I told you in my post on Monday that I knew I wasn’t ready for my 200 hour YTT, but I went ahead and clicked confirm anyway. That’s all well and good. Fears and facing them and all of that. But what I didn’t tell you was how many times I almost canceled it because I was terrified. I’ve never been afraid to go on a trip before. I’ve had healthy nerves and excitement, but I’ve never thought about just altogether canceling one before. This trip to India was the first time.
This was the first time that I felt physically sick when I thought about going. This was the first time that I cried in the car on the way to the airport. When I moved to New York, I described the decision on my blog as being the only decision I could make because it was the one that scared me the most. New York scared me in that “can’t eat, can’t sleep, reach for the stars, over the fence, World Series” kind of way.
India scared me because I was afraid I might die. Or get kidnapped. Or get robbed. Or get hurt doing yoga. Or show up at a yoga school just to find out the whole thing had been a scam. Or… (and maybe this was the most real fear) …realize I truly wasn’t good enough to be there. I was terrified to go to India.
Several days before I left I came out of my office and told Dane I didn’t think I could do it. I’d been practicing ashtanga but I still didn’t have the series memorized, I was clueless how to pronounce half of the sanskrit I had been assigned to memorize before I arrived, and after re-reading the welcome packet for the 100th time from Yoga School Number 1 (the one I didn’t stay at) I was certain that they would ask me to leave if I didn’t live up to their expectations.
“You can do this,” he reassured me, as he does so often. “Deep down, you know you can.”
But he was wrong. Deep down I honestly didn’t know if I could. I’ve never thought of myself as being a big self-doubt person, but I was doubting everything about this journey and this “adventure” that I’d just had to take.
And putting aside all of these emotional doubts and questions, let’s not forget that when I arrived in Tokyo with a 6 hour layover before my flight to India: I STILL DID NOT HAVE A VISA. Nothing was going according to plan. Everything was insane. And my arms had not grown strong enough to do even half of the vinyasas I was supposed to do all of daily. I really wasn’t sure if this thing was going to “work out” in the end.
I wish I could tell you I got there and it was smooth sailing. It wasn’t. I got “robbed” at the money change counter at the airport UPON ARRIVAL.
I wish I could say that I fell in love with my yoga school immediately and never looked back. I didn’t. I left after less than 3 days and transferred to a different yoga school.
I wish I could reveal that I surprised myself and turned into a star on the yoga mat. I didn’t. Yeah, yeah, I know, nobody compares themselves to other people during yoga. Yeah right. I do. Even when I try not to. And I was certainly not a star.
Not everything was perfect. In fact my first week was almost a comedy of errors. I will tell you all about it in the weeks to come. But I did find myself enchanted by India. And I did fall in love with my second yoga school. And I did surprise myself with my ability to show up every single day and practice, no matter what I had to modify. And ready for this cheesiness? I found strength I never knew I had. No really! I really did!
And big bonus: I did not get kidnapped.
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.