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International Day of Yoga, Sabah, Malaysia

Submitted by Henry Yap

HYSSS (Himalayan Yoga Science Society Sabah) Committee 2019 – 2021

President: S. Vanugopal
Vice President: Datin Judy Rajah
Secretary: Henry Yap
Treasurer: Datin Komathy Perumal
Committee Members: Dr. Kishore Kumar, Cheoh Soon Lye, Oh Hun Chih
Advisor: Datuk Rajah Indran

Grateful thanks to the Sabah Indian Association for their support and all well wishers and donors.


Yoga in Education

23 June 2019
Dewan Maktab Sabah, Kota Kinabalu
Himalayan Yoga Science Society Sabah


9.00 a.m.       Arrival of Guests and Members
9.30 a.m.       Arrival of Guest of Honour, YBhg Datuk Peter Khoo
9.45 a.m.        Welcome address by S. Vanugopal, President, HYSSS
9.55 a.m.        Address by Y. Bhg Datuk Peter Khoo
10.05 a.m.      International Day of Yoga celebrations the world over by Adviser, Datuk Rajah Indran
10.20 a.m.     Yoga demonstration by adults and children choreographed by Datin Judy Rajah
10.55 a.m.      Yoga and its benefits by Yoga practitioners
11.05 a.m.      “Yoga and Health: Medical Point of View” by Dr. Sangeeta Maniam
11.15 a.m.       Presentation of certificates
11.30 a.m.      Appreciation
11.40 a.m.      Refreshment

Blessings of Gratitude

Blessings of gratitude to the Guest of Honour for his presence and support, along with many blessings of recognition and appreciation to the teachers and members of the “Himalayan Yoga Science Society Sabah” (HYSSS), (Persatuan Himalayan Yoga Sains Sabah), founded by Swami Rama of the Himalayas, providing adept yoga teaching for children and adults, as well as inspiring satsang sessions revealing the ancient knowledge of the Yoga tradition.

Yoga, a discipline for the fullest development of the soul, mind, and body is a scientific, holistic approach to life that helps to keep the body and mind fit.

This event though held in Sabah, in conjunction with the UN International Day of Yoga, is indeed very commendable.  The participation by those that you have trained, especially the children speaks for itself.
Blessings and congratulations on your continued celebration of this world wide United Nations International Day of Yoga since 2015.

Swami Ritavan
Spiritual Guide of AHYMSIN (Association of Himalayan Yoga Meditation Societies International) and the Spiritual Director of Sadhaka Grama in Rishikesh, India.

Selected Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

It is general knowledge that the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is the treatise on Yoga that is contained in 196 terse verses or aphorisms and divided into 4 chapters − samadhipada, sadhanapada, vibhutipada and kaivalyapada. Through the commentaries of scholars and researchers we are able to understand these verses.

In this brochure a few of the selected sutras are presented together with the commentaries.

Sutra 1.2        yogash chitta-vrtti-nirodhah
Yoga is the control or dissolution of the modifications (vrtti) of the mind-field.

Sutra 1-5        vrttayah panchatayyah klishtaklishtah
The vrttis are fivefold-afflicted (painful and impure) and not afflicted (not painful and pure). Both types must be controlled.

Sutra 1-12      abhyasa-vairagyabhyam tan-nirodhah
The control of those vrttis occurs through practice and dispassion.

Sutra 2.28     yoganganushthanadashuchikshaye jnanadiptiraavivekakhyateh
With the performance of the limbs of yoga, the impurities are destroyed, then arises the enlightening knowledge which culminates in the discriminative knowledge.

Sutra 2.29     Yama-niyama-asana-pranayama-pratyahara-dharana-dhyana-samadhaya shtavangani
The eight limbs are yama (discipline), niyama (observances), asana (posture), pranayama (exercise of the life-force), pratyahara (withdrawal of the mind from the sense objects), dharara (concentration), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (absorption in the self).

Sutra 2.30     Ahimsa-satya-asteya-brahmacharya-aparigrahah yamah
The self-disciplines are ahimsa (non-injury), satya (truthfulness), asteya (non-thieving), brahmacharya (continence) and aparigraha (non-acceptance).

One should not cause injury to anyone through thoughts, words or deeds; this means that one should cultivate love for all. One should be always truthful. Not stealing or thieving means that one should not be covetous. One should not hoard things, more than that is needed. Continence means not over indulging in any kind of pleasure, especially sex. Non-acceptance means abstention from greed, also abstention from receiving gifts. Receiving gifts makes one a slave of the giver. It certainly binds the receiver to the giver.

