Yoga, love and motherhood.

There were three major events in my adult life that directed me to the spiritual path and shaped my personality and life. First was yoga. It has slowly and gradually transformed my body – relieving physical pain and ailments, then my mind – removing emotional garbage and revealing the bliss of mental peace under the constant chatter, and eventually, my soul – allowing for deep connection to the purpose of my life and my higher self. I’m, of course, not talking about yoga as only practice of poses but yoga in its deepest meaning of Union with its meditative experiences, the feeling of the energetic body and its currents, and ultimately as a conscious way of life.
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The second transformation has started when I fell in love – a true love that has been removing the edges of my ego and opening countless opportunities for self-reflection and self-growth. This real love has been showing like in a mirror my ugliest angles in order to remake them through presence and awareness. Becoming ONE with my husband has been a truly transformational experience as it gives no choice but to allow, embrace, forgive, and savour each moment whether it’s bitter or sweet.

The last and the most recent biggest change was brought to me through the amazing journey of motherhood: calling for a soul, embodying it, giving birth to it and now taking care of the new human being I call “my son”. To know by experience what unconditional love means, one must become a sage or a parent. The latter could be easier but for me it’s connected to a huge responsibility to be the best person I’ve ever could. What can be a better opportunity for self-improvement then knowing that the little person you love the most in your life will copy everything in you including your worst unconscious patterns? Along my teaching and coaching past I’ve met way too many people with pains and problems all rooted in their childhood. Will I exaggerate saying that 99% of all problems are related to our relationship to our parents? The desire to bring up a healthy and wholesome being simply forces a loving parent to become a better person. It’s still a very new adventure for me but my son Veda has been the greatest teacher I’ve ever had. The spiritual potential that parenthood withholds is amazing. And I’m looking forward to seeing what’s coming on the next page of my story.
Life is beautiful! I’m so grateful for it all!

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Intimate Journeys

Namaste WordPress friends!

I’ve been silent for almost two years now ( oh my god, time flies!). Since my last post there has been so much change in my life! In fact, it’s a totally new life for me! I’m a mother of a one year three month old toddler now! Going through pregnancy, giving birth and taking care of a baby – all these experiences were life-changing and very very transformative for me.

Me and my babyI’m intended to start blogging again, and since my interests have slightly changed, my topics could be a bit different now, though spirituality will always be at the heart of it all. My writing will be more informal too. I’ll just try to share some thoughts and inspirations.

And I’d like to start by sharing an article which is written not by me, but about me. I was recently interviewed by Cosmopolitan, Taiwan, and you can see the photos and a Chinese translation on this link:
http://www.cosmopolitan.com.tw/?p=8756

Here is the original article:

Cosmopolitan, Taiwan
November, 2013

Intimate Journeys
By Cindy H. Wang (王傳瑄)
Travelers from all over the world make their journeys to Taipei, and many of them choose to stay. Each person’s journey becomes a small piece of consciousness in time, and contributes to collective beauty of our city. Many foreigners learn the local language, adapt, and grow as they settle down. Their stories are all different, but their journeys all come from inside out. No matter where is the destination in their minds, as long as they listen to their hearts, their experience will always bring them closer to home.

Zoya lives in Xindian with her family. Every afternoon she takes a small journey with her one-year old boy to the nearby park for some exercise. She has always been agile, and her post-pregnancy slender figure seems even more fit than before. People who come in contact and interact with her are often in awe that, the beautiful and gentle Belarus woman who looks like a doll happens to speak Mandarin like a local person. Besides of being a full-time wife and mom, she is also an advanced yoga instructor who is fluent in Russian, English, and Mandarin, and has taught yoga around the world.

When she was studying in college, if anyone had told her that she would one day live in Taiwan, married to a Taiwanese artist, and teach yoga professionally, she would had laughed like it was a far-fetched fable. But years later, she is not working at a competitive corporation, she no longer smokes, drinks, or eat meat, and looks like a lively teenager. Her story is not in any form a fictitious tale, but a beautiful woman’s journey. Zoya is from Belarus. She majored in International Relations and minored in English and Chinese languages at the Belarus State University. She always excelled in everything she did, and after graduating, she came to Taiwan to study Political Science, and was recruited to work for the ROST (Russian Center for Cooperation with Taiwan) Group, where she worked as the special assistant of the President of the company. But the stress from school and the demanding job aggravated the lower back pain she had since she was a teenager. She began to practice yoga for her health, then found time from her busy schedule to complete yoga instructor certification training in Taipei.

