I was invited by Tejal Patel to take over the Instagram profile of abcdyogi for a day and share my Yoga story. It was a fun project, as I recounted the beginning days of my life in the United States, feeling lost and blue in this new country, trying to make sense of my life and me.
Here’s my “Origin Story.”
“I came upon the path of yoga at a low point in my life. Yoga delivered me from pain and misery. It may seem as though the journey started years ago but it also feels that it is just beginning. Despite the many years of practice, the path feels fresh and vibrant, filled with everlasting wonder.”
Breathe the proper way, that is. Where you draw the breath into your system, long and deep and deliberate, and then you stay put, be still. Then you let it go, slow and long and drawn out, no hurry or hesitation involved. It comes in, a steady inflowing stream, and then you let it flow out, a long and smooth whoosh. It can become a nice, personal dance where you are the dancer and the audience.
I taught little kids to breathe too. Their little breaths would gush out of their sweet bodies, so trusting and surrendering. They would let it all out, give it all away… and I could steal it all if I so wanted. But I’d be a nasty villain if I did that. And I know that nasty villains exist, and they were likely little kids as well, sincere and eager and trusting. Then the world began to let them down, one infraction at a time, then another, and another. Little kids learned not to trust. They started retreating, eyes not making contact, words not giving a response. There is a teenager. And I taught that one also to breathe. Played the monkey and the elephant and the snake and the lion. Breathe in, then out… don’t stop. Don’t be afraid or fearful, I am right here with you. There is love in the world, and there is sex, and there is intimacy. There is parental love, and the romantic kind.
I also taught grownups to meditate. This was my favorite thing of all. It is simple, people… NOT EASY. This is such a lovely, tough thing to grasp. And I’d spent years trying to clutch and grasp at the little meditation dance, so I had ample sympathy, an abundance of metaphors to help guide those interested.
For the first time in your life, there is no performing, not a thing to do.
It is sweet bliss.
And then I let it all go. Or it let go of me. I sank into the silence, no more eye contact, no more voice response. The farther I went, the more alone I got. The deeper I fell, the louder the silences. I whirled around in the wilderness, finally song-less, finally wordless. But the woods and wind saw it all. They silently rejoiced but I was still and unmoving.
My body had become large and swollen. I fit nowhere, I could go no place. I thought it was time to be selfish. I was going to let this fill up my insides and pulse through my veins, making them stand taut and shiny green. My voice began flowing again but the channels were hidden, and only a few could hear it. The song broke free of all chords and scales, it became a major solo orchestra, blinding and deafening.
It is great to be part of spiritual communities and gatherings but truly, what we call the spiritual journey is an entirely solo undertaking. There are no companions, no traveling partners on the path.
And it is in that alone space that intelligence blossoms, awareness grows… inner transformation occurs.
I also believe there comes a time in every human’s life when they decide to walk the path alone. And whenever that happens, the timing is perfect.