A year ago I went to my Grandmothers for dinner and noticed a new magnet on her fridge. It was a vintage beauty of the 50’s with a bit of mystery, seduction and glamour surrounded by the quote ‘old enough to know better…too young to give a rat’s ass’. It instantly brought a smile to my face and I looked over at my Gram who is full of energy and spunk at the ripe age of 82 and I felt more connected to her then ever.
I recently turned 25.
As a child, being in your twenties seemed light-years away and a stage in my life where I would become the scary word: an ‘adult’. I imagined I would have my career and life displayed out in front of me like a metro map. Clearly defined colors for each route, leading me safety to an 'end' point no matter which direction I chose. Well, in part this is true. At 25, I have lived a short but sweet lifetime of education, world travels and have discovered my true passion (my end point).
Recently, I packed two massive bags, and found myself in my new home of San José, Costa Rica. I am constantly bombarded with the beauty, challenges and fears of living in a new country. But let me be honest, this is what I live for: new people, places and experiences.
Through this transition I have found yoga to be my best friend. It is like an old friend who brings me comfort and the encouragement to try to a new studio. Yoga is also like a new best friend - my Tico friend, who speaks to me in Spanish and brings an exciting new twist to my practice.
Practicing yoga in another language has been one of the most exhilarating and rewarding experiences while living here. As a yoga practitioner and teacher, I admit I sometimes find myself going into a class with an expectation and ego: will this teacher guide me into a new posture, or connect me deeper with the philosophy? This is my continual inner practice: to let go, turn my obsessing brain off and just be in the moment, present and awake to reality. Some days its easier than others, yet I have found while practicing in another language, it is TOTALLY possible every time.
I arrive to class with a more tranquil and humble attitude. I am forced to become gentler on myself and find more gratitude within each practice, simply because I made it to my mat. The extra 30 minutes it took me to get there because I got lost along the way in this unfamiliar city or any insecurity of being the only 'foreigner' in the room suddenly fades away as I move my body and breathe.
I am learning that I (we) have complete control of any yoga class (or life experience) when I (we) let go of any attachment, emotions or expectations associated with it.
It's OK if I don’t pick up every word that is spoken. It’s OK if I am still in shoulder stand when everyone else has moved into plow. Laughter has seeped its way into my practice, reminding me that the best yoga class isn’t one where you accomplish every asana, it is one in which you experience a sense lightness and ease in your mind. This is where we truly begin to see the transformation.
Being 25 (especially while in a foreign country) has taught me so much already. An age which has so many contradicting themes…
The instability a life of travel can bring as you are forced into discomfort, yet stability in knowing you are following your heart and open to the many life lessons that surround you everyday.
My metro map suddenly begins to make more sense, even with the different routes overlapping and endless amounts of stops along the way in places unheard of. I am letting go of any pressure related to following one direct route along the map. Why? Because the endless stops are the places that offer new perspectives and tend to be the most scary, funny and exciting parts of life: the challenges, the changes, the transitions.
These are the places which we learn and grow from stopping at.
My path may not be mapped out perfectly, but the end point (goal) will always be the same. To follow a path that ignites my hearts passion, to be happy, healthy, motivated and ambitious.
Coming back to my dear Gram, who helped me to realize (whether she knew it or not) that no matter what age, you can live the life you want...25, or 82. You have the power to set yourself free of any limitations or expectations. Age is just a number and new challenges and adventures will always be the ones you remember the most.
May we continue the search for our passion until you find it - and when we do, let it ignite our spirits!
LAUREN LEE E-RYT 500 is passionate about living with purpose, exploring the world, and empowering others to live as their most authentic, radiant Self. Founder of Raise Your Beat, dedicated teacher and forever student on the path of yoga, she leads transformational workshops, retreats and trainings to awaken the individual and collective consciousness. Read more about her here