"You come to it for one thing and later you find yourself sitting in a room in Mysore."
David Swenson said this in the book Guruji, A Portrait of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, Through the Eyes of His Students. It is a great read, this book. His students, who are now well known teachers around the globe, talk about life in Mysore, back in the days. And about Guruji. About Ashtanga Yoga.
I read it for half an hour in bed before going to sleep. And when I wake up, it is my time to do Ashtanga.
Why did you start practicing yoga? Do you remember?
I certainly do.
I'd had an extremely busy time. In September of 2014 I'd started a new job for forty hours a week with a lot of stress and responsibilities. On top of that, I had a book coming out. I'd written a novel, and had sent it to maybe ten publishers. Nobody would wanted to publish it and I'd almost forgotten about it. Especially when I started this new job, I thought: better to forget about the book and focus on my work. It was more than enough. But then: Expect the Unexpected: a publisher mailed me and wanted to talk about the manuscript. I took the train to Amsterdam and had a meeting about a possible book. We had an agreement and they would publish the book on my fortieth birthday (this was in March of 2015). I started panicking because it was already November and the book was not even finished. I had to read it at least ten times, make adjustments, change sentences, paragraphs, whole pages, skip a lot and be satisfied with it. A hell of a job.
From Monday till Friday I worked at the office of my new job, panicking. On Saturday and Sunday I would be working on my book, stressed out. I started feeling not so good. I had migraines and I didn't sleep very well. I was tense all the time. I didn't want to make any mistake at the office, and I wanted to do a good job with the book. There were chapters in the book I hesitated about, but it was too late to rewrite them completely.
Finally, after a whole lot of stressed times, the book was published. I'd expected that I would've made me proud for the rest of my life. It didn't. It was the opposite: the book coming out made me feel vulnerable. Everybody could read it: my parents, ex-lovers, family, colleagues, my boss. I was tense the whole time. I needed something to relax me. The wellness center with the hot tubs was not enough. I went to a yoga studio. They offered Ashtanga. I didn't know what Ashtanga was. I took a couple of lessons, and I quit. I thought it was too demanding, too harsh, too difficult, to rigid. All the things I didn't want in my free time.
To be continued