Where is Home? (And how yoga can help you find your way back.)
I teach yoga in English in Switzerland. Most of my students and private clients are people living and working in a country not considered their own.
Last week, I began teaching a 6-week Beginners Yoga course. I had a lovely and interesting conversation with a woman after class. She was not Swiss and English was not her native language.
She was explaining how she came to join the course, through a recommendation from someone I used to teach before she recently and unexpectedly returned to her country of birth due to her husband’s work.
Moving abroad can be a thrilling and exciting new opportunity, I remember completely embracing and loving the adventure when I was in my early 20’s, single and free with no responsibilities except embarking on my first career in ballet.
But it’s different when you have more than just yourself to think about. It can be hard to uproot everything especially with young children and completely start afresh.
Where is Home?
During our conversation we discussed the meaning of home and the significance of starting from scratch without knowing anyone or having family close by. The student had plenty of experience having spent most of her life travelling the world herself.
She seemed to have figured it out with elegance and maturity but it wasn’t always easy. I sensed it came down to an attitude, a mindset drawn from experience, values and an honest, confident sense of self that had grown over time.
It made me think of other friends and students who have moved abroad recently, the ones who are putting down new roots, or stepping away from work and travelling for a while, or contemplating whether to move back to their country of birth.
Then today, I came across a Pico Iyer’s TEDGlobal Talk I’ve kept in a saved folder for a couple of years now.
Pico Iyer is an elegant and eloquent speaker, essayist and novelist, having spent more than 30 years tracking movement and stillness – and the way criss-crossing cultures have changed the world, our imagination and all our relationships.
I’d like to share his message with you, in the hope that the essence of his talk or perhaps just a word or phrase will inspire you to reflect on where you are right now, especially if you’re feeling stuck, alone or perhaps out of balance.
Perhaps it can help you navigate a new path or cause a simple shift in how you approach your life or work. Click here to watch.
Finding creativity through stillness.
So Where Does Yoga Fit Into This?
One of the most memorable and beautiful things a student ever told me was after a restorative pose during a private yoga session. She was quiet and reflective, there was a long silence and then finally she said very softly:
‘I feel as if I’ve been on a long journey and have finally come home.’
The essence of yoga is to still the mind but also to allow you to become connected to your true self. It is Coming Home.
I’d love to hear what ‘home’ means to you. Is it one thing or a combination? Has it changed for you over the years? Let me know by replying to this email and I’ll get back to you.
Have a good week, wherever you are!
P.S. If you have any other questions related to yoga, you can always reach out and I’ll respond as soon as I can. Better still, come and try an Early Bird class on Wed 7.00-8-15 or Saturday 9.30-10.45. More info here.