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Yogi of November - Natalie
Confronting, Surrender, Patience in Practice

My path of yoga was formed in a right time, chance and circumstances. It was because I changed my work location. Also, I wanted to change to a different form of exercise to support my broken body and find a way to resolve my long-term physical pain and discomfort. That’s how I started on the path of yoga.

After two years of practice, I met teacher Phillippe. Meeting him brought my yoga practice to a different level. At that time, I just wanted to have a feeling of breakthrough, but I didn’t know what I was looking for. First time I took Phillippe’s class, even though to me his flow class was very physically challenging, but I always remembered that feeling of unbelievable peace after class. It was what I have been seeking after all these time.

My yoga practice has gone from a physical exercise to a practice of the heart; from Philippe’s Hatha class to now a regular Ashtanga practice; from a twice or three times a week practice to rather going to class than go out with friends. It didn’t matter what my physical or mental condition on a given day, even if I stepped into the class with an unsettled mind, I always felt a sense of peace as the practice ends with the closing chant of lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu (may all beings be happy and free). I feel “Yoga is not a competition.” Each student has their own practice, even if it is in the same classroom and following the same instructions. Phillippe’s teaching philosophy is to practice without judgment, while focus on the breath in the present moment, not being attached to the perfection of the practice or the limits of one’s practice beforehand. Even if it doesn’t look like it’s a “good” practice. Each practice is always a good practice. Everything I see, think, express, react and behave have been changed by this mindful attitude. Starting from being in the present moment, allowing the seed of mindfulness to be nurtured and grow, and gradually extend to every corner of my life.

We come to this world with our own nature, growing up in different environment and experiencing different circumstances, and slowly becoming who we are now.

With a tendency of going on my first instinct, I learn not to judge or react to my initial feeling, whether it is expressed outward or just mentally. I simply allow this feeling and observe myself in the present moment. In interactions with others, I attempt to understand that others is doing the best they can in that moment, because we never know what is going on in other people’s life or what they have experienced in the past. All that happened is for the best, even if it doesn’t appear so.

The end of last year, I experienced my mother’s passing. I watched the curve lines on the heartbeat monitor gradually slowed and eventually became one flat line. At that last moment of her life, I watched my mother, who has not been devastated by of the first aid measures. As I leaned beside her, I felt calm and joy for her peaceful departure. The end of life ending with a peaceful heart.

“Man often fears the unknown, but is also limited by what he knows”. Things and people change constantly in the world. The only constant is change. Every once in awhile time permitting, I would try different teachers’ classes. Every time my feelings were always unexpected.

Yoga brought me a clear mind and a sense of stability. Ever since I started practicing yoga, the changes that occurred in my personality, diet and how I deal with people and situations just naturally happened, without any expectation. The best things come when you least expect them to. Yoga imperceptibly changed my life and that changes is still continuing. I hope to face the future with a humble heart. To me, yoga is a practice of life. It is also a way of life, an attitude towards life. 

Special thanks to Ada, Anne, Gladys, Joanna, Michelle, Pearl, Ranjan, Vicky, Yifen.
I dedicate this article to the teachers poured me nutrition in different stages.

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