My recent trip to London was filled with so many good things I needed to begin this new season---
briefly reuniting with a teacher who epitomizes all things maternal, meandering through cinnamon scented holiday markets, sipping mint tea with a friend while discussing our short time in an Indian ashram, unapologetically enjoying IPAs on a Soho street after reuniting with my tribe of yogini sisters, devouring masala dosas and sage advice from my passionate teacher, laughing with an adventurous New York pal turned London lady as the Kilchoman warmed our stomachs, putting on an emerald dress & gold heels to celebrate a bunch of brilliant minds---all things good.
On my last day in London, under a clear blue sky, I took the tube to Royal Oak and walked to the West London Buddhist Centre. I sat across from eager & tired faces, the faces of women about to complete their 200-hour yoga teacher training. To my left I smiled at my teacher, the woman who guided me (sometimes harshly but always encouragingly) through a life changing month in Nepal.
I shared my story. I spoke about a ritual of self-care that unconsciously developed years ago in a packed studio in Brooklyn. I spoke about how that ritual, the power of it, became realized after I moved overseas. I spoke about returning home after my YTT and teaching a packed Restorative class just three days later. I reminded them how vital it is to constantly unpack and redefine our relationship with the yoga practice.
The beauty of the yoga practice is that it gives unconditionally. It will nurture the remarkable light within everyone. Everyone has a unique biology & biography. As teachers, we are not there to fix. We are there to share and hold space.
And as I sat in on their final class of the training, I felt it.
The refuge from suffering.
My modern sangha.
The safe space which invites me to turn inwards once again.
“The very presence of your breath and of your body is one of the most astonishing things in the universe and it offers the continual opportunity to start over. What an incredible relief it is to understand that the ultimate place of pilgrimage is right in the center of our very own heart.”