People, including myself, go to yoga to clear their minds, work their bodies, etc. But what if one needed a break from staring clarity in the face? Is there even such a thing? What if one suddenly just got sick of this never-ending search for unity with oneself, yoga meaning union and all?
So I said f**k it, and started skipped my regular after-work classes. Gone were the days of my 5-6x/week practice, replaced by the bare minimum I could do without my body or mind rebelling too much against me.
I avoided hard teachers, positioned myself in the coolest part of the room, and sat out postures when I didn’t need to. And more often than my sitting out, I checked out. On the outside, I was a model student, doing the postures, breathing, being still. But inside, I was somewhere else. Classes would go by and I would forget that I was even in there. I was coasting by.
I ate junk food, drank plenty of wine, and slept very late, sometimes barely. I watched a lot of tv shows and went out whenever I could. I thought too much but laughed too little and I was barely present in my conversations. Then my body started changing. I noticed I was getting weaker by the day. I was achy and stiff. My skin started looking dull and tired, dark circles under my eyes. Work that was tolerable with the help of yoga became unbearable and tedious. Then, my headaches came back – for five straight days. The cherry on top was a massive migraine in the middle of teaching class, barely able to say the dialogue. (Thanks to Bikram’s intense teacher training, I was able to go on autopilot and finish the class properly despite a sledgehammer banging against my brains.)
That was my wake-up call. I knew then that it was time to go back.
While I didn’t seek the more intense classes/teachers I usually go for, I no longer skipped out. And because I didn’t skip out, it finally came to me in the middle of triangle pose why I was avoiding the yoga. And not surprisingly, it had nothing to do with my practice. I was avoiding something else in my life and yoga made me face it.
I guess we can run away from clarity all we want, but it’ll eventually stare at us in the face. So here I am, at the bottom of the mountain ready for another climb, just like I’ve done many times before.
The prodigal daughter has returned…again.