As I sat in the air-conditioned, windowless studio after a class this week my mind started to wander to all the places I had been to over the years. There have been many journeys and as I reflected I realised that each one had involved practicing yoga. Sometimes as I stand in warrior pose I imagine the view of those beaches, mountains, rivers, hotel rooms, camp sites... From the first class I took in Australia to the first adhoc class I taught in Austria that made me realise wanted to follow this path, yoga has been part of my life and my adventures.
We often travel to explore, sometimes to get lost, sometimes to find something, sometimes to relax, sometimes to get some adrenaline. Wherever we go, we are always there - there's no running away or hiding! This realisation that wherever I have been yoga has also been with me was a comforting one.
I used to think that my surfboard was the perfect travel companion. To some extent I still do! But like most activities, it is dependent on lots of variables that are outside of my control. In some ways I love this, but in other ways it can be frustrating. The reason, for me, yoga is such a powerful tool is because it doesn't rely on any variable. You don't even need a yoga mat. You can practice 'yoga' sitting on a crowded train just by focusing on your breathing. All you need is yourself.
As a teacher, this is the lesson I try to give my students. Be guided by me, but not reliant on me. Practice in your own way, when you can and when you need to. Yoga is an amazing tool for relaxation, self acceptance, strength, patience, commitment... the list goes on... it can also be extremely empowering!