Days passed into weeks, weeks into months, my search continued, but I was losing momentum. As chance would have it a friend invited me along to a yoga class. I had never done any yoga before let alone this type of yoga, which involved heating the room to 37 degrees Celsius and enduring 90 minutes of challenging postures. It was torture! After ten minutes I thought I was going to pass out, after twenty minutes I was certain I was going to throw up, and it just kept getting hotter! Somehow I made it through the class without leaving the room, and afterwards, when I had taken a shower and cooled down, I felt quite good. Overriding this sense of physical wellbeing, however, was the inspiration and certainty that this yoga could provide a channel for my seeking energies. I was desperate for an insight into the workings of the universe and felt that if I could cry for answers whilst at the very limits of my physical endurance, then perhaps my prayers would be answered.
By the end of the first week I had completed nine classes. Although I lacked poise, I was definitely progressing both inwardly and outwardly. Weeks ticked passed and I continued to make the one hour return journey to the yoga studio every day, often scrounging together coins to put petrol in my car and then running the fuel tank so low that the engine would begin to cut out whenever I drove up a hill. Some days I dreaded going, but could not ignore the little voice in my head that told me to press on.
My Yoga inspiration and my cry for mental answers grew in tandem. I also found I was developing an awareness of things in general, as a result of striving to become aware of the breath during the different postures. At times I resisted this consciousness- but its presence was undeniable. It was enriching, but at times made me feel lonely within the context of my usual environment, which was definitely not evolving in the same way. Also, my search was continually punctuated with extreme high and lows; a flash of inspiration during yoga made me think that perhaps I should seek to become Zen master- hours later I embodied the antithesis of Zen, slumped lifelessly on the couch, gorging on potato chips and watching meaningless television.
After over a hundred yoga sessions the definitive answers I was looking for had not dawned in my mind. Exasperated and at the end of my tether I couldn’t bear to endure the endless stream of probing thoughts any longer. At that time I fostered a sad acceptance that the ‘answers’ I was looking for did not exist. Gradually I succumbed again to the lures of the world. Of course, I didn’t realise my mistakes at the time, yet looking back they seem as clear as day; old habits creeping back insidiously. It was as if I had gone as far as I could go on my own steam and was gradually giving up my quest for happiness and meaning. It would take something special to get me back on track…