the egoistic mind what it likes and wants. No doubt that sharing yoga is about sharing love and happiness. Yoga teachers are there to guide the yoga students on how to attain unconditional love and happiness by letting go the egoistic desires of craving and aversion. It’s not about giving them what they like and want, or don’t give them what they don’t like and don’t want, to gratified their desires of craving and aversion, to make them feel loved and happy. They feel happy is because they are getting something that they like and want, and not getting anything that they don’t like and don’t want. It doesn’t help them to be free from the desires of craving and aversion, to realize unconditional love and happiness. When they are not getting what they like and want, and getting something that they don’t like and don’t want, they will feel dissatisfied, disappointed, unhappy or miserable. This is moving away from what yoga is about.

Though there is a very significant teaching of yoga about seeing God in all and everything, that God exists in all and everything, but one doesn’t need to believe in God or spirituality to practice the teachings of yoga. For those who don’t believe in God, this teaching can be taught as seeing the one same universal consciousness of all and everything, which is the truth of impermanence and selflessness, that there’s no ‘I’ or individual existence exists in everything or in all the impermanent changes. For those who don’t believe in God or the one same universal consciousness, this teaching can be taught as seeing the element of teacher in all and everything to teach us something for higher understanding about worldly life existence, and be grateful and thankful for all kinds of good and bad experiences. Those who truly implement this teaching in everyday life wouldn’t be disturbed or determined by all the pleasant and unpleasant experiences, and wouldn’t generate anger or hatred towards anyone or anything, but they would respect the law of impermanence in all the different qualities of name and form, and respect all the different types of thinking, belief and behavior that exist in the worldly community as they are. This teaching leads us to peace and harmony in ourselves and not generating violence, anger and hatred in ourselves and into the world. But if our minds are over-powered by strong egoism and have pride and arrogance about ourselves and our thinking and belief, we would find this practice impossible or very difficult, unless we are ready to let go of our ego, pride and arrogance.

Peacelessness and disharmony exist in our minds are coming from the strong egoism, pride and arrogance, attachment and identification, craving and aversion, greed and discontentment, fear and worry, and all kinds of impurities empowered by ignorance or corrupted thinking and belief in the mind. One also generates restlessness and disharmony into the surrounding environment when one isn’t peaceful and harmony. If every being is free from ignorance, egoism and impurities, naturally the society will be free from separateness, discrimination, prejudice, hatred, violence, fear and unrest. If we want peace in the world, we must have peace in ourselves. Having peace and harmony in oneself is the only effective way to help the world to be in peace and harmony among all the different qualities and diversities. By being violent, angry and hating others and happenings that we don’t like and disagree with, and provoke anger and hatred in other people to also be angry and hate those whom we think they are bad and wrong, it wouldn’t help the world to be peaceful and harmony as how we would like it to be, but instead, we contribute so much restlessness and disharmony into the world, it doesn’t matter how good and right we think we are.

When we know what is yoga, we will know that teaching yoga has very little to do with qualification and certification coming from attending yoga teachers training courses. Yoga teachers training courses are for people to learn to become their own teacher. When one realizes the teacher within oneself, one will know that everything and everyone are teachers to teach everyone something. One will be free from discrimination and hatred towards anyone and anything, and will respect everyone and everything as they are. And naturally, one can also guide other people to become their own teachers with one’s unconditional love and peace, without any certifications or acknowledgement from anyone or any organizations.

It doesn’t matter whether we know the names of the yoga poses in English or Sanskrit, or not, what type of yoga we practice and what are the benefits of the yoga exercises, because yoga practice is not about gaining the benefits from the yoga exercises at all, and knowing the names of the yoga poses and which type of yoga we practice have nothing to do with the realization of unconditional love and peace. It’s about letting go of attachment, identification, expectation, craving and aversion towards all our actions and the fruit of actions, or towards the yoga practice and the result of the yoga practice.

Yoga is about realizing compassion and selflessness through the practice of dispassion towards worldly objects and ideas, discrimination of what is real and unreal, eliminating the ego and quieting our own mind, and be free from all kinds of attachments, identifications, desires, craving, aversion and impurities. And all these practices have nothing to do with the impermanent condition and ability of the physical body to perform the yoga poses, or how many years we have been doing yoga exercises, or how much yoga exercises we had done, or how many yoga poses we can perform and whether we can perform the yoga poses in perfect alignment, or not. It’s also nothing to do with all the physical health and fitness benefits that come along as side-effects from the yoga practice. All these names and forms cannot guarantee or determine whether we know about yoga or not, whether we are practicing yoga or not, whether we can teach yoga or not, and whether we are free from ignorance and egoism, and be liberated from suffering, or not.

Many people including many yoga enthusiasts don’t like to hear about the practice of dispassion. They give themselves many reasons to justify themselves that they don’t need to be dispassionate, instead they promote passionate way of thinking and living. They said follow all our desires and live passionately. There’s nothing wrong with having desires and being passionate towards worldly life existence, self-image, ideas, ambitions and social activities, and everyone has the freedom to choose what they want to do with their life existence, but then it isn’t what yoga practice is about.

Dispassion towards worldly objects, ideas and activities helps to render the mind calm and quiet to be able to perform self-inquiry to know who we really are, or, who we are not. Passion invigorates strong attachment and identification with worldly life existence, the function and ability of the body and mind, and passionate desires of craving and aversion. Instead of quieting the mind, annihilating the worldly ideas and eliminating the ego, it is stimulating the mind, strengthening the worldly ideas and empowering the ego. Passion hinders the mind to see the truth of things as they are. But if people enjoy being passionate and don’t mind being restless, that’s their freedom.

Dispassion doesn’t mean that we have no love. It is loving the world and everyone as they are, without selfish desires or expectations, discrimination of likes and dislikes, attachment, identification, craving and aversion, not necessarily it’s the way that I like it to be, or the way that I think it should be.

