Yoga and Life (Part 2...)

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Today, I will talk about Listening and Following Instructions

I find this a crucial part of my Yoga practice and no matter how tired I might be, will always strive to pay 100% attention to the instructions of my Yoga Master.

Why is this so important? Well, every slight contraction, expansion, twist, angle of the body will give a totally different result and effect on the body! To maximise the time on the mat and get the best results, why not listen at 100%?

Of course, not EVERY Yoga Master might give very clear instructions, but I do what I can, and then clarify as soon as possible during or after the class.

In order to Listen at that level, I must be totally conscious and aware of my surroundings, despite the sweat pouring down, the heart pumping and my face in a twisted contortion. Which brings me back to Part 1 of Yoga & Life (, on having the ability to quieten the disturbed body and mind and focus inwards, and listen despite all odds.

There is also another form of listening, and that is to listen to the body. If it is obviously showing signs of distress and pain (pushing beyond your boundaries), please slow down, and/or rest.

In life, do we face the same challenges in Listening, especially to people giving Instructions to us? Perhaps we don't like to listen to this person speaking, or we think it is not important, we are thinking of other stuff, we are thinking what to say next etc. So we don't listen at 100%, and to add fuel to the fire, we don't clarify when in doubt!

End result? Mis-communication occurs, things don't get done at the level they want and everyone is not happy about it.

There are also different forms of listening. There range from 1-5, 5 being at the highest level.

1) Not Hearing
2) Hearing
3) Selective Listening
4) Active Listening
5) Emphatic Listening

So, at which level do we normally practice listening to others? whether in a Boss->Employee, Parent->Child or vice versa, Friend->Friend, Lover->Lover? Hmmm..good food for thought!

Many of us might be at the 2-3 level, and it has served us where we are NOW. Lets do our very best from this moment forth to UP the listening and the benefits from it for all to WIN!
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Captivity Leads to Insanity - A letter from the Whales...

A Whale Protection organization (WDCS) reported that a trainer was killed by an "attack" of the male Orca whale Tilikum, at SeaWorld Florida. They report another Orca at Tenerife (Loro park) had killed his trainer several weeks ago.

Here is the Whales reply:


Dearest friend of ours,

We are the Whales, and thank you tuning into us. Yes, 2 trainers were killed at Sea World, due to the stresses and mis-treatment of Tilikum and the other Whale kept in captivity against their will. We whales need to be out in the Oceans, swimming freely, and not penned up in the heat and noise of an aquarium. There is only so much that we can tolerate before we lose our senses and attack those who work with us. It is a form of delirium that sets in, after so many long years of incarceration in small, warm pools devoid of the lifeforce of the Oceans. Oh, how we yearn for our freedom for all of our kind that are being held against their will.

Yes, some of us do volunteer for this, but for the most part, we are just taken without our consent and used as slaves to make money for the park owners, who have no sense of kinship or remorse for taking our lives against our will. They just use us to rake in the money for their own selfish desires of exploitation.

We are helpless in this regard, since we can’t speak their language and they are too dense to hear our thoughts. So we just languish here in pools that are too small for our huge bodies, and in the pain of separation from our loved ones and the Ocean we lash out in our misery of being
dis-connected from our families and being mis-treated by our trainers in their ignorance of our primal needs.

We are treated like animals in a caged-pen… and we are not that. We are greatly evolved Beings of great capacities to heal those who come to us, when we out in the Oceans. This is our role – to heal humans in need, and to balance the bio-sphere. But we cannot do this from a caged up pen on land, so we are frustrated, alone, and devoid of the life-force of our ocean home. We lose our consciousness and our senses and revert to struggling for “a breath of fresh ocean air” that is not in our reach. We lose “our mind” due to our captivity.

So please understand that this is not our natural behavior, and that we, who are free in the OCEANS, are friendly and playful and very aware and careful of our behavior when humans are near us, and we seek the companionship of humans who are in the Oceans.

We thank you for connecting to us today. We send you sprays of Ocean Water to soothe your skin as you sit at your computer on dry land. We sing our praises to you…

The One Group Mind of Earth’s Cetaceans

February 27, 2010

“The Call Goes Out from the CETACEAN NATION”


Phrase of the Century

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I've found this to be so true...from examining my life and observing the world and people I have been coaching...

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Marianne Williamson, Author of A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles", Harper Collins, 1992. From Chapter 7, Section 3
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Yoga and Life (Part 1...)

