Archive for November, 2010

NOVEMBER 30, 2010

Controversy Over Yoga’s Soul

Posted by Dorothy under Philosophyno responses

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I recently came across an article in The New York Times which highlighted the ongoing controversy as to whether yoga belonged to the Hindu religion. Such a similar issue about “yoga being a part of Hindusim” sparked the threat to ban Muslims in Malaysia from practicing yoga. The Muslim religious groups fear that Muslim yoga practitioners will deviate from their religion and into Hinduism as a result of yoga. I personally agree that yoga has some links to Hinduism but these days, yoga in the gyms are purely for exercise purposes. Everyone is free to choose where they want to go or which teacher they prefer. Some yoga teachers may include mantras in their class but others prefer to keep it for their personal practice. After a few months of debate between Muslim yoga practitioners ( who are still true to their Muslim religion ) and the religious groups, the issue died down and yoga practitioners in Malaysia were left to practice in peace.

With this, I hope that everyone can see yoga as an exercise or a spiritual practice but certainly not a religious following. There should be no restrictions from any religious groups to stop their followers from adopting yoga into their lifestyle because yoga was meant to be a way of life, not a religious practice.

Here goes the article from The New York Times Online :

Yoga is practiced by about 15 million people in the United States, for reasons almost as numerous — from the physical benefits mapped in brain scans to the less tangible rewards that New Age journals call spiritual centering. Religion, for the most part, has nothing to do with it.

But a group of Indian-Americans has ignited a surprisingly fierce debate in the gentle world of yoga by mounting a campaign to acquaint Westerners with the faith that it says underlies every single yoga style followed in gyms, ashrams and spas: Hinduism.

The campaign, labeled “Take Back Yoga,” does not ask yoga devotees to become Hindu, or instructors to teach more about Hinduism. The small but increasingly influential group behind it, the Hindu American Foundation, suggests only that people become more aware of yoga’s debt to the faith’s ancient traditions………to read more, please click here.


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NOVEMBER 18, 2010

Dealing With Modern Day Stress

Posted by Dorothy under Wellnessno responses

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It is music to my ears to have clients telling me that their professional office jobs are causing too much stress to their daily lives and how they wish they had the courage to earn their money in unconventional ways. It also sounds familiar when people tell me that they decided to quit their office jobs to experience life without much work stress. Whether these courageous ones do it for a short period of time or are fortunate enough to find an alternative or managed to discover their dream job, they deserve a salute.

Imagine the usual busy day scenario as an office worker where you get stuck in traffic on your way to work, arrive at the office and are met with workload which has a deadline round the corner. You sit at the computer and start working your fingers and brains, then realize after a few hours that it is lunch time. Some of you may skip lunch due to the lack of time. By the time you are done, the clock shows 7pm. You are exhausted and dread the drive home. After beating the traffic you reach home at 8pm. It is too late to cook so you call for take away. Finally your responsibilities are done for the day at 10.30pm. The next weekday morning, you go through the same process again.

Looking at the above familiar scenario, time for rest is not enough, a schedule for exercise is redundant and there is no chance for you to reflect your daily life. You just go with the fast pace where stress is part of daily life.

Let us all relate to the changes in our behaviours while under stress:

1)      Lack of patience which causes us to get easily irritated

2)      Anger may be the result of being irritated

3)      Anger if not dealt with will affect the people around you

4)      A possibility of mental or physical breakdown may occur

To deal with stress, one has to take a step back and evaluate the reasons or the source which causes stress, because if stress is prolonged, the person will become sickly.

To avoid that, one has to take care of their mind, body and soul. To start with, you should slow down in life where you do not overwork, do some sort of exercise, do things out of your routine or go on a holiday once in a while where you ( hopefully ) do not think about work.

Later onwards, you can learn to cultivate mindfulness in your daily life by doing a simple form of active meditation (http://www.langkawi-yoga.com/blog/?p=465 ) where you simply keep your mind in the present as you e.g.: go for a mindful walk around the office block. The idea is not to walk to get somewhere , but simply to enjoy the walk.

Finally, the most important thing is to ask yourself whether you like your job and is it worth it for you to put yourself in a fast forward life until the day you retire or take your time to go through every stage and ensure that you live life to the fullest and keep yourself healthy? Remember, everyone needs money to survive but it is not always the case that “more” means “better”. You have to always keep in check as to what you NEED and not WANT. For instance, the bigger your house is, the more you have to earn to pay for its maintenance. So please re- evaluate your working life before it is too late.

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