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It’s easy to get on the mat when you are happy, when everything around you is in the “right place”, when you feel love, support, appreciation. You jump out of bed and run to your Mysore practice, or go to a lovely Vinyasa class right after work, or simply roll out your mat in your front room and move through your very first Sun Salutation with excitement and a feeling of blissful happiness. It’s easy.
And then that day comes when your world crumbles. Something that felt real and pure is suddenly no longer there and it wasn’t really your choice. We all go through it, it’s a part of life I am told. You need to feel happy and you need to feel sad. You need to win and you need to lose. This is what ultimately builds “YOU”. Yes, I did read it somewhere, many a time. Yet, when my relationship with a loved one ended abruptly, and unexpectedly, I fell apart, and so did my dedication to my yoga mat.
Being a long term yoga student and a very fresh teacher, I felt it was almost expected from me to stick to the practice, no matter what. In good and bad times, in sickness and in health. Go, practise. I felt I needed to be one of those stories of “it is the persistence and dedication to my yoga practice that is keeping me sane during hard times”. Well, the truth is that I wasn’t. I was not dedicated and I was not that story. Moreover, I was very far from it. My mat was buried somewhere under a blanket and Adho Mukha Svanasana was the last thing on my mind. I started asking myself, why? And I couldn’t find an answer. It was frustrating, which added to the already existing feelings of loss, grief and sadness. Am I a bad yogi? Is there anyone out there who feels the same? Is there anyone out there who doesn’t have the strength to get on their mat during difficult times? I didn’t know.
After some time passed, things did not get easier and neither did the desire to practise come back to me miraculously. I was afraid of something and the only way to confront that fear was to unveil that blanket and roll out my mat. I dragged myself to my usual evening class. It was crowded, lively and bubbly. Nothing was easy about it. I was stepping onto my mat with one of the worst injuries one can imagine - a broken heart. As we were moving through different asanas I was falling in and out of being conscious of what I was actually doing, of what was happening in the room. I was floating in between my teacher’s words. Then, somehow, I decided to lose myself, to give in and to see what would happen. As I moved from one pose to another I noticed shiny drops falling on the mat. They were not what you would usually expect during a challenging class. They were tears. And I did let them flow. Surprisingly, they were liberating. And hey, they did not free me fully, but for those few minutes, maybe even seconds, I felt at ease with myself. I felt like a true yogi again and I felt connected to my pink mat, damaged over the years by a slightly too vigorous Ardha Chandrasana and the claws of my landlady’s cat.
“It is the persistence and dedication to my yoga practice that is keeping me sane during hard times”. This is not my story yet. I am a heartbroken yogi and I am searching for my own path.