by Anna Rhein, Zuna Yoga 500 hour YTT graduate

Recently I exchanged emails with a good friend. We were chatting about our current life situations. She is NYC in her final year of grad school and was expressing how much this last year has already taken out of her, and how all the hard work is about to pay off. One more semester and she will be done with this chapter, moving into another as an Occupational Therapist.  It has been very inspiring to watch her as a student over the last five years, gradually developing into a woman with such passion for what she is doing in life.  

I let her know that I intended to stay in Bali now that my 300 hour yoga teacher training was over, to explore the possibilities of what life had to offer on this side of the world. I too had been living in NYC. However, unlike her, I was in a job that I had little passion for, just going through the motions to pay the bills. I admitted that living in another country was something I never would have imagined for myself, but that a lot of my old ways of thinking had changed during my teacher trainings. My experience helped me see that I had been holding onto past behavior and relationships that no longer served me. It provided me the physical commitment to my body that I love, and also the space and stillness that I needed to hear this inner voice clearly. The entire experience, from the asana practice, the intense meditation to the time alone in a different country had opened my eyes to so much: new friends, new ideas, and a confidence that I was lacking to create this new life.  

Self-discovery during yoga teacher training

She was very excited for me and said, “I had a feeling you would find your groove over there this time. We will miss you, but I am happy you are living a life you are proud of.”  Those few words really hit that place in me, you know that place that makes you instantly tear up, right in the center of the soul.  Not only did the words hit home, but also hearing them come from a person I had been admiring for all her hard work was also very emotional.  I thought -  wow, I am in the midst of living a life I am proud of and others can see it too, how lucky am I! So here I am beginning a new chapter in Bali, making new friends, learning Indonesian, living steps from the sea, using the yoga tools I’ve learned in the last few months to steer my vessel and hopefully inspire others to live a life they are proud of. 

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