Am I too old for this? There are so many things on my personal bucket list I’ve checked off this year. I’m not talking about society’s bucket list of good job, marriage, kids, vacation. I’m talking about a personal bucket list – things you are unexplainably drawn to. Things that make no sense but feel right. Things your soul wants to do.
One of the things I’ve always been drawn to is yoga. When I was fifteen, there was no internet. My family did not even have cable. I watched what we called “regular tv.” On PBS there was an older lady named Priscilla Patrick who was as old as my grandmother but could twist like a pretzel. She was in better shape than I was at fifteen. I said to myself, “I want to look like that at her age. I want to be able to bend like that at her age.” I faithfully watched her show and practiced with her. At the time, there were no yoga studios. I bought a few books but they were a little esoteric. Quietly, I practiced yoga. I had no idea if I was doing the poses correctly. I didn’t care. It was calming. It was my secret diet aid. I found I ate less and could knock off a pound or two if I continued yoga (I’m a stress eater).
Off and on, I continued to do yoga. I was amazed to watch it become more and more mainstream. I felt vindicated. I was no longer the odd vegetarian doing yoga in private. Other people actually liked yoga? And then yoga somehow just became accepted. In my twenties, I was able to access yoga classes at local Park Districts.
When I moved to Chicago proper, I was amazed at how mainstream yoga had become. There were yoga studios. With incense. And essential oils. I was no longer the odd vegetarian doing yoga in private. And now, yoga had surpassed mainstream into being cool?
I found eventbrite and did yoga all over the city – even in some unlikely places (which made it more fun), furniture stores, outdoors, rooftops, gyms, yoga studios. The weirder the place the better, although it didn’t really matter because if you relax enough, you just go to a place of relaxation.
I’d always wanted to pursue my certification. And for once, my motivation was not to make money off of a goal. I wanted to do this because if I have been doing something for almost thirty years, it is important to me. Although my journey started for purely superficial reasons, I’ve received more peace from yoga than I will ever be able to write. I wanted to deepen my fulfillment and see how to do things properly for once. I felt like because I was self-taught, I might be missing out on something. I wanted the full translation.