Passion is loving the world and people with selfish desires and expectations, discrimination of likes and dislikes, attachment, identification, craving and aversion. It’s I love my world to be the way that I like it to be, or the way that I think it should be.

When one is free from ignorance and egoism, then there’s no difference between passion and dispassion. As one can live and perform actions passionately in the world, but is undisturbed and undetermined by one’s actions and the fruit of actions.

The realization of selflessness will allow us to be undisturbed or undetermined by whatever the mind perceives through the senses, and remain equanimous and be at peace unconditionally. When one has realized unconditional love and peace, one won’t be intentionally generating thoughts, actions and speech that will hurt oneself and others under any circumstances, which is compassion. And the realization of unconditional love and peace has nothing to do with the knowledge about anatomy and physiology, or the physical condition and ability and alignment to do the yoga poses.

Everyone can practice yoga and share the wisdom of yoga and its practice with anybody, when they are free from ignorance and egoism and have realized unconditional love and peace through their own persist and sincere practice. They don’t need a piece of commercialized paper to allow them to share love and peace with others. Those who haven’t realized unconditional love and peace in themselves, they can’t share love and peace with others even if they have been attending many yoga courses and possess many pieces of certifications. Those who think and believe that they need to attend professional yoga courses and acquire a few pieces of paper to accumulate credits to allow them to share love and peace with other people, then they don’t really know what is yoga. But their minds are influenced by worldly ideas and qualities of name and form.

May all be happy, be peaceful, be free.

Om shanti.

Yoga, the teachings, the practice and teaching yoga…

There were some people suggested to us that we should be teaching ‘yoga teachers training course’.

There were some people asked us whether our yoga studio issues any ‘Internationally recognized certification’, if they participated in our yoga retreats and workshops.

There was ‘Yoga Alliance’ wrote to us whether we want to pay them some member fees so that we can put some ‘logos’ on our website and be affiliated and registered with their organization.

I don’t disagree nor criticize anyone or any organization to think and do what they want to think and do.  Everyone has the rights and freedom to think and act the way that they want to think and act.

There’s nothing wrong with all these worldly qualities of names and forms.

Most people are conditioned to think in certain ways, to believe in certain ‘commercial’ or ‘worldly’ values and qualities of names and forms. There’s nothing wrong with that. And it’s okay if some people cannot go beyond those conditioned thinking and beliefs, no matter how hard they try to understand what is beyond their thinking and beliefs.

Just that, Yoga and teaching yoga, or self-inquiry and self-realization, or to develop mindfulness, insight, self-awareness and self-control, or the practice of non-attachment and non-identification, or the truth of names and forms, or transcending qualities of names and forms, or the elimination of the egoism, or selflessness, or be free from ignorance and suffering, or the realization of unconditional peace and compassion, or sharing wisdom, love and peace with other beings, or be compassionate towards other beings, or be free from anger and hatred, greed and jealousy, dissatisfaction and disappointment, craving and aversion, fear and worry, really has nothing to do with all these organization, certification and qualification.

It means nothing if a ‘wandering yogi’ hangs a few certificates issued by some yoga schools around his neck, going around with a statement of his personal profile about how many years, months and days he has been practicing yoga, where he has been learning and practicing yoga, who are his Gurus and teachers, what he has achieved from his practice and self-inquiry, since when he has started sharing his wisdom and unconditional love and peace with other beings, how many people have been learning and practicing yoga under his guidance, or what sorts of certifications he will issue to those who practice yoga under his guidance, and etc.

We don’t even display our ‘Internationally recognized yoga teachers training certifications’ anywhere in the yoga studio or at home. We respect everyone for their personal freedom of thinking, speech and actions, and we are really grateful and thankful for all the teachers and the Ashrams to provide us with the opportunity to learn and practice yoga, as well as the ‘Internationally recognized’ certifications. But whether by attaining and displaying these certifications, or not, really doesn’t determine anything about ‘who we are’ and ‘what we do’, and it has nothing to do with the teachings of yoga about transcending the body and mind, the modifications of the mind, the worldly existence, all the qualities of names and forms, be free from egoism, ignorance and suffering, realize unconditional love and peace, and rest in ones nature as it is.

We don’t mention about what type of certification or qualification that we have in our website, as it doesn’t determine anything.

If some people are looking for all these qualities of names and forms to find a teacher or a school to learn and practice yoga, then let them be.

If people didn’t find what they are looking for in our website or in our classes, retreats or workshops, and are not interested in what we share, let them be.

May all find their own way, their own path, their own realization.

May all be free, be peaceful, be happy.

Be happy…

I have just found out that an old photo of me has been used as the front cover of a Malaysian yoga magazine in one of their issues in year 2013 without my knowledge.

I don’t mind if any contents or photos that I shared online might be used by anyone for sharing yoga with others, but, just to be clear that I have no interest at all in being associated with any ‘Yoga Alliance’ or ‘Yoga Teachers Association’ whether they are from Malaysia or International organization.

Yoga is beyond qualities of name and form. It’s not about a great and beautiful yoga pose. It cannot be represented by some forms of image or photo. People are mislead about yoga by some images of ‘beautiful’ yoga poses, or images of ‘yogi’, or images of some forms of ritual, or images of doing some forms of yoga practice, or even images of someone in a meditation posture. Yoga poses is only a small part of the yoga practice to help to prepare the mind for meditation. Not being able to do any yoga poses doesn’t mean that one cannot or doesn’t practice yoga. Not being able to put the body in a particular meditation posture doesn’t determine that one is not meditating, or one is not peaceful and compassionate. We neither agree nor disagree with how other people want to promote ‘yoga’. That is their freedom. But we do not associate with what people want to do or don’t do.

Be happy.

Yoga asana practice is just a very small part of the yoga practice…

Those who enjoy doing the yoga asana exercises but don’t like the practice about letting go of the egoism, attachment, identification, craving and aversion, say that yoga asana practice is the most important part of the yoga practice, and that is what they are learning from the ‘yoga classes’ that they have been attending for months and years.

