I'm a Yogi Now

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Getting back to life upon returning from my trip to India felt... alarmingly too easy. After 28+ hours of flights and airport layovers that brought me from halfway around the world back home, I stepped into my L.A. apartment and was a bit taken aback by the sheer sameness of everything.

I don’t know what I was expecting. But instead of feeling content from a sense of stability, I was feeling discomfort. All that adventuring in a completely different part of the world and nothing’s changed? Well, I realized that responsibility is on me and became determined to reflect any changes that occurred within me during my trip back into the reality I was re-entering. I wanted my return to be somewhat of an adjustment.

So… I’m pretty much a yogi now. Yep, one week of being back and I’m patting myself on the shoulder for having practiced yoga every day since. But one week has made noticeably significant improvements for me already. For one, my hamstrings have never felt so stretchy. Part of my trip in India included a stay at a yoga retreat in Goa, the most relaxing place ever. During our daily yoga classes, I became acutely aware of my stiffening muscles and had visions of my 60 year old self, hunched over, immobile, and yes, that put some fear and motivation in me to prioritize flexibility over some of my other fitness goals (toning, trimming, etc…) Movement is important and I want to be able to still go places when I’m old(er)!

Morning yoga (that is, hot yoga with instructors that challenge you to hold poses and find calmness when your body wants to give out) has been a great energizer for starting my day. Just showing up and trying is the accomplishment and it’s amazing how much else you feel you can get done once you’ve accomplished that one thing at the start of your day. Plus, I feel the soreness from the strength training that’s involved and I’m looking forward to feeling stronger in a few weeks.

Just a few months ago, I was the type of person who wanted to love yoga but actually just kinda hated it (or rather, hated on it). I’d feel incredibly restless during classes and somehow couldn’t pay attention to the instructors’ guidance. It would be noticeable that my mind was wandering off. I finally just assumed that it wasn’t for me. But in India, I had moments, even hours, where I’d feel completely relaxed and able to step back far enough to look at my life and project rational feelings onto various departments within and around it. Being able to feel calm helped me be present during yoga classes and actually enjoy them. Funny how that works. Being present takes a lot of practice these days.

There’s many takeaways from my recent experience in India (attending my cousin’s wedding and seeing how much her and her husband adore each other, spending time with my family again, my friends joining me on the trip and making memories together, the Bollywood movies & music…) But yoga is the thing I can practice every day moving forward and now I can trace it back to this trip and all it entailed.