Bearing Points when you practise 20-minute exercises on floor

How effective these exercises are is not measured by appearance; that somebody bends a lot and another looks stiff. Some people are naturally suppler than others. However, in a supple person, suppleness could be only in the partial body, not in the whole. So, let us move away from these words ‘supple’ or ‘stiff’ and respect our own unique reality. I think that, when we practise yoga exercises as bearing principle points with harmonised breath and mindfulness, everybody gets effects in a similar degree.

The video, during the first several seconds, shows important notes: Breathe through nose, Hamonise breath and movement, Flow at your own pace. I simplified these notes as much as possible in order not to make your mind busy, but these contain ‘Please do not force your body as holding breath’, that is to say, ‘Don’t do ‘push and push’ when you find your body not moving any farther against your expectation’. In this case, not all conditions may be fulfilled to move your body any father. A forcing action does not change a long-established status. Breath holding involves a conscious action and is used for a different purpose in yoga practice.

So, please let the video run by your side and practise at your breathing pace, and sometimes, visit this page to check the bearing points in each exercise, which will refine your practice.

Effects of Online Lessons

So far I have been receiving very good feedbacks, and so I think the attendees have been receiving benefits on physical aspects. Readers, please put your comments as you wish. Here in this post, I describe my own feedback about ‘Effects in mind occurring through Online Lessons’.

Yoga ultimately teaches one becoming one’s own master through finding that one’s own innate divinity is no difference from the divinity of natural law, which is enabling all phenomena of the universe to exists and occur. Oki-sensei put this into his unique expression “The life force is God”. Thus as each individual practising to be his/her own master, we respect and help each other and develop together – This is the ideal human society in Oki-sensei’s teaching.

As running 90-minute online lessons, I am realising this way of yoga lessons can serve very well enhancing our awareness towards the above mentioned.

1. As an English saying “You  can  lead a  horse  to  water, but  you  can’t  make  him  drink” indicates, it is the most basic importance that we must prepare ourselves to attend anything consciously willingly, if we want to produce its best effect. To attend online lessons, you may have to reschedule your daily routine, have to ask other members of your family to cooperate to your ‘Me’ time, have to prepare comfortable environment which helps you focus on your practice, have to prepare yoga kits yourself, not like jumping out of your house into a yoga studio. In a few words, basically you have to organise yourself to get ready for entering a special realm even for just 90 minutes. But, you can guess what will develop if you accumulate such self-discipline.

2. In online lessons, I don’t come around to give individual advice or point out this or that in order for you to adjust positions, speed or general intensity. Instead, you have to observe my demonstration when I show differences of positions at this angle or that, carefully listen to my explanation about inner sense that would occur according to small differences, and finally you have to communicate with your own inner sense. This kind of mental attentiveness is really a good practice to polish our inner sense. I believe it is a very important element to make physical exercises to yogic exercises. Using the body as a portal and developing conscious mind, yoga is a method to integrate the balance of the body, mind and spirit, throughout all levels of our existence. Even while giving for a short lesson each, I hope I am viewing this direction.

Some may feel put off using technology to attend yoga lessons. However, with positive feedbacks from both the attendees and myself, I am very happy to run the online lessons.

Change your perspectives

I have picked up some more words from Oki-sensei’s Japanese lecture given on 1978.9.29, as follow:

I think that all methods to lead us to saving, enlightening, restoring health or making wishes true are concluded only as one way. It is that we search, devise and make efforts to practise a way of living to make our innate life force happy. For example, our life force is happy when the body is flexible, the breathing is deep and when we take suitable nutrition, but it is not happy when we have poor elimination.

The other day when I gave a seminar to many business people, one of the questions I was asked was how one could earn good money in business. You can’t know how because you see a situation only from your point of view. Say, if you as a customer stand in front of your shop, is it a shop you would like to enter, or a shop you want to pay your money to? Think like this in different perspectives.

This means: you must have capacity to listen. If you want to make your life force happy, you must listen to its voice. Otherwise, you cannot enhance your natural recovery power even if you want to do so. Your life force is constantly appealing to you about what it needs. Please try to listen to those requests.

Also, always make a ‘yes’ response. A ‘yes’ response means that you respond to anything with a thankful mind.

Also, interpret and treat everything as a divine blessing given from the universe. Cultivate your mind so that it instantly works in this way, for example, even in a simple action of drinking a glass of water.

Also, when you deal in a particular situation, if you imagine as if you are a divine being, you will treat the situation in a better way.

These are from yoga training in Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi, Bakthi, Prasad and Buddhi.

