22 Dec Modern Yoga

Thousands of students visit our studios for coaching on how to create, sustain and develop a modern day spiritual practice. We’ve been fortunate to help so many people take the first step towards being conscious, through understanding their mind and their ingrained belief systems. Through this practice, people are making more conscious decisions and finding a deeper connection to life.

The core of our teaching realises that our constant seeking of pleasure is the root cause of our suffering. We chase desire and avoid hard circumstances in the attempt to get what we want, under a false premise that this will make us happy. Sure, there is nothing wrong at all with prosperity, but when we look for meaning in external things rather than in ourselves all the gold in the world cannot take away our suffering.

Many of us take the limits of our own beliefs to be the limits of society, a fundamental mistake we make when we are so identified with our body and mind. Making conscious choices rather than being lead by unconscious belief systems is so important for our own mental peace and growth.

Do you have deep unconscious beliefs around not being worthy, lovable, deserving or undesirable? Have you got negative core beliefs that you slip into when you are in a situation that triggers intense emotional reactions in you? I bet you have, we all do and I include myself entirely. Being present allows us to examine thoughts, feelings, emotions and reactions without having to identify with them and act out. You are not your thoughts or your feelings because you can observe them. So how can you be them? What yoga encourages for greater mental peace is to identify with the observer rather than what’s observed.

I’m challenged daily to stay grounded, humble, open and honest. For the most part I do, but sometimes I screw it up. If I don’t stay conscious, practice yoga and meditate I get carried away and follow desire, not the values in my heart. Eventually, this always leads to suffering.

In yoga terms we all have an ego. When we’re caught in the disease of the mind, we’re under its brutal reign; it’s just the ego. It’s the identification with something that is impermanent that we take to be permanent. Judging someone else for his or her mistakes is really just proof we too are suffering its same affliction.

Yoga, meditation, martial arts, walking, surfing – to mention a few – all done in an appropriate way that allows mindfulness, are great ways to start to breakdown our belief systems. It allows for reflection and observation from an unattached observer that bring these beliefs or what yogis call vasanas to conscious thinking (vrittis) and examine them making the right choice in line with your dharma, your duty, your values, not ego centric goals.

Be bold, be powerful, go on with courage and self-confidence. Evolve your mind to be a creative instrument that seeks no approval, but listens to the direction of the higher mind.

by Duncan Peak

About Duncan

Duncan is the original founder of P.L.A.Y. and over the last decade has successfully pioneered contemporary yoga styles to Australian shores and sets the highest standard in asana facilitation, teacher trainings and yoga retreat delivery in the country. Whilst Duncan was introduced to Raja Yoga in his teens to deal with stress and grief, he smashes the stereotype of what a Yogi should be and rather focuses on being himself and creating a methodology inspired by ancient teachings that he believes is relevant for today’s world.

His classes are powerful, strong, fun, and heartfelt, with his irreverent sense of humor bringing a unique lightness to the depth of practice he teaches. He spends his time travelling and teaching between the all of the Power Living studios and delivering teacher trainings and retreats in Byron Bay and around the globe. Check out his classes and trainings, they rock but get in early as they are usually packed!