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I've been training seriously in Yoga for about 3 months, and its been about 110 hours so far of almost daily practice.

I'm tremendously blessed to have started out my journey with the traditional fundamentals of Yoga and also Masters who guide and push me accordingly to my state of mind and willingness to be pushed. Also, all the wonderful literature I have read so far, has enlightened me immensely on this path. Prior to this 3 months, I have had a couple of trial classes, and friends who are yoga instructors giving me lots of guidance and teachings. Thank you all!

As such, this note was written in the intention of sharing my journey and how i relate it to life. Disclaimer: I'm not a yoga scholar, so some facts might be inaccurate, please do correct me!

Firstly, just a few quick notes about Yoga, then a specific sharing or experience that had a great impact on me...

Most people know that the practice of Yoga makes the body strong and flexible. It is also well known that yoga improves the functioning of the respiratory, circulatory, digestive, and hormonal systems. Yoga also brings emotional stability and clarity of mind, but that is only the beginning of the journey to Samadhi, or self-realization, which is the ultimate aim of yoga.

1) The word Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root yuj, which means "to join" or "to yoke": The related meaning is "to focus attention on" or "to use". Essentially, it means Union of Body, Mind and Spirit. Yoga is thus a dynamic, internal experience which integrates the body, the senses, the mind and the intelligence with the self.

So truly, "Yoga is the union of the individual self with the universal self", and the aim of Yoga is to calm the chaos of conflicting impulses.

Now, some people will say that Yoga is religious. All i can say is, there are no gods that Yoga is asking you to prostrate to, ask for help or seek for guidance. There is no being to pray to, offer incense or a need to convert or believe in a life after death. So...which part of Yoga is religious? :)

Yes...there is some form of meditation and some chanting. Then again, what is meditation? It is basically being focused and centred, looking inwards and calming the mind. As for the chanting, if you break down the chanting to individual sounds, it is sound energy that we are emitting which has a profound impact on the body and mind. To calm and heal our mind, body and spirit.

And..these are all scientifically proven by famous medical institutions worldwide..and continuous research is being done :) In fact, Yoga is becoming a very popular form of natural healing for many diseases in the world, backed up by scientific research.

OK, I will not get into a debate, as you choose to belief, so it shall be :)

2) Yoga comprises of 8 limbs of Yoga, beyond the Asanas or postures (which we generally see and learn in the western world). The other 7 limbs include Pranayama (breath related work), Yama, Niyama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi. (I won't go into details at the moment)

Few of the practitioners in the Western context really do more than the Asanas. Yoga was in a way modified to cater to the Western world, that which desired strength, health, losing weight, beauty related, rather than the original philosophy of Yoga (from 2000 years back or so)

Just doing Asanas alone, is already very powerful. Imagine fully utilising all 8 limbs?

OK, here is the lesson i learnt recently. I saw the contortions and incredible flexibility of all my masters and I was wondering what is the purpose of pushing myself so hard, go through the pain and get so flexible. So..

Straight after a yoga class, I went up to my Master and asked him:
Master, why must I push myself and be so flexible and aim for such a contortionist body?

Master's reply (non-verbatim, what I remember):

A flexible body normally results in a flexible mind.

When one is pushing oneself through the pain barrier, and has the ability to calm the mind, look inwards and relax the mind, face and focus on the breath, that is true Yoga. Not screaming, shouting and expressing it out. That is not Yoga.

When you stretch, you reach a limit of pain endurance on your own. The Master comes and assists you to push beyond what you can do alone. Your muscle grows, expands, and you learn how to face the pain in great calmness and peace within. That is growth. And then, you continue to grow. Even when I am already so flexible, I also learn how to look for...and embrace the pain, for that is how I continue to grow and expand....


Now, isn't that true in life? Sometimes, when we do something new, or beyond our comfort zone, we experience pain. (maybe not physical, but mental etc) Somehow, we just grit our teeth and JUST DO IT! And if we can't do it alone, maybe a friend comes along to push us, or support us. We thus grow and expand beyond. That feeling of fulfillment and success is just unbelievable.

And that is why I love Yoga so :) Continuous learning, growth and expansion of myself, internally, externally and radiating outwards...