She then left Taiwan in 2004, and moved to Malta. She lived in Malta of 6 years to be with her loved one. She also continued more advanced yoga training in India and Europe, and established Zoya Yoga center in Malta. Her thoughtfulness and patience make her a very popular teacher. She also created extended courses that last for a few months. The students who enroll in her classes all want to participate on long-term basis, as she also prefers to teach long-term course and cultivate comprehensive teacher-student relationships. She would start with basic postures and breathing exercises, then gradually introduce more advanced components physical and emotional components into the class. Analogous of any journey, it takes a beginning to get to anywhere. She would say, “it’s like no one can learn to read a novel before learning the alphabets and words, right?”

Her kindness and gentle guidance is always reflected in her classroom. After travelling from Eastern Europe to Asia, India, and many different places, her teaching has always come the guidance that encourage her students to take on their own personal journeys. She says that, “I create safe space for my student to increase awareness and allow any needed change. I am not the one to take responsibility and decide what’s right for them. But I can share some yoga tools that will show them the way. However, they must choose the direction, not me. At the same time, I keep working on myself, changing myself with the help of others as they reflect my shortcomings.”

Even thou she has left school and the world of international trading, she is still majoring in “relationships.” Her marriage is the proof of the dedicated relationship with her husband. She mentions that when they were dating, her intuition let her know that he was the one person she wanted to be with. The relationship between her son and her husband is also influenced by the sense of closeness that she brings, and the baby is already very close with his father. She also acknowledges that men and women need each other, just like how the energy of the sun and the moon complement each other.

Regarding on how to build strong relationships with others, her principles are honesty, trust, and openness. Everyone needs shield for protection, and some form of disguise. But when the self-discovering process releases personal bondage, any kind mask will become unnecessary, and even words will become excessive. She is fluent in three languages, but she has never been conformed or controlled by any books, philosophies, or knowledge. She believes that only her own direct experience is true. Whenever she comes across some profound realization herself, then the experience in confirmed in something she reads, she always feel validated, but that does not mean the written words are her guidance in life.

She is also perpetually discovering her inner life. Without any religious beliefs, she believes life is eternal. The interior life is always more important than the exterior, because no matter what, everything starts with the self. She says that, “Everything relationship you build is a reflection of yourself, and it’s always better to change yourself than others.” She also recalls that compare to before, she feels her life in the present moment is better, because she always listened to her heart, and never ceased to change.

Being a Leo, Zoya is analogous of a beautiful and graceful cat. But her life is not at all about sleeping under the sun. She and her husband have moved back to Taiwan for 4 years. Her impressive credential has made her the ideal teacher many yoga studios are seeking. Many of her students are also expecting her to open new sessions again. Her teaching will always allow students of any age to uncover and build better relationships as they learn to relax and let of lies and pretenses, and become more in touch with their own bodies. The journey of happiness and self-discovery is a long path. It is also the ultimate relationship with one’s self. It is never too late, and there is never a wrong time to embark.

The Mastery of Love

Love…. There has been written so much about it. People try to express love through visual art, music, poetry… And yet it’s something no one can really explain. The reason is simple: it’s coming from the heart, no mind. Or maybe even from the soul as Rumi wrote once:

I love my friends neither with
my heart nor with my mind.
Just in case heart might stop,
Mind can forget.
I love them with my soul.
Soul never stops or forget.

Why do we love someone? Where does love come from? And what is love??? Once I wrote my thoughts on love in relationships and its different levels/stages (kama, prema, bhakti).

