Trekking to India: Yoga Lessons I'm Taking Off the Mat
It's late. In all honesty I should probably be sleeping. Yoga practice comes early. But here I am, lying in bed way past bed time because it's the first moment I've had to myself to write anything down all day today, so I'm taking advantage. It's therapeutic in it's own right.
Besides, an extra cup of coffee tomorrow morning won't be the end of me.
We leave for India in two months. Like, exactly two months as of today. And it will be even sooner once this post goes up on the blog. That's pretty mind blowing. I've been dreaming of Mysore for years now, crossing my fingers and praying that somehow, some day I could practice Ashtanga Yoga in Mysore, India under the guidance of Sharath Jois and now it's actually happening. It's happening! But what makes it even better is that my family is going with me, and I am beyond grateful to be traveling with my favorite humans.
Not only is this Connor's first trip out of the country, but mine as well. We're starting off with a bang, I guess. I have to admit, when I first found out our applications were accepted and our admittance confirmed, of course my initial reaction was excitement, but it quickly morphed into a dizzying anxiety about taking my sweet baby boy to a third world country.
The water, the food, the air pollution, mosquitoes! What was I supposed to expect in India? How could I protect him and his little immune system from all the foreign things? I became overwhelmed with fear and concern. Not to mention the daunting task of trekking across the world-- 36+ hours of planes, taxis, and layovers-- with a 16 month old in my arms.
But we were going. Our applications had gone through. We'd been accepted. There were no taksies-backsies. So I reached out to other Ashtangi mothers and asked questions and I researched and I sat with myself.
"Be brave." That's what one mother said to me after I confessed my inner struggle with the trip. "It's totally understandable to have fear. But be brave."
And with that, something clicked. This is part of the yoga, too. We must take the lessons of our asana practice and apply them off our mat, where the true yoga blossoms. So that's what I'm doing. I'm being brave and following my heart. I'm listening to my intuition. I'm investing in self-improvement and self-discovery.
Here's a few of the lessons I'm taking with me off the yoga mat and into the world:
The Power of Vulnerability:
The ability to be open about the uncomfortable sensations in my mind and heart has given me the power to truly examine them for what they are. By becoming aware of and accepting the feelings of fear and resistance, they become smaller and I'm able to move past them.
The Art of Letting Go:
You do what you can and then you hand it over to the Universe. What happens from there is out of your control, and you just have to have faith. Just like in your yoga practice, you put in the work and then you let go of the outcome. I can take all the necessary precautions and do all the research, but at some point I have to realize that that's all I can do. Knowing that I've done my part, I can let go of the worry, let go of any expectations, and embrace the experience for what it is.
Breathe easy, breathe deeply, breathe purposefully. I know I can always close my eyes, take a few slow conscious breaths and find myself more calm, fully in my body in the present moment. It brings everything back into perspective. Sometimes we get so carried away with our worries about the future that we end up missing what's actually happening in the here and now. But the breath is always true to the moment. Bring the mind back to the breath, and come back to the Now.
"In any moment, when we choose fear instead of love, we deny ourselves the experience of Paradise."
-- Marianne Williamson
Do you ever get that feeling? That flutter of the heart, goosebumps up your spine? I think it's a sign that whatever you're thinking about, you need to go do it. It's okay to be afraid, but be braver than your fear. Let your faith rise above your doubts and open you up to new discoveries within yourself and without. Whatever it is that makes you come alive, create more of that everyday. Follow that sensation. Let it lead you. We all deserve to live the life we dream of.
I can't wait to share our family dream adventure with you all!
For love, with love.