Saturday… The day started with me fumbling with my hair and grabbing everything that was eatable and putting it in my mouth. And if you know me, you know I never fumble with my hair and I never put things in my mouth without thinking about all the calories, carbs, fats.. So that was the moment I realized there was seriously something going on. And it only took my a moment to discover what it was. It was only one day before my Ashtanga Yoga Academy would get started and I did no do my own practice for over a month, because of physical weakness. I had absolutely no idea in which condition my body was at that moment and I sure did not know if I would be able to deal with the practice we defenitely would do there.. Insecurities, anxiety and stress were taking over control and I had to persuade myself there was no need to be insecure, anxious or stressed. Everything would be fine, I would do great and everyone there would be extremely nice to me. That’s what I told myself..but to be honest, I didn’t believe a word of it..
And to stick with the insecurities, anxiety and stress, it made me going through the most horrific night I have had in a long time. I woke up every thirty minutes and in the intervals I was dreaming about the downward facing dog and every other yoga posture I ever did. So, when my alarm clock went off at 6 o’clock in the morning I was happy I could go downstairs and cuddle myself calm with my dog while I was eating a delicious breakfast. And thank God there are dogs, because believe me, she totally understood the need of a loving hug.
Then, finally it was 8 o’clock. I took my bike and went to the train station, where I had to wait another 15 minutes before my train arrived (not helping when you are nervous…). But I will save you from all the other little details about the trip and start with telling you the real story.
I ended up at a tramstation in Rotterdam with my luggage and saw a woman waving at me. ‘You have to be here! This is the right one!’ ‘What the …? How do you know where I have to go?’ Well, thats what I was thinking, not what I was saying… Actually I walked towards the woman and she told me she recognized me by my yoga mat.. Ah yes, I was wearing this thing on my back.. So we both took the tram and arrived at the building where the Yoga Academy would be located. There we met some other students and together we tried finding the right room. And when we found it, my biggest fear became reality. Everyone was already sitting there on their mats and they were all looked at me. And besides that, everyone was at least a decade older.. Help!
I convinced myself this was a dream I had for a long time and that I had no reasons to act like a baby. ‘Come on, move that ass and go sit there on your yoga mat!’ (I noticed I talk alot to myself, but we will discuss my crazy behaviours some other time.) So I moved my ass towards the room and tried to untie my yoga mat from its ‘travell string’. It immediately broke when I tried to untie it. But I firmly moved on putting the mat on the floor and acted like nothing has happened. And to make the situation a little less tensed, I made a joke to the man who was sitting next to me..but he wasn’t laughing about it at all and I could only hope the training would get started soon..
And to put it midly; then it took off! We had to introduce ourselves to the others first (and there were 28 students, so that took a while) and while my heart was trying to beat itself a way out of my throat, I made it through that part actually quite good. But then it really began.. We started with our own practice. The first series of Ashtanga yoga… And if you know Ashtanga yoga, you know that doing the first series cost you almost two hours. Two hours of physical tension. Two hours of physical pleasure of two hours of physical pain… This was the moment of truth..
But I survided it. I wasn’t as flexible as before in my hips. But all the forward bends were going great and I actually did a few postures that I’ve never succeeded before and even the headstand was going great! But I did notice the weakness of my body while I was pushing it up. I succeeded doing the push ups, but I wasn’t as strong as before and it stabbed me I did this on purpose to my own body for a long time and still sometimes do (because well..I’m dealing with an eating disorder). But it made me realize that giving up was not a option to me at all and that I had to continue fighting against the eating disorder. I would not give up my body and I would not give up myself. From this day on I would fight ever harder!
And when the day moved on, it became clear to me that this was the day of the realizations. I met great people. People who travelled the world following their hearts and dreams. People who were extremely sick only a year ago and were working as hard as they could to reach for this new dream; and they did it with grace and joy! I met people who worked in Afghanistan to make things better for the people living there and I met people who wanted to develop theirselves even more. And when I talked to them, I realized my life wasn’t that bad. It’s the way I looked against it. Life is a great gift. It’s an open present which we can fully colour by ourselves. We have abilities. We can love, we can give, we can try and we can work and reach for our dreams. And we even get another gift when doing that; we are building up a new experience and that’s probably the greatest gift you can get..
So sunday…The day started with me being nervous and complaining like a little kid. But it ended with me working my ass of in my own practice, doing my best while I was teaching, having nice conversations with the other students and giving their all of my attention. And there was something great I got by doing that, while I was not even reaching for it, they were giving me their attention and I was able to hear a part of their life stories and all together it made this first day on the Ashtanga Yoga Academy a day of realizations, but most of the start of a great experience!