Today’s post is about self-love as this is a source for love we can share with others. It has nothing to do with egoism. Only when you nourish yourself you can nourish others. Without self-love we will always look for some «loving» relationship that will make us happy. Coming from the place of lack, it will be always based on negativity of lack. It will be about demanding love from a partner rather than unconditionally sharing our inner love. How can you share if you don’t have enough? What can you squeeze out if you are empty?…

illustration by Jason V Lu

Many years ago, a friend of mine gave me a little book by Don Miguel Ruiz called «The Mastery of Love». He said it helped him tremendously, and it was his everyday reading book for years. My English was quite poor back then, but I found that it was written in very simple words yet the meaning was very profound. Here comes a few pages of what the author said on self-love:

«Everyone has a price, and Life respects that price. But that price is not measured in dollars or in gold; it is measured in love. More than that, it is measured in self-love. How much you love yourself  – that is your price – and Life respects the price. When you love yourself, your price is very high, which means your tolerance for self-abuse is very low. It’s very low because you respect yourself. You like yourself the way you are, and this makes your price higher. If you don’t like things about yourself, the price is a little lower.

Sometimes the self-judgment is so strong that people need to be numb just to be with themselves. If you don’t like a person, you can walk away from that person. If you don’t like a group of people, you can walk away from those people. But if you don’t like yourself, it doesn’t matter where you go, you are right there. To avoid being with yourself, you need to take something to numb you, to take your mind away from yourself. Perhaps some alcohol is going to help. Perhaps some drugs will help. Perhaps eating – just eat, eat, eat. The self-abuse can get much worse. There are people who really feel self-hatred. They are self destructive, killing themselves little by little, because they don’t have the courage to kill themselves fast.

If you observe self-destructive people, you will see they attract people just like them. What do we do if we don’t like ourselves? We try to get numb with alcohol to forget our suffering. That’s the excuse we use. Where are we going to get alcohol? We go to a bar to drink, and guess who’s going to be there? People just like us, who try to avoid themselves also, who also try to get numb. We get numb together, we start talking about our suffering, and we understand each other very well. We even start to enjoy it. We understand each other perfectly because we vibrate in the same frequency. We are both being self-destructive. Then I hurt you, you hurt me – a perfect relationship in hell.

What happens when you change? For whatever reason, you no longer need the alcohol. It’s okay now to be with yourself, and you really enjoy it. You no longer drink, but you have the same friends, and everyone’s drinking. They get numb, they start getting happier, but you can clearly see that their happiness is not real. What they call happiness is a rebellion against their own emotional pain. In that “happiness” they are so hurt that they have fun hurting other people and hurting themselves.

You no longer fit in, and of course they resent you because you are no longer like them. “Hey, you are rejecting me because you no longer drink with me, because you don’t get high with me.” Now you have to make a choice: You can step back, or you can go to another level of frequency and meet people who finally accept themselves like you do. You find there is another realm of reality, a new way of relationship, and you no longer accept certain kinds of abuse».

illustration by Jason V Lu

And a bit more from the same chapter «The Dream Master»: «EVERY RELATIONSHIP IN YOUR LIFE CAN BE HEALED, every relationship can be wonderful, but it’s always going to begin with you. You need to have the courage to use the truth, to talk to yourself with the truth, to be completely honest with yourself. Perhaps you don’t have to be honest with the whole world, but you can be honest with yourself. Perhaps you cannot control what is going to happen around you, but you can control your own reactions. Those reactions are going to guide the dream of your life, your personal dream. It’s your reactions that make you so unhappy or make you so happy.

Your reactions are the key to having a wonderful life. If you can learn to control your own reactions, then you can change your routines, and you can change your life. You are responsible for the consequences of whatever you do, think, say, and feel. Perhaps it’s hard for you to see what actions caused the consequence – what emotions, what thoughts – but you can see the consequence because you are suffering the consequence or enjoying the consequence. You control your personal dream by making choices. You have to see if you like the consequence of your choices or not. If it’s a consequence you enjoy, then keep doing what you are doing. Perfect. But if you don’t like what is happening in your life, if you aren’t enjoying your dream, then try to find out what is causing the consequences you don’t like. This is the way to transform your dream. »

Thank you for reading it with me!

