Staying True to the Yoga
“All is coming,” I remind myself as I step onto the balcony of my hotel. I can smell fish and there is a child screaming his lungs out on the deck below me but I roll out my mat, smiling at the sound of a child. I have Simon and Garfunkel playing in the speakers my father gave me just before I left Halifax. They’ve already become dusty and dirty in the few days since I’ve arrived, but who cares as long as they make a little sound. It’s 7am in Accra; all I can hear is the echo of my own voice in my head telling yoga students that twisting practices are a digestive treat. I need to take some of my own advice so today I set my intention on my first 3 chakras (Lower back, Pelvic Floor and Belly) and I take to my practice. As my spine weaves around my legs in fierce twist (Paravritta Utktasana) I pray that some of the night’s violent bowel attacks will evaporate with each breath. I am so physically beat from a bout of diarrhea that lasted the whole night that even my skin hurts. But I breathe. Over to the other side I twist, “ see me and Julio down by the schoolyard,” Paul Simon belts out.
I can feel myself feeling better and am glad I crawled off the toilet and onto my mat. I have learned to practice in the heat and think the students back at 108 Yoga will be proud at my transition. I spent the 3 weeks before I left ranting on about my imminent surrender to yoga in the heat, every day, for months. I brought along some helpful yoga resources and I’ve learned to tailor my personal practice to my body type and the new climate (Perfect Health, Deepak Chopra). My practice ends with a silent chant of Om and I open my eyes to see a bird flying towards me against an opaque, milky colored sky.
-Sj, Ghana, 2010.