Friday, November 11, 2016

The Right Choice

By Nikita Kirpalani, 200 hour Bali yoga teacher training graduate

I've spent most of my life staring at those roads. You know the ones. Those roads that split. Those roads that turn the single path that I am on into two divergent paths. Those roads that demand I make a choice. And I stand there. Staring. Frozen.

Frozen at the option to stay on my current path and see where it leads. Frozen at the option to explore something completely new and unprecedented. Staring. Frozen.

I've always put too much pressure on myself to make the right choice, to know the correct decision, to try to fully envision where each path would take me. Which will make me happier? Which will get me where I want to be faster? Which will cause the least damage? Since one can never truly know these answers, time and again I've found myself stuck at the proverbial fork in the road. Staring. Frozen. 

Until my final week of yoga teacher training and the discussion of chakras and the importance of finding our root in the journey to authenticity. This tied together asana practice, yogic philosophy, pranayama, meditation—everything that we had been working on over the course of the training. It all boiled down to the same thing—the importance of relying on self trust, of grounding body and mind, of creating a strong foundation, and of truly trusting intuition to guide you, whether you’re working toward a stronger asana practice or navigating the journey of life. It was a revelation.

In retrospect, I understand that the difficulty I’d experienced achieving certain poses, such as handstand and bakasana, were based in self doubt or fear, much like my difficulty with making life decisions. After a few minor physical adjustments and a major shift in trust and awareness, the poses became significantly easier. While asanas are hardly the most important part of yoga, it's illuminating—even liberating—to see such parallel changes in body, mind, and life.

It's been a few weeks since I’ve returned from yoga teacher training. Becoming reacquainted with everyday life has been an eye-opening process, to say the least. I have a long way to go in discovering my authentic self, although the substantial shift in my self awareness has already forced me to reevaluate certain aspects of my life, be they related to career or relationships. This clarity has made it more difficult for me to hide in indecisiveness to avoid dealing with change and uncertainty. As Everett pointed out during that last week, courage is authenticity whereas fear limits us to a lesser version of ourselves. What's left is trusting myself, choosing a path, and knowing I already have all the tools I need to make it through my journey. Maybe if I redirect my focus from making the right choice to finding my root and reconnecting with my intuition, I'll actually be able to put one foot in front of the other. Unfrozen. 

Editor's note: Nikita completed our September 200 hour Bali yoga teacher training and wrote two previous posts about her experience. Read them here:

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