This week I joined Radici Yoga, a studio not far from my school. The first class I went to was very typical Hatha. This is the same branch of yoga that Heart of Yoga, my Carrboro studio, primarily focuses on. The teacher, Keisha, taught in both English and Italian, switching back and forth the whole time. She identified most of the movements and poses, however, by their traditional Sanskrit names. This language was mutual to everyone in the room. It was so fascinating to watch the confusion grow on the different faces as Keisha jumped between Italian and English, but then see it completely dissipate when she would call out Sanskrit. I never imagined that Sanskrit, of all things, would become my home base, my comfort, or my understanding. Here, though, it is.
The next day I went back to Radici Yoga for a vinyasa flow class. This class was also very similar to the vinyasa I do back home. Yet again I lay in svasana (final meditation) on the same mat I’ve practiced with for years. Immediately, I was brought back to the US, to North Carolina, and into my studio. The feeling was comforting but not nostalgic; it was inspiring and motivating. I know now that when I encounter stress and hardships during my time in Italy, which I believe to some extent is inevitable, I will have always have my mat.
In yoga, we believe that tension should be released through your breath and movement while on the mat. This is why establishing an everyday practice is so important. After a day’s trials, the best thing you can do for yourself and those around you is take time on your mat. Never have I stepped off of it without letting go of some “problem.” The fact that I can experience the exact same feeling and satisfaction out of an hour on my mat in Italy, with complete strangers and foreign languages, as I do in Carrboro, with my friends and dear teachers, speaks truth to the value of the practice.
Even though I’ve had yoga for years now, I feel like I just fell in love with it all over again.