I cannot suddenly feel like a fool. Things went sour. Only 6 days have passed since leaving Chennai and I’ve been through the “wringer”. Everything seems so surreal when I look back on it now. The whole week. It all happened, I’ve changed a little bit and realized so much.
I got to the “yoga house” on Tuesday morning. I felt amazing. I settled in, got the feel for the place and I was excited. In the afternoon though, things took a drastic change. Before meeting the people, everything was amazing. But then, one by one, I started to meet the yoga teachers, and something wasn’t quite right. Something was out of place. From all the 10 teachers in the house I got a bad vibe, including from Nandan, who I‘d already met the previous week and who was eager to give me chance to “fulfill my dream”. Suddenly he wasn‘t how I remembered him to be. It escalated throughout the rest of the day. By the time I was going to take my first class that same afternoon (just as a “participant” to begin with) I knew this may not be what I’d hoped.
I took the class and felt fantastic for the first part. The style is called artistic yoga. It’s different from the slow-paced yoga. This type is intense and has a lot of “cardio” training combined with traditional hatha yoga. I took to it well. But I had to push myself so much, when it came to the cardio aspect, to the point where I nearly was sick, wanted to faint and the emptiness I felt coming from my back seeping through my entire body, was unreal. I then felt emotional, depressed, out of place, alien. I wanted to run and hide!! It was the strangest surroundings and the teachers were rejecting me. I felt like I was back in high school; needing to act in a certain way, just to be accepted! What’s with these people!!!
After getting over the shock of all these feelings this situation was revealing to me, I went to bed and actually felt lonely. Hang on, I’m never lonely!! Even when I’d sit by myself in a hostel room and wouldn’t speak with anybody for days; I never feel LONELY! There’s a big difference between being alone and feeling lonely. I love being alone and it’s something I’d rather be than be with these people. I was delighted to sleep. I was able to close my eyes and get away from this strange world I had so eagerly ran towards and wanted to embrace. Going to sleep I tried to calm myself, because of course the panic would arise, in thinking what I may have given-up or may have gotten myself into. I told myself I was over-tired and tomorrow, my first full day, all would be better (this was still only Tuesday night by the way; I hadn’t even been there a full day at this stage!).
I woke up the next morning and I didn’t want to be apart of this world. I was miserable. I felt I had woken up and was living a nightmare!! It was so intense, the way I was rejecting this whole environment. I went to class, I gave my all, I felt brilliant throughout the yoga but afterwards, again, I was empty, in every sense of the word.
I was wondering what was so “wrong” about this whole situation. Wasn’t this my dream? Yes, it was! Wasn’t this what I had longed for? Yes it was! So why was I miserable? I figured it out pretty soon. I wrote away my days, to clarity and for strength, in between going to the yoga studio and feeling awful. I discovered that it’s the people and their approach towards the yoga. The classes they give, are focused on losing weight, coaching, pushing physical boundaries and keeping fit. The teachers have given themselves the label of being a yoga teacher and therefore, it’s obvious they feel superior to others. They aren’t though, they are just fitness instructors; all gorgeous, toned, fit, all with big “ego’s” and aren’t the least bit interested in anybody else, other than themselves. They class themselves to be of a higher “something”, and to have this amazing lifestyle and to always feel and spread the happiness they gain from being the yoga teacher. This is so far from the truth! Just like they claim to all live “happily” together as 1 big family in the yoga house – again something that couldn’t be further from the truth! I’ve felt more love being spread between strangers on bus-journeys than I felt in that house.
I was starting to loose sight of everything I felt yoga stands for. To me, of course it’s for flexibility and physical health, but it’s also to lead to mental and emotional health and a balance in life, from which a person can benefit from, in everything they do. If yoga is your life (which is what I wanted it be to be for me) then the sensations and energy it releases is reflected in everything you do. But I was getting absolutely nothing of this vibe. It was quite the opposite. These teachers like to THINK their lives are driven by yoga but it’s driven more by a cooperative mind which is focused on money, image and possessions. They also have no freedom to do as they please in life, when it comes to socializing, relationships or just generally being apart of this world. This is the commitment they must make.
Suffocate me now!!! I felt to be imprisoned and controlled. As well I felt I was losing contact with the world. I looked ahead at how it could be for me, if I were to continue this training. I’d end up with no freedom, no travels, no connection with other people or with this country. It was already happening: for the entire time I had actually forgotten I was in this amazing country. I could have been anywhere in the world. This was not what I wanted!
I’ll just give you a break.. the analyzing continues..