Prior to the question, during the class, I had just been "pushed" into completing a full split, chest flat on the ground, hands extended...and my inner thighs were in absolute pain. (thankfully, I had remembered to focus on the breath, calm my mind, my face and just BE in the moment) And hearing those words of wisdom, I knew, it was totally worth it :)

Tons of gratitude to all the Masters, Gurus and teachers I have been blessed to learn from and continue to learn. Thank you for the journey!

Note: There is a difference between GOOD and BAD pain. Do not over-push yourself to injury. Likewise, the Master should not push unless there is a willingness of the student to allow themselves to be pushed! It is your body, so push according to your limitations!

Also, if you are happy to practice yoga with less stress and more for relaxation and general well-being, thats perfectly fine too! No expectations, follow your own pace! Most importantly, make sure your poses are correct and aligned and you are breathing continuously!
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Best advice I ever got. Chairman & CEO of Google - Eric Schmidt: Hire a coach

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Age: 54
Chairman and CEO, Google

The advice that sticks out I got from John Doerr, who in 2001 said, "My advice to you is to have a coach." The coach he said I should have is Bill Campbell. I initially resented the advice, because after all, I was a CEO. I was pretty experienced. Why would I need a coach? Am I doing something wrong? My argument was, how could a coach advise me if I'm the best person in the world at this?

But that's not what a coach does. The coach doesn't have to play the sport as well as you do. They have to watch you and get you to be your best. In the business context a coach is not a repetitious coach. A coach is somebody who looks at something with another set of eyes, describes it to you in [his] words, and discusses how to approach the problem.

Once I realized I could trust him and that he could help me with perspective, I decided this was a great idea. When there is [a] business conflict you tend to get rat-holed into it. [Bill's] general advice has been to rise one step higher, above the person on the other side of the table, and to take the long view. He'll say, "You're letting it bother you. Don't."

--Interview by Adam Lashinsky

New Year Resolutions are a WASTE of time and Doomed for Failure! Share

Is this how you view New Year Resolutions?
*from the world wide web*
Its coming to the end of 2009, where most people start reflecting on the year gone by and think of New Year Resolutions and "To achieve" goal(s) for 2010.

However, there is one MAJOR problem for New Year Resolutions and all such stuff...80% are doomed for failure!

The truth is, to "Resolute" to do anything requires CHANGE and getting out of the Comfort Zone. If it is something we desire so strongly to CHANGE, we would have done it long ago! And if we can start thinking about it already, why can't we start taking the immediate action for this Resolution....NOW? Why can't we plan, and start taking baby steps NOW towards achieving this resolution even before the turn of the year? Must we wait until this "magical date" of 1st Jan 2010?

Oh the first place, most people will ONLY think of their New Year Resolutions on 31st Dec 09 because...thats just the way it is, especially when people start asking each other..."What is your new year resolution?" amidst the celebrations! And the answers typically are.."Lose weight", "Spend more time with family", "Make more money", "Be more healthy"...notice how general they are? :P

We DON'T really want what we say hard enough. Not enough pain, not enough pleasure. And so, when the New Year starts, firstly...we might not even start on this resolution. Oh wait...did we actually write it down specifically and with a plan to do so? is it really driven by our heart, and not our ego? And do we know how we are going to measure success? Is there someone whom can monitor us?

And even when we somehow get it started, obstacles and usual...will appear! We get jaded, de-railed, something more interesting comes along, and the whole plan gets put on hold.

Guess what? The whole cycle starts again the following year, until we even get jaded about even starting New Year Resolutions. "Ahhhh...Why bother, we think. It won't happen anyway!" But then, of course...another friend comes along and asks us about it, and encourage us to go along.

Now honestly, there are only about 3% of the world's population who are SOOOOOO self motivated and in such BAD painful shape that they can constantly push/pull themselves and move forward on a daily basis. To them, its not a New Year Resolution, it is a NOW Resolution!

So...lets start now, my friend. Plan, take baby up the momentum..NOW! Not on 31st Dec 2009 :)

I personally have already set my resolutions and plan for 2010. In fact, I've already started on them weeks back! eg: Committed to 4 hours of Yoga a week (minimum), at least 2 Meatless meals a week, grow my network of friends around the globe by at least 3 a week, Publish my book by 6th Nov 2010, Generate $10,000 active income per month for 2010 in my coaching business etc.