If they have done a yoga asana practice that day, they will tell themselves and others that they have done their yoga practice that day. And if they didn’t practice yoga asana for a few days or a few months, they will tell themselves and others that they haven’t been practicing yoga for a few days or a few months.

But yoga practice exists in every moment in everything that we do and don’t do. All actions, including inactions, are free from egoism, attachment, identification, desires of craving and aversion.

Well, everyone can think and believe what they want to think and believe. If some people insist that yoga is all about the yoga asana practice, and how to make their yoga asana poses to be ‘perfect’ is the goal of their yoga practice, and to make the physical body super strong and flexible will make them a perfect ‘yogi’, then let it be.

Yoga asana practice is just a very small part of the yoga practice to help the yoga practitioners to balance and calm the mind, to prepare the mind for meditation. But, if we don’t want to let go of the egoism, attachment, identification, craving and aversion, and there are countless impurities constantly arise in the mind influencing our thinking and behavior, then no matter how much yoga asana exercises we have been practicing, and how much health and fitness benefits we are getting from performing the yoga asana practice, and the physical body becomes super strong and flexible, we are not free.

People who can’t or don’t perform yoga asana practice due to any reasons, can also attain the means of yoga, to be free from ignorance and suffering, if they know how to free the mind from egoism, attachment, identification, craving, aversion, and all sorts of impurities.

Sometimes how some of the yoga teachers training courses train the ‘yoga teachers-to-be’ for what they will be teaching to the others who will learn yoga from them after they are ‘graduated’ from the yoga teachers training courses, will make their yoga students misunderstand about yoga, the teachings and the yoga practice. There’s nothing wrong with that either, as the students will be getting some health and fitness benefits from doing the yoga asana exercises regularly, just that they might not be practicing yoga.

Om shanti.

Teaching yoga? (2)

The teachings of yoga, the purpose of the yoga classes, and how the yoga teachers teach the yoga classes, are to allow the yoga students to :-

  • Become their own teachers
  • To know/see the truth by their own self-realization through self-inquiry (Insights)
  • Develop self-awareness and mindfulness
  • Develop dispassion (Vairagya) and right discrimination (Viveka)
  • Develop non-attachment and non-identification
  • Develop purity of thoughts, actions and speech
  • Develop calmness
  • Develop magnanimity
  • Develop forbearance
  • Develop self-discipline and self-control
  • Have right livelihood, right view, correct understanding
  • Be self-reliant
  • Be vigilant, determined, persevered (stamina)
  • Be patient and tolerant (strength)
  • Be able to adjust, adapt, accommodate (flexibility)
  • Be able to let go of the desire to interfere with the reality, or to control everything to be the way that we like it to be, or to change other people to be the way that we think they should be
  • Be simple and content
  • Be truthful and straightforward
  • Be forgiving
  • Be observant towards what is going on in the mind
  • Be open-minded
  • Be free from blind-faith, blind-belief, blind-agreement, blind-following towards any practice, thinking and beliefs, including the teachings and practice of yoga
  • Be free from being conditioned by past pleasant and unpleasant experiences or happy and unhappy memories
  • Be free from being conditioned by future imaginations, anticipations, projections, speculations
  • Be free from judgment, comparison, expectation
  • Be free from craving and aversion
  • Be free from egoism
  • Be free from duality
  • Be free from both worldly and spiritual attachments and identities
  • Be free from impurities – Anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, pride, arrogance, feelings of hurt, feelings of guilt, regrets, agitation, depression, anxieties, doubts, fear, worry, ill-will, ill-thinking, violence, wickedness, selfishness, stinginess, and etc
  • Be free from restlessness
  • Be free from ignorance and suffering
  • Be free from actions and the fruit of actions (Inaction in actions – Selfless-actions)
  • Be free from the cycle of birth and death (Stop producing good and bad karma through the realization of Selflessness)
  • Realize oneness, non-separateness, non-duality, attributelessness, namelessness, formlessness (Neither good nor bad, neither positive nor negative, neither happiness nor suffering, neither right nor wrong)
  • Realize Selflessness / ego-lessness
  • Realize unconditional love and peace (Compassion)

Om shanti.

Teaching yoga?

Teaching yoga is not about teach what other people want us to teach, or teach what we like to teach.

It is also not about teaching yoga with a particular brand name, or a particular style of yoga asana practice.

It is purely teaching yoga as it is.

It’s not teaching the information that we have accumulated from reading, watching and hearing about yoga.

It is teaching what we have realized from within.

Om shanti.

Yoga teachers, teaching yoga, and make a living…

Some yoga teachers are disturbed by doubt and guilt about whether it is alright for them to be able to make a living from teaching yoga by giving yoga classes or courses, as some ‘good’ people who are directly or indirectly involve in the world of yoga insist that there should be no fees charged, or there should be very minimal fees charged for giving yoga classes, as teaching yoga should be a selfless service or charity work, and most important is that part of the yoga practice is about perform selfless actions, and not expect anything in return. Even if there are fees charged (small or big amount), then all the profits from running yoga classes and courses should be given away for charity cause. They ‘expect’ yoga teachers should live on charity and begging, or they should have some other forms of livelihood or income (but not from teaching yoga by giving yoga classes) to support their life and living expenses. Or else it is wrong, or it’s a great sin, or bad karma to make a living from teaching yoga.

Not to say, there are many ‘yoga’ enthusiasts (who come from different backgrounds with different social or financial status) who are interested to take up yoga classes or yoga courses who actually think and believe that all yoga classes and yoga courses should be free, and they are reluctant to pay some fees, or only want to pay a little amount of fees that they think is sufficient to cover the cost for the yoga classes or courses, and they think yoga teachers should not make any profits or make a living from running yoga classes or courses. And they think and believe that all yoga teachers should be the role models for others to live a simple life with limited livelihood. And so, they believe yoga teachers don’t really need much money to live life, nor have any living expenses. And hence, they think yoga teachers don’t need to take any fees from teaching yoga.

