Feeling: LESS CLOUDY
Yoga is learning to tolerate and accept the consequences of being you.
There is so much time dedicated to concentrating on yourself, each and every part, focusing on your inner thoughts, separating your body into its koshas and understanding the different layers. You get in tune with who you are, realise how you work. And absolutely pinpoint your short comings.
When I got here my head was stuffed with cotton wool. Imagine the biggest, fully stuffed teddy bear you can; that was my mind. So many thoughts, worries and fears absolutely crammed in, fighting for space. I was confounded, thinking clearly was a major task. I knew I wasn’t the most clear-minded, but it really hit home just how hectic my head was.
Now, it’s like a spring clean has taken place. There’s space! Thoughts are inspired and can be concentrated on without others clambering for attention as much. You know that song, I can see clearly now the rain has gone? Well I love the rain (I cannot even put across how sensational it is here when it pours: think tin roof, water bucketing down and the Himalayas right out the window surrounded by misty clouds), so I’ll interchange it for “cotton wool”.
Not completely gone of course. There’s still some stuffing hiding in the deeper crevices of my brain. But the majority has been eradicated and I feel lighter and free.
It’s funny though. The past few days I’ve been ridiculously nervous about my exam on Tuesday. I have to take a 75 minute yoga class and I’m shitting myself. I feel like I should be practising every hour of every day. I worry about my skills constantly. I’m wound up like a spring, just like Uni all over again.
But I can recognise the irrationality now. Mate, I’ve been doing three to four hours of yoga a day for 3.5 weeks, I’m absolutely prepared. And at the end of the day, in the scheme of things, who gives a fuck if I get the Sanskrit name for an asana wrong or bulls up my right and left? There’s a difference between butterflies and being stupidly terrifed. I really need to build up my self belief to have steady and unwavering faith in my abilities and capabilities in all aspects of life. There’s a chasm between having a massive ego and having elephantine conviction in yourself. And I have come to firmly feel everyone needs to have self belief.
I’m falling in love with my body.
Not with my physical form. I’m falling in love with what it can do. I leap out of bed in the morning and there’s no stiffness or tension. I’m limber from the get go. I look at the muscles forming day by day, the definition slowly delineating and I feel a surge of pride. My arms may be bigger, but they’re stronger, more capable. They’re not weak and pathetic anymore. And neither am I.
Of course I do love the fact my clothes are a lot looser than the firm fit they had on my arrival. I’m not that far past and in awe of my bod that that doesn’t please me. I still want to be extremely lean. But lean and toned, not skinny and sickly.
I lie in bed and trace the abs that are raising up like the Himalayas. (I’m not saying this in a boastful way, I’m just trying to put across my fascination). I activate my legs and look at the thigh muscles that rise up like hedgehogs.
I’m proud of it. There we go. I’m proud of my body.
A major observation I’ve made is that my concept of time needs to be reevaluated. I am never in the moment, always ahead in the next task or activity in my day. I always say “I can’t wait” for things but this needs to stop. I can wait. I need to enjoy the present and just be. So from here on in, I’m going to try and turn my phrasing to “I’m looking forward to”. It acknowledges the excitement without lessening the importance of current time. This has been a profound realisation so far on my Solo Sojourn.
Yoga: accepting and tolerating the consequences of being you. And you know what? Giving you the courage, the determination and the belief in your abilities and capabilities to change the aspects that aren’t quite so favourable. UltraPop.