Sutra 2.33     Vitarkabadhane pratipakshabhavanam
When distracting thoughts come to one’s mind, one should counteract them by contemplating on the opposite point of view. This is explained in the next sutra.

Sutra 2.34     Vitarka himsadayah kritakaritanumodita lobha-krodha-moha-purvaka mridumadhya-adhimatra duhkhajnana-anantaphala iti pratipakshabhavanam
The distracting thoughts are caused by greed, anger and delusion (stupidity*) and result in (one resorting to) injurious actions or justifying such actions done by others.  They may be mild, moderate or grave.  The counter measure to this is to contemplate that these yield to endless sorrow and ignorance.
* Swami Venkatesananda translates moha as stupidity

Sutra 2.42     Santoshad anuttamah sukhalabhah
From contentment one attains supreme happiness.

Sutra 2.46     Sthirasukham-asanam
Asana (posture) should be firm and comfortable. For meditation the posture should be sitting only. One should be seated firmly and in a relaxed way. While sitting one should not move the limbs. If one is not seated comfortably one will have to move one’s limbs often. This will not help the mind to be steady.  This will cause obstruction in meditation. The Bhagavad Gita says that the posture should be straight with the body, head and neck in straight position (samam kaya-shirogrivam*). * Bhagavad Gita VI-13

Sutra 2.47      Prayatnashaithilyanantasamapattibhyam
Such a posture can be attained by abandoned effort and absorption in the infinite.
While meditating the body should not be tense. All the limbs should be relaxed and when the mind is absorbed in the infinite self, the posture becomes firm and comfortable. As a matter of fact one has lost the body consciousness and there is no discomfort or comfort feeling.

Sutra 2.49     Tasminsati shvasaprashvasayorgativichhedah pranayamah
Pranayama (the regulation of life force) which is of the nature of regulating the inhalation and exhalation of the life force is to be practised after getting mastery over posture.

Sutra 2.50     Bahyabhyantarastambhavrittih deshakalasamkhyabhih paridrishto dirghasukshmah
Breath is seen regulated by holding it within or without or suspended, some are long and some are short depending upon the place, duration and numbers.
Different techniques of pranayama are explained. It depends upon exhalation and inhalation and stopping the breath. It also depends upon how long you stop the breath and where you stop the breath, within or without. It also depends upon the number of times you practice the cycle.

Sutra 3.1        Deshabandhah chittasya dharana
Mind’s fixation on a particular point in space is dharana (concentration).
When you fix the mind on any part of the body, such as navel circle, on the heart, the tip of the nose or external sounds, forms etc., it is dharana.

Sutra 3.2        Tatra pratyaikatanata dhyanam
There the continuous flow of similar mental waves towards the object is dhyana (meditation).
The mental waves in this state flow without any break like the flow of oil (taila dharavat).
This is the dhyana in the Yogic terminology. It is a particular state of calmness of the mind and can be applied to any object of meditation.

Sutra 3.3        Tadevarthamatranirbhasam svarupashunyamiva samadhih
The same, when only the object of meditation shines forth in the mind, as though devoid of the thought of even the self, that state is called samadhi or absorption.
When the meditator identifies himself with the object of meditation, forgetting, as it were, his own nature, he is said to have attained samadhi.

Sutra 3.4        Trayamekatra samyamah
The three (dharana, dhyana and samadhi) together on the same object is called samyama.

Sutra 3.5        Tajjayat prajna-alokah
By mastering this (samyama) one has the vision of knowledge.

Sutra 3.6        Tasya bhumishu viniyogah
This (samyama) has to be practised stage by stage.

Patanjali warns us not to be in a hurry. The practice has to be step by step; first dharana, then dhyana and then samadhi. One should not attempt at samadhi without proper purification of the mind. With desires hankering in the mind if one attempts to achieve samadhi, there will be hallucinations and one would even go mad. So one has to be very careful.

Sutra 3.7        Trayamantarangam purvebhyah
These three are inner spiritual practices compared to the earlier (five).
Dharana, dhyana and samadhi are mental activities while yama, niyama, asana, pranayama and pratyahara are external (depending on body mainly).

The Science of Pranayama

Pranayama is the fourth limb of the eight-fold Yoga described in the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali.

Prana is energy or the life force and yama means the control of that energy.

In yoga breath (prana) and the mind (chitta) are not separate or independent of each other. They are interdependent of each other.  When breath is stopped, so will the mind cease.

Yoga as described in verse 2 chapter 1 of Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is the control of the thought waves in the mind-field (chitta). The ancient masters of yoga who knew that it was difficult to control the mind directly also knew that it can be controlled by controlling the breath. The Yogavasistha (V.78.46) explains:
“When through continued practice of pranayama the vibrations of breath are silenced, that causes the mind, too, to become completely silenced. That is the state of nirvana.”