There’s nothing wrong with those thinking and beliefs, coming from these people’s particular worldly point of view. Everyone is free to express what they think and believe, to criticize and to condemn other people whom they dislike and disagree with. But those who truly know what is yoga, they are aware of all the different points of views, but they will not criticize nor condemn anyone. If it is the truth, there’s nothing to be criticized about. If it is not the truth, it’s pointless to criticize someone who is being ignorant of ignorance in oneself.

Here are a few points to let anyone who directly or indirectly relates to this matter to reflect upon this matter and measure it by themselves.

Before we get into these information given below, take note that yoga practice is not limited in a yoga class or yoga course in a particular name and form, or at a particular time and space. Yoga and the practice of yoga is unlimited by names and forms, time and space. It exists everywhere and anytime. Everything and everyone can be teaching us yoga to realize the truth, it’s not necessarily has to be a human being who is graduated from yoga teachers training course and bears the title of ‘yoga teacher’, and is ‘certified’ and ‘qualified’ to teach yoga to others.

1.) Most people who identify themselves as ‘yoga teachers’ in the world nowadays are not really teaching yoga, but they are fitness instructors who teach yoga asana exercise classes under many different styles, names and forms. And so, they are not limited by the above ‘observations’ at all. They can charge fees as high as they like, depending on their cost for conducting classes and their ‘qualifications’, ‘teaching experience’, ‘competency’, ‘unique teaching skills and flair’, ‘creativity’, and of course, ‘popularity’ and ‘demand’. It’s a legal and healthy livelihood. It’s a very meaningful job that can enhance ones physical and mental health and fitness, as well as to encourage many others to have a healthier and active lifestyle by igniting great enthusiasm in these people to do some yoga asana exercises regularly.

They deserve to make enough money to pay back their cost to acquire the knowledge of the yoga asana exercises and learning the teaching skill and technique, and to attain various certificates and qualifications recognized by such and such international yoga affiliations to qualified them to teach yoga asana exercise classes to the public by continuously attending ‘yoga courses’ and ‘yoga workshops’ regularly to maintain and upgrade their professionalism in teaching yoga asana exercise classes, to ensure safe and effective yoga asana exercises, as well as fun and enjoyable innovative yoga asana exercise classes to be delivered to their students or clients. They are constantly being judged and evaluated by the clients as well as the employer, and they are either unwillingly or willingly being in competition with the other yoga fitness instructors.

On top of that they need to be able to make enough income to support their everyday life expenses on food, living space, transportation, holidays, entertainments, social activities, continuing education and learning, and for some people, they might even need to support their family, or helping out relatives and friends financially. And they also need to have some extra money to allow them to perform charity, or to be able to participate in some forms of volunteering works to contribute to the society once in a while.

There’s nothing wrong, or sinful, or bad karma in this at all.

No one can criticize or condemn them for anything as they are not teaching yoga.

2.) Yoga, the teachings of yoga, the yoga practice and Dharma are not for sale. It is not a trading object that can be exchanged or trade in for something else. It is not possible to make ‘yoga’ into a worldly business and make profit out of it. No one owns yoga, nor has authority over yoga, but it exists in all and everyone waiting to be realized. ‘Yoga classes’, or ‘yoga courses’, or ‘yoga asana exercise classes’ are something different. They can be made into a business to make some profits out of it, whether we think it’s okay, or it’s not okay. And those who really teach yoga don’t identify themselves with any names and forms. Neither they will call themselves ‘yoga teachers’. There are no yoga teachers. They are just instruments for performing the actions of transmitting the teachings of yoga to others.

3.) What’s the difference between fees and donations? It doesn’t matter they are in the form of money or in some other exchangeable forms, it is something that we show gratitude to somebody who gives us, or shares with us something that is invaluable which cannot be bought with money, whether the receivers are selfless and don’t expect anything in return, or they are not selfless and they expect something in return. Why is it if it’s ‘fees’, it is ‘not okay’, but if it’s ‘donations’, it is ‘okay’? Is it that if we think yoga teachers are supposed to be selfless beings, that they should be performing selfless service, and they shouldn’t expect or receive anything in return, and that allows us to take them for granted?

4.) Many of those who think and believe that yoga teachers should live in poverty and live on charity or begging, are not necessarily that they can’t afford to pay the fees or donations, but they are being stingy and just want to have ‘free’ or ‘cheap’ yoga exercise classes. So that they can keep their money for other expenses to support their social activities and life enjoyments. They think the yoga teacher doesn’t deserve more than what they think they want to ‘pay’. What are these people with such mentality learning and practicing when they claim themselves as yoga enthusiasts who love yoga (or yoga exercises more precisely) very much and want to learn yoga under a teacher, but they don’t respect the teacher or know how to appreciate the invaluable yoga teachings and practice at all?

Humility and respect oneself and others are the basis of yoga practice. We need to learn how to be free from arrogance, defensiveness and offensiveness, to respect all without discrimination of personal likes and dislikes, agreements and disagreements based on what our minds believe how things should be like, not to say to show humility and respect towards someone who teaches and guides us about the teachings and practice of yoga.

Those who are truly humble and sincere to learn yoga from a teacher will naturally want to contribute and support the living of the teacher. Even when the teacher doesn’t expect or doesn’t want to be respected or served by the students, they will respect and serve the teacher out of their own free will. The students will be performing selfless service to serve the teacher even after they have contribute something or support the living of the teacher. Nowadays, many people who say they want to learn yoga, they don’t know anything about this precious value of yoga – to eliminate egoism. The students complain and criticize about their teachers when they are not getting what they want, or are being dissatisfied about something that they don’t like or disagree with. They are not learning or practicing yoga at all. They expect the teacher to be in certain ways with certain professional image and behavior. They expect the teacher to give them something in return that they like and want, which they think it should worth the similar value of money that they have given to the teacher. They want the teacher to serve them or treat them with some sorts of customer service and gratifying their desires of craving and aversion, as they have given some fees or donations to the teacher.

