The owners sold the restaurant, and I took that as my cue to head back east. I had finally gotten another car (a deep blue hatchback), so Kira and I hit the road and headed back east. There were a few reasons that drove me to make this decision, but none more than it just felt right. I had started writing my first book a couple months back and it had quickly moved up to a place of high priority for me. I thought I’d go home, spend time with family, and commit myself to working on it for a few months. Part of the benefit of having all these experiences is that I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve learned that I do well when I have one clear objective to focus on. When i got home, I found I had another reason to be there.
My grandfather was quite old and not very well. I realized that this man had given so much to me throughout my childhood, and that now was an opportunity for me to give back. When the insight came, the only thing odd was the thought that this was an uncommon thing for someone my age to be doing. Why? To me, placing myself in a position to be around for him, made complete sense and has given me a great sense of purpose. I go into the nursing home and I learn so much about life. I learn that our habits stick with us up until death, and that the body must be taken care of and appreciated above all else.
So that became the crux of my life – writing my book and visiting my grandfather. But I could still do other things. Becoming a yoga instructor was something I had been considering doing for a while. I applied to a program at Kripalu institute which was only about forty five minutes away. Little did I know, it was considered to be one of the best programs in the country. I don’t usually invest heavily in reputation, but I can say that it has changed my life in the most positive of ways. A month long intensive training with a community of support has filled me with happiness and a huge surge of increased strength. My body and mind both feel healthier than ever before. I believed in the work, and dove into the program. One of the great things about having a multitude of experiences, is the ability to be aware ‘when it’s good.’ The hardest part of the program was saying goodbye to others when the time came. So many beautiful friendships were formed in that month. I have never found myself in a community that understands so deeply that we are all going through similar things and that we must support each other to be relaxed in our individuality through this life.
It’s hard for me to imagine what it would be like not to have yoga in my life anymore. Becoming a teacher has infused me with the confidence to just play around with my body and move in whatever ways feel good. I practice every day, even if just for a few minutes whenever I get a chance. I see so clearly how we cannot operate on optimal settings unless our bodies are stretched out and feeling strong (it has such a vital part to play with our moods). I continue to feel that the correct perspective to have is that it is our jobs to take care of ourselves. Being kind to who we are and being in touch with what we need, is to be taken seriously if we care about making positive change. I see that yoga is much more than a physical practice, but in fact a way to view life. It’s a way to flow through action, to respect experience by witnessing, and to give honor to who we are.
So far my classes have been small, but that’s okay. I’m just happy to be practicing and helping others – happy to have found yoga in my life. I see more and more how much it is needed, and how perfect it is for daily healthy living.