Those Lessons Yoga Teaches Me 那些瑜伽教我的事

Yoga enters my life when I was in a slump few years ago. I am not born strong nor flexible. Therefore, in the beginning, I only treated yoga as a chic and relaxing exercise to train my body.  At the end, however, I am so surprised to have chances adventuring into different yoga- Hatha, Sivananda, Ashtanga- in various places and meet beautiful souls on the road. They enrich my life in an unexpected way, and yoga philosophy even inspires me on how to view every moment in life!

幾年前在我人生的低潮, 瑜伽進入了我的生命. 我既不身強體健, 柔軟度也差, 因此, 剛開始我只是抱著跟隨流行的心態練習瑜伽, 希望能讓自己健康些. 沒想到, 最後瑜珈帶給我許多意想不到的收穫. 不僅 因緣際會的, 我行腳多處接觸了許多不同的瑜伽練習- 哈達, 希瓦南達, 阿斯湯加. 在這趟美麗的冒險中, 我也邂逅了許多很棒的人. 這些經驗豐富了我的生命, 甚至練習瑜伽中領悟到的種種, 也幫助我用不同的視角來面對生命中每一刻.

What have I learned?

瑜伽教了我什麼?

Enjoy pain as much as joy

Yoga practice is a sweet and bitter process. The sweetness is unbeatable once one learns how to manage a posture. Before that, pains, injuries and sweat are common occurrence. Those moments are frustrating- either one has to step back to take a pause, or the practice has to be carried on regardless the soreness- neither is pleasant! When depressed with one of these set back moments recently, I was reminded by my mentor that life being a mixture of sweetness and bitterness. No matter how much we love one over the other, altogether they season life with a rich taste. (From Karma point of view, she also mentioned that we have certain quota for sweetness and bitterness in life. The pains we have during yoga practice can be deducted from the bitterness account, which makes our elder life easier. I find this saying so beautiful and inspiring!) It also resembles the recent rising “eccentric hybrid” fashion- ugly chic, androgyny & athleisure. They are fun and attractive from the intense, mysterious and refreshing mixture of varied inspirations.

如同享受歡愉般享受痛苦

練習瑜伽是一連串苦樂交集的過程. 當學會一種新體位時, 那種欣喜是無可言喻的. 但練習的過程中, 肌肉痠痛, 受傷, 汗如雨下簡直就是家常便飯. 面對這些練習時的辛苦, 有時是很挫折的. 要不你就退一步, 等到傷復原後才繼續練習; 要不你就繼續練習, 當那些疲憊痠痛的肌肉不存在, 但兩者都不是令人開心的事. 最近在我正竊喜將能駕馭某個體位之際又受了點小傷, 叨叨絮絮的向我很景仰的一位老師抱怨時, 她提醒我, 苦和樂在人生中同等重要. 大多數人都享樂, 討厭受苦, 但缺乏其一, 人生都不會多采多姿. (如果你相信因果業報, 這位老師還分享一個很動人的說法: 每個人一生中必須受的苦和樂數量已定, 練習瑜伽中所受的苦, 能從這帳戶中扣除, 讓我們接下來的人生會輕鬆一些. 這個說法, 讓我頓時轉念, 用一種正向態度來面對我撒了滿地的汗水和酸痛的肌肉!) 這也讓我想到, 這幾季流行的”混種時尚”- 醜陋美學, 雌雄同體, 運動風, 他們之所以這麼精彩有趣, 不也正因為混合了許多看似極端和相反的元素嗎?

Focus on yourself: respect your limits, stay humble but keep a fun spirit

It is hard not to compare ourselves with others- especially being competitive is always encouraged to survive in this world. Being not a strong person physically, I take longer time to manage some postures that require strength. There are few times I get injured badly after pushing myself too hard. They are painful yet precious lessons to remind myself that we are all built differently. Only respect who we are- strengths and weaknesses- and keep the practice with fun attitude and awareness, we could progress on the right course and eventually all comes. This attitude also applies to my self-discovery to personal style. After uncountable experiments with embarrassing outcomes, I finally realize that the best style can only be built on top of understanding, accepting and appreciating who I am. (See the full story “Part II: What Is Your Personal Style?” below)

專注自我: 尊重你的極限, 保持謙虛和幽默嘗新的態度

當這個世界不斷告誡培養競爭力的重要時, 要保持不和他人比較的態度其實很難. 對我的孱弱身形來說, 要學會某些強力的體位總得花上比其他人長的時間.  但偏偏我的個性既好強又倔強, 強出頭的下場, 就是身上大大小小的傷.  這些受傷的時刻看似討厭, 對我卻是很好的提醒, 它們讓我記得, 每個人生來都不同,  只有充分了解自己, 然後抱著幽默和自覺的態度不斷練習和嘗試, 終究能找到一條適合自己的路, 順利抵達終點. 這恰巧也是我尋找及打造個人風格的心路歷程, 在經過無數次不堪回首的嘗試和錯誤後, 最終我發現, 唯有了解, 接受並欣賞自己的樣貌, 才能打造獨具個人魅力的最佳造型.