14th of Feb 2012

Zoya

http://www.zoyayoga.com

Eckhart Tolle about the ego and relationship

Quote

I don’t read many books. Somehow I feel that real knowledge can only come through my own experience. Meditation has proved to be the best tool to open the door to the wisdom source for me. In my life, the meditation came first, and then there were some books that helped me to put into the words my inner experiences and realisations. One of those books is The Power of the NOW by Eckhart Tolle – a great book I highly recommend to everyone who wants to be happy (unconditionally:).

Today I’d like to share a few quotes from this author who never fails to inspire me.

“If you cannot be at ease with yourself when alone, you will seek a relationship to cover up your unease.  You can be sure that the unease will then reappear in some other form within the relationship, and you will probably hold your partner responsible for it.”

«When you are enlightened, there is one relationship that you no longer have: the relationship with yourself.  Once you have given that up, all your other relationships will be love relationships. »
«As long as the ego runs your life, most of your thoughts, emotions, and actions arise from desire and fear. In relationships you then either want or fear something from the other person.

What you want from them may be pleasure or material gain, recognition, praise or attention, or a strengthening of your sense of self through comparison and through establishing that you are, have, or know more than they. What you fear is that the opposite may be the case, and they may diminish your sense of self in some way.

When you make the present moment the focal point of your attention — instead of using it as a means to an end — you go beyond the ego and beyond the unconscious compulsion to use people as a means to an end, the end being self-enhancement at the cost of others. When you give your fullest attention to whoever you are interacting with, you take past and future out of the relationship, except for practical matters. When you are fully present with everyone you meet, you relinquish the conceptual identity you made for them — your interpretation of who they are and what they did in the past — and are able to interact without the egoic movements of desire and fear. Attention, which is alert stillness, is the key.

How wonderful to go beyond wanting and fearing in your relationships. Love does not want or fear anything. »

Eckhart Tolle

Namaste! Here is my first blog:)

Namaste to all who is reading my first blog:)

I’ve been considering blogging for a long while (almost two years?:), and I’m finally doing it. Yeay!:) Today is happened to be 12/12/2011, quite an interesting date. Recently we’ve had many special dates – 01/10/11, 10/10/11, 20/11/2011, 01/11/11, 11/11/11, and all of them have a specific meaning and therefore a task to perform. Honestly, I wasn’t able to “celebrate” all of them, though I believe in numerology and the fact that each number has a particular vibration and some special energy. But today is different to me –I’m doing it!

A few days ago, I saw a friend’s post on FB about the 12/12 alignment with an attached article on Divine Forgiveness and Divine Union. The part on forgiveness has clicked with me. It is something I’ve been working on for a few years. I’ve been receiving the message of forgiveness many times recently, so it feels like it’s time to finish the work! No, it is not that I have some enemies, or I hold a grudge against someone. In my case it’s more about forgiving my-Self! I haven’t killed anyone but I’m sure in some cases I could have done better… And don’t we all criticize ourselves for not being good enough, not doing enough of good things, or doing too much of bad stuff? Some people might take it easier but my «inner critic» is a strong guy, and I’ve spent much time and energy confronting him (yes, it’s him, not her:) i see him as a middle-aged man in a black suit:).  I was lucky to get help from my mentors and friends; I used Emotional Freedom Technique, Shamanic Healing, and hours and hours of meditation to get to where I am now at. However, I feel it’s not over yet. Tonight I’ll do an important step to say final «good-bye» to that unloving part of myself that holds me back from letting go of all past «mistakes» and embracing the now with openness and joy that will lead to an abundant future.

“Forgiveness” doesn’t require much effort at it is not an action. It is simply stopping of blaming someone or yourself for something. Since blaming requires energy, and forgiveness is the stopping of this action of blaming, it actually is easier to forgive than to continuously be blaming another or yourself. So all I need to do is to relax, take a deep breath in, breathe out and forgive! Then the energy that was held to feed my inner critic and the space taken by this guy who lacks compassion will get free! Yep, that’s it! Tonight is the night! Thanks to blogging I made this final decision. I’ll do it the moment I finish my writing.

Farewell my inner critic! Your space will be taken by a loving rose-cheeked woman with an open heart:)

Zoya Lu

http://www.zoyayoga.com

12th of Dec 2011