5.) People who pay some fees for yoga classes or courses, may drop out half way of the course when it becomes quite challenging physically and mentally, or when they didn’t get what they expect to be getting from the yoga classes, even if they know that their money will be ‘wasted’. Not to say those who pay no fees or very little fees for yoga classes or courses, may easily drop out half way of the course when it becomes quite challenging physically and mentally, or when they didn’t get what they expect to be getting from the yoga classes, as they know they won’t be ‘wasting’ much money.

6.) When ‘real’ yoga teachers who teach yoga by giving yoga classes or courses at a specific time and place to allow people to come together to learn and practice yoga, they don’t sell us yoga or Dharma, or the realization of the truth, or liberation, or peace and compassion. They can’t. Even if they want to ‘sell’ us yoga or Dharma, or the realization of the truth, or liberation, or peace and compassion, we can’t ‘buy’ it and ‘have’ it, no matter how much money we have.

7.) The fees or donations (whether it is a fixed amount or ‘donate as you wish’) that the yoga teachers receive from those who participate (or not participate) in their classes or courses, are for the time, effort and costs to make the classes or courses available, to show their gratitude and support to the teachers and to Dharma by paying some fees or donate some donations to allow some other people to be able to come together at a particular time and place, to learn and practice yoga or Dharma. And everyone has to work very hard individually to attain their own realization and salvation, it doesn’t matter the amount of fees or donations is big or small.

It doesn’t mean that if the amount of fees or donations is big, they’ll get faster and more efficient results and greater achievements, and if the amount of fees or donations is smaller, they’ll get slower and less efficient results and smaller achievements. Or vice versa. And above all, yoga is not about the results or achievements, and it’s nothing to do with fees or donations.

8.) The fees or donations that we pay or donate to ‘real’ yoga teachers who teach yoga, not just some yoga asana exercise fitness classes, is also a form of charity act come from us to allow these yoga teachers (who allow the yoga classes to be available to us, and to share the great knowledge of yoga of how to be free from ignorance and suffering, to realize unconditional love and peace, it’s not just about doing some fitness exercise routines) to support their lives, and for them to have the time and space to perform their personal practice to attain higher realization, apart from giving their time to teach classes to others. They also need to have some sorts of livelihood to support themselves, their lives and all other necessary expenses to perform their duties and responsibilities towards themselves and towards those who depend on them in lives financially, physically or mentally.

9.) Why should yoga teachers (or more precisely, experienced yoga practitioners who teach yoga to others) live in poverty, be homeless, or to survive under poor and insufficient conditions, solely depend on begging or receiving ‘charity’ from other people, to prove that they practice ‘detachment’, or ‘non-attachment’, or ‘non-possessiveness’, or they are ‘super human beings’? What is the real meaning and practice of detachment, non-attachment and non-possessiveness? What does yoga or yoga practitioners has anything to do with ‘super human beings’? Even enlightened beings will also witness or go through the law of impermanence through the existence of the physical body and mind. Their bodies will decay, experiences changes, old age, illness, pain, discomforts, and eventually decomposition or death. There are constant thoughts arising and passing away in their mind. But they are not associated with, or be determined or disturbed by the ceaseless changes of names and forms.

10.) Should the yoga teachers who teach yoga be limited by the above ‘observations’, and be criticized and condemned by ‘certain people’ who think they know about yoga more than other people, and they think they have the authority on yoga and all that is related to yoga, to give them the superiority to condemn the yoga teachers who teach yoga, who are able to make a living and be financially independent from giving yoga classes or courses, and don’t need to spend the rest of their time and energy in a worldly job for livelihood, or don’t need to depend on charity or begging from others? Isn’t that a great thing for people (including those who teach yoga to others) to have a better quality of life with the right livelihood that will benefits oneself and others? While in another point of view, the yoga students are being given the opportunity to perform charity by supporting the livelihood of the yoga teachers by giving some fees or donations to the teachers.

11.) Why should ‘real’ yoga teachers who know what is yoga be bothered or determined by the criticism and condemn by these people? Those who have realized yoga, they have gone beyond egoism and worldly image, ideas and values.

12.) Even when ‘real’ yoga teachers give yoga classes or courses to teach yoga to others, whether with or without fees, it also cannot guarantee that all the students or clients will be satisfied, or will appreciate, or will be benefited from their teaching, or will be free from ignorance and suffering.

13.) Of course, there are also some ‘yoga teachers’ who do not really interested to teach yoga to others, nor do they care for the well-beings of anyone but themselves, as their main motive or objective to give ‘yoga classes’, or ‘yoga asana exercise classes’ is solely about getting some profits, to attain name and fame. But there’s also nothing to be criticized about, as some people maybe enjoying their classes very much and are benefited from attending their classes, even though they don’t have intention to benefit anyone at all. And these people see them as their greatest ‘Gurus’ and they are willingly to ‘donate’ part of or all their money to their ‘Gurus’.

14.) ‘Real’ yogis who know yoga, are not obliged to teach yoga to anyone. They don’t have to give yoga classes or courses to anyone even if there are ‘high profits’ in return, or even if we beg them to teach us. And if they do teach us yoga whether by giving yoga classes or courses, or not, and there’s profit in return, it doesn’t mean that they are not ‘real’ yogis, or they are ‘bad’ yogis. Some ‘spiritual’ people think and believe that ‘money is evil’, and so, yogis can only take food from begging and should not touch money, or receive money from anyone, or else they become evil.

Money is like everything else, it is neither evil nor good. Whether touching money, or not, it doesn’t make one a yogi or not, be free from ignorance, or not. Money is just pieces of commercial papers for the convenience of the worldly society to exchange goods and services while living in this materialistic commercial world. It depends on the purity of mind whether the money will be used wisely, or not. Don’t have any money or not using money also cannot guarantee that one is free from ignorance, egoism, greed and attachment. Having money or using money doesn’t determine that one is not free from ignorance, egoism, greed and attachment.

