The beginning of the journey – 4

The bloom

This journey of mine in the path of yoga was no easy task for me. Every new concept or idea I studied nudged me to get out of my shell – the kind of perfectionist fort that I had built around me. It started to show in my writing too. My very old posts were trying to convey something that happened to me but through the eyes of a story. The acceptance of the situation did not happen then. There were writings that dealt with everything in the third person.

Now I write from my heart – thankful to a lightweaver’s amazing writing workshop. It helped me to write the stories as they happened to me. I was able to articulate this is how I changed or this is how I healed. And I feel the sigh of relief when the words escape me and get latched on to the document.

I was a proper “to-do list” person. I generally have a plan for the day, for the week, the month, and the year too. And when things happen differently from my plan I was not very accepting towards it. I used to resist it. I didn’t want things to happen differently than what I had envisioned. It was difficult for me. And when I was forced to do those things, I did them but internally I sulked. I carried it in my heart. I was constantly on the complaint mode – talking about someone or something that didn’t go my way!

Now that I think of it, I see those moments were the triggers that I could have grasped with open hands and enabled the change to happen inside me. But then, it is ok. I learned this very important lesson in my life at the right time, for me.

And the lesson that I learned and keep embracing even now is – “Go with the flow”

I had made some progress with changes in the to-do list and started accepting the fact that certain things are not in my control. That was a huge one to take in, digest, and live with on a day-to-day basis. But I survived that part.

I want to share this story in this context. One night, as I was about to sleep, I saw an Instagram story of a dear friend. Looking at her story on some iconic picture of Chennai, I messaged her and asked if she was in the city. She said yes. And then came another message from her – “Can you travel to Auroville with me?” That message came as a big surprise – this was the first one. I read aloud the message to my husband. He was like “Do what you want” – this was the second one. This was a huge thing considering the fact that I have to cancel my classes suddenly to make a trip. I have never traveled with friends before. Before I got married, I had traveled with friends for attending a wedding. It was a big group. After getting married, it was always with the family. This kind of opportunity never happened (or maybe I didn’t see such opportunities). It was not that I was looking for some approval from the husband. But once he said those words, it hit me – Was I the one seeking approval all the time?

I just closed my eyes, placed one hand over my heart, repeated that question from my friend, and asked myself “What do I feel right now?”

I felt little butterflies in my stomach. I felt the excitement inside me. I felt the urge to go along with my friend. And I said yes to myself and to my friend.

That trip changed so many things inside me. I had moments all by myself – to be my childish self in the pool, to be my enlightened self as I introspected, to be my curious self as I went along unknown paths! I was thrilled to bits and at the same time felt a deep connection to my own self.

That beautiful bond of friendship strengthened further.

All these amazing self-realizations were made possible only when I went with the flow of the Universe! I learned that when something is placed in the path of my life, it is placed for a reason – for some change, for some understanding, for something better – here is a nudge to something! And when I looked at it with child-like curiosity I was able to feel the nudge changing me subtly so that I learn to enjoy this moment, as it comes, as it presents itself.

The frame called time

Mandala art representation of the sun and stars!

I am going to state some facts here:

The sun is a big star. Because of its proximity to our planet, we receive the light and warmth from this star. At its average distance, light travels from the Sun’s horizon to Earth’s horizon in about 8 minutes and 20 seconds.

The stars that fill up the night sky are some billion light years away from us and for us to see stars on a particular night, that light should have left the star billion light years back. Phew! I cannot even imagine that time frame!

And then I look at myself, trying to bring focus to that breath. Even before I bring in the attention to one breath, it is already done with.

This frame of time in which we see things like the sun and stars is sometimes mind boggling to feel everytime I look up at the sky. And it is so very difficult to keep the attention on that breath as it is happening.

What are we bringing our awareness to?

For the brief stay of 70 to 80 years on this planet, what are we doing to it?

What are you doing in your timeframe?

The beginning of the journey – 3

I can actually draw a line in my thought process and name it like – Before Yoga (before 2018) and After Yoga (after Aug 2018). They are so different like the Earth and the Sky. Each one had its reasons and place in my memory bank. The person I am now is embracing all these thoughts that happened because those thoughts paved the way for what I am today!

I used to think that Yoga refers only to the practice of asanas. It was only after the study of Yogasutras that I understood that Yoga is actually a way of life. The ashtanga yoga as proposed in Yogasutra is a great way to live life. It encourages changes from the inside, in our thoughts, actions and slowly we see a change in our perceptions. And suddenly we see that everything around us has changed. It started within us first.

There was a comment by my dear friend for my previous blog post and I had replied that I look forward to her comment! As I typed that, I realized that I have come a long way from who I was Before Yoga. For every action of mine, I felt that there was a tight ball filled with expectations, and when it didn’t happen, I shrunk inside and judged people.

Life was trying desperately to teach me this lesson on letting go of expectations from others and situations too. The lessons came in many forms through many people. But I was a tough nut to crack probably.

When I trained to be a Yoga teacher, I was so keen on learning about the human body and what happens when we do particular postures. A person with physical discomfort in any part of the body will not be able to do those postures which increase the discomfort. And if I continue with my expectations that a student of mine will – has to – do all the postures I teach, I would have been in for a shock. That particular learning about the human body and how to teach postures differently to different people, without expecting a perfect posture was a great lesson for me.

This led me to a better understanding of the people around me and I slowly stopped expecting people to do something or behave in a certain way. I learned the hard way to be ok with however they did it. It was not at all an easy path. It took so much time for me to understand that what others are doing is their own journey of life and that I need not wrack my brain for people doing things differently than what I had thought.

So, to put it across shortly – As a yoga teacher, I observe my students’ postures and breath. I suggest improvements based on their body’s capability. The suggestions are given because they have come to learn from me.

In real life too, I can only observe what other people do and behave. I draw boundaries to protect my space and suggest only when asked for.

I hope you were able to make sense of this rambling…