It has almost been 8 months since I landed in India and made my way down the the southern city of Mysore. It is said a lot but it really is crazy how fast time passes…I remember this time last year and how I was working three jobs to save up. Lately I have been thinking about how much has changed within the last year…even the last 8 months. This time last year, though I was already planning to take a semester off to go to Mysore, I really had no intention of returning to school anytime soon after my trip. Frankly, I had NO idea what I even wanted to study or do as a career. I had also had a rough run at the whole college thing at that point, so I think I was more scared than anything. Even though I had this great trip planned, I still felt disconnected…but just didn’t know what from.
It seems like that last two months I have really questioned my intentions regarding my practice and why I am so disciplined about it. I have had weeks where the last thing I want to do is get on my mat but I know better now because that is usually a sign indicating that I really NEED to get on my mat. And since my little slump, I have grown to cherish my home practice, to appreciate and respect the isolation. I have learned to respect the practice and have had nanosecond flashes of the real yoga. Its not going to a class where Pretty Lights is blasting and the heat cranked up to 150 degrees, its the connection you develop with yourself, the living being around you, and a connection to something greater. Though every morning I practice alone, I feel this immense connection to something else…maybe all the other Ashtangi’s who are doing the same thing far away, maybe God, or maybe both. I like to think both. That is how I know that, for me, Ashtanga is the most powerful practice there is. Even in totally seclusion, I feel the energy of the community and a higher power. And to me, that is faith. Being able to feel it, without seeing it. It was this connection I was lacking, and I first had to develop a connection with myself, which ultimately is a connection to all beings. I get overcome with emotion at just the thought of it and for that I know the power the practice has. Mysore gave me the seed, it was just up to me to plant it and nourish it. Sharath gave me the tools, but it is up to me to continue to do the work. I miss India, the Shala, Sharath, and my friends I met there everyday…but my practice allows me to reconnect with all of it every morning.
Since the moment I got on the plane to come home, I was set on coming back again this year but life happens. I had planned, or more hoped, to get back to Mysore during my university Christmas break, but with me registration rules implemented at the Shala, looks like it’ll just have to wait until after I graduate next year. I am oddly at peace with it, I thought I would be much more upset. In fact a HUGE weight was lifted off my shoulders as I could focus on saving money for my study abroad. I am studying abroad in Spain for the spring semester starting in January and I think it was a sign that my focus needs to be on school and my home practice. But, I did promise myself that I will make a point to make time to practice with good teachers until I can be back with my teacher. So obviously I bought a ticket to Toronto in August to visit Vince and Ivana hehe 🙂 So excited to see them and I’ll be able to practice at AYCT for a week!
Like the wind the deeper force of the practice can shake your foundation and tear you down but it can also bring you relief and comfort and push you in the right direction. I am humbled by the power of the practice, grateful for the practice, excited for the possibilities of the practice, and I also know the work is never done. I used to separate life and my practice thinking that they were different entities, but every morning I am more and more convinced that they are one in the same.