Growing Old is Mandatory, Growing Up is Optional

Yesterday, I turned 25. It feels like a big one, like all of a sudden I’m supposed to have everything figured out, be that much closer to this thing we call “adulthood”. To be honest, I think I still have a long way to go! Yet I spent a lot of time yesterday reflecting back on this last year, and the journey that has brought me to today. Looking back, I see this year as definite turning point; I am not the same person I was last year, or even six months ago. And surprisingly, I think it has less to do with my age, and more to do with where I’ve been.

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Last year, I shared my birthday with 100s of baby sea turtles on a beach in Costa Rica! Here’s these guys, making their first confident jaunt to the sea!

Deciding to do the PYC YTT changed how I lived my life, from the moment I emailed Indira. All of a sudden, I felt empowered and motivated to begin taking charge of my practice and my life.  In yoga, we often set an intention at the beginning of our practice, and for me, signing up for the YTT was like setting an intention for my year. I wanted it to be dedicated to health, to happiness, and to a sense of overall wellness, emotional, physically, and spiritually.

Preparing for the YTT, I began practicing more, and with a greater sense of purpose. I began to see changes in my mind, my body, and my breathing. I brought this momentum with me to Pavones, where I was able to pick up even more speed. The YTT was an entire month to fully explore myself, all while being nourished with the practice and meditations of Chris and Indira, the delicious food from JP, and the beauty of the beach. At the YTT, I gained a sense of trust in myself, a rootedness I had never felt.  I felt more connected to the life source—like I’d been plugged in. I felt better in my body than I ever had, and felt stronger, and more capable to tackle both physical challenges and the curve balls that life sometimes throws .

But as the YTT came to close, I had fear—a hesitancy about returning back to “the real world”. What would it be like to go back? Would everything go back to just as it was? What would it be like without having the YTT to keep me motivated? Our teacher, Chris, reminded us of the impossibility of things returning to how they had been; How could they? He said, “How can the energy of twice a day practices, and daily sutra study and meditation, simply end by printing your Yoga Teacher certificate?”. How could everything we’d developed fall away by boarding a plane and heading home? Scientifically, you can look at it as straight physics: Inertia. When you let go of the bowling ball, it does not stop because you’re hand is no longer touching it, but continues in the direction you have guided it. All of the months preparing, along with the YTT itself, were just the wind up for an incredible strike! While I can’t say I feel I have it figured out, I do feel that much closer. And while I don’t make it to the mat everyday, I still breathe everyday. I still think everyday.  I still move, and eat, and connect everyday. And each of these actions has been gently guided by the hand of the PYC YTT Six months away from PYC, and I still feel the inertia and the power behind the experience guiding my life forward, which makes me even more excited for my next quarter century!

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