On the Mat, Off the Mat

Off the mat

2015 Highlights

At this time of year, I always like to look back and reflect. Time goes so fast and we get so busy, that it’s easy to forget what we’ve done and how much we’ve achieved in the year.

Here are my top 3 highlights I’d like to share with you.

1. Qualified as a certified Iyengar Instructor
Completing the 3 year Introductory Level certification was an intense three years which involved a ton of learning, personal growth, much personal sacrifice and a lot of time on the mat – and well worth every single moment. I guess I always knew deep down inside when I started yoga in 1999 that I would want to teach it one day. Teacher training irrevocably changed my relationship with yoga and it coincided with 3 of the most tough and challenging years of my life. Even though the training course is stressful in that it is very intense and the work load is quite demanding, it was my lifeline to stay sane and cultivate resilience. The tools I gained through doing yoga and learning more about yogic philosophy, helped me to develop the physical strength and emotional equilibrium to handle the challenges I faced and persevere through some pretty tough times. What I love about yoga, not just as a teacher, but as a student is that you can never stop learning. I am fascinated with the mind-body connection so being able to teach and share my passion and knowledge of yoga and keep learning, makes me truly happy. Completing the teacher training was definitely one of the most rewarding things I have ever done and achieved in my life.

2. Went to Italy
I got to go to Italy, for work and then leisure 🙂 My alter ego is a geeky software designer that spends a large about of time pixel pushing and making cool software for a wide variety of clients. Myself and my partner (I work with my husband) had an exciting project that took us to Milan, Italy and while we were there, we figured that we might as well travel around a bit. Italy was incredible, I hadn’t been in 20 years and it was even better than I remembered. I love the culture, love love love the food (especially gelato) and thoroughly enjoyed the places we traveled to. While I was there, I attended a class given by senior Iyengar teacher, Gabriella Giubilaro which was an unforgettable experience – wow.

3. A lot of family time
This one might be listed last but isn’t necessarily the least favourite. I don’t have any immediate family in Cape Town, we are spread out across the world in a bit of a diaspora. Both my brothers live overseas and I got to see them both twice this year. It might have been for sad circumstance (my father passed away at the end of last year) but it shows that even in times of sorrow we can find joy. It was really special to be able to see them twice in one year, I adore them and it reminded me about just how much family means to me. Family, for better or worse, family is where you come from – so whether you have good or bad relations or memories of family, it’s still an important part of who you are. I just loved seeing the men (and the FATHERS!!!) they have become. We went away the three of us with my mom – and it was a really special time. This was definitely a 2015 highlight!

Take some quiet time before the end of the year to reflect on your year, a little bit of svadhyaya (self-study) is never a bad thing. See if it was the year you wanted and if you achieved your dreams or whether you tumbled from life’s unexpected twists and turns. If there is one thing (out of the many) that yoga has taught me, it’s how to maintain a sense of ease and balance in spite of the stress and chaos that we can experience in our lives.