Monthly Archives: February 2014

Spain: day 10

I feel so, so grateful to be in this city. To be meeting people from around the world and to be exposed to new things, it is totally amazing, do not get me wrong.  But I have to say it has been quite an emotional roller-coaster since my arrival, the highs of new sights and friends and the lows of language barriers and uncomfortable situations.  I am being challenged a lot here, in my comfort zone, my daily routines, my (seemingly limited) Spanish, and apparently the task of finding coconut oil. Seriously, WHERE ARE THEY HIDING IT?! But that aside, things are going.  I was trying not to blog too much about my yoga practice, as it seems that is all people ever talk about, but it’s a part of me now so, how could I not?

It’s been rough. Plain and simple. Though the outdoor temperature is much warmer than back home, the indoor temperature, I swear, is colder. Tile floors and concrete walls are doing their job by keeping our apartment cold, preparing for the scorching summers.  I have to layer up and place a space heater so close to my yoga mat I could probably get a sunburn.  But regardless, I am on my mat and never regret being there.  My last great adventure was to Mysore, over a year ago, and I think in my subconscious I assumed I would have the same exact experience from the get-go.  Not the case, obviously, because I came to a different country to study for my degree and Sevilla doesn’t even have a Mysore program in sight. Which is fine, ultimately, since I have had a home practice for over a year now.

I was inspired to write this post because I was thinking how I would have reacted to this kind of situation two years ago.  For those of you who don’t know, I was in my lowest moments, feeling permanently lost and confused about life in general. (There is much more to the story but it does not matter at this point) Two years ago or more, if I was in a situation where I was uncomfortable I would run for the door. Without even thinking, I was out of there.  I never gave myself the time to sit and see what the situation actually was.  Fortunately, I was saved when Michael Gannon came back into town to lead a week long Ashtanga intensive and it was then I said “f@*k it, I’m going to Mysore.” And as I have said and will say for the rest of my life, the trip was the most heart opening and awakening experience of my life, that which ultimately (I believe) saved my life. But that story has been told as well, moving on.  As I sit here in another foreign country, uncomfortable, nervous, scared, anxious, I know that I am okay. I just know.  Why I love the Ashtanga system so much is its absolute concreteness in the sense of its loyalty. It isn’t going anywhere. But also its absolutely openness to allow you to grow into the best person you can be.  Yes your asana practice evolves and progresses over time, but the essence of the practice stays the same, and that is why I know I am okay.  Life doesn’t get harder or easier, life is concrete but full of space to grow as well.  When my practice gets hard: I breath, I move, I get through it, and I have grown. Life: “Same-same” (As Sharath would say).  I can now be okay with being uncomfortable because I have an unbreakable faith that growth is at the end. That this will also be a life transforming experience.  So I welcome the challenge or better yet, the opportunity.  I know longer run, I embrace.  This is why I practice everyday, because I am able to see what life has to offer.  Yes, I know, I’m 22 so what do I know? I know a lot of things actually, but I also do not know a lot of things.  I know one thing for sure: I am lucky to have this practice as a tool. A tool that has given me the faith to live life fully and to see everything it is worth, and to know this at 22.

One of my favorite books of all time, “The Laws of Spirit”, by Dan Millman (HIGHLY recommend it) has a chapter called the “Law of Faith”.  “And as you live in the light of this law, it will transform your perception and experiences of the world. You’ll begin to see every difficulty as a test in order to instruct you; you’ll find lessons and opportunities in every challenge.” (Dan Millman) I am sitting in an uncomfortable situation comfortably, because I have faith that this experience will make me a better person to this world.

So, in the meantime, I will sit and breath in the Spanish beauty and challenges, then inhale lift up and exhale jump back. On to the next.

todo mi amor,

Ally

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