Hit & Miss

Life is a series of hit and miss. Having been raised by entrepreneurial parents, this is what has been ingrained in every fiber of my being. In life, you can have small victories and devastatingly huge defeats. But you have to keep going. Failure does not mean you haven’t succeeded. Failure is PART of success. And you have to keep trying.

Sometimes, trying comes with a pricetag. But I have learned that money is something you can always earn if you’re willing to work for it. The time you spend in trying is even more valuable than money will ever be, for time is something you can’t repossess. And time you spend in learning from mistakes is time never wasted.

It could take years to build an empire. But it takes only a miscalculated step to watch it all crumble down. And when you’re down in the rubbles, you must learn to claw your way back to the surface, wiser than ever before. And even that experience is never a waste.

Life is a series of hit and miss. You win some, you lose some. That is just the fundamental rule of life. You can’t have it all. But even then, you have to strive to have a shot at the kind of life you dream for yourself. I am not even talking about financial stability here. I am talking about peace and choosing battles. Choose whatever makes you happy. Choose what you think is best for your ultimate learning and growth. Remember that a seed has to come completely broken and undone during the process of germination. You will suffer in this life, you will be in pain, but even as the broken seed rises above the surface to find light, you too can do this if you only choose to.

In the wise words of my good friend, “your vision will sustain you”. And in the grand scheme of things, these painful episodes of the present will serve as learning experiences.

Life will offer you countless numbers of rejections and trials. You will have to make sure that the cruelties of life won’t harden your heart. You have to learn to be kind, because you know exactly how it feels when the world is just a little too unkind. The Dalai Lama says, “defense is the first act of war. Respond with love.” And indeed, the world needs more love. Love in non-verbal ways. Love even when you don’t understand. This is the real challenge. Love when you see nothing to be loved, especially when looking at yourself.

Life is a series of hit and miss. It takes quite a bit of courage and a great deal of risk.

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Cracking Knees

This blog post is long overdue. I was going to write a long, depressing piece on the hassles, struggles and sacrifices of opening your own yoga studio. But I decided to sleep on it and write about my cracking knees instead.

Yes. At age 25, I can feel my knees cracking each time I climb steps or rise up from a squatting position. And while it’s not really painful (yet), I was alarmed at how early I seem to experience *symptoms* of wear and tear. When I first noticed of this *symptom*, I did what any normal 21st century person would do. I consulted with Dr. Google. But every tidbit of information I got points out to one thing: “If it’s not painful, there’s nothing wrong with you.” And if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Still I refuse to accept that cracking knees are normal for a person my age. Let alone for someone who does jump-backs for a living.

I stumbled upon a writing by the great guru, B.K.S. Iyengar in his book YOGA: The Path to Holistic Health. In the Iyengar Style of yoga, complete with an array of props, never is the student allowed to bend his knees during a Standing Forward Bend (use a block if it’s impossible to reach the floor, but never bend the knees). I realized I have been guilty of micro-bending my knees when I’m feeling particularly stiff. Apparently, you have to completely engage your hamstrings when in forward fold. That’s kind of the point of the posture. So bending your knees would somehow undermine the the benefits of this posture. Of course, I did not relate my cracking knees to this. At least not right away.

Lately, I have dedicated my afternoons to the practice of Ashtanga Primary Series. Using Iyengar’s alignment in my Sun Salutations has greatly improved the condition of my knees. I no longer feel them cracking whenever I climb the stairs. There’s still some cracking when I rise up from Malasana (yogi’s squat) though. I have to research how to exit the pose safely.

I wish I could spend more time being a student so I can learn about the different styles and methods that work and don’t work for my body. It’s never a one-size-fits-all approach but experiencing these things first hand gives me greater insight on what my students could possibly go through. After all, when it comes to teaching yoga, nothing means more to me than keeping my students safe in their practice.