September 21, 2011

It’s Been a Hell of a Year(but I Finally Started Practicing Yoga)! ~ Rob Findlay

Photo: Graham King

I’d been wanting for 20 years to get a regular practice going but never managed it—until now.

This time last year I was booking flights, spending countless hours on Trip Advisor comparing hotels, planning a three-month sojourn in India with my wife. Included in the journey was a yoga retreat in Goa something I’d always wanted to do.

Photo: Sander van der Wel

Yoga, in fact, was something I always wanted to do but somehow did very little of. I’d go to classes regularly for a few weeks, start doing sun salutes in the morning but then other things would come up and I’d stop the classes and the morning practice would wither and die. I’d been wanting for 20 years to get a regular practice going but never managed it.

Now my marriage was dying and a long trip to a spiritual country, an odyssey filled with new experiences, was hopefully going to give us time to work on all the things that were slowly killing us and our life together.

Fast-forward 12 months and everything is different. I’m not married, I’m living with my Mum, and my beautiful Russian Blue Cat who shared my life for 19 years died. I sold my classic 25-year-old BMW and bought another car, which promptly blew up and is costing a fortune to repair. I have no money to pay for it when it’s fixed so I’m getting used to trains. But I have a Yoga practice.

In January when I got back from overseas with no wife, no job and no money I soon realised I was isolated, sliding into depression and needed to do something quickly. I remembered the Yoga classes I used to do when I last lived at Mum’s and wondered if the teacher was still in the area. Google quickly told me he was and still teaching. At first I started doing one class a week and couldn’t wait for the class day to come around then I notice many people were doing more than one class a week and the penny dropped. I could do whatever I want and that meant a class a day or more if I wanted.

So now my Yoga School is like my home and the people there are my new family. I go to class every day and am contemplating doing morning as well as evening classes. Next month we are all going to Bali for two weeks on a Yoga intensive. I’m very familiar with Tiger Balm and have the glorious, righteous pain of the athlete most days. I eat better and meditate every day. My mind is clearing. It’s spring and I’ve started swimming in the ocean already.

My eyes still fill with tears at some point on most days from grief at my losses but I understand this is the completely appropriate emotion for what I’m going through. When I’m on the mat I try to let my consciousness expand throughout my body as Mr. Iyengar describes in his books and in my sweat I find joy as the endorphins begin flowing. I offer  my still clumsy and graceless asana to God as best I can.

It’s been a hell of year but I’ve finally started a Yoga practice.


Rob Findlay is a Mac Nerd to pay the bills, a bass player for love and a neophyte Yogi by spiritual necessity. He’s been known to write songs and even sing them. His most recent passion outside the Yoga Studio is a Double Bass he’s using with various projects including Damien Thornber and The Orphans, organisers of the Desert Feet Tour which takes music to Remote Indigenous Communities in Western Australia. Find Desert Feet Tour on Facebook and Youtube. Find Rob with [email protected]

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