Swami Rama in his Lectures on Yoga-Practical Lessons on Yoga says that the science of breath is an important part of the science of pranayama but that the world has not yet recognized this important aspect of life. According to Swami Rama the real mystery of prana remains veiled even though it is prana which sustains the body, and without its help body and mind could not exist.

Owing to its importance Swami Rama describes various breathing exercises and how it should be done. At our centre we are taught the breathing exercise called nadi-shodhana or channel purification and is included as an important topic in all our yoga retreats.

Below is the practice of nadi-shodhana as recommended by Swami Rama.

Nadi-Shodhana – Channel Purification

This is a breathing exercise which purifies the nadis, or subtle energy channels. It should be done at least twice a day−in the morning and in the evening. In the morning nadi-shodhana is done in the following manner:

  1. Sit in a calm, quiet, airy place in an easy and steady posture.
  2. Keep the head, neck and trunk straight and the body still.
  3. Bring the right hand up to the nose.  The index finger and middle finger should be folded so that the right thumb can be used to close the right nostril and the ring finger can be used to close the left nostril.
  4. Close the right nostril with the right thumb.  Exhale completely through the left nostril.  The exhalation should be slow, controlled and free from exertion and jerks.
  5. At the end of the exhalation close the left nostril with the ring finger, open the right nostril and inhale slowly and completely.  Inhalation and exhalation should be of equal duration.
  6. Repeat this cycle of exhalation with the left nostril and inhalation with the right nostril, two more times.
  7. At the end of the third inhalation through the right nostril, exhale completely through the same nostril, still keeping the left nostril closed with the ring finger.
  8. At the end of the exhalation, close the right nostril with the thumb and inhale through the left nostril.
  9. Repeat the cycle of exhalation through the right nostril and inhalation through the left nostril two more times. This completes the exercise.
  10. To sum up, the exercise consists of:
    1. Three cycles of exhalation through the left nostril and inhalation through the right nostril
      followed by
    2. Three cycles of exhalation through the right nostril and inhalation through the left nostril.
  11. In the evening the exercise consists of:
    1. Three cycles of exhalation through the right nostril and inhalation through the left nostril
      followed by
    2. Three cycles of exhalation through the left nostril and inhalation through the right nostril.

Be careful to see the inhalation and exhalation are of equal duration and are slow, controlled and free from jerks as well as any sense of exertion.  With time, gradual lengthening of the duration of inhalation and exhalation should be attempted.


The beginnings of the practice of Yoga Science in Sabah predate the registration of Himalayan Yoga Science Society Sabah as a Society on 30th March 2012. Sage Swami Rama and subsequently his disciples, from the Himalayan region visited Sabah in the early 1990s and conducted Yoga retreat for the aspirants. It took almost thirty odd years before sufficient number of people became interested in Yoga as a science and for the first crop of local teachers to be rigorously trained at the hands of the Himalayan Masters.

HYSSS, a non-profit and non-religious body has the single objective of imparting the knowledge on Yoga Science in the purest form of the Himalayan tradition designed to integrate body, breath and mind through progressive levels of relaxation, breathing, postures and mediation.

Towards this end the Society will embark on a Teacher’s Training Programme for nine aspiring yoga practitioners to be trained as Yoga Teachers at the hands of experts at the Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama, Rishikesh, from 10th November to 23rd November 2019. Three of the participants are from New Zealand who wish to be trained in the Himalayan Tradition. The training at Rishikesh consisting of theoretical, philosophical and practical aspects of Yoga will satisfy 160 credit hours out of the required 200 credit hours.

The remaining 40 credit hours will be mentored by Datin Judy Rajah.

Besides the regular Yoga classes HYSSS holds discourses with scholars of Yoga Science and Philosophy as well as medical doctors and scientists who have discovered the essence of Yoga and its impact on individuals and society. Our annual retreats guided by prominent Yoga Masters have always been looked forward to and have attracted international participants.

Editor’s Note:

HYSSS also prepared a slide presentation: “Himalayan Tradition of Yoga Meditation and how it flows through AHYMSIN…”

HYSSS has a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/hysssabah/



The Himalayan Tradition of Yoga Meditation

Purification of Thoughts     Dhyana    Mindfulness
Japa     Dharana     Shavasana
Breath Awareness     Qualified Preceptor
Guru Disciple Relationship     Unbroken Lineage
Yoga Nidra     Silence Retreats     Full Moon Meditation

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