Atha-yoga-anusasanam – Here, now, is the teaching of yoga (Yoga Sutra 1.1)
The first of Pantañjali’s Yoga Sutras resonates with me now more than ever. Yoga has always had a central part in my life. I knew, starting with my first yoga class, that there should always be space for this practice in my life. It has been part of my past and I see it vividly in my future. It is my life’s work, my dharma, to learn and share what I know.
It began when I stepped on my mat (well, it wasn’t mine, it belonged to the yoga studio) at Upward Dog back in 2004 as a stressed first year university student. My high school teachers had been mistaken, the pure sciences were not for me and the late nights and longs days were wearing me down. In the year that followed that first class, my 6x/week yoga practice had helped me find a quiet and still place in my head (I would only learn much later that this stillness was Pantañjali’s second Sutra). I was finally able to hear myself. Yoga helped me take a challenging leap. I dropped out of University at the end of my second year. I didn’t want anything to do with a life that didn’t leave space for my yoga practice.
My being a University dropout wasn’t about to halt my education! I registered for a nutrition course with a private college and signed up for the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training at Upward Dog (which was then taught by Yogi Vishvketu, known to many as Vishva-ji). What a life changing year! To celebrate such change and accomplishment, my dad and I packed our bags and travelled to India to tour the country and ultimately spend some time with Vishva-ji in an Ashram in Rishikesh. I put a proverbial bookmark in the story of my life sitting under a tree in that Ashram, vouching to return.
Eight years later – many phenomenal chapters of my life have gone by, filled with travels, more University (so not really a dropout after all?), friends, new tiny family members (furry and not so furry ones), a love like only dreamed up in fairy takes and romantic love songs (I’m going to miss my MattMatt), and a slew of life lessons – I’m opening the book where I left to continue the chapter I put on hold.
Today I hop on a plane to begin my 2-month adventure. Stay tuned for updates here on my blog.