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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Yoga calling

Finally I feel I’m making a breakthrough, where yoga is concerned. Yes, gradually, over the past weeks yoga has been getting more and more… hummm…. what should I say… deep and revealing?! It’s actually huge for this breakthrough to be happening so fast and so passionately, seeing as though I’ve been doing yoga on and off for years. So this is really exciting… 

I started doing yoga when I was in Australia, back in 2007. That’s when I first picked up a yoga book and decided to make myself flexible! I knew nothing of the depth, nothing of the power than can be brought to light when the body is harmonized and balanced (regardless of how flexible a person is). My immature ignorance aside, I knew I wanted to become a yoga teacher and wanted to get training. But instead I thought it wouldn’t give me stability. So I practised by myself. Then I stopped for 6 months in 2008, which was probably the longest stretch since first picking up the yoga book in Australia. But the passion to practise never left and I restarted in 2009. From then onwards it’s been a journey of ups and downs; at times I slacked; at times my days would feel incomplete without saluting the sun; at times it was only a once-a-week treat; at times it was a twice-a-day chore (in the ashram in India where I pushed my tiresome body to its limits). So, the longing never left and since leaving China and heading to India in August, my practice has deepened.

In India I wished to be indulging in everything revolving around the yoga lifestyle. I wished to be gaining experience and to be devoting my days to learning the art and EVERYTHING it entails. But I felt I couldn’t. Because I went to India THEN for the purpose of teaching English and NOT for learning more about yoga and becoming a teacher. I felt as though I couldn’t expand my yoga practice and get certified, because my focus and energy had to go into teaching of English that I’d committed myself to doing. At that stage, there was only so much of myself to go round! I didn’t have the energy to do both. And whenever I do anything in life, I want to dive in and put my whole heart in it, so my heart went to the schools. In terms of yoga, I restricted myself to only doing a 10-day stay at the ashram and afterwards I kept my focus on the teaching of ENGLISH and I left the notion of the yoga training for what it was: a dream never to be realized….???!?

I happily continued to practise by myself. This was actually quite an amazing experience. I was teaching English by day but every morning I’d wake at 4.30am. I’d meditate for an hour, then Lekha (the lady I was staying with) would get up and we’d do yoga together on a bamboo mat on the kitchen floor. Amazing memories :) 

Since being back in Ireland the lifestyle is of course so different. I’m not up at 4.30am anymore! This was actually something that really got to me when I first came back; I wanted to be up at the crack of dawn every day! But I just couldn’t… Here in Ireland (and everywhere else in Europe) 4am is the middle of the night! It took me a while to be at peace with the fact that I wasn’t naturally waking at that hour anymore and that 6.30am is more ‘suiting’—especially if it’s rare for me to be in bed before 11pm. When I was getting up at 4.30am, of course I was in bed by 9pm—sometimes earlier. Anyhow, change of lifestyle DRASTICALLY… But one thing has remained: yoga (and meditation).

When I first came back, I really didn’t want to let it slip. I thought it would be inevitable—seeing as though the daily routine is so different. But because I made such a point of NOT leaving my yoga practice behind in India, it’s now a part of my days! And I can’t begin to say just how much I’m benefitting. It’s like it’s opening up a whole world for me, more so than ever before.

After morning meditation I come downstairs, in set up my mat in the living room, I close the door and I start. Some mornings I’ll contemplate NOT doing it (I know it’s also good for the body to have a day of rest.) But I can’t NOT do it! It’s like I’m going against something if I don’t start the day in poses. Sometimes I’ll make excuses to justify why I WOULDN’T give myself that hour of stretching and balancing. And even when I’ve justified it, I still find myself walking downstairs, picking up the mat and going in to the living room! I let go of control and it happens! It’s brilliant to experience this… because once I’ve done only half of the first sun salutation, MAN am I peacefully ecstatic that I chose to NOT give my body a day of rest!

Doing the yoga at this point in time, is teaching me more than it’s ever done. I know this is because I’m indulging in it, wholeheartedly. I’m appreciating the practice and I’m NOT doing it just for the sake of it! Every morning I feel as though I’m preparing myself for something. And it won’t be long before I’ll  need to SHARE what I’m learning with others; as I’m teaching myself I’m also wishing to be teaching others. And this can only lead to getting properly certified and gaining experience so I can pass it on.

In India, on several occasions, I’ve come close to starting a training course, but each time I’d let something else steer me away. Usually it would be something offering me security in this world, but not offering me half as much satisfaction as I’d gain from learning the depth of this art. Because it’s not only poses and stretching; it’s a way of life. I’ve known this for so long, but only now I’m TRULY learning it! I’m truly feeling that it’s a way to balance life and to be focused. It’s a way to access energy, to gain physical strength and to release negativities. It’s a way to respect the physical body and to feel comfort inside it. It enables one to treat it kindly and to feel its limitations as well as its expanding potential. It’s a way of thinking, a way of eating, a way of breathing…  And it offers a personal journey that unites one’s truth with the surrounding world. And those who wish to serve, teach and connect with others can pass on the ways in which to practise this art and to experience this journey. It’s quite amazing.

So, I know the time will come and I’ll get to share. It’s going to be an inevitable flow if I continue to give yoga my energy and devotion on a daily basis. Hummm… It’s quite exciting. A dream I’ve always had, but never felt I was allowed to experience. I never felt I deserved to unite and respect my body to such an extent. But releasing this LIE is a part of my own personal journey. And, as I reflect on how life has progressed over the past years and months even, I see how dreams never remain unrealized when we believe wholeheartedly in what we’re pursuing. And this too will come about—whenever and however it’s intended. I’m just going to continue as I’m going, loving what I’m realizing and I’ll see where it leads. How exciting.

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