Everyone brings little pieces of themselves to college with them. Some bring their favorite stuffed animal or blanket. Others bring cases of their favorite snacks to munch on whenever they need a familiar taste of home. I brought something a little less tangible with me and when I first arrived here, I was quite afraid I would lose it. Now, that sounds kind of silly—losing something that isn’t tangible—but in fact it was one of my biggest fears about coming to college. I didn’t want to lose my lifestyle.
I am a certified yoga instructor who picked up the habit just about two years ago after I stopped dancing. It became an addiction. I was in the studio all the time, constantly learning new things about not only the history of the practice but about myself as a yogi and a person. I decided to train to become an instructor the beginning of my senior year of high school, and by May I was all set. With 200 hours of training and having already taught close to a month’s worth of my own classes, I was stoked to be taking on the world with my newfound passion.
But how would yoga fit into my Arcadia experience?
So far it’s been a bit tough. Everyone and their mother thinks it’s super cool that I could get up in front of a room full of people who are often twice my age and command the room. Everyone wants to know if I can put my leg behind my head or become a human pretzel, but not everyone wants to be a yogi. So far though, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how many people are interested in what I do. I haven’t lost my lifestyle, but rather I am finding a new side of my yoga practice here at Arcadia. I am in the process of reactivating the yoga club (please join!) and I’m finding enough studio time to fulfill my desire of a daily practice, even if it just consists of coming to my room in between classes and laying out my mat to do five quick sun salutations.
I am a college student, but first, I was a yogi. So I lay out my mat every day in my residence hall, on the green, or in the aerobics room. I do a downward dog or a few sun salutations. I read my yoga books before classes, and in my free time I write out new meditations and mantras to say before class. I sign off my emails “Namaste” instead of “Sincerely,” simply because this is who I am. Just because my yoga isn’t something I could physically lose, doesn’t mean it was guaranteed that I could keep it with me. I can’t wait for these next four years, as I discover how to put the “om” into my new home. I’m alive with the sound of universe. Are you?