Stepping out of the Familiar: On Growth and Transformation

Driftwood Adventures: Yoga in the Himalayas
Practice is not about what you get, it is about what you give. Whether you are driven or resistant, the medicine is the same: do what is truly possible with unwavering commitment to giving yourself to the moment. Without this intention, practice becomes another task to be completed, and it loses its ability to transform. And, transformation, or freedom, is the reason for all discipline.”
― Judith Hanson Lasater

When I think about what draws me to the mat, this quote from Judith Lasater’s Living Your Yoga: Finding the Spiritual in Everyday Life sums it up. Growth and transformation are my motivating drivers. It’s within this process that I find purpose and meaning. While it’s not an easy path, it’s expansive, freeing, inspiring, ever-changing, and constantly surprising. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I really appreciate  how in this quote, Judith so clearly describes the pathway to transformation in the simplest of terms: through devoting yourself to the present moment. How fascinating that something as simple as practicing paying very close attention can fuel the fire of transformation. The use of the word “unwavering” implies a sense of resilience, even courage. It takes an incredible amount of strength to develop this muscle of awareness, and as with any other muscle, it’s one that needs routine attention and exercise. The good news with all of this is, it’s never too late to start, nor to begin again. Sometimes I find myself “beginning again” for what feels like the 108th time during a single day!

One of my first yoga teachers and the yogi who led me through my first 200 hour teacher training, Tom Gilette, was constantly reminding us that what we choose to practice in our lives gets stronger, and whatever we focus our awareness on grows. This has become a central point for my teaching, as well as for my own practice. In this sense, yoga has become more of a way of living  for me than something I just do for exercise. It, too, has transformed over time, and will continue to grow and change.

When I think about teaching yoga in Nepal with Driftwood Adventures, it’s more than I ever could have dreamt of. It’s an incredible honor to serve our traveller community, to share what I’ve learned along this 13 year journey, to learn from our surroundings, and to be present with the magic and splendor of stepping out of the familiar and into this foreign, majestic landscape and vibrant, multi-dimensional culture.  I’m eager, curious, and excited for the growth and relationship building that lies ahead!