My journey start here: Nowhere 1

Was more than two years ago when I decided to start my Astanga journey.

Yoga wasn’t much my thing,I was more a kind of “concrete” girl,never believed in spirituality,I’ve always considered myself very much as an atheist but somehow,one day I was in front of this place called “shala”.

I had no idea of what was in front of me neither I had idea of what to expect out of it.

For me Yoga was very much a physical activity,the reason why I got into it on the first place was because I had this friend,Sofia,she kind of got me into it by presenting it as not the typical yoga you would expect.She sold it to me as it was something really challenging and calorie consuming as I liked to see it at the time.I decided to give it a go and went with her at one of this astanga level 1 classes held in triyoga,a nice space hidden in the earth of Carnaby street.I was ready to show off my strength and my flexibility gained through a couple of years of proud running and stretching every now and then,however I had no Idea it was going to be so hard.By the end of the classe I was knackered,soaking wet from head to toe and I hadn’t even been able to do half of the posture/exercise shown in there,I had no breath,I was physically devastated.What the hell was that?I immediately though while I was trying to change my t shirt hiding my body in the toilet  while all the woman around me,Sofia included,were openly getting naked talking to each other in the changing room.

Sofia wasn’t so happy about the class,she claimed that it wasn’t as she used to experience it  in her home town,she didn’t feel the spiritual connection.I push her to came back,same hour next week,I didn’t care about all that spiritual shit she was mourning about,I liked the workout,I was sure that something like that would have enabled me to get an amazing skinny body,that along with a good restricted nutrition plan. Everything under control.

The morning after I was in pain,pain in muscles I din’t even knew I had,I could barely walk up the stairs in the shop where I was working,it was nightmare.My friend was smiling at me while she was cuddling her crystal that for the first time she brought up at work. I though she was a little bit too much however I was curious.The week after we went back there and so again we went for almost a month.After that I couldn’t bare any more to listening to her talking about this “mysore style”,the kind of yoga that she used to do in her home-town something more personal,the sort of stuff that would enable you to make a connection within your inner self…whatever that is supposed to mean.

Whatever,I said,let’s check it out!

I remember sending a message to this yoga teacher called Hamish,something like “hey I’ve been doing astanga for a month and I would like to try your class but I was wondering if you had any showers…” and I also remember his very straight answer “no,no shower!”. I didn’t like him and because of that and because of the fact that the price for this “Mysore style” was really expensive I dropped the idea of getting involved with it and I went back to running.My friend in the meanwhile dropped the idea as well.We were working together and we didn’t really have much money to spend for ourselves and also was just our first year in London and much needed to be settled .

After those last attempt into the yoga world I started to feel some changes.

I started to read about spirituality,and I started to develop a faith in the universe.Dropped the anti conceptional patch,started to get rid naturally of the terrible migraines that I used to suffer and generally speaking started to wanting more love for myself into my life.

I was living with my boyfriend at the time,he used to smoke so much pot that most of the times I could barely breath into our crazy messy room. I started to hate to come back home with the nightmare of having stranger crawling around and the idea of finding him barely talking,lost is some mystery world made of junk food and dirty clothes.

Was long till I started to suffer terrible muscles spasm on my legs, I couldn’t stand in the shop floor at work, I was feeling sad and angry  and lost.

I acted in the best way I could to hurt him as much as I was feeling hurt. I did my best to kick him out the house.Found a new place for me and left.

I created suffering by not taking responsibility of my actions, I acted with Ego and I’ve steal other people light  by trying to shine myself and trying not to feel how I was really feeling:lonely,abandoned,disillusioned.

I tried to keep and harem of people that loves me around me and I failed.

Didn’t take me much before discovering that nobody was my friend and nobody want it to be around that selfish bitch that I was and I’ve used to be so proud of.

I was experiencing anxiety,I had difficulty to breath properly a kind of feeling of being strangled all day long.

I’ve just became the manager of the shop where I was working at,I was living in a nice flat with a cool beautiful girl  called Juliette. I had everything I’ve planned to have apart from air flowing into my lungs.

I was breathless. That’s why that day I’ve walked  into this tiny sweaty place.

Was 7 am,dark outside and just a little yellowish light inside. I introduced myself to the teacher Hamish,he wasn’t as I expected to be: indian(first of all), super handsome, cool.He was just a normal man wearing some ridiculous flowery pants and standing on the door  between the two rooms like a pink flamingo.

He didn’t say much,he gave me some posture,the 2 sun salutiations and the final lotus position witch I proudly performed in front of him,that’s it. 25 min for 13 pounds. I thought was a bit too much but however the room,packed with people,the sweet and warm smell in the air…the not so much spiritual fuss around kind of stuck me.

That day I’ve started my yoga journey,what I would like to share in this almost familiar space that have been on my back for the last year without being into my life actively.Now is the time that I would like to tell you a little bit more about myself,truly.

 

I am a believer.

Back in London with my music.

Yes, you heard me, my music, everything that in the years has been the focus of my feelings,my collections of cds was in my backpack on my way back to the city. I was motivated to make that space where I was living like my real home, I was motivated to stay there for as long as it would have taken me to be back into my own self, the one that I’ve lost when as a teenager I was deprived of my dreams, of my innocence by a man who make me believe to love me as a daughter, from my delusional father,Giorgio, the same one that was waiting for me to grow up and blossom, trying to get the first drop of amber on my fragrant petals. Yes the same man who try to fuck me behind my mothers understanding.

I was trying to get to that place of peace where I was before. I need it that to move on, I need it that to be free to go and belong from anybody and anyplace in the world.

In order to get that freedom I had indeed to build roots in the place where I was, because I wasn’t steady in my soul, I wasn’t in peace inside. I had mess inside, real mess, confusion,pain. In order to work that out the thing that worked the best for me was making peace with the outside. I need it to see happiness around me, beauty, memories, I need it to feel safe in the place where I was.

I started cleaning up the house, making the place look warm and not just like a temporary spot where to crush waiting for  the next move.

I need it to see colors and pictures of my family. My sister-in-law when I went home gave me the picture of my brother wedding and I make treasure of that picture where I could see the four of us ,me, my brother, my sister and my little niece dressed in funky clothes for the ceremony. I put it  that picture next to my bed facing me every morning , was like having them with me every day, was so powerful waking up the happiness of that moment where we were all together sharing love for each other.

I hanged my paintings in the living room, I bought nice candles and pure incense. In the morning and in the evening I was lightning up a stick letting myself go to the atmosphere, relaxing to the sweet smell of the burnt resin.

Juliette left he same night that we came back home from our holiday together, she was pretty much sleeping with her boyfriend every night, I asked if she want it me to find someone else for her room but she didn’t want to leave the house. She didn’t want to leave me. She was protecting me, she always did, she was like a sister to me and although I felt abandoned from her I know that was the best thing for me and for her, she need it to develop her life and I need it to be strong on my own. I knew that if I need it her she would have come,but that wasn’t the point. The point was that I need it not to need anybody.

I had the motivation to make my life better I just need it to start somewhere.

Yoga was where I decided to start