be free, be happy, be peaceful

May all find the teacher within to guide oneself towards unconditional love and peace

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Non-comparison in yoga

"If I can do it, so can you!"
"Look! It's possible for them, it should be possible for you too!"
"This is so easy. You should be able to do it."
"Think positive! Believe in yourself! You can do it!"

All these motivational positive encouragements comparing someone with others to motivate a person to achieve something and the practice of positive thinking to motivate someone to perform a task, are nothing wrong or bad. But, this is not the teaching and practice of yoga.

There are different conditions, abilities and limitations in different people. And all kinds of conditions, abilities and limitations are impermanent and it's not 'I'.

The easiest or most comfortable positions or practice for some people might be challenging or very uncomfortable for some other people, and vice versa. Different people come from different life backgrounds and experiences have very different reactions towards the positions and practice. We can never compare one with another about what they can do or can't do, and what they should do or shouldn't do.

It's about knowing the conditions, abilities and limitations of the body and mind in the present moment now, and perform actions that are possible in the present moment, and achieve what is possible in the present moment, without comparison with the past conditions, abilities and limitations, without comparison with other people's conditions, abilities and limitations, without forcing the body and mind beyond its present conditions, abilities and limitations. Meanwhile, being aware of the conditions, abilities and limitations in the present moment now are impermanent and there's no identification with any conditions, abilities and limitations to be identifying as 'I'.

It's just what is possible and impossible in the moment without attachment towards the possibilities or impossibilities that are impermanent.

There's nothing wrong or bad with 'impossibilities'. It's okay if something is being 'impossible' and for us to be experiencing 'impossibilities'. It's okay that there are things which our body and mind can't do or can't achieve in the present moment, or even until the last moment of the existence of this body and mind. But we do our best, and keep doing our best, without attachment towards our efforts and the results of our efforts.

'Anything is possible' doesn't mean that everything is possible. It's about being open-minded towards any possibilities (both possibility and impossibility), without expectation towards anything to be possible or impossible. It's okay if there are things that are not in our control or wishes to be the way that we like it to be or the way that we think it should be. By telling ourselves and others that 'everything is possible', but only limited to the things that we want to achieve or things that we want them to happen, and for the things that we don't want them to happen, we don't want them to be possible, is denying and running away from the reality that we don't like and don't want.

Acknowledging that 'not everything is possible' makes 'anything is possible' possible. Allowing the possibility for possibilities and impossibilities.

It's okay if we can't do something that we would like to be able to do or achieve something that we would like to achieve. What we can do or can't do and what we achieve or don't achieve, has nothing to do with the realization of unconditional peace and compassion.

Everything is just what it is. It is neither possible or impossible.

Thinking positively won't change the truth of impermanence and selflessness to be what it is. Thinking positively every moment hoping everything is good and pleasant, that the world will be free from all kinds of suffering, will not stop different beings from experiencing different kinds of suffering. It's the actual effort of self-inquiry to be free from ignorance through self-realization of the truth of suffering will free oneself from suffering. It's nothing to do with positive thinking.

Be free.

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Know thyself. There is no existence of 'I'. Everything is impermanent. Be free, be peaceful, be happy.

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Pantai Cenang, Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
My husband and I run ongoing yoga retreats in Langkawi Malaysia. We teach traditional Hatha Yoga - a combination of Asanas (postures) and Pranayama (breathing techniques) and relaxation, that has given benefit to millions of practitioners over thousands of years. Our yoga studio is situated in Langkawi. We also run yoga retreats in Europe and India.

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