So you call yourself a yogi? Then can you remain calm, alert and a vessel while your yoga studio burns to the ground?
As a yoga practitioner of 17 years and yoga school owner, it has been a dream of mine to visit the motherland of India. I kept putting the idea out there to make this year the one, and sure enough I found myself just two weeks away from the trip that I had been trying to manifest.
Of course my plan was to get everything in order in my life before I left—yoga school managed, bills caught up, even planning to make freezer meals so my husband wouldn’t have to cook the two weeks that I was away.
The universe, Divine, God (whatever you want to call it) had a different way of preparing me for India.
Two weeks before I was planning to leave, my three-year-old, whom I have practiced “attachment parenting” with and whom I have never been away from for more than a week, developed a staff infection in her lymph node and the lymph node had to be removed.
Surgery!? I thought, naturally medicine woman that I have identified with. I had never even had surgery!
Time to crawl out of that box.
I took it day by day and stayed in the moment. It all turned out okay, except for the fact that I was given the evil eye a few times for not wanting to give her morphine. She actually never even needed so much as a Tylenol.
Just when it looked like everything had settling down again, I was teaching my Tuesday night the Friday before I was to leave for my spiritual voyage. We heard a gentle alarm going off and the sound of water in the next room. Shortly after this happened a neighbor ran into our class saying that the building was on fire.
WTF!? I thought.
We continued our class in the parking lot, due to a recommendation from a student of mine. For a moment I thought, just give me a minute to wallow in self-pity and then I realized that I was called to teach. What could be more important than that?
As the fire trucks came and put out the fire in our building, I taught what felt like one of the most honest classes of my life. In my head I kept hearing the voices of my teachers.
You think it is easy being a yogi? Being a yogi isn’t about having everything go right. In fact, it is usually a more difficult path.
So you call yourself a yogi? Then can you remain calm, alert and a vessel while your yoga studio burns to the ground (with all the yoga attachments, yoga rugs, manduka mats, and beyond yoga clothing)?
Trust. Surrender. Nonattachement.
Sure, these are all things that we say we practice as yogis. But only when in the face of the challenging times are they really able to reflect the work we have been doing. I remained grateful for the experiences leading up to my spiritual retreat: a mirror of how far I have journeyed in my spirit and how far I still have to go. And I am grateful for the reminder that it will all one day turn to ash and what is left is the Vibhuti, sacred ash of our soul.
Ed: Sarah W.