To create a peaceful world, each person must be in a peaceful condition

My last post was about  Oki-sensei’s description of what the natural body, natural mind-heart and natural life-style are for human beings and that yoga is a system of ‘philosophy and practical methods’ that teaches this to us.

In this post, I summarised two lectures from an English booklet ‘Last Lectures by Masahiro Oki’. The lectures are one given in Finland on 28 June 1985 (pages 5-10) and another given in Belgium on 15 July 1985 (pages 33-37). Oki-sensei draws our attention from lofty ideals (as per the last post) to very practical indications which we can apply in our daily life.  He says the following:

Attendees of the lectures suggested many subjects such as love, religion, peace, health, and yoga. He decided to speak how to create peace, because in ‘peace’ all aspects of human beings are included. After the Second World War, he decided to become a peacemaker and joined many so-called peacemakers’ groups. However, he found that there were many paper- or mouth-peacemakers but they were not necessarily peaceful themselves. Then he realised that, if we want to create a peaceful world, each person must be in a peaceful condition, where we need three elements: peaceful body, peaceful mind-heart and peaceful life-style. He concretely indicates as follows:

How to create Peaceful Body

  • Keep your muscles flexible.
  • Keep your spine stretched.
  • Keep your breath deep.
  • Keep your blood clean.

Yoga Asana and Pranayama teach these.

How to create Peaceful Mind-heart

Obtain a balanced state in emotions, desires and intellect.

  • Emotions and desires come spontaneously, not by thinking. When some thought or feeling comes, don’t deny it. But, think ‘what is the opposite thought or feeling to this one?’  If you think well, you will find there are so many ways of interpretations. Then bring in the opposite thought or feeling to the one which originally occurred to you. Through this practice, your mind will come to feel alright whether this way or that way.   Unbalanced thoughts or feelings come because your ability of adaptation is weak.
  • To keep your intellect peaceful, you must distinguish what you understand from what you don’t understand.

How to create Peaceful Life-style

Peaceful Lifestyle means the life-style where we help each other and develop together. This is love. There are two causes for human quarrels: egoism and attachment. How to practise this kind of life-style is as follows:

  • You do not need to deny about possessing things, but utilise them as public things, or for both yourself and others.
  • Whatever you do, keep its benefits for yourself and others at 50% each. Keep your own joy and other’s joy at 50% each.

Oki-sensei showed us both lofty ideals and practical indications. I think that having these both is one of the beautiful features of Okido Yoga. 

What yoga teaches

Here is what I picked up from Oki-sensei’s lectures ‘What is yoga?’ (1978.7.28 & 1978.9.29).

Meaning of the word ‘yoga’ 

The word ‘yoga’ means ‘to unite’ or ‘to yoke’ and refers to uniting the Plus Force and Minus Force. The universe functions as plus and minus forces perpetually change, move towards balance and reach stability. This is the law of nature, which is what enables us to live. In order to be saved from suffering (such as illness, distress, unhappiness, calamities, pollution, wars etc.), we have no choice but to follow the law of nature. This means that we are to understand and practise what the natural body for human beings is, what the natural mind-heart* for human beings is and what the natural life-style for human beings is, which together make up the human natural state.

The human natural state is as follows: 

>  Natural Body for human beings: The hara power is enhanced. The hara power is the ability to enhance and strengthen the natural recovery power which we are inherently given.

>  Natural Mind-Heart for human beings: The busshō, the divine nature of human mind-heart, is enhanced. It is the ability to thank everything, interpret everything as joyful and divine, and make friends with everything. Only human beings are inherently given this ability to develop to such a state.

>  Natural Life-style for human beings: We cannot live alone. Human life is social life, where we live in each other’s cooperation, as well as tied down to each other. We have the ability to enhance our adaptability so that we may still feel free in a limited life. Co-existence and co-happiness are integral to the natural life-style for human beings.

Yoga is a system of ‘philosophy and practical methods’ which concretely teaches how our body, mind-heart and life-style are to be, in order to live in the human natural state as described above.

To start this blog

To start this blog, I listened to a couple of Oki-sensei’s lectures given in old days. The scale of his teaching is vast and profound. Despite how long I have been engaged in Okido yoga, it still makes me feel that I cannot concisely sum up what Oki-sensei taught – i.e. what Okido yoga is. It may be naturally so because yoga is not meant to be learned from listening to or reading words, as he himself said repeatedly. However, just as it is necessary to sometimes check the technical content of exercises in order to improve our physical training, I feel that, if I try to describe at my current level what Okido yoga is, this process will improve my understanding of Okido Yoga. 

So, here I am going to share what I grasp currently, while listening to or reading Oki sensei’s words. Your comments will be welcome so that we can learn together.