(點下圖閱讀前文”你的個人風格是什麼”)

Emptiness matters

Full backbend is one of the challenging postures for me: I have a hard time to lift myself up with straight arms! Aside from lacking of strong arms and open chest, my teacher told me that holding too many thoughts in mind also block the practice. The beautiful thing I learn from yoga is, all postures can be done as long as one knows how to leverage the space in body. The space can be created through breathing. When focusing on breath, one stays at the present and can always achieve the posture in the unexpected moment- which is sometimes faster than one thought! I have fully experienced this theory upon building my freelance image consulting business in these 5 months. Even knowing that starting up business needs time and patience, with the habit to always drive for efficiency from my previous training, I become anxious and cranky easily whenever things do not go my way.  In one depressing afternoon, I was too exhausted and thus decided to release myself from all thoughts. In between several deep breaths, I felt this emptiness, which led me to the instinct and all of a sudden several good idea just popped up in my clear mind. Voilà!

空間和專注

輪式對我來說一直是很大的挑戰. 經過一段時間的練習, 我仍然無法打直手臂, 將自己舉到正確的高度. 我的老師告訴我, 這當然是跟我的手臂不夠有力, 胸未完全打開有關. 但更重要的是, 練習當下我心中有太多的想法其實也造成阻礙. 練習瑜伽的這段期間, 如果要我說一項最棒的領悟, 那就是明白人的身體中有許多空間. 只要你善用呼吸在體內創造出這些空間, 並專注當下, 就能做到每一種體位, 而且達成的時間可能還比你預期的要快. 五個月前, 我決定創業從事形象顧問, 這一路走來, 簡直就是在實踐這樣的練習. 雖然我明白創業需要時間和耐心, 但過去多年的職場訓練, 讓我十分效率導向, 只要事情沒有依照想要的方向進行, 我就會開始焦慮並變得暴躁. 在一個極度沮喪的午後, 太多的情緒讓我覺得好累, 因此我決定放空自己, 在幾個深沈的呼吸之間, 我突然發現了那個空間, 裡面躲藏了我最珍貴的直覺. 當我平靜下來後, 許多很棒的點子也就不請自來.

The practice to full backbend

Take care of your body and your body will take care of you

To maximize the benefit of yoga practice, body and mind need to work together. I have had few unpleasant experience after my practice- those happened either after I overate, ate/slept badly, or practiced with a wandering mind.  It applies the same to the pursuit of beauty- some people believe in the expensive products or just follow the latest fashion trend. Yet to look great and eventually age gracefully also requires a strong consciousness to body- how you respect and pamper it- and mind- if you are passionate and positive.

好好照顧你的身體, 你的身體就會報答你

瑜伽練習需要身心同在良好的狀態下才能達到最佳效果. 我曾有幾次不太舒服的練習經驗, 後來發現, 這和我練習前暴飲暴食, 睡眠不佳, 或練習當下想東想西, 不夠專心有關. 這讓我想到,  在追求變美的路上, 許多人迷信只要購買名牌服飾, 保養品, 或跟隨潮流, 名人穿搭就能做到. 然而, 我相信, 想要打造個人魅力, 優雅地老去, 尊重並好好照顧自己的身體, 並保持對世界充滿熱情的正向心態, 其實是最重要的第一步.

New challenges always wait ahead: be open-minded to embrace all encounters

Every now and then I get compliments from people on how good I am in doing yoga, I always get blushed. It is true that I have made some good progress in these years, thanks to the good teachers and my hard practice. However, the better I get to manage postures, I also realize  more challenges and learning being always ahead! Therefore, I gradually learn to let go the stress and be open-minded.  Sometimes when stuck somewhere in the practice, I take a pause, talk to people and learn from their experience. Or I just run away from my comfort zone, exile myself to somewhere alien. I enjoy meeting people around the world, listening to their sharing on personal stories and life value. Seeing the world through my own eyes always inspires me and makes me more open-minded to differences. This practice provides me a positive energy to adapt to the fashion world- creative and dynamic, beautiful and quirky, talented and crazy, and nothing is perpetual. Namaste!

前方總有新挑戰, 不管遇到什麼都樂觀以對

在練習瑜伽漸有進展後, 常會有朋友好心讚我厲害, 其實聽到這些讓我更加心虛. 因為遇到很棒的老師, 加上本人也真的很努力練習, 因此, 我也慢慢發覺愈來愈能和自己的身體合作, 駕馭更多體位. 但這當下, 我也發現一山還有一山高, 前方其實還有好多我做不到的體位, 而現正做到的, 也有很多需要調整的空間. 也因為如此, 漸漸我不再在練習中給自己壓力. 有時某個動作怎麼都練不到時, 我會停下來, 和其他朋友聊聊, 聽聽他們的經驗, 或者, 我也曾乾脆出走, 自己旅行到印度, 和來自世界各方的人閒聊, 聽聽他們的故事和生活觀. 旅行到異鄉總是啟發我良多, 讓我更有包容力, 也能更開放面對人生各種情境 .這也是我喜愛時尚界的原因, 因為它讓我看到無限的創意和活力, 美麗和怪異可以一體, 才華滿溢是瘋狂的另一面, 而且所有的光鮮亮麗都只是曇花一現, 沒有永恆,  Namaste!



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