Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Right NOW. In Italy.

I have been in Italy for 2.5 weeks, and I have yet to see one yoga studio-- expectedly. I have spent this time in a non-touristy, fairly small city and then in the mountains- pretty much in the middle of nowhere. So, no, I was not surprised that yoga is not thriving in these places. However, I've managed to continue my practice in between exploring and eating (a lot! of GREAT Food!)

Moreover, the family I have gotten to know- at least the younger ones- have at least heard of yoga. And, to my delight, two of them tried it one day in a park with me. Being that my Italian is basically crap right now- it’s a work in progress- I knew I would not be able to guide them verbally through a practice. After a few sun salutations, warriors, and a tree pose, I felt strange—not talking during a practice is quite challenging- especially when these people are beginners! The practice did not last long, but we laughed and I was just glad to be doing yoga in general. It got me thinking- What a fabulous opportunity it would be to be able to teach a yoga class in a foreign language. Maybe- one day.

Besides that quick practice in the park, my yoga practice has been completely solo. To me, this is a beautiful thing- it allows me to listen to myself- my body, to be quiet, and to really just let go of everything else.

I wrote this in my journal the other morning after yoga during a week spent in the mountains- a marvelously beautiful place.

“Yoga in the Mountains” :
I woke up today and instantly craved a morning practice--- something to clear my mind of all of its nonsense. I am about 10 days into our month journey in Europe (mainly Italy). In all, it has so far been fun, yet up and down—it’s hard to know if something is meant to be when two people have no idea what they want. I would like to say I can always answer that question for myself—Do I know what I want for myself? What I need? No, It’s safe to say I am not sure at this point in my life. And I am becoming okay with that. This morning-- Although I know practicing yoga won’t give me every answer my thirsty mind is seeking, I know it would bring me some peace and acceptance of what I am experiencing emotionally. Physically, I am in one of the most beautiful places in the world—surrounded by bright green meadows, tall rolling mountains, and yellow wildflowers popping up everywhere I turn my head. And today, I took myself through a sequence of Pranayama (breathing), warm-ups, sun salutations, balance poses, floor postures, and of course- Savasana (relaxation) in the most amazing places I have ever practiced. For this, I feel grateful, humbled, and somewhat relieved. I don’t need all the answers now, or even soon. I don’t need to know what the future will bring. All I can hope for is joy everyday I am alive and help to bring it into others' lives. I realize I need to celebrate Now, work on Now, Be Now. By doing this, I release fears of all sorts, as well as doubts. I am free of past mindsets and experiences, but I have gained something from every single one- even if I didn’t like it. By being me right now, I am free.

….On the flip side, I do miss the feeling of community with other people. I am traveling alone now to Bologna and Venice, and eventually other places--where-- in between exploring the culture and allowing myself to get lost in this country's ridiculous beauty-- I am eager to see if there is any active yoga scene—or people willing to practice with me in the next places I find myself. At least I know one thing for sure- there will always be breathtakingly beautiful spots in Italy for me to stay grounded in my practice.


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