Like A Prayer Yoga
I’ve been searching for a job for the past little while and interviewing with one company for the past few weeks. And the idea that I could soon be back in the 9-5 (or 6 or 7) rat race, is becoming more and more real.
As I’ve been on this job hunt, it’s been hard to understand and reason and rationalise Like a Prayer Yoga and to know what its place is, has been and will be in my life. For the past two or more years, teaching yoga and meditation and doing energy healing sessions has felt like a saviour. My saviour. The studio itself has been a space for me to do basically anything I wanted in. I could decorate it the way I want, decide who can and can’t use it, open it up, close it down, care for it and maintain it the way I wanted, play the music I like, light candles, and incense, burn sage and spray eucalyptus oil around to my heart’s content. Maybe these all sounds like small things. But in a city and country that has at times felt so foreign, having a space that was mine where I have felt safe has been incredibly precious.
Beyond the physical space, the studio has also given me an opportunity to share something of myself; to share what I think, to share my energy, words, beliefs and favourite yoga poses. And the value and significance of all of that is a bit too overwhelming for me to even feel. Expression was something I always found hard. I often struggled with getting words out. They seemed to get stuck and the actual words that did come out weren’t exactly what I wanted to say or didn’t feel quite adequate. I always envied people who were able to express themselves intelligently and authentically with ease. But when I’m in my yoga studio or when I sit down to write this, the words really do come. They are there and even though I get scared straight after I’ve sent this out or feel too nervous to say much at the end of a yoga class; I feel like I have expressed something, something that is meaningful to me, something that I hope helps someone else connect their vulnerability to mine and realise we are all the same and do deserve our own attention, compassion and love.
While the studio has given me all of this, at the same time, it hasn’t been a viable business. And that has worried me. Because the rational, realist part of me can see that if it doesn’t exist or can’t sustain itself in the “real world” then maybe it’s all an illusion and just a hobby and not really a serious thing at all. And now that I have decided my need for stability and financial security isn’t just a fear or fancy but a real, desperate need and one which I need to fulfil; it’s sort of easy to belittle the yoga and energy healing, as a diversion or plaything. Can the world of yoga and energy healing, intuitive, compassionate and gentle feelings even exist in a rational, assertive, competitive, corporate environment?
When I think that maybe it won’t, I feel incredibly sad. Because how can something that has given me so much, which has meant so much to me, which has, in a very real way saved me; now not mean anything at all? It feels like losing a side of myself and that a part of me will be rolled up like a mat and put a way for a while just because it didn’t succeed in financial terms or because the external validation wasn’t encouraging enough.
We want things to be rational and realistic. We want things to make sense and to be worth it. But there is too much focus on money and external validation, and not enough attention and value given to nurturing ourselves and fulfilling our needs that may have nothing to do with a bottom line. It’s easy to set our dreams and creativity aside if we don’t think they could succeed but there is something unquantifiable and incredibly precious in finding a way to express our whole selves; to share our whole selves. Even when it may not make financial or any other rational sense at all, they may still intuitively feel right, may make us feel joyful or happy, may heal us. I remember my mum telling me that in her family, her Dad said you should never stop anyone from singing – no matter how they sounded, let them sing- and maybe it was exactly that nurturing and support which encouraged my mum to be the singer that she is now. If you care about something, if you get joy from something, if you find a way to express yourself, don’t let the rational, realistic or sensible voices in your head, or anyone else’s stop you from doing what you want to do.
As for Like a Prayer Yoga, I hope that for as long as I’m alive and kicking, in some way or another, so will it be.