photo for articleAnyone who has done much yoga has heard that the meaning of the word yoga is ‘union.’ Like most beginning yogis, I first understood this to be the union of body and mind.  My own life is built on separations that yoga has helped me to bridge. This understanding has been critical in the year since I achieved the International Yoga Sports Federation Championship. As I have traveled around the world on the ‘champion tour,’ my mission has been to use yoga to share these lessons to bridge separations and bring unity to all I reach.

My first separation began when I was fourteen and my family moved from Hong Kong to Canada.  Since then I have moved between Canada, Hong Kong, the United States, Singapore, Taiwan and have traveled extensively in Europe. While I have in some ways transcended the East/West cultural division, I always have been aware of the two worlds I bridge. The collective communal in the East; and the individualism in the West.  Within the yoga community, however, I began to realize that these categories were not as meaningful – the power of yoga to erase artificial boundaries and to unite.

I recognized separations within the yoga community itself. Yoga has brought from East to the West, many different brands of yoga have developed. Yoga is not an idea or a name.  I observed many black and white separation across different yoga schools and teachers.  When we live in a box, that creates separation, comparison of which is a better box than the one we’re in. The territorial protection creates insecurity from the sense of lack and takes us to a scary place.

My practice began with Bikram yoga, for many years it has been the best practice for me and for many – it is simple, accessible, intense, emotional, and challenging.  The postures are founded on compression and extension and opposite reactions it also leads to a profound meditative state.  In the last couple years I started to dedicate into various kinds of yoga. I see every yogi experiences their own sort of unity and divine connection through their own practice – this can be through chanting, meditating, fasting or selfless service.

Over my trans-cultural years and began to take shape in my past year of travels. I found an image forming of yoga acting on individuals like so many soybeans going through a funnel. When we practice yoga, age, family, religion, sexuality, type of yoga, society, class, status . . . and all the other boxes we inhabit begin to melt away.  Like those soybeans going through the funnel, yoga unites us all, without judgment, to take us to the same transcendent space.   Practicing yoga in so many different places helped me to see how the world is interconnected, thru news, media, technology and arts. Let’s not forget how our connection, the high and the low, the high wave and the low wave is constantly changing. Our present limitation is a delusion. I practice yoga to expand my consciousness to infinity, many others practice yoga for health and beauty, or simply for focus.  Yoga is a tool, it’s okay people have different ideas of what it is.  We don’t need to do the same, be the same, that’s what the Universe suppose to be. The Universe consists of opposite force, contraction and expansion, positive and negative, yin and yang, north pole and south pole, separation and unification.  We all co-existing, the unity is within ourselves, then we develop the capacity of kindness, acceptance and mutual understanding of others.  Everyone is an extension of ourselves, and each yoga is an extension of others. We all lead from one to another and yoga provides the path.

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