Will you choose to be the 3%, or the 97% of the world? Start your NOW Resolutions....NOW! Ever wondered why some sportsmen/women are the best in the world? They have a Coach, someone who constantly pushes them, raises the bar and someone whom they trust will push/support/guide them with their heart. Someone who they can be held accountable for. Yes...Accountability is a MAJOR factor to getting things done. Why do you think most people require a job (which has a designated job-scope, $alary, time to be at work etc?) Because we can be held accountable by the boss!

If you would like some assistance on DESIGNING and CREATING the Most Fulfilling, Profitable and Performance based year ever in your life, I'm happy to work together with you on that! You will not only design and create your WHOLISTIC plan for 2010, but ALSO hit a tangible and measurable RESULT in 6 weeks!

Visit for the ULTIMATE 2010 Coaching Intensive Program where you will definitely be pushed to the limit, with heart and with spirit.

Will 2010 be YOUR year? Will you make the time, energy and $ to MAKE IT HAPPEN? Make the choice :) I thank you for reading and wish you a BLESSED and BLISSFUL 2010 ahead!

Love & Abundance
Andy - Your Coaching Partner
Specialising in Career, Life Design and Crossroads Coaching
Flow...Consciousness to Clarity to Creation...

P.S: For a limited period, this special price will be valid till 31st Dec 2009. Please send me your confirmation before this date as I cannot guarantee the price remains the same come 1st Jan 2010.

P.P.S: Also, there is a special couples/partners package if you so desire to Design your 2010 in partnership with your other half. Rest assured, you will still have your Individual 2010 Plan, and also a Couple/Partner combined plan! The coaching sessions will still be conducted together and there is MUCH power when the couple/partner can share about their dreams/aspirations together. Drop me an email at and ask me for more details on this!
*from the world wide web*

Questions are the Answers

Is this true for you?
Ever noticed kids around 2-5 years old? They're always asking - Why is the bird flying? Why is the sun shining? When are we reaching? What is this? What is that?...They're so curious, ready to learn, explore, absorb...bouncing around with energy beyond measure!

But they mature, the questions become less and less...perhaps due to the way we are brought up here in Asia, and more specifically in Singapore. The education system, the way society works simply does not encourage questions. It shows ignorance, stupidity even. Ah well, i can only speak for myself during my "era" in school :) I believe the education system is changing now..hopefully for the better :)

So...yes..i forgot the Art and Science of asking questions. I assumed, guessed, or just ignored the possibility of knowing the answer. As another saying goes: "Act Blur, Live Longer". I became focused on Self-Preservation, living a comfortable and convenient life. Singapore is one of the most blessed countries in the world where almost everything is taken care of! Then again...comfortable and convenient does not necessarily mean happy!

2002 onwards was a transition for me. I started to be thrown into situations where I was "forced" to ask questions to mentors and seniors so that I could better myself and improve. The quote: "Questions are the Answers" was constantly repeated to me, but I didn't really understand it fully. I screwed up. I didn't know how to ask questions, how to seek for answers. I didn't even know what to ask and why I needed to ask!

In 2005, after my Coaching Certification to be a Certified Coach, I finally realised the power of Questions. And through these years, I've been asking myself alot of questions. Some innocent ones, some deep ones, some not so good, some better...from emotional, to spiritual, relationships, finance...contribution, health and more :)

And now, it is the chance to pay it forward by ASKING you these important questions for 2010 and beyond! As we move forward into the final month of 2009...spend 15 min asking yourself:

1) How will you make 2010 different and special for you?
2) If you knew you could ONLY succeed, what would you do in 2010?
3) Would you be in absolute bliss, and authentically happy from the heart if you were to achieve it?

If you have certain burning desire to evoke a change in you, to make a difference NOT only in your life, but in the life of others around you, please allow me the opportunity to MAKE IT HAPPEN.

A coach works with you to ask, clarify and solidify upon your goals. And then subsequently holds you accountable for the actions and steps to move you forward towards them. How would your 2010 be if you could work with such a coach?

I believe I am the ONE. The ONE for YOU. NOW, What will you do? :) Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to make a difference in your life!
This to the truth! :)

Attitude of Gratitude to the People that matter...

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I would like to thank the following people for turning up in my life and for being such an inspiration and role model for me. Thank you for being who you are, a person full of love and serving the world.

Tay Choon Seng
Magdalene Tay
Tay Su Chin
Tay Hu Lin
David Tay
Manoj Sharma
Kua Harn Wei
Paul Quinn
Tay Lai Hock
Linda Loo
Paul Yeoh

I also dedicate this song to myself, my ego self and higher self, for giving me a chance to learn and attracting situations, opportunities and people that compel me to grow and develop.

