AHYMSIN newsletter, issue - June 2011  

Yoga for Self Awareness

AHYMSIN-Asia Retreat 2011

by Jean Bibby

The Himalayan International Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia, led by Joseph Wong and the Kota Kinabalu team organized a 3-day Ahymsin-Asia retreat from May 20th to 22nd 2011.

The retreat begins with heartwarming welcome dinner, sponsored by Tan Sri Datuk Dr. Mohan Swami, President of AHYMSIN, on the May 19th in Kota Kinabalu that serves perfectly cooked Chinese vegetarian courses. We were also entertained by traditional dances by performing group and also by participants.

A total of 52 participants met at Kota Kinabalu early next day and took a 2+ hours bus ride up to Kundasang.

Kundasang is the closest village to Mount Kinabalu and the resort; Celyn Resort Kota Kinabalu has a magnificent panoramic view of the mountain with cold refreshing climate.

The 52 participants were from United Kingdom, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan and Malaysia.

It is a blessing to have an experienced guest teacher, Swami Nityamuktananda Saraswati who guided us on the subject of self-awareness. Participants responded well to the teachings in awareness of the small self, exploring the mind body connection, exploring the emotion and mind connections and how awareness of the self affects how we are in the world.

The lectures helped many to gain insights into spiritual aspect of Self as well as to motivate them in exploring how old patterns that affects their daily life. Swami Nitya told many stories to reflect the teachings and making it easy to understand to all.

The other inspiring teachers are Judy Rajah who led the Hatha Yoga classes, Joseph Wong and Fuku Lida (from Japan) who shared their practices on joints and glands. Rajah Indran and Yoong (from Singapore) led guided meditations.

We were taught a variety of stretching exercises and postures in Hatha Yoga with an emphasis on muscular, joints and limbs positions.

Awareness was also emphasis in the inhalation and exhalation and making sure that they are properly regulated by practicing breathing techniques e.g. nadi shodhanam. Joseph demonstrated neti kriya, which involves cleaning of nostrils by pouring lukewarm saline water through the nostrils.

There was a wonderful selection of books by Swami Rama, Swami Veda Bharati and Swami Nitya for the benefit of all participants.

Sharing of experiences and thoughts occur not just during lectures, but also informally among all participants.

Meals are absolutely wonderful and sattvic, helps in clarity and equanimity of mind while also being beneficial to the body. Handcrafted souvenirs were given to all participants and were carefully prepared with love by volunteers from the organizing team in Kota Kinabalu.

Participants look forward to returning to the next yoga retreat in Sabah. This retreat has been uplifting and stirred many minds.

Lastly, Ahymsin-Asia would like to extend many thanks to the organizing committee of Kota Kinabalu’s center. Due to their commendable selfless dedication in serving Karma Yoga, it was a successful retreat to unite people from Asia in the path of spirituality.