For almost the entire month, I have found it nearly impossible to write. My mind is completely focused on my yoga studies, and each time I sit down to put words on a page, I am at a complete loss. It’s not a bad thing, as I realize that it’s important to be fully immersed in this experience, but as it’s coming to an end, I am trying to get back into the habit of writing each day. Still, it hasn’t been easy.
A lot has happened for me in the past month, spiritually and emotionally, and I have been transformed in many ways. Each day has been spent focusing on myself: mind, body, and soul. Never before have I taken this much care and energy in doing something for me, and it’s been the best gift I could have ever given myself.
As I write this in my simple room, windows open with a gentle breeze coming in, I inhale and exhale with gratitude. The sounds of traffic driving by on the street below, usually accompanied with beeping, children laughing, dogs barking, cows mooing, and birds singing, pour into my room as the sun covers me in a blanket of light and warmth. Each morning, I wake up to the quiet, stillness of the Himalayas. It doesn’t take long for the hustle and bustle to begin, but at 5:30am, the world feels at peace. Each evening, I practice asanas in our rooftop studio as the sun sets and lights up the sky in pinks and oranges. Being grateful is easy here.
While I realize that the world isn’t perfect, I think it’s important to focus on the good and what we have, putting all of our energy into it. Life can be beautiful and if we learn to appreciate those moments of joy, no matter how small, and show gratitude for all the good, the world will be a better place for everyone to live in. This year, I feel especially grateful, even if some of my moments weren’t easy.
I am grateful for the opportunity to have this current experience. I know most people don’t have the time or money to do something like I am doing. The decision to quit my job was far from easy, but it brought me to where I am today, and I’m looking forward to putting my life in a new direction. With teaching, I wasn’t able to make an impact on the world the way I wanted to, and with yoga, I feel that I can really help people connect to their mind, body, and soul, which will lead to a more positive world.
I am grateful for the people I am on this journey with. When I signed up for a yoga teacher training in India, I was hoping that I would meet people who were similar to me, and I was lucky enough to have my experience with an incredible group of yogis. Our energy has been on the same level, and it’s been wonderful to be with such like-minded people.
I am grateful for my friends and family back at home who have been more than supportive throughout this transition. My big life changes weren’t just big for me, but they also had an impact on many people in my life, especially while I was trying to make my decision. Their support has been invaluable, and even though I am not with them today to celebrate, I hope they know just how thankful I am for them.
I am grateful for my instructors here at Rishikesh Yog Dham. Never before have I been encouraged and pushed to be the best version of myself each and every day. Yoga is a very personal practice, but when the instructors see you can go further, they push you to get there. In the same way, they are also supportive, funny, and encouraging. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to reach so many of my goals.
I am grateful that through this experience I have opened up parts of me that I didn’t know were blocked off. A few months ago, I went for reiki and was told that my heart chakra was blocked. I thought it was just from being in conflict over the decision to quit my job or not, but I think it was so much more than that. I have not felt open or willing to let another person into my life for the past two years. My last relationship was beautiful and eye-opening, but my heart was completely shattered after it didn’t work out the way I had hoped. I thought that I was open and willing to love again when I healed from the end of the relationship, but looking back, I pushed back hard on anything that came my way and found reasons to avoid something concrete. At the time, I didn’t realize I was preventing myself from getting hurt again, but now I’m realizing I was terrified. From my time here, working on myself, I feel more open than I ever have.
I’m grateful for this journey of self-discovery more than anything because it’s led me to where I am at this very moment. Being able to spend a month in the foothills of the Himalayas with my only responsibilities being to practice breathing, cleansing, and asanas has helped me grow and get in touch with myself in ways I previously haven’t. I feel clear, open-minded, and more confident in achieving my goals and dreams. If I can get myself into yoga positions I have always struggled with in a matter of weeks, I know that nothing is impossible. I was so fearful of headstands and forearms balances and now that I’ve achieved those goals, I realize that there is nothing to be afraid of. I plan on carrying that lesson with me always.
Gratitude is important to infuse in our daily lives and if each person around the world thought about what they had instead of what they wanted, the world would be a happier place. I am not saying it will solve all of our troubles, because it won’t, but we need to make sure we aren’t only grateful for one day of the year. Instead, we need to make the change within us and choose happiness each day staying grateful for all of the wonderful things we have in our lives, no matter how big or small. Namaste and Happy Thanksgiving!