Finding Drishti: The Making of a Yogi Table of Contents
Finding Drishti: The Making of a Yogi is a series consisting of 3 parts.
On the fourth day after Christmas my body still hated me for those four deviled eggs, three candy canes, two chocolate Doves, and the partridge in a pear tree. I felt toxic, and especially after lunch at an inauthentic Mexican restaurant, with residual holiday food still lingering in my bloodstream, I was lethargic, grumpy, and fat.
I was stuck in the Awkward Six, those strange few days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve when leftovers and edible gifts grow puppy dog eyes, and willpower of steel crumbles. Something about the combination of parents, cold weather, and a break from work always seems to birth the perfect diet disaster.
Desperate for help, I made a Whole Foods run, eager to reverse my condition with magical detoxification teas and the aura of yogi, but what I received instead was far more therapeutic: a phone call.
Stumbling to connect my earpiece while reluctantly placing my sunglasses on my head like a vampire in fluorescent sunlight, my eyes scan the tea section: EveryDay Detox, Cleanse and Detox, Skin Detox…
“Hey, Yasmine. How are you?”
This is the vaguely familiar voice of my mom’s friend, who I had met for the first time a couple months ago during a wellness conference in the Palisades. Dragon Detox, Breezy Detox, Fun Detox…
“Good!” I lie. “How have you been?”
A spiritual being, himself, he detects my lie yet continues the conversation: “Excellent, I just got your message and wanted to follow up with you.”
A few days ago, I contacted him via Facebook and we have been playing phone tag since. I don’t know exactly what I wanted to hear from him, but I knew he was the right person to talk to. He is a leader in the industry I’m pursuing, so I naturally asked for his advice, expecting a conversation about certification programs or international conferences to follow. Instead, he asks, “What do you want to be?”
A simple question, it stumps me. That is not to imply I don’t have a very strong sense of exactly who I am or want to be in the larger, more qualitative sense, but when asked such things as how I want to make a living, I pause before rambling, surprisingly open with this distant friend. I bring up the tears of happiness I had shed after teaching my first yoga class. I mention that my using a myofascial roller with a client with osteoarthritis, scoliosis, a prosthetic knee, and a host of other conditions doctors overlooked prior to her gastric bypass surgery, had proven to have more healing powers than her entire history of physical therapists and cortisone shots. I tell him how much I love bringing self-efficacy and the importance of respecting one’s body and mind to the gym setting, and that I would love to see a peaceful relationship emerge from modern and classical health philosophy. Finding the common thread in all my answers, I confidently conclude, “I want to heal people.”
I’m met with a looming silence on the other end of the line and immediately regret the mindless tangent. I pretend to re-interest myself in the wall of organic teas.
“Wow. Do you realize what you just told me?” That I can’t hold my tongue? “You just told me what you want to dedicate your life to. That’s huge.”
I guess it is. It takes some people years to identify their deepest passions, and he helped me pinpoint mine in a matter of minutes. That’s not to say my life path won’t take gentle turns along the way nor that my passions won’t become more specific– and I’m certainly aware that my field requires much study, dedication, and experience. Merely, I should be grateful that I know what I love to do and that I am fortunate enough to have the opportunities to do so.
My boyfriend and I were talking just days before about how life’s smallest investments add up. It’s so easy in this fast-paced society to overlook the fundamental roots of individual pleasures, and to turn cheek to signs that deeply rooted interests are being ignored. I had no idea my more subtle interests through my time as a dancer and then as a performer would turn into something so substantial.
I eventually select a tea and pick up some spinach for fun, but as I check out of the store and end what turns into an hour-long conversation, I already feel detoxed. That is the power of self-realization.
So next time you feel the slightest bit outside yourself, consider meditating on the question, “Who do you want to be?” You could pull out your mat, oils, and favorite landscape view, or you could simply turn off your car radio for a few moments and have a silent conversation with your higher self. However you decide to debate this question, be careful how you phrase it and take the time to honor all your emotions, especially those suppressed or more slighted ones. Make sure you’re not listing things you want to have or do, as you want to get to the heart of what you love. Maybe think about the last time you felt truly alive or when during your day you feel the best. Ask yourself who you were as a child, before “real life” had the opportunity to interfere with dreams. Ask yourself if you are happy, and allow yourself to merely feel.
Once you have gained a sense of your ideal self, take little steps throughout your day to make that person a part of you. Let this image ingrain itself in your consciousness, and let that person’s energy flood your body. Be brave enough to follow him or her to your fullest potential– then you can turn back up your stereo and pay attention to the road ahead.
This is the second of a series of journal entries that track my path towards Yoga.
Written by Yasmine Elli.