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What is Yoga?

by Michael Teh

Yoga has been commonly misconstrued as just a form of exercise. However, the ultimate aim of practicing Yoga is to lead the union of an individual’s consciousness with that of the Universal Consciousness.

In addition, through my teaching and guidance, practicing Yoga is essential as it will enable you to meditate with complete stillness and concentration and eventually bring forth your self-realization.

“the practice of Yoga is to lead the union of an individual’s consciousness with that of the Universal Consciousness – indicating a perfect harmony between the mind and body as well as man and nature.”

Yoga, for most people, is understood to be a practice or an activity that promotes health and wellbeing through performing various techniques which include postures and movements, breath awareness and breathing exercises, relaxation and concentration, self-searching, and meditation.

That said, in this post, I would like to share with you the origins of Yoga, and to gain a deeper understanding of what it is.

To start off, the word Yoga, is derived from the Sanskrit word, Yuji which means to join or to yoke or to unite.  And in the Yogis’ scriptures, the practice of Yoga is to lead the union of an individual’s consciousness with that of the Universal Consciousness – indicating a perfect harmony between the mind and body as well as man and nature.

And if you have been following my blog, I have continuously emphasized on the importance of meditation and self-realization – where the ultimate aim of Yoga is to help prepare one to be able to meditate with complete stillness and concentration and to come to a state of Samadhi (when one can transcend the body and mind to realize who one truly is). And upon realizing who you truly are, you will then be able to unite your consciousness with the Universal Consciousness.

Thus, the union is the ultimate aim of Yoga, of which I have termed as self-realization. To find out more about self-realization, click here  to read more about it.

Having said that, many have misconstrued Yoga to be just a physical exercise that can be done in the gym or Yoga Centre (where you can practice various flows of Asana) that can help one’s body to gain flexibility and strength.

Even though practicing Asana is important, it is just a small part of Yoga as the ultimate aim of Yoga, as I mentioned above, is to prepare you to meditate with complete stillness and concentration to bring forth the realization of who you truly are.

Prior to practicing Yoga, I had only practiced meditation and self-contemplation and with God’s divine blessing, I was able to come to my self-realization and that was when I started to embody the realization and began practicing Yoga Asanas and Qi Gong.

It was only in January this year that I started my journey in becoming a Yoga practitioner (will be completing my RYT 500 at the end of Sept 2020). And in my experience of practicing Yoga Asanas and Qi Gong while with the embodiment of self-realization, I have experienced a powerful transformation of my body, mind, and soul. I have since been feeling lightness in body, clarity of mind, spontaneous meditation, and fluidity in my body movement.

And if you’re interested in practicing Yoga, do not worry if you think you may not be cut out for it as everyone has the ability to do Yoga. I would like to encourage you to practice Yoga with me as I am currently teaching and practicing Integrative Yoga with my students at Yogshakti, Bukit Tunku.

In my Yoga sessions, I hope to journey with my students to help them prepare to meditate as well as to enable them to achieve self-realization. At the same time, my teachings of Yoga will be different as I will be embodying the philosophy of not just traditional Hatha Yoga but also the Taoism philosophy through Qi Gong and the concept of balance through the understanding of Yin and Yang energy in our body. Above all, it is the embodiment of WHO I AM that will make the teachings and practice special.

So, stay tuned and continue to follow me on my website and social media platforms to find out more about my classes.

Michael Teh, 11th August 2020.