“Happiness is the settling of the soul into it’s most appropriate spot.” – Aristotle
I’m grateful for yoga and I’m grateful for music. I always have been, but especially these days.
Every day has been exciting since I’ve gotten here. Every day waves of ‘new’ wash over me…waves of people, of places, of sights, of smells, of emotions, of reflections. The ‘new’ hasn’t gotten hard yet but my experiences with movement and transitions, from going to Carolina to traveling Europe, have taught me that sometimes, the total rejection of ‘new’ is inevitable and I will retreat into my own skin, into my own comfort zone, at least for a little while. Maybe I’ll wish I was back home. More likely, I’ll just be sad and force myself to power through those emotions. Either way, I’ve learned that it helps when you mentally prepare for feelings like that and I think I’ve already begun.
Yoga is the same in every country. The language in which the preliminary and ending discussions are held might change but the asanas are constant, the flow is similar and sanskrit is sanskrit with an American, Australian, Italian or Brazilian accent. Hollie helped me find a Jivamukti studio in Sydney. It is about 20 minutes away by bus in a graffiti coated suburb called Newtown. (History side fact: Newtown is literally called “New Town” because it was one of the few new towns set up in the nothingness Australia had to offer to the settlers back in the day). I arrived with the intention of getting my blood moving in the right way after such a long fight and a big environmental change, detox a little from all the alcohol and to re-center through pranayama. I didn’t necessarily feel off balance, but my intuition has been telling me that unless I start re-centering before I feel I absolutely need to, I might get even farther off balance when the ‘new’ hits. It has been working. Yoga feels the same to me here as it does at home. I miss Hollie but the classes I’ve taken have all been beautiful and the Jivamukti flow is the same. The focuses have been ‘letting go’ and ‘being fed up’ and I can understand the discussions easily even though I am abroad (go Australia!). I easily fell into my space within the class and connected with the teachers I have had. I even got the chance to talk to a few of them who know Hollie – how small of a world is it?!? and that made me feel even more at home. I took my first class while the rest of my friends were at a bar watching football and i spent the next couple of hours by myself. That was the first time my version of big-city-syndrome got to me. I felt so small in this huge, busy foreign place, and so alone. It was easier for me this time than it ever has been before when I’ve felt similarly to draw back into the things yoga and life have taught me and find the strength to pick me up. Then my roommates came home and I went straight back to normal.
Music has always been there for me in the same way. Music to me is magic. It’s a portable portal. I listen to Scar Tissue or The Outsiders and it gives me strength. I listen to Rich Girl or F*ck You and I’m smiling to myself on the bus. I listen to Days Like This or Crazy Love and I’m relaxed and I listen to Skinny Love or Old Pine and I feel serenity and control over my direction. Music is a safety net for my emotions – whenever I start to lose control over them, music lets me regroup. It’s like I carry my home and a sense of security in my pocket and here, it’s helped me to stay grounded and bring over my life (if that makes any sense.) Rather than starting new and fresh, feeling like I’m running away to start over or make things better, music has helped me bring my life with me in a way. It reminds me that I know who I am and that I’m gonna be just fine no matter how big and overpowering those waves of ‘new’ get.