Friday, March 30, 2012

There's No Place Like Ommmm

Hey there my friends how long has it been, a month? I suppose you think I've flown out of this orbit on my traveling mat by now, right? Actually I landed in a familiar place, Richmond VA. Back among friends and loved ones, back to back to responsibility and reality.  I also landed right back into a full teaching schedule and tons of exciting work to do for Project Yoga Richmond. I also landed in what could possibly be the worst pollen season of the century, thanks to the "non" winter here in the southeast. Kinda makes me long for the clean ocean breezes that kept me company for the month of February....

Believe it or not, other than a year and a half in college, my little venture was the longest I had ever been away from "home". From 2/1/12 through 3/12/12. In reality I was only two states away. I didn't go very far at all. Yet my trip took me a very long way in terms of my growth as a teacher and more importantly as a person. I learned I didn't need a lot to survive and I enjoy solitude. I like being a Nomad. My practice deepens when I spend more time doing it, instead of talking about it. Some days it was almost unbearable to not see my youngest son for that long, and more than once I was in tears when I got off the phone with him. I also had a few times to really ask myself, "why am I doing this", when expectations were high, but attendance was low. And every phone call I received reminding me of my responsibilities in Richmond, I knew I was not on a vacation. But I got to practice yoga everyday, sometimes 2 or 3 times a day. I got to talk about yoga and what it meant to be a Yogi everyday. Everyday I learned something new from someone, or shared some new experience. And I was well taken care of. There was always someone offering a meal, or having a place for me to shower or wash clothes. I really learned to appreciate the kindness of others, how to be a good guest and to appreciate the exchange of energy we all share. And it was that exchange of energy that I will treasure most.

I will probably never be able to fully express the joy and the outright pleasure I had living in a yoga studio, living, breathing and talking yoga everyday. Talking about it in a "how can we use our practice to help us lead more fulfilling lives" type of way. As a plus, there happened to be a teacher training in progress. With the grace of the instructor, I was giving the opportunity to sit in from time to time and observe the cultivation of the next generation of yoga teachers. It was really uplifting to see the dedication, the inquisitiveness, the lightbulbs going off, even the angst and anxiety of wondering if one will ever know enough or be qualified enough to take the responsibility of teaching yoga. Something I know every teacher who has ever gone through training has felt, including me. I still sometimes feel ill-equipped to do what I do, but this is what keeps me from feeling as though I've "figured it out". I still try to cultivate the mentality of those students, keeping a quality of "learning" in my yoga practice. I think being on the road for a little while allowed me to the freedom to learn again, to study, to reflect and to continue "becoming".

And now back home. Back to being a daddy, back to having familiar faces to look upon and familiar streets to travel on. Back to regular schedules and regularly set alarm clocks. Back to being the head of an organization. Back to new challenges and opportunities. Back to basics. Back to becoming.

Peace and Blessings,

Yogi J Miles