Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Six years


A kind of awesome thing happened the other day. I received an email about this blog - my long-neglected, never updated yoga blog (Hello Nidhi! Thank you for your email *waves*). I really appreciated hearing from someone who was inspired and encouraged by my words, even if I wrote them many years ago.

I let the domain for this website go a couple of years back, but the website lives on through the Blogger link. And people still find it and read it and even benefit from it. That just amazes me! All in all, it hasn't aged too badly, but it's been six years since I updated, which is kind of crazy if you think about it! A lot can happen in six years.

I figured you all might appreciate an update. At the very least, I can shock the hell out of Grimmly when my blog comes up in his feed! 😉

You guys, my life has been a rollercoaster!! I don't even know where to start, so maybe I'll start with the saddest thing and work my way forward through the other sad things (don't worry - there is some happy news in there too).

Princess Fur.

My beloved companion crossed the rainbow bridge almost three years ago, on June 22, 2016. She was getting older and slower and a bit cranky. She went blind, so I became her seeing-eye human. She became incontinent, so I bought pee-pads for her to sleep on. She became less mobile, so I purchased a fancy-pants dog stroller and continued to take her on her favourite walks, on wheels. But when it became clear to me that she was in pain, I just couldn't bear it.

On her last day, we went for a long walk in her dog stroller. We smelled the daisies and enjoyed the sunshine. I saved up some pain pills from her last surgery, so Princess Fur was stoned out of her little mind the whole day. She wasn't feeling a thing.

She reigned with royal dignity over the neighbourhood park, greeting neighbours, the dog walkers, and our friends. She ate her very own ice cream cone, provided by the grumpy Czech man in the ice cream truck, who wept as he presented it to her. It was a heavy day, but a joyful one.

That evening, she snuggled into my arms for her nap. And as she was sleeping, with the assistance of our sweet veterinarian, she gently passed away.

She was my truest friend. I miss her every single day.

Princess Fur's Last Day

After that, my life sort of fell apart.

My relationship, which was on the marriage track, imploded. I didn't see it coming but should have. By the fall, I saw the writing on the wall and I chose to walk away. It was a wise decision, but it didn't make it any easier. I still miss her, but it is what it is.

That's when my business failed. After thriving for 13 years on basically the same yoga schedule, I lost two key contracts. The gym where I had found my first job and continued to work through three different owners shut down. The children's' yoga programme I had founded at the community centre in my neighbourhood lost its funding. In the space of one month, I lost over half my work.

But I didn't give up. I networked and walked resumes into community centres and fitness facilities. I added a few new classes. I kept fighting, but it was never enough. I was so tired. And I realized that in the past decade, the market for yoga has changed dramatically. More people are taking classes online. Studios are flooded with applications from the thousands of people who are churned out of yoga teacher training programmes every year.

I think the last straw came when I applied to the YMCA. They told me that they don't usually pay yoga teachers because they have a wait list of volunteers who want teach their classes for free, but based on my years of experience, they would make an exception and pay me. Minimum wage. They offered to pay me 11 bucks a class.

That's when I gave up.

Surprise plot twist...I went back to school! To study law!

It's something I had considered doing for a number of years. I received full funding for my studies and a per diem toward my living expenses. I loved being a student again! I adored my Millenial/GenZ classmates. Being in school was a bit surreal but so satisfying. I graduated at the top of my class with high honours. Last week I wrote the Big Scary Exam that will allow me to practise law in my province. I anticipate being licensed next month.

For the first time in over 15 years, I'm back on the job market and it's SO WEIRD. I have a resumé! I write cover letters! I own actual high heels (and damn, those things turn my feet into roadkill!!!). I'm excited. I'm scared out of my wits. I'm keeping my fingers crossed because I've invested years on this gamble. I hope it pays off.

And where is yoga in all this?

Yoga and Law Books

I still practise yoga. It was touch and go during school. There were many days when my 'practice' was just pigeon pose with a case book open on my yoga mat. But I maintained a light physical practice through my studies. More importantly, I remained steadfastly dedicated to my meditation practice. Meditation was my anchor.

These days, I practise yoga every day, but not for hours like I used to and it's definitely not Astanga. The downside is I've lost a lot of my strength and flexibility. The upside is, every last one of my 'chronic' yoga injuries has healed up completely. I'm never in pain when I practise, even if I'm stiff.

I've remained connected to many of my Ashtangi friends through social media. Some, like me, stepped away from the practice. Others are now certified teachers. Many still practise but in a modified way. I appreciate the friendships that have continued over time. I miss those of you I've lost touch with.

I don't know who will read this, but I wanted you to know that I'm thinking about you. I've had a rough go of it, but I'm doing okay. I'll find a job soon and when that happens...well...I might just get a puppy! 😁

I'll keep you updated.

Namaste, friends ❤️

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