I love yoga. I dedicate myself to my practice, to eating a healthy, organic and (where I can) plant-based diet, to meditating, to honoring my soul, nourishing my spirit and strengthening my body. Well... I did. And then something weird happened.
I have always firmly believed in the healing powers of plants, yoga and meditation in the face of problems, and so far it had always worked for me. But those problems were ‘teenage’ problems, things that don’t really matter – pimples, boys, if it was going to rain on my birthday. I have spent hours training myself to deal with these issues that arise in my life with balancing out my chakras, hopping into down dog and whipping up a wheatgrass shot. But when these problems started getting worse, and fear and anxiety started leaping to questions about my future, I panicked. I panicked hard.
This is the point where I would love to tell you that I entered into a deep 7 hour meditation, twice daily yoga practice and a fresh juice cleanse which helped my mental and spiritual clarity and resulted in a Lauren who is completely at peace with the world and her future.
Unfortunately, it went a little differently…
My healthful, organic diet? Out the window.
Mindfulness and meditation? Don’t think so.
Yoga practice? Um, I would rather sleep in.
And so began the next part of my life, where worry, angst and stress where my new best friends. Only they weren’t very nice friends, and I wanted to ditch them but didn’t know how.
So now is where I tell you about how I found my practice again, right? Eh, I wish.
This pattern of tension continued, wreaking havoc on body – my skin broke out, my digestion was a mess, I had ulcers in my stomach, my back and neck ached and I had constant headaches. But that was nothing compared to what was happening to my spiritual self – my mood was down, I could feel myself getting angry or upset for no reason and I was always, always tired. And so this went on for sometime.
One afternoon I was sitting my study, preparing for my university exams just as I had been doing every day for quite a while. Same chair. Same desk. Same computer. Only this time, it wasn’t the same. I normally can force myself to work, study subjects that I have no interest in, but today I couldn’t. I couldn’t sit down any longer – I had to get up. I stood, and without even thinking I approached the center of the room, kneeled down and went up into tripod headstand. And there I stayed for some time. Maybe a minute? Maybe ten? And I thought of nothing. For the first time in a long while I had relief from the constant thoughts invading my mind about career choices and life plans. I could just be. Body and soul (literally) balanced amongst the materials of my world. I hopped down in child’s pose and rested. I was back.
So I had my first real test as a yogi and I failed. But the good thing is that in much the same way, I won. I bought myself back. I was drowning in a river and instead of waiting for the rescue boat; I swam to the edge all by myself. And I know that I will be accepted even more now that I have returned – and that feels great too.
So what if I don’t know what career path I am going to take? Who cares if life isn’t planned out in front of me? I have a yoga mat on my floor, brown rice, almonds and goji berries in my fridge and a lifetime to work out the rest.