This past weekend was my first weekend of yoga training. Before we introduced ourselves, before we were told what we were going to be doing, studying, and learning, Kelley (our teacher) arranged us, the most scared and anxious little yogis I’ve ever seen, into a circle.
“Describe how you’re feeling right now, in one word,” she said.
Nervous, overwhelmed, intimidated, tense, restless, and so on were the said words. I said curious, but that’s because I was too scared to say that I was scared.
But now, after weekend number one of training completed, after not living out of a suitcase, after moving in to my beautiful, sunny, comes-with-a-garden home in the Victorian district of Savannah–my word has changed.
All that, and even my roommates are cool. Ahh. Settled.
I feel like this is exactly where I’m supposed to be. This is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing, learning.
I made the right decision. Maybe “right” is the wrong word, because there wasn’t really a right or wrong decision to be made. It was just the “more beneficial to my life at moment” choice. And I’ve realized something about this decision making shenanigans. Usually, the more scary, daring, blind leap of faith, leave it all behind, balls to the wall choice is the way to go. Well, this is at least how it is for me.
But of course, I’m a really lucky girl for having such cool people in my life that support me as I make these omg! wtf? wow. you’re going to college where? yoga what? decisions. Mom, Dad, Mai, Mo, Cass, extended fam (way too many of you to name) Mere, Mega, Mandy, Alex, Megan Gala, Steve, Keri, my pups and everyone else that has made me feel good about this decision…THANK YOU. You have no idea how much you help me.
Okay, time to talk about yoga. And how it took me about two minutes of training to fall completely in love with it. And how it’s changing me in ways that are awesome. And how it’s all I think and talk about. And how I am in love with it.
Yes, we’ve become very intimate, yoga and I. Yoga knows my body, inside and out. Yoga knows my mind, my every thought; it has seen me at my most vulnerable, my strongest. Yoga can tell if I’m faking it, lying, half-assing, or being lazy and believe me, yoga doesn’t like this. It has shown me how to love more deeply.
I realize that this “yoga” character I have in my mind is actually, surprisingly, no one other than myself. I’m actually just starting a passionate love affair with Georgie Abel, and I’m currently in the getting to know her better phase.
Yoga is something I’ve always loved, but in just three days of training, yoga means something entirely different to me. I’m even willing to admit that my previous yoga practice, before reading all of these books and attending only three days of training, may not have actually been yoga. I think I was just stretching and breathing on an eco-friendly mat while wearing a lululemon tank top. Maybe whether it was yoga or not doesn’t matter, all I know is that what I’m doing now is much more awesome.
Most Westerners are only practicing asanas, or postures. This is only one of the many things that yoga is. Yoga didn’t start with asanas. It started with meditation, as a way to see your true self and connect with the universe. The poses came years later, just to help the process of meditation. I am learning that postures we go through in a yoga class are just extra, they are not necessarily the important part. Asanas are a means of getting something else–centering, settling. Ahh. There’s my word again.
Starting this journey, I knew it would change my life, but I didn’t know how. I still don’t know, but I do know that I am evolving at the speed of light. I feel like a flower from one of those high-speed scenes in a nature documentary. I’ve decided to give up everything that I thought I knew or had been told about myself, all of the things I thought I knew about the world and the people in it, every judgement, fact, and opinion–a clean slate. I want to see it all anew. I want truth.
Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth. -Thoreau
It was scary, thinking about abandoning all of these layers of “knowledge.” What if the truth isn’t that awesome? What if it scares me? I was again forced to make a decision, to either stick with what I think I know now, or be brave enough to let it all go, to take a leap of faith.
This time, it didn’t take me long to decide.