So the past few weeks have been… a learning experience to say the least. Actually it really felt like my whole world was shaking, as if an earthquake hit me and tumbled me to the ground. Before that, however, life was peaceful. I had a routine, was staying healthy and I really felt I was starting to be apart of the community here in Ottawa.
Summer is a great time to find balance and serenity. It’s a part of the year where I can be free outside, soak up that vitamin D and really be my best self and treat my body right. Climbing those metaphorical mountains are always so easy in the summer. Track back even further when I had written about this past winter when I was really grasping this season. I had gotten more involved with my yoga practice than ever before! Throughout the season and into spring and summer, I continued and reaped all of the benefits. My teachers knew who I was, and I knew them. I was confident to ask questions after class to get as much out of my practice as I could – I really felt on top of the world. The classes I was teaching were also going smoothly, I felt yoga really helped me center myself before being in front of my students as well as before serving people coffee at Starbucks.
When Pat and I moved out of our basement apartment (!!), we were super excited to finally bring our practice home now that we had the space to finally be open- instead of feeling closed off in the basement. One morning, I was getting ready to head to yoga at the Rama Lotus Yoga Centre in downtown Ottawa. Around 7 am, I saw a message from the studio about a sudden permanent closure. I was so confused… I wondered if it was even real. I checked the website – same thing. I called – no answer.
Little did I know how much the closure of the studio had impacted me. For a while, I thought I was fine, I can just do it at home. Sometimes, I did choose to practice at home when I felt I needed my own space and away from people’s savasana feet (ha).
I’ve reflected on this over the past few weeks and not only did I fall out of practice due to the closure, I fell out of time for myself, and fell out of a beginning of a beautiful community. Before I knew it, I was retreating inward and replacing that time with videos, or just wandering around the apartment not knowing what to do with my day. Sort of like after a school year and you think you should be studying but you actually don’t have to study because school is over – I really felt like I was missing something.
Yoga has been okay at home, however, I find myself getting distracted by things that need to be done around the apartment; cleaning, making food, etc. It tends to be distracting for me. Also, I’m a pretty engaging student, it’s in my personality. There’s no one around to ask questions about a posture, or even lead me through a practice. Sometimes I get lazy and chose not to do a pose, I really enjoy the discipline in class.
Over the past few years that I have been doing yoga, I find myself falling in and out like this, for different reasons. New job, new routine, we moved, doing some travelling – all sorts of stuff. Sometimes breaking for weeks at a time. I always feel guilty for being caught up in a break, I feel like the standards of a good yogi should be to follow through with transitional periods and when I break, I feel like I let myself down. On top of all that, my sciatic pain returns, as well as stress and anxiety. When I finally return after some much needed self discipline, I feel better; and this is no surprise. Why did I even take a break? I ask myself.
With all of this in mind I’ve come to a couple conclusions:
1) Shit happens.
Shit happens all the time and there’s no controlling it and you just have to deal with it
2) When shit happens, it’s about HOW you deal with it and it’s your choice.
My thoughts on these ideas have really developed over time, especially right now during my 20’s. I’ve really learned that life is a ride – shit happens and doesn’t happen. There’s exciting parts and boring parts. There’s also scary parts and beautiful parts – all mashed together in one big roller coaster. But, will the roller coaster throw you off when it goes up and down on the track? What do you do when there’s boring parts? What will you do during the scary parts?
How we deal with each of these moments in our lives is crucial to our over all well-being. Going with the flow, and dealing with transitional periods while life is balancing itself out has really resonated with me. Yoga helps. RIP Rama Lotus Yoga Centre – you will be missed. Right now, I’m looking into another studio, Elevate Yoga near my new place where I’m hoping to volunteer my time for some classes in exchange. Wish me luck!
P.S If you are wondering where I got this great advice, check out Bill Hick’s act here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgzQuE1pR1w
He was a great human who shared much satire in his life.