“We are only envious of those already doing what we were made to do. Envy is a big flashing arrow pointing towards our destiny.”
Glennon Doyle Melton
It is true that in the past my relationship with yoga has been reminiscent of Ross and Rachel in friends, you know that it works, you know that it’s good for you, but you fight and resist it so that you never really get anywhere. Then you see how amazing
Ross yoga is with someone else and you get jealous that you ever broke it off in the first place and you repeat the process consistently for 3-4 years. No you’re pretty much up to present on the relationship that yoga and I share.
Much like Ross and Rachel at the airport (gosh that was emotional), I have come to my make or break, in that, I am currently sat in my new (very sparkly and well organised) apartment in Mysore, the birthplace of Ashtanga yoga and the home of the Shri. K Pattabhi Jois Shala where tomorrow I start my 2 weeks intensive yoga practice. The choice is laid out in front of me ‘go hard or go home’, and I’ve already paid and registered so…
I have been guilty in the past of being lazy and unmotivated in my practice… maybe.
By the end of my time here though I hope to be able to convincingly contort myself into a pretzel, something laziness and excuses are not exactly conducive to. My non-chalent ‘maybe tomorrow’ attitude is now surplus to requirement and it’s time to slip into my big girl (yoga) pants and get my ouija breath on.
I would love to be telling you how prepared I am right now, but unless the unnecessary, but totally adorable, new outfits I have are going to help me touch my toes in the morning, there’s a chance I may be stuck on the first sun salutation for the duration.
It is however important to remember that everyone is a beginner at some point in their lives and that we must endure through the hard (read; absolutely excruciating) first days/weeks(/years) to reap the rewards of dedication and practice.
I say that last paragraph merely to sound wise, I start tomorrow and expect to be flexible yesterday. I’m probably going to sit and try to be humble and yet compare myself to the entire class, if not outwardly verbal, inwardly and repeatedly to myself. But hey what I lack in flexibility I make up for in enthusiasm and overpriced paraphernalia.
Cheat sheets at the ready I’m last-minute cramming for the exam inside my head, to ease my worries, channeling my inner strong woman, “You are far too smart to be the only thing standing in your own way.” (Jennifer Freeman), and adapting it to my own downward dog based needs.
Reminded today by thanksgiving, a tradition to which I have no attachment, but this loving, multicultural, yogi community I seem to have leapt into embraces, I have the opportunity to practice a passion I’ve been nursing for a while now, in a place where many Ashtangi’s could only dream of coming.
We as the human race give up too many of our passions and time to things that don’t feed us. I see my family and friends set aside their best dresses and the projects they dream of completing, for mundane and arbitrary alternatives everyday at home. Everyday storing a little bit of themselves for later, for tomorrow. So all joking aside I may go into that shala and fall flat on my sweaty face but I’m going to get up and go the day after, and the day after that regardless, for all the times I told myself tomorrow.
Everyday we have the opportunity to start over and to live our lives with unapologetic enthusiasm, to stop playing Ross and Rachel with our goals and contort ourselves into pretzels, if we so desire.
I have my new mat, my backstage pass to Saraswathi’s class and to the path of enlightenment, I am on my way, inner cynic be silenced, with the outward witty, self-deprecation and the inner stubborn determination I am ready to follow my flashing arrow!