Packing my bags at 6pm and leaving work for my yoga class has become a routine for me for the last year and a half. So, when the news came that the yoga studio I frequented is shutting down and moving to some unfamiliar part of the city, I was crestfallen. I know that sounds a tad melodramatic, but when you love something deeply (as I do yoga), it can be rather difficult to accept.
Yes, I am aware that there are other studios out there. But it just wouldn’t work due to these reasons – bad location, awful traffic, exorbitant fees and increased blood pressure while cursing other drivers. How so un-yogic, I know!
I guess I am taking this badly because this studio was the place I turned to when I was at my lowest ebb two years ago. Stress was eating my life away as I spent longer hours at the office. I suffered mentally and physically (you know you’re in trouble when you need a massage on a Monday). I couldn’t take it anymore and decided I needed to return to yoga. My friend gave me a 3-day pass to the studio, I fell in love and the rest is history! I reconnected with my favourite teacher, met amazing new teachers and made friends with some lovely yogis. And I got to hang out with one of my best friends too. What’s not to love, right?
As I hugged Iris on the last day of class, I began to tear up. She is one my favourite yoga teachers; one of the few who taught me to honour my limitations, to respect my body and to seek the light within. She instilled in me the need for consistent practice as this will only lead to me experiencing the asanas (yoga poses) the way it should be experienced – with an open heart and clarity of mind.
The last few days or so have seen me replace my constant yoga practice with junk food, caramel lattes, alcohol and, the horror of all horrors, fast food. That’s not to say I didn’t have those things when I was going for classes, but at least I didn’t take them all in one week!! I find myself constantly filling this void in me with these things which only end up making me feel even worse.
So, how am I going to stop this rut? How am I going to move on with this routine change? How do I deal with losing my one, true refuge? I can’t be stuffing my face with a Spicy Chicken McDeluxe (I just HAD to choose the one with the most calories!) every day. It goes against everything I have been working hard for the last year or so. “Everything in moderation” is what I always said to my friends, but here I am with my fifth caramel latte for the week. There has to be a breaking point somewhere.
And I think by writing this, I have finally reached my breaking point.
“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Devil and Miss Prym
I have been wanting to practise yoga on my own for the longest time, but I have never been as disciplined as I should be. It takes a lot to practice on your own, especially when you’re distracted by the The Mindy Project, social media, dinner invites and the bed. Oh, and don’t forget food!
I think it’s finally time to honour that wish to self-practice. I have no excuses now and certainly, no classes to fall back on. If I intend to continue on this journey with yoga, I need to put in the time and be disciplined; and learn to create a new routine. One that would be my next step in understanding yoga and all it has to offer. I know for a fact that change, in any form, is always a difficult thing at first. But I have got to take that first step. I have to change.
I have come too far on this journey to give up now.
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
― Lao Tzu
I know this may seem like a strange post. But, I needed to put this out there as a promise to myself, my wonderful teachers and my practice of yoga. May we all embrace change in our lives. May we all learn to love the need for a change. I believe things happen for a reason. And maybe this needed to happen for me to find my own path; to make the unfamiliar, familiar.