Things have been rather stressful of late. My Instagram feed may be made up of picturesque sunrises that show Bondi basking in an early morning glow and cozy book nooks with steaming cups of tea, and while the vast majority of the time I’m living the Australian dream, that’s not to say there aren’t stresses and strains a-plenty that come with it.
Much of said strains are centred around sponsorship; or lack thereof. I’m currently in Australia on a working holiday visa – and in order to stay beyond September, I need to find a company willing to sponsor me. Having followed my intuition – a factor that brought me to Australia in the first place – when I was offered sponsorship a while ago; I consequently turned the job offer down, and since said decision I have found myself frantically researching jobs that sponsor, only to hit a multitude of metaphoric brick walls. And while my gut tells me that everything will be ok – that everything has to be ok – it doesn’t stop the fear taking hold in ebbs and tides.
Add into the mix a recent trip home – while glorious and gorgeous to see so many loved ones in such a short space of time, anyone who’s lived abroad and fellow expats Australia-wide will know how manic such visits can be. Despite planning each and every day meticulously with coffees and catch ups, it’s impossible to see everyone you hope to, and squeezing in so many friends in little over a fortnight hardly constitutes as quality time.
And so, despite having almost three weeks off work, the sofa-surfing and lack of routine while back in the UK having taken its toll, I decided to sign up for Power Living’s Modern Yogi Project. A six week programme centred around the four pillars of yoga – self-study, physical practise, nutrition and mediation – it seemed exactly what I needed to refresh, reset and reinvigorate.
Given its proximity to my apartment, I’ve signed up to the Bondi Beach MYP, which is run by one of my absolute favourite teachers, Adam Whiting. I frequent his brutal but beautiful 75 minute practise most Monday evenings, so after crawling out of his class a near broken woman I head into the smaller studio to find out more about what the six week course will involve.
During the Modern Yogi Project, we’re asked to commit to six practises a week – one of which should be a home practise; one of which should be yin – and to meditate daily, increasing from ten minutes a day in the first week to thirty minutes a day by week six. In addition we’re encouraged to limit our caffeine, alcohol and sugar intake during the six weeks and to start a weekly journal. While my penchant for prosecco makes this unappealing to say the least, for me, meditation will undoubtedly be the biggest challenge.
I first tried meditating when on teacher training in Bali, and try as I might, getting my so-called monkey-mind to quiet was a nigh on impossible task. My legs would cramp; my mind would wander; my brain would start turning over the previous day’s events, and I’d often finish a thirty-minute morning meditation feeling more frustrated that I’d been when I started it. Feeling hopeful, I asked whether my time spent near-comatose in Shavasana after a sweaty Vinyassa class might count as meditation, to which the answer was a resounding no.
I’m not one to shy away from a challenge; whether running a marathon, reading a list of 100 books, or throwing myself head-first into yoga teacher training, but I have a feeling that the Modern Yogi project may well be one of my biggest yet.