Last year, as I was recovering from my stupid broken foot, yoga scared me. I was afraid to put any weight on those tiny little bones I’d broken- let alone use them to stabilize myself in a balance pose. I also hadn’t done a darn thing workout wise (if you don’t count the ridiculous “crutches-up-the-stairs” postures I’d adopted) so I was terribly out of shape. I was afraid to go to a yoga class and push myself too hard and I was afraid of never pushing myself again. The couch can become a bit too comfortable after 8 weeks in an orange cast.
My answer was to hire a yoga teacher friend to work with me one on one until I got comfortable with yoga again. We started doing this in November/December. It was slow going at first, but slowly it all started coming back. I remembered how much I love yoga. I also recognized how valuable her knowledge of the human body was. I could tell her where it hurt and she instinctually knew how to modify the pose for me. I wanted to learn all of that! Not just so I could share it with others (as teachers do), but mostly to deepen my own practice. To understand my own body better and how to take care of it so that it can continue taking care of me. Plus… with as many things as I’ve torn, cracked and broken over the years: yoga seems like a much better option than boxing.
For several years I have talked about taking a trip to India for a 200 hour yoga teacher training- but I’ve always had a dozen good reasons that it wouldn’t work out. India is far. Dane has zero interest in visiting India (or in yoga). Okinawa Hai required a lot of my time. One of my friends is always about to have a baby. I don’t want to miss festivals, flower seasons, SDI, Etc. Etc. Etc. There is always a good and valid reason that spending a month in India is going to be inconvenient. So I’d never gotten around to it. But thinking about it made me feel adventurous enough. At least I was thinking about going to India alone. Even if I never did it… at least I thought about it.
Then, the week after Christmas (which, come to think of it has been a very big decision making week for me historically- It’s also the week I decided to walk away from my career and buy a one way ticket to Bangkok in 2013) It became something that I had to do. We were in Hong Kong, talking about life- big life stuff. And I realized how little control we have in this military world. Not just when it comes to where we live, but even for what he does. I had a mini mid-life crisis thinking about starting over every few years. Not having the type of career I used to have. Always having to say goodbye to friends (and their little babies!). And all of a sudden… India was the only thing I could control. Not just something I wanted to think about from time to time to make me feel adventurous. But something I had to do. For me.
Was I ready for it? Hell no! Not physically. Not mentally. Not logistically. (The visa process was a NIGHTMARE!) But it was time. I started looking into yoga schools in two of my bucketlist spots: Darjeeling (northeast, cold, mountainous) and Goa (southwest, hot, beachy). I decided on Goa because- well- I don’t like being cold. Plus where else can you hang out on a beach with cows and dogs while studying for yoga classes and getting a tan?
I figured I’d spend the next 4-6 months getting physically and mentally prepped. But when I started doing the research, I realized that yoga season ends when monsoon season starts in Goa. And that meant I needed to finish my month-long course before April. I narrowed it down to three schools. (Spoiler alert: I ended up picking the wrong one … but that’s a whole other post!) The last course offered by the school I chose started in mid February. Since it was already January, that didn’t give me a whole lot of time to prep… And does anyone remember my January? Hong Kong, Niseko, Tokyo, Taipei, and Sapporo the first week of February. Yeah… there wasn’t a ton of time for yoga.
I decided I’d push it off another year. I mean… you can’t make the impossible happen and there just wasn’t time. Plus my Oki Bestie was moving and why go away for a month when we only had a few months left? Right? Wrong. I know I married the right guy for me, when he says things like, “If you don’t do this now, you might never do it.” He was right. The timing will never be good for big things like this, but like I’ve written so many times before- when it’s time to go, you have to go. And in my heart I knew it was time. Even if my arms weren’t strong enough and my foot was still a little sore and my visa was non existent. So I clicked confirm.
In 2013, I quit my job and bought a one-way ticket to Thailand. After four months of backpacking I returned to the States and fell in love with a guy whose job sent us straight back to Asia. Nothing has gone according to plan... and it's been absolutely magical.