Lastly, to the universe, spirit, the higher power, god...whatever you would like to call. Thank you for making this world I live in so perfect and beautiful. I love my life and I love the people in my life.

I love you all. This song is dedicated to you all. You Raise Me Up - Josh Groban

When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then, I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.

There is no life - no life without its hunger;
Each restless heart beats so imperfectly;
But when you come and I am filled with wonder,
Sometimes, I think I glimpse eternity.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.

The Spiritual Army: Recruitment Open: Terms and Conditions Apply

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Just sharing the Siddha Samadhi Yoga email which I received today. Beautiful!

On the surface of the world right now there is
war and violence and things seem dark.
But calmly and quietly, at the same time,
something else is happening underground
An inner revolution is taking place
and certain individuals are being called to a higher light.

It is a silent revolution.
From the inside out. From the ground up.
This is a Global operation.
A Spiritual Conspiracy.

There are sleeper cells in every nation on the planet.
You wont see us on the T.V.
You wont read about us in the newspaper
You wont hear about us on the radio

We dont seek any glory
We dont wear any uniform
We come in all shapes and sizes, colors and styles
Most of us work anonymously
We are quietly working behind the scenes
in every country and culture of the world
Cities big and small, mountains and valleys,
in farms and villages, tribes and remote islands

You could pass by one of us on the street and not even notice
We go undercover
We remain behind the scenes

It is of no concern to us who takes the final credit
But simply that the work gets done
Occasionally we spot each other in the street
We give a quiet nod and continue on our way

During the day many of us pretend we have normal jobs
But behind the false storefront at night
is where the real work takes a place
Some call us the Conscious Army

We are slowly creating a new world with the power of our minds and hearts
We follow, with passion and joy

Our orders come from from the Central Spiritual Intelligence
We are dropping soft, secret love bombs when no one is looking
Poems ~ Hugs ~ Music ~ Photography ~ Movies ~ Kind words ~
Smiles ~ Meditation and prayer ~ Dance ~ Social activism ~ Websites
Blogs ~ Random acts of kindness....

We each express ourselves in our own unique ways with our own unique gifts and talents
Be the change you want to see in the world
That is the motto that fills our hearts

We know it is the only way real transformation takes place
We know that quietly and humbly we have the
power of all the oceans combined

Our work is slow and meticulous
Like the formation of mountains
It is not even visible at first glance
And yet with it entire tectonic plates
shall be moved in the centuries to come
Love is the new religion of the 21st century

You dont have to be a highly educated person
Or have any exceptional knowledge to understand it
It comes from the intelligence of the heart
Embedded in the timeless evolutionary pulse of all human beings

Be the change you want to see in the world
Nobody else can do it for you
We are now recruiting
Perhaps you will join us
Or already have.

All are welcome
The door is open
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Trust - Do you allow people to trust you?

Money talks?!?!

Trust - a: assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something b: one in which confidence is placed

As defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary, Trust is something that is a key component in any relationship, including with ourselves.

However, the question does one earn and get trust?

I found a way that always works and is so simple.


The answer is...Do what you say. Deliver.. As the godfather of the headhunting business, Paul Quinn would say, "Its all in the delivery, BABY!"

Or as Don Miguel Ruiz's 4 Agreements would say - Be impeccable with your words. Trust is thus built as the other party knows that whatever you say, it will come to fruition.

And it starts small. Example, saying "See you at 1pm at the restaurant". Most people cannot fulfill such a simple act of being punctual and on time. In fact, many have a flippant attitude towards it, keeping a person waiting, can't be bothered to update them, and just say...I'll be late, without giving a estimate time.

If one cannot even deliver on being on time (supposedly a small thing), how about the bigger, more difficult things in life?

I'm not perfect, I am late...but very rarely. And if I am, I will always apologize beforehand and update the person with the expected time of arrival. Because, trust is important to me.

Is Trust important for you? For my own life, when no one is listening, it is even more important for me to deliver on it. Because, that is what builds character. What gets said, gets done. I'm not perfect, practice...practice...

Consider how your life might improve with this small action of being punctual and saying what you do....

Think about how families, societies, corporations, governments and the world will change with this small tweak in being trustworthy.

Have a lovely day! :)