Hoi An - Creating Stillness
As I practice yoga, each time I become more aware of it's purpose. Each time I pick up on small lesson from the instructor that I didn't catch in the last. Each time I walk away feeling a bit more grounded, aware, and open.
When I first started practicing yoga it was an incredibly challenging task for me. Naturally, I'm a highly competitive individual with a strong natural athletic ability. Yoga does not care about competition, nor natural athleticism. When I first started going to yoga it was very difficult for me to pick up little lessons from the instructor or to really become aware of what purpose I was serving for myself in the class. My focus would only be on attempting to keep up with the posture and stillness of better students. My purpose was only to break a sweat. My focus was on comparison to where others were and not on listening to what the postures can do for my wellness.
As we are in Hoi An for a week I've committed to a week long yoga mental and spiritual boost (my sister and best friend arrive in Bali to meet us in ten days.. and well.. let's just say I need to step my yoga game up before they get here - helloooo... competitive April... she's still a thing). I am a product of what I offer my mind and my body - and I am well aware of that. My attitude is highly dependent on whether I have given my body a release that day whether it be in the form of running, yoga, or the weight room. My mindset is highly effected by daily meditation, intention setting, and purposeful gratitude. And to me meditation comes in many different forms. My most needed forms are spent with alone time and exerting physical energy. I will state this again, my mood and reactions are highly HIGHLY dependent on what I offer my mind and body each day.
One of the most difficult parts of travel for me has been to reach this constant of energetic release and individual meditation. One of the best parts of travel for me has been the trek to Everest Base Camp. Every single day for nearly three weeks I was able to give my mind, body and soul the individual attention and focus I crave. However, because of this shift in lifestyle I think it has forced me into becoming much more of an observer of what effects my mindset each day. I've become so much more aware of the results of very small decisions I make.
Each time I attend yoga I am forced to become a listener and a follower to the instructor. I am forced to hold a constant awareness of my body, postures, breathing, thoughts, and energies. And now, I am realizing that having incorporated an hour and a half of this practice into my daily life, in carries over throughout the other twenty three hours of the day. I recognize the reaction my body is having to certain processed foods. How a plate of chicken nachos actually brought anxiety and changed my form of breathing after I finished the dish. I've become an observer of my own stress. And my reactions to that stress. An observer of when I'm overwhelmed - and my inability to create stillness when we've arrived in a new location.
A challenge that I face with travel is that I am such a full throttle person that I have a constant feeling that I need to be doing, need to be writing, need to be seeing, need to be experiencing - I cannot just sit and create stillness. The way that I do this is through running, exercise, meditation. Having lost my consistent routine of exercise and meditation has been incredibly difficult for me. But also a great teacher for me. I can't rely on those things as my outlet for creating stillness and relaxation in each day. I must create that peace even with the change of scenery, the constant shift of culture, and over stimulation of travel... even without being able to run or go to a gym. Having removed my immediate and known methods of energy boosters and mindfulness, I've been forced to become much more aware of the effects outside sources effect my internal source. And this I'm grateful for. I'm glad to learn how these other players effect me - and to be forced to discover other ways to find feel good techniques.
There are no constants in life. The only constant is that everything will change. And when it does, you have to find a way to change with it.