The modern cult of urban citizens is conditioned to romanticize overworking. We are brainwashed to worship stress as a 'way of life.' Depression dictates our consciousness as good as any religion does. Taking a breather is an indirect breach of corporate protocols. "Only lazy people do it", we are constantly told. But international yoga guru Michael Bijker has dedicated his entire life to erasing these capitalist misconceptions, cultivating peace and curing anything fatal to productivity. His expertise in ancient techniques such as Prayanama and Qigong has transformed many lives.
His body of work on yogalap.com reflects an accurate study of the ancient Indian science of yoga where breathing as a process is beyond the obvious inhaling and exhaling of air. Meditation i.e., mindful breathing has consistently acquired evidence in healing impulsive reactions, escapism, and various emotional triggers as anger, jealousy, lust that lock human beings out of their fullest potential. In this intentional and guided lifestyle, patience is not blacklisted but considered to be an indispensable building block of success.
Based out of Sangres, Portugal Michael Bijker explains in his own words the experience of practising the famous Third Eye opening meditation, why the present moment is God, and how we can achieve a Flow state by performing our tasks in the Holy Trinity of optimism-confidence-prolonged focus.
What is your early morning ritual?
I try to get up at 5 o’clock, at this time my children and wife are still sleeping so the house is very quiet. It is also the time that for me is best to practice yoga and meditation because the mind is very clear. Waking up this early set a foundation for the rest of the day. It gives me the time to connect with my true self, with my source. So, by starting like that I can live the rest of the day from the foundation of inner peace and inner strength. I usually practice a short yogic warm-up, followed by some breath work like strong yogic breathing and very calm pranayama practices. Then I sit for meditation, thank God for life and set my intention for the rest of the day.
Where is the divine power located, the source of all answers, ideas, and solutions?
The divine source is not located in some physical place in our body. Because the divine source is beyond the construct of space and time. It is a source that is within us and around us. When we make the mind still and we become aware of our breath and the feeling that life is present in every cell of our body. Then we know life, or this divine source is within us and around us. When we can experience this, we are connecting with that source. The more we do this the more we understand that we are something more than our chattering mind, more than the fluctuating emotions, and more than the stories we tell ourselves of who we are and what life is. When we still the mind and feel life happening in every moment, we identify with the source and we know that this is the real Self. In that connection lies the answer to all our questions, there is true knowledge and inner wisdom.
How to face difficult situations fearlessly?
By understanding that what makes it so difficult is the story we create about it with our mind. Because in essence, everything is what it is. By changing our perspective on it we can either make it easy or difficult.
How do you explain yoga to the world?
The union between the experiencer and creation. The realization of one-ness between my life and the great divine life.
How would you define awakening, alignment, harmony, process, and confidence in your own words?
Awakening means the realization that every creation, in this case, my life, is part of the totality of creation. So everything that I am, is part of the totality of creation, and therefore one with it.
Alignment is being in line with the flow of life. This life has a certain flow of how reality is manifesting. When we live in line with that flow and are 'aligned' beautiful things start happening in life.
Harmony is the unity of elements existing together. When there is harmony within, the different aspects of mind, body and emotions are existing well together and there is unity.
The process is Life! Life is the process of creation itself. In this process, we can grow towards the light and grow as a spirit, or fall away from the light into oblivion.
Confidence is the knowledge that life gives you all the elements and experiences you need for this process to fully mature as a spirit.
What is flow and how can we access it?
And when I spoke about connecting with that divine source earlier, when we live from that state of being, we can live in a certain flow of doing. What we choose, what we create, what we do, comes from this spontaneous flow of creation from the source. There is no thinking mind, no analytical mind involved. It is purely a flow of life that is manifesting itself in one’s doing.
Any simple and easy to do yoga exercises for beginners?
I have created several YouTube videos with simple yoga exercises for example a 14-minute yoga session which has all the breathing movement and meditation in it to make it a complete session.
How to navigate the time-space matrix with higher awareness?
By keeping your connection with your divine source, with your true self. Every day one should take some time to cultivate this connection so one can live from that foundation.
How does meditation help us in manifesting desires?
Meditation clears one’s mind from all the cluttering that can be there. So, one makes more clear decisions, one is more aware of what one truly wants in life, and has conquered one's fear so one doesn’t make choices out of fear or expectations of others, but because one really thinks it is the right thing to do.
What is the solution to depression, according to you?
The right type of meditation and breathwork.
What are the best times to do yoga?
Start one hour before sunset and sunrise.
Can you describe your experience trying the famous Third Eye opening yoga?
Opening the third eye centre is a long process that has to be done very pre-cautiously. If one hurries this process the mind cannot be ready for this opening of certain awareness and energy channels. It needs to be done with care. Some things that are sacred one should not talk about. This has to be experienced otherwise one will just chase after the experiences of others.
Who are your gurus?
B.K.S Iyengar, Guru Ramdev, Omananda Guruji from Indore are some of my main teachers. Dr. Omananda Guruji has taught me some beautiful techniques to really open up the energy system and connect with the Divine Source within. He is a great guru.
What do you remember the most from your time in India?
The wonderful people and the ability of many people to live so in connection with the spiritual practices.
What is the one most important lesson that doing a lifelong practice of yoga has taught you?
That one can overcome the ailments of the mind and emotions by doing certain yogic techniques.
When was the exact moment you realized your calling to set out on your spiritual journey and eventually start YogaLap?
I was always interested in the spiritual path and started practicing meditation and mind training from around 14 years old. I started doing it more and more and when I was 18, I had a big car accident and then I needed to do more yoga and qigong to get better. Then I started traveling and learning more and teaching when I was about 29 years old. I always knew I was here to learn and to teach in this world. This spiritual journey did not come at a certain moment, my whole life has been a spiritual journey. Everybody's life is, when they can wake up to it.
What is the difference between yoga and meditation?
There is no difference, meditation is a part of the pillars of Raja Yoga practice. It is the 7th and 8th pillar (Dhyana and Samadhi).
Why do you want people to learn breathwork or pranayama?
Because it is the remedy for the suffering that is now in this world. All the problems that are caused by the wrong behavior of humanity, the wrong choices we make, and the imbalance that is there in this world can all be cured by the practice of yoga. When humanity will be able to heal itself from the imbalances of mind and heart there will be unity and harmony in this world.
You say: “You are the captain of your own ship, sailing on the ocean of life. To reach your destination, you have to prepare and understand your ship, pay attention to the weather and be aware of the ocean." Can you re-write your maxim in a more direct and straightforward language?
You give direction to your life by what you focus on and the choices you make. You can, for a great part, choose how you give your life shape. You have a body and a mind to make things happen in this life.
On your website you have equated Present Moment to God. Why?
Because God is everything. God is One. Does the future exist? Or is it a remembrance of the mind from something that has passed? And the future? Does it exist? Or is it a creation of our own mind? So the only thing that is real is Now, it is the creation of God himself and it is God himself manifesting in all forms and ways.