On Saturday, July 7th, Only Now Exists, a non-profit organization, organized a Yogathon that T and I attended. We did 108 sun salutations in honor of the summer season, and to raise money to build a school for the disadvantaged in Nigeria.
I have done the 108 sun salutations before, just for the heck of it, to see if I could do them, without collapsing in a heap, and to see how strong my body had gotten after the 3-month teacher training, where I was doing yoga 20 hours a day, and when I was teaching 7 classes a week. To read more about why 108, read here. The real reason, I wanted to blog about it, is not to brag about it, which I would be happy to do, to prove that a yogi with a ego does exist, despite common belief. But, to talk about what happened to me mentally due to the 108 sun salutations, the result of it on my psyche.
We decided to walk to the Salsa on St. Clair festival, as it was right around the corner from the Artscape Wychwood Barns where the yogathon was held. If you have been to any street festival anywhere in the world, you know what I am talking about, when I say it was loud, crowded and visually and auditorily stimulating.
To give you an idea of my headspace, I give the following facts. I had just done 108 sun salutations. In order to do anything like this, anything that is physically taxing, anything that requires your brain to stop thinking, you have to literally go into your body. You have to stop thinking, and start focusing on your breath, and senses. You focus on your heart rate, you listen to your breath, you feel yourself in your body. You come down to the lowest level of you, the bodily senses. You feel most alive because you are really present in the moment. It is what yoga does in general, but the act of spending 2 hours doing 108 sun salutations, really brings you into that space.
My heart chakra was open, my body was open, my mind was quiet. I was ready to receive. But not at the level that the festival was giving me.
I needed space, I needed quiet, I needed friends and food, I needed love.
I didn’t need people jostling me, yelling, bumping, loud noises, random music from every corner. Normally, I love this kind of stuff. But I realized fifteen minutes into it, that I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to either shut down my chakras, and re-start my brain, or get out of that area. I had spend way too much opening up my chakras, to waste an opportunity to learn more about myself.
So I left. I used that time, the quiet time after the festival, to reconnect with myself and really ask myself, the important questions. Am I happy and Am I fulfilled? The answers to both were a resounding yes, and it made me feel like I am on the right path, which is the whole purpose of life, isn’t it?
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