I was one of those who turned to yoga for healing. I was one of those who are in their lowest point of life, travelled to do soul searching, with high hopes that everything can be fixed.
It also took me lot of courage for me to admit that, because I was also one of those who judge people who only goes to yoga when they are down and low (because you know, yoga is a “lifestyle”, not a savior when you need saving). Until it hit me, I became one them.
This is not a blog about my sad experiences – I’m not ready to talk about that and I don’t think it would be of anyone’s interest. Let’s keep that story aside, this is supposed to be happy story. About how my perceptions have changed, and ironically, despite knowing that yoga is not a savior, it saved me.
For context so you all can relate, think about your saddest experience. Think about the moment you were trying to move on with life. That was me. I was in my longest yoga-off season, probably about a year of no practice. Out of an effort to get going with my life, I booked a week of yoga retreat to Phuket. Not those fancy ones. It was on an island far from the airport where you have to travel on your own as there was no option for aiport pick up. Yes, it was that “un-fancy”.
Ok, so now back to how I think yoga saved my life. Yes it did. Through experience. Yoga taught me the best lessons in life –
- I learned to appreciate life more. During the retreat, I met people who are in the same, if not, worse situation as I am. This sounds bad but you know there’s a mini relief when you feel someone is also suffering. In German they call it “shadenfreuede”. Apart from that, I took note of the small things that I tend to take for granted, and realized how these small things collectively bring me joy.
- Life will not make it difficult for me. I became too used to the “fancies” and considered anything less as “suffering” or “sacrifice”. The simplicity of the yoga retreat place made me realize how superficial my world had become. I can survive with minimal things. I survived Uni days with no money and having instant noodles for a meal , and I survived.
- I am resilient. What I am going through is just an adult version of a 5-year old me having all my favorite toys burned in fire. It was a big deal back then. It sounds shallow now of course, but to five-year old, that was my life. And I survived. There will more of these moments.
- Success is relative. I learned to let go of all the pressures from society’s expectation and definition of success, many thanks the owner of the yoga retreat place. He was a doctor. A very successful one – I would have wanted to be like him, who foun contentment in living a simple life, sharing the love of yoga. This has probably the biggest impact in my life. So much that whenever I’m asked about my future-slash-retirement plans, I see me, contented, with a simple bed and breakfasr by the beach, teaching yoga.