15.) Does by not taking any fees, or taking less money, or charging lower fees than other people, will make us better yogis or yoga teachers than the others who take some fees, or take more money, or charge higher fees?

16.) Who are we to judge or to condemn anyone, including judging and condemn ourselves, anyway?

17.) Why is it those who don’t really teach yoga cannot be condemned for not teaching yoga the way that we think it should be, as they are not teaching yoga at all, but those who truly teach yoga could be condemned for teaching yoga not the way that we think it should be? It doesn’t make sense in yoga. Though it totally makes sense for the ignorant and worldly minded ones.

18.) How does selflessness and selfless service be determined by getting something in return, or not? It’s about not attach to the actions and the fruit of actions. Undisturbed and undetermined by the fruit of actions to be peaceful, happy, confident, or meaningful, or not. Who says anything about not having anything in return? There will be something in return naturally whenever there are actions being performed, but it’s not necessarily the way that we think it should be or how we like it to be, and there’s no identification or attachment towards the actions or the fruit of actions to be who ‘I’ am. There is no ‘I’ existing to be the doer of actions. There is no ‘I’ existing to be the enjoyer of the fruit of actions, or to be receiving the fruit of actions. It doesn’t mean that after actions are being performed there is no fruit of actions in return. All actions including inactions, will bear the fruit of actions.

19.) Some might think that those who are using the information/teachings from the Scriptures to teach yoga to others, or those who have realized unconditional love and peace through their own self-realization and share the knowledge with others, or those who are using the yoga asana exercises to teach fitness exercise classes, and make a living out of it, is like ‘stealing’ something from ‘God’ and sell it to make profits.

Well, just like some scientists knew how to harvest the sunlight, the wind, the water to make use of them for mostly good reasons and generate electricity from them, and some people make some profits out of that, some people also get some livelihood out of it, while many people are benefited from it for the convenience coming from the availability of electricity in our modern lives.

Does that mean everyone who involve with harvesting the elements of fire, wind and water to generate electricity, working in the fields, and all the consumers of electricity are robbers and sinful?

While there might be people who think that since the resource is coming from ‘God’ or nature, it should be free, no one should make any profits from it, we shouldn’t pay anything for using the electricity?

‘God’ must be very proud of these Scientists to have such invention to utilize the resources from ‘God’ and turn them into something great and beneficial for all and everyone, as well as some people can make a living out of utilizing these resources.

In the modern society, many people’s livelihood and everyday living depend a lot on the availability and convenience of electricity being supply to their villages, cities, homes, factories, farms, offices and shops. Some people insist not to use the electricity for some ethical reasons, and that is their own choice.

20.) Some people labelled the yoga in yoga classes being taught without fees as ‘non-commercial’, and the yoga being taught in yoga classes with fees as ‘commercial’. Does that mean the teachings of yoga being taught in both commercial and non-commercial yoga classes will be different, although there might be different intentions behind it? There’s no guarantee that there won’t be any impure intention in the non-commercial yoga classes, nor there must be impure intention in the commercial yoga classes. Non-commercial yoga classes doesn’t guarantee all the yoga students will be free from ignorance and egoism. And it doesn’t mean that all the students in the commercial yoga classes will not be free from ignorance and egoism. If yoga being taught in the commercial yoga classes can bring certain awareness to the society, and more people are becoming more aware of their minds, and learn how to be kind to themselves and to others, what’s so wrong with the commercial yoga classes then? Unless there are corruptions exist in the yoga classes among the teachers and the students, it doesn’t matter if it is non-commercial or commercial yoga classes, then there’s something is going against the teachings of yoga.

Now, it’s up to us, whether to add something else onto these information, or to take away some of these information that we think are irrelevant, to figure out the truth through our own self-inquiry.

Om shanti.

I want to be a great yoga teacher to inspire other people to practice yoga?

“I want to be a great yoga teacher one day to inspire other people to practice yoga to have peace and happiness.”

This is full of love and good intention for somebody who practices yoga, to have great aspiration, aspires to be a great yoga teacher one day in the future, aspires to inspire other people to practice yoga, to have peace and happiness.

If I think there is something wonderful, and I want to have this wonderful thing, I also have good intention and great aspiration to share this wonderful thing with others, in hope that others will also have this wonderful thing that I have, then although this is something good for myself and for others, but I am not free yet.

Though this is a very good motivation to motivate me to immerse into my own yoga practice to make this great aspiration be materialized one day.

If there’s something in us or something that we have that can inspire other people to also have the same thing, then it will come naturally as it is when it is matured, without any intention nor expectation.

Something that is pure, it’s free from egoism (I), pride or identification (I am very good, or I have something good), desire (I want to), attachment, intention and expectation (I want to inspire other people to be good, or I want other people to also have the the good thing that I have.)

Naturally as we develop insight and realize the truth, we can share the knowledge that we acquired through insight with other people, without the idea of “I am sharing this knowledge with others. In hope that others will be benefited from this knowledge.”

We don’t need to become a great yoga teacher. We don’t need to have aspiration to inspire other people to practice yoga. We don’t need to have good intention to benefit other people through our aspiration.

People are inspired by another being for different reasons without any intention from that being aspires to be inspiring to inspire anyone.

Compassion comes naturally. Though aspire to be compassionate is also good for oneself and the society.

Om shanti.

Yoga teachers refresher course?

“Do ‘yoga teachers’ need to attend ‘refresher course’ from time to time (to improve themselves, or to ‘refresh’, ‘update’ and ‘upgrade’ their teaching skills and knowledge about ‘yoga’)?”

This question doesn’t really mean anything…

Does a peaceful and compassionate being needs to attend ‘peace and compassion courses’ or ‘refresher courses’ from time to time to be qualified to share one’s love and peace with others?

If one has realized unconditional peace and compassion, is peaceful and compassionate, one doesn’t need to identifies oneself as ‘peaceful and compassionate being’, nor identifies oneself as ‘peace and compassion teacher’ to share peace and compassion with others, nor does one needs to attend any ‘peace and compassion refresher courses’ to remind oneself what is peace and compassion, and to ‘refresh’, ‘update’ and ‘upgrade’ the peace and compassion in oneself, nor to ‘update’ the ‘skills’ on how to share peace and compassion with others.

If one is not peaceful nor compassionate, then how does one share peace and compassion with others?

If one is peaceful and compassionate, naturally one can share one’s peace and compassion with others. If one is not peaceful nor compassionate then one can’t share peace and compassion with others, even though one has been attending and graduated from ‘peace and compassion training courses’.

If one is not peaceful and is not compassionate, and needs to attend ‘peace and compassion courses’ and ‘refresher courses’ from time to time to learn about peace and compassion, and to remind oneself how to share peace and compassion with others, then this type of ‘peace and compassion courses’ is available everywhere and anywhere, within this mind existence, in the present moment now.

‘Yoga teachers’ as well as ‘yoga training courses’ are available everywhere and at anytime. Everything and everyone (all the perceptions of names and forms) is teaching and guiding us to realize yoga, at anywhere and anytime. But one must be able to see one’s very own mind and is aware of the ignorance and egoism in one’s mind, to realize the greatest yoga teacher above all, which is oneself.

When one is not free from ignorance and egoism, one can attend ‘yoga courses’ to learn about its teachings and practice that can help one to be free from ignorance and egoism.

If one is free from ignorance or egoism, who is peaceful and compassionate, one doesn’t need to attend any ‘yoga courses’ to learn how to be free from ignorance or egoism, nor to be ‘qualified’ to share peace and compassion with others.

If one who has graduated from ‘yoga teachers training course(s)’, and identifies oneself as a ‘yoga teacher’ and teaches ‘yoga’ to others, find oneself has to attend ‘refresher courses’ from time to time, to ‘refresh’, ‘update’ and ‘upgrade’ their teaching skills and knowledge about ‘yoga’, then one hasn’t realized what is yoga. If one hasn’t realized what is yoga, how does one identifies oneself as ‘yoga teacher’ and teach ‘yoga’ to others?

Those who are free from ignorance and egoism, have no identification as ‘yoga teachers’, nor identify the actions of sharing peace, wisdom and compassion with others as ‘teaching yoga’.

May all be free.

Om shanti.

“How long do we need to practice yoga to be trained to be a yoga teacher?”

“After how many years of practicing yoga that will qualified a person to be trained to be a ‘yoga teacher’?” Someone asked.

“Teaching yoga is nothing to do with how many years one has been practicing yoga, as the amount of yoga practice that one has performed or how much ‘time’ one has spent on ‘yoga practice’ doesn’t determine nor guarantee that one has realized the truth and unconditional peace, be free from ignorance, egoism, attachment, identifications and impurities.

One can learn and practice yoga under the guidance of some other experienced yoga practitioners, but one doesn’t need to be trained to be a ‘yoga teacher’ to be qualified to teach yoga to some other people.

Anyone who knows how to perform some yoga asana practice or some other forms of yoga practice can teach other people to perform the same practices based on one’s knowledge and experience about those practices, but everyone has to realize yoga through self-realization.

If one hasn’t realized yoga, how can one be teaching yoga to some other people? If one hasn’t be free from ignorance, egoism, attachment, identification and impurities, how can one shows others the way to be free from all these defilements? If one is not peaceful, how can one guide others towards peacefulness?

One who has realized yoga cannot make others to realize yoga, but can only share one’s knowledge and experience through one’s self-realization to others who need guidance to be free from ignorance and suffering. If one can make others to be enlightened then all beings would be free from ignorance and be at peace already, as there were many enlightened beings existed or exist in this world.

‘Yoga teachers training course’ is for one to learn and practice yoga, to develop self-awareness, self-control, self-discipline and self-introspection, and be one’s own teacher.

Teaching yoga or sharing the path of yoga with some other beings comes naturally when one realizes unconditional love and peace, which is not determined by how long one has been practicing yoga nor determined by who is one’s yoga teacher or Guru. Some may never practice yoga with a particular name and form, but may have realized selflessness, be free from ignorance, and realized unconditional love and peace, through letting go of egoism and attachment.

One will naturally know what to share and how to share with other beings when one realizes the truth of oneself, and realizes unconditional love and peace, when one is free from ignorance, egoism, attachment, identifications and impurities.

One doesn’t need to go through any ‘yoga teachers training course’ to be qualified to share one’s love, peace and wisdom with other beings who want to be free from ignorance and suffering, when oneself has realized unconditional love and peace, and is free from ignorance and suffering.

If one hasn’t realized the truth and is not free from ignorance, egoism, attachment, identifications and impurities yet, and is still very much be affected, or disturbed, or influenced, or determined by the objects of names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses, and is not peaceful, then even though one has gone through many years of yoga practice with a particular name and form, or has been attending many yoga courses or teacher training courses, or has been reading many books about yoga, and has been accumulating many ‘recognized’ certifications from here and there, or trying to be good and do good, but then one cannot share love, peace, and wisdom with anyone as oneself hasn’t realized unconditional love and peace, is not peaceful nor compassionate, and is still influenced by ignorance.

When one realizes non-duality, oneness, attributelessness, namelessness and formlessness, and is free from egoism, there’s no identification of ‘I am a yogi.’, nor ‘I am a good yogi.’, nor ‘I am an advance yogi’, nor ‘I am a yoga teacher’, nor ‘I am an experienced and qualified yoga teacher.’, nor ‘I want to teach yoga to other people.’, nor ‘I want to be qualified to teach yoga.’

One just shares what one naturally is.

Everything and everyone is our teacher to guide us to realize yoga when we have developed self-awareness, self-control, self-discipline and self-introspection, and become our own teacher. All these names and forms don’t need to be trained to be a yoga teacher to teach us yoga.

May all be free, be peaceful, be happy, starting from oneself.”

“Professional profile” of a yoga teacher or a yoga school?

“How long have you been practicing yoga?”

“How long have you been teaching yoga?”

“Where and whom did you learn yoga from?”

“Who is your yoga teacher or Guru?”

“What type of recognitions, certifications and qualifications do you have?”

“What type of yoga do you practice or teach?”

“What is the level of this yoga course or yoga class?”

“What type of certifications I can get from attending these yoga courses or classes?”

“What type of results or benefits I can get from attending this yoga course or yoga class?”

All these are the common questions coming from most people who want to practice yoga or to teach yoga. But yoga is nothing to do with all these names and forms…

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

Normally, when people are looking for a yoga school or yoga teacher to learn about yoga, or to do some yoga exercises, most of us will want to know the “professional profile” of the yoga school or the yoga teacher, to know what are the qualifications, certifications, affiliations, past experiences, achievements, types of courses, classes or services of the yoga school or the yoga teacher.

Same as when a yoga school or a yoga teacher wants to “promote” their classes or services, naturally, they want to have a “professional image”, and to give a “laudable”, “highly recommended”, “reliable”, “professional”, “expertise”, “highly experienced”, “outstanding”, “competent”, “recognized”, “affiliated”, “updated”, “distinctive”, or “beautiful” type of profile to show to the respective “clientele” or yoga enthusiasts who might be interested to take up yoga courses, yoga classes or yoga exercise classes at this yoga school or with this yoga teacher.

There is nothing wrong with this universal worldly idea and practice in the process of getting a “product” and promoting a “product”. Just that, all these “identifications” that identify with certain qualities of names and forms has nothing to do with the practice of yoga and meditation, or the realization of the Truth, or the propagation of Dharma, which is about annihilation of ignorance and egoism, realization of selflessness, fearlessness, oneness, namelessness, formlessness, compassion and wisdom, and transcend suffering, birth and death.

As liberation, or selflessness, or compassion, or realization of the Truth, is undetermined by all these qualities of names and forms that consist of worldly minded business marketing standards, ideas and strategies, qualifications, certifications, affiliations, achievements, past experiences, excellent and extensive services.

All these identifications with qualities of names and forms are irrelevant to what yoga is, or the teachings and practice of yoga, or the realization of yoga, or the beings who learn, practice and realize yoga, or the liberated beings who share the wisdom of yoga with other beings.

Here are some examples of a common profile of most yoga schools and “professional” yoga teachers who provide yoga courses, yoga classes, or yoga exercise classes :-

“Want to teach yoga? Want to be certified as an internationally affiliated and recognized yoga teacher? Come to us, let our professional yoga teachers trainers to train you to be a qualified professional yoga teacher and be certified and recognized internationally”

“Our yoga school is a Yoga Alliance 200 Hour & 500 Hour Registered Yoga School.”

“Our yoga school has been established for how long.”

“I am a Yoga Alliance 200 Hour & 500 Hour Registered Yoga Teacher.”

“I have been practicing and teaching yoga for how many years.”

“I have been to such and such yoga schools.”

“I had learned and graduated under such and such yoga teachers and gurus.”

“I have attained such and such qualifications and certifications recognized and issued by such and such organizations, or alliances, or affiliations.”

“I am a qualified and certified yoga teacher, I teach such and such types of yoga classes.”

“The type of yoga classes and practice that I teach will give you such and such benefits and results.”

“I am an advance yoga practitioner and yoga teacher, I practice and teach advance yoga.”

“I am experienced, knowledgeable and well-trained yoga teacher. Come to my yoga class. I teach you yoga. I teach you yoga exercises.”

“I have how many years of teaching experiences.”

“I have taught yoga classes in such and such (creditable) yoga schools.”

“I am a good, happy, healthy, experienced, knowledgeable, fit, strong and flexible yogi and yoga teacher.”

And so on…

There is nothing wrong with all these worldly thinking, ideas, qualities and identifications, and most people want or need to see all these qualities to find what they believe is a “good” and “reliable” yoga school or yoga teacher, that will give them what they want after they have paid some fees to be getting something that they are looking for. As well as most yoga schools and yoga teachers also think and believe that they need to have such qualities to convince themselves and the world that they are experienced, qualified, knowledgeable and good enough to give or provide some forms of services, courses or classes to those who pay them some fees for some services or results in return.

But, yoga is nothing to do with all these worldly image or identifications, or worldly ideas of marketing strategies, business exchange of services and achieving results.

All these names and forms have no meanings or values for beings who truly practice yoga and meditation to transcend suffering, egoism, ignorance, names and forms.

Who is being there to identified with all these qualities of names and forms, to acknowledge ourselves and others that “this” is who I am, what I am, what I do, and what I can give you?

Those who had realized selflessness, who have gone beyond the qualities of names and forms, who are free from egoism, and who can guide anybody towards selflessness from their own direct experience and realization, out of compassion, undetermined nor limited by any worldly individuals or organizations to qualified or certified them to be sharing love, peace, compassion and wisdom with anybody, without intention, without identification, without discrimination, without attachment, they are not determined nor limited by any qualities of names and forms, nor will they strengthen the worldly ideas and attachment towards the qualities of names and forms, when the basic teaching and practice of yoga and meditation is to go beyond all these qualities of names and forms, and realize selflessness, namelessness and formlessness.

Those who are suffering, and are determined to be free from suffering, they will either meet the teacher, or the teacher will come to them naturally, when the time is right, to guide them, to show them the way. And the teacher is not necessary in a form of human beings who bear the title of “experienced, qualified and certified yoga teacher”.

Everything else is just a play of some worldly ideas and egoistic desires.

The Truth or Dharma, is always here as it is. It doesn’t belong to anyone or any organizations. It is not limited in yoga schools, yoga courses, yoga classes or yoga teachers. It’s not tradable nor exchangeable. It can’t be sold nor be bought. It is whether we realize it, or not.

Om shanti.