“Yoga is boring! I might just doze off in class,” was my usual reply to my father who is a dedicated yogi and also my true inspiration. He wakes up at 5 am every morning out of sheer commitment to his morning YOGA routine. Regardless of what time he goes to bed the previous night, he is up before the alarm goes off. He has been after me to practice yoga for as long as I can remember. He even tried to talk me into weight loss yoga since he knew my little secret. I had started eating healthy, had begun to take interest in fitness and worked out regularly at the gym. But no, I remained stubborn as an ox and yoga was a big No! No.
Seven years down the line – I continued to pursue my fitness goals and experimented with multi-functional training at the gym. Well, for some reason, I tried everything but Yoga 🙂 I absolutely enjoyed lifting weights and strength training. I also used the old faithful treadmill regularly and used this time to catch up with friends and discuss fitness routines and new workouts. They could not convince me about the many benefits of yoga but somehow succeeded in literally dragging me to one yoga class. I obliged; however, I kept repeating to them and myself “…just this one class.”
You will get there when you are meant to get there.
One class is all it took to make me realise that yoga is my true balance! I fell in love with yoga instantly and didn’t miss a single class from then on. I had begun to notice small changes and started interacting with my yoga trainer to get a deeper understanding on certain postures and their benefits. She was aware of my fitness-level and happily shared improvisation techniques and guided me. She also suggested I enroll for the international teacher training certification course in yoga at an academy which was not far from home. You know how travel, traffic and distances can influence our decisions these days! And…I also had to deal with the good-old job dilemma.
Unhappy, Confused and Miserable
I was working for a reputed firm and had a high-paying job. Professionally, I was progressing in the right direction and had no doubts about it! I was aware of my success and loved it! Moreover, I was passionate about what I was doing and the recognition from my employers often resulted in perks and promotions. It kept me motivated. I worked extensively with marketing agencies and the opportunities were plenty. I took up international assignments and was thrilled to move out of the country for a while. Although everything was going as per plan at work, in fact it was getting better with every assignment, I soon began to realise that something was not right.
“No one saves us but ourselves. No one and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”
The soul-connect was missing. The more time I spent practicing yoga, the more I could listen to my inner-guide. It gave me a chance to stop and think. But work-hours and busy schedule made it difficult for me to clearly reflect and accept the fact that I had to make changes and shift focus to things that really mattered to me. I did not want to go back to work. No matter what I did, I knew my heart and soul wasn’t in it any more. I stopped paying attention to my health. I did not want to go back to work. No matter what I did, I knew my heart and soul wasn’t in it anymore. It was just downhill from then on.The professional goals I had set for myself were simply not relevant any more and failed to keep me going. I started losing weight and falling sick very often. I had begun to see things more pessimistically. This wasn’t me. I knew it and I wanted to set myself free.
Moving Forward Without a Backup Plan
I had become extremely weak and looked like I suffered from something worse than anorexia. My doctor warned me on seeing my medical reports. He said it is nothing less than a miracle that I am not lying on the hospital bed. That’s when it hit me that I am still breathing and the reins of my life are still in my hands. So although everything was the same at the job front, I gathered all my courage and quit my job. I quit my job…my only source of income! And I had no back-up plan whatsoever.
Do Not Quit Your Full Time Job!
I was at home for a year. I became stressful and paranoid because everybody around me was either in a good position at work or married…or both! I was single, jobless and had no plan for the future. I even tried looking into alternative careers; I got a lot of job offers in the marketing sector during the same period. I spoke to a lot of people for advice as to what is the best thing to do after quitting a full-time desk job. Everybody repeatedly said the same thing to me, “do not quit your full-time job!”
Whatever you decide to do, make sure it makes you happy.
It is true that most of us are programmed to think that with good income comes happiness. Those who were aware about the fact that I am contemplating on a career move – from corporate world to fitness and yoga, gave examples of how being a yoga and wellness coach may sound fancy but may make me go broke. I heard them all! But thanks to my regular practice, I heard and believed my inner guide more. At the end of it all, I signed up for yoga teachers training (RYT) course!
Finding True Balance
To my surprise, it was the best decision of my life. I became a certified Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa and Power Yoga teacher. It changed my world; it changed me as a person. I used to be so stressed and tensed all the time and was short-tempered. Now I have learned how to deal with situations without throwing a fit. I have become more calm, and I am at peace. I had started taking classes as an instructor even before I had my certificate in hand. I felt like I had found my purpose again! I was confident, happy and excited about teaching and spreading the joy of yoga. Career as a full-time yoga teacher is satisfying and rewarding. Slowly but surely things started looking up. I started getting decent number of inquiries and had enough classes in hand. I was happy and life was back on track again. With the absence of self-doubt, opportunities started lining up again. Best of all I made my dad, my hero, proud!
I am Whole Again
Today, I teach at some of the most reputed yoga centers and health clubs across Bangalore. I even teach yoga for children. I am featured by brands on their websites as an expert yogi. I conduct yoga related workshops across the city. I regularly blog about my learning and experiences. My students love and appreciate me. They even share my enthusiasm for yoga. My opportunities are growing again with constant tapas (effort) and swadhyaya (self-study).
I enjoy teaching. I constantly practice to get better. In this journey, I feel connected with my body, mind and soul. That is what yoga does to you. Today, I am a YOGIPRENEUR.