A Day In the Life

A yogini shares a day in her life; finding rhythm in a chaotic city after a transformational journey.

I wake up to the sound of birds chirping. The morning sun peeps in through the blinds, creating a grid of sunlight across the sheets. Another day. Infinite potential. I turn to him. Love, laced with a thread of positive experiences, creating attachment. Raga. He takes my face in his hands. Tells me how much he loves me. How grateful he is to have me in his life. I feel the same way. I tell him with my eyes, because I’m afraid to say these things out loud. Svādhyāya. I have a lot to learn from him. He is good at loving.

I lose him to the day’s to-do list. Time to work. His mind is racing. He paces around the house, categorizing the day’s tasks. Racing on his feet to catch up with the momentum of his mind. This is his meditation, his dhyāna.

I stay in bed, bathing in the quiet peace of a new day. If I don’t have time to practice, I will think about my practice, and this will be my practice. Jñāna, the path of knowledge. If I don’t think about my practice, this will be my practice. Quieting the mind. The vines erupt from my heart once again. Creeping, crawling across the covers. Tendriling out towards the sun and south– reaching for the jungle. I catch myself. Aparigraha.

Work is monotonous. Headphones in. I focus my awareness on the task at hand. Dhāraṇā, concentration. The vines in my heart begin to stretch again, meandering south– to the Sun and Moon pyramids of Teotihuacan, the beach in Tulum, the volcanoes in Guatemala, and all the places I have yet to see. I come back to the present moment. Posture check. Roll the shoulders back and down. Āsana. Center myself with a deep breath. Prāṇāyāma. The workday is over in no time. Another day, another dime for the travel fund. I find contentment here. Santosha. I gather my belongings, and head for the bus.

The bus is brimming with the usual 9-5 ers, day dreaming about what’s for dinner. I am one of them. A man in front is yelling and cursing his beef with the world at large. Dvesha. Stay calm. Do not anger.

I see love. I see loneliness. Longing, distress, desperation, joy, peace, exhaustion, elation. They are illusions caused by the lens of my conditioning. Avidyā. I close my eyes, and scan my own body, inch by inch. Vipassanā. A discomfort in my upper abs. Solar plexus chakra. Identity. Inaction. Put love into it.

The energy begins to shift. It feels lighter, more calm. I look up. A monk has stepped onto the bus. I’m reminded of my teachers’ lessons: when you do the work to heal yourself, you are healing humanity. I thank him silently for doing the work. He closes his eyes. He is giving me energy. Prana. I am humbled.

My stop! I hop up, and weave through the sea of people. Why is everybody giving me funny looks? Looks of humor and amusement. Strange. I am bewildered. I make it through the crowd and land on the sidewalk. I look down at my backpack. There are 4 hula hoops attached. The joke is on me! I laugh at having ever taken myself so seriously. All is in perfect order. Īśvara praṇidhāna.

Sanskrit Terms
(simple translations)

Raga– Attachment
Svādhyāya– Self Study
Dhyāna– Meditation
Jñāna– The Path of Knowledge
Aparigraha– Non-Grasping
Dhāraṇā– Concentration
Āsana– Posture
Prāṇāyāma– Breath
Santosha– Contentment
Dvesha– Aversion
Avidyā– Not Seeing Things Clearly
Vipassanā – Insight, clarity
Prana- Life force energy
Īśvara praṇidhāna– Alignment with the Divine/Higher Self

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