Monthly Archives: April 2011

Gratitude, Compassion, Surrender

Today was a heavy day. I felt angry and frustrated for different reasons. My yoga teacher Jon used these words to start of our meditation and pranayama sessions last week.

I decided to to sit and meditate using these words as my mantra.

Twenty minutes of sitting still…thinking over and over again…
Gratitude…why I should be grateful?
Compassion…how can I show compassion? How was I not compassionate today?
Surrender…there must be a reason for these events…don’t waste energy sulking and being angry.

Then 10 rounds of Brahmari…

Finally, a beautiful chant to end.

The experience was calming and affirming.

Om shanti shanti shanti…


Yoga Retreat Pictography

A small group of yogins and yoginis took a short trip out of the city to the cool hillsides of Antipolo for a Yoga Retreat.

The natural and rustic feel of Camp Explore was a perfect setting for this retreat.

 The Buddha welcomed us to signify a peaceful and bountiful event for us.

For two mornings, we would take that short trip through the “woods” to get to our practice area.

We had a tiled open area for practice.  The pros…our ambient sounds came from nature and our green surroundings made things tranquil.  The cons…mosquitoes and the cool mountain breeze! I think it was colder here than at Chi spa where we usually practice.

We started the day with pranayama practice and asana practice.

We had two workshops; the first on pranayama and the other on strength and flexibility. The workshops were fun!

We were able to do meditation one night and we were able to sit and discuss yoga concepts and curiosities.

We had to fight psychological deprivation of food we prefer to eat and believe in the fact that soup and salad would nourish us enough. (I think I will keep this diet until Easter?!)

It was great to spend more time with my teacher from whom I learned a lot from these past days.  He shared with us two great movies “The Guru” and “Ashtanga New York”. Hmmm…I need to get a copy of those, especially the one on Guruji!

I go through life knowing that my yoga practice has changed me, but this is something that I normally don’t talk about or discuss with the people I regularly work with.  This trip brought together people from different work backgrounds, different age groups, different lives with yoga as their common link.

Although I had qualms leaving my normal comforts of life and leaving my “security blanket” husband for a couple of nights, I think the time I spent with people who are on the same journey as I am (with yoga in their lives) was very much worth the trip!


Lotus: a thank you gift!

Today I received a unique gift.

One of our graduating students gave me this. She gave me a handmade lotus flower, put it on a box, snapped it shut with a rubberband shaped like a fish! She knows I practice yoga and eat fish…

Although I was already mesmerized by the paper lotus that was on the box, more so with its content.

She wrote me notes on pictures that depicted her growth during the years that she was with us at the College.  In particular, she reminded me of instances in which I sat as an examiner in  a practical exam, when I commented on her reporting during a research forum and when I worked with them as their research adviser.

I think it was her intention to let me know how I had helped her out during her years here, but for me, the happiness that I felt was in the thought of how much she has grown and blossomed since I had met her.  And it makes me even happier that she has the ability to reflect on this.

This week, the words ” practice non-attachment” was brought up when I was bogged down with all the work that needed to be done.  It was only when I received this gift did I realize what the word really means:

Do your work to the best of your ability,  in the best way that you know.  Do it with pleasure and enthusiasm, with the intention of influencing others positively. Its outcomes? You will never know…each person is different and will react differently.  You just hope for the best.  Sometimes, one person will come back to you to say thank you…that is more than enough to keep me going in this vocation.

One who performs his duty without attachment, surrendering the results unto the Supreme Lord, is unaffected by sinful action, as the lotus is untouched by water.
Bhagavad Gita 5.10: