It was your typical cold wintery afternoon in London in when I was exiting the tube station in the pretty village of Southfields, near Wimbledon. Crowds of people on the hustle, shoulder charges and stressed out faces. At this particular time I was still temping as a PA to an investment banker in the very corporate Canary Wharf district.
Even though I was refreshed from my week away at the temple, back in the city I was still feeling a bit lost, a bit blue, trying to find my way in the world. All I knew, at this point, was this, I knew what I didn’t want, and maybe that was enough. I didn’t want to get swallowed up in the madness, societal conditioning of work, and money, only to consume things, retire and die. The materialistic world had never interest me, in fact, it bored me to tears.
A beautiful, peaceful looking lady named Raya, handed me a flyer about her upcoming yoga classes, I took one, had a glance and was mesmerised.
i knew right then, and there, that this was ‘a moment’, a significant encounter for me and my life.
I remember the goosebumps, and the feeling of time standing still. A very significant opportunity had presented itself to me so effortlessly, like it was laid out long before my presence there.
As time was standing still, I remember thinking about all the people who I’ve witnessed coming out of yoga classes and the faces of those who practice yoga and was overcome with a feeling of peace and grace. I looked around at those in the corporate world, and I looked at myself and knew that that path was no longer for me.
I raced home, yoga flyer in hand, all excited like I just got the last golden ticket to Willy Wonkers Chocolate Factory. I quickly changed from my heavy office attire into some leggings and a top, already feeling lighter and free. I grabbed my yoga mat, mind you I had never taken a yoga class before, but I had one, maybe just to be cool, just in case.
i marched up that steep hill like i was on a mission from god
I was keen to know what all the fuss of yoga was about, and open to all the possibilities to come. I met the teacher, paid my dues, found a comfortable spot to roll out my mat and sat there in silence.
The room was dark and cosy, the soft light of the candles and calming music all creating a sacred space to simply just be. I really didn’t need to do anything else, I was already feeling at home, at peace and right where I belong.
The teacher instructed a beautiful beginner class, like a conductor creating a harmony and symphony for us all to play. My favourite part, of course, after an hour of graceful stretches was final relaxation, known as savasana. I lay down on my mat, eyes closed, and she said…..connect with your inner peace. That was it! I felt I had struggled, searched, explored both the depths of my soul and the temples of the universe to find the real treasure, the light, and I touched it and felt it within me.
that was it, i was awake, and i was hooked.
Every Monday evening for the next 6 months I would begin my pilgrimage up the hill, to what felt like another world, a world that was drawing me in ever so delicately.
I have battled with myself for many years, overcoming anorexia and bulimia as a teenager, and depression and anxiety as an adult.
in those sweet, precious moments on the mat, i found peace, i met myself with love, acceptance, forgiveness and grace.
Realising the powerful transformation that was taking place within me, I could only think of others, I felt I had struck gold, and all I wanted to do now was to help others and share this ancient knowledge and practice in the hope that they too could find their way to inner peace.
So, the slow infusion had begun. I was soaking this new energy up and absorbing its light into every cell within my being like an ancient golden elixir from the heavens. I felt I had met my destiny, and it was incredible. And, perhaps the universe knew that I had got what I had came for because things changed course very quickly.
It’s amazing how things happen. That night I received a phone call from my Dad, who informed me that my mother has just had a stroke, was in hospital and not doing so well. It was tough, Dad was crying, and I was thousands of miles away. My heart sank, tears fell and I knew I needed to get back to Australia as soon as possible.
My dear mother had suffered from failing health for many years, she’d already survived a cerebral haemorrhage 10 years prior which had left her partially blind and disabled. So, with that, I packed up my things, said goodbye to friends and made my way back to my family.
It was kinda surreal flying back to Australia, reflecting on all the experiences I’d had, coming home so much richer in spirit and awareness in my being. This gave me great comfort no matter what the future held, in this moment, I was grateful and trusting.
‘When the student is ready, the teacher will appear’ – Buddha