Today as I pondered my upcoming trip to India I had this strange excitement come over me, it was that feeling of being excited to go home. This got me thinking, how is it that going overseas feels like coming home? I'm sure it's not the backpack wardrobe, the uncomfortable beds or the challenge of not being able to achieve simple things in a timely manner, so what could it be?
I did the math and to my surprise in the last 3 years (since making the decision to leave the corporate world) I've spent almost 50% of my time overseas, mostly in Bali and India. The longest stretch I've been home for was 8 months. No wonder I'm confused about where home is!
Each time I've returned to Australia its been with the thought 'this will be my last trip for a long time, I'm ready to settle, I should throw away that old backpack, it won't make it through another trip', yet here I am once again with a plane ticket, that same old backpack and a visa for India in my hand.
All of my trips in the last 3 years have revolved around yoga, each one has been a deep inward journey, the type where you are constantly working on yourself, observing, learning and growing. What can I say I love the work and being immersed in the practice!
In the last 3 years, yoga has literally become my life. It's now far more than a hobby, its my grounding, it's my job and pretty much everything I do somehow links to it.
I'm in this yoga thing 24/7 and if I'm to be honest at times it's hard to switch it off, to find that division between my own personal practice and what I'm putting out there as a teacher.
When back here in Australia I often find myself moving through my own personal practice only to find a cool sequence of poses that I feel the need to write down, to share. I'm taking myself out of that personal experience to put my teacher hat back on. In this dual role, I spend less time in my yoga zone connecting with my innermost self.
When I'm fully immersed in my personal practice, living and breathing it without thinking about how I will share it, I feel most at home, deeply connected to the internal and external worlds.
They say that 'home is where the heart is', overseas feels like home to me because this is where I allow myself the space for my heart to be free, to connect deeply with what I'm passionate about, the practice and teachings of yoga. I get to selfishly absorb myself in the practice, to live it and breathe it, day in day out.
By no means is it always a walk in the park, often its really hard work looking that deeply but on the other side of the struggle is always that feeling of knowing myself more intimately that I did before, that deeper connection to the self, the place where home resides.
Mandy Habener (Dumas)