Yoga is already part of my life since 2000. Slowly but surely, it has impacted my lifestyle or way of life, too. Some apparent evidences are that I have chosen to become a vegetarian and leaves alcohol beverage as second choice towards the natural beverage(s).
I consider myself as fortunate in learning yoga under the strict classes of my teachers in Shambala Yoga in Singapore, Yoga Limbs in Hongkong and Shanti Yoga in Sydney. Mostly in Iyengar and Astanga. I also had opportunity to participate in classes conducted by Rodney Yee, Cle Souren and Ann Barros. The latter becomes more of a regular, since Ann regularly visits Bali and Jakarta during the year.
During the course of 8 years, the practice has been steadily improved, especially as I shed weights and gain the strengths over the year, I am totally hooked on it. How it brings about or influenced my life is that I have become more patient and less rushing when I cannot attain some objectives in life. I am still struggling with meditation though, because I have a tendency of very busy mind. So my stage is still doing pranayama, where I can observe my breathing freely and regularly, without judging and evaluating. When it comes to meditation, I would prefer to do walking meditation. Every step of the walk is observed and based on regular breathing. This can also be done with swimming. When I swim, I can readily observe my breathing, movement and be as calm as cucumber. This is why I do lap swimming and last for 45-60 minutes.
These days, I am practicing by myself, aiming to do it every other day at home, between 60-75 minutes. Afterwards, I will sleep like a baby and can feel that the quality of sleep itself is different. It is more of a deep sleep and when I wake up I feel very fresh and renewed.
Below is some of my experiences with my guruji or my teachers:
As an Iyengar Yoga teacher, Ann Barros is very strict and discipline in teaching asanas. She will not sacrifice a pose, just because it has to be in the final stage and would teach a transitional pose, too, if the student is not there yet. Sometime with 20 students in a workshop, it is quite challenging to pay attention one-by one. However, in her Bali workshop, the class is usually of smaller group attendance. Ann conducts classes ranges between 4-10 days in Ubud, Bali, at least 3 times a year.
Franziska Rapp of Prana Dewi in Batukaru conducts a 3-day, 2 night yoga retreat, which I joined back in 2005. Her retreat was held in her establishment in Batukaru in Tabanan, up in the mountain. She has about 5-8 cottages, which can be shared by participants. Classes were held twice a day, each lasted between 1.5 to 2 hours. The participants are usually no more than 10 people. Franziska’s background is a registered nurse and she is very knowledgable with the anatomy of her students.
I will continue to learn and view that the journey still long and interesting. Like life, there is no end to learn yoga. Every practice is different, some days are full of energy, the others are mixed with various feelings as a carried over of the day’s experience. Every milestone is something which I treasure and respect, bad, good or indifference, as long as I am there in the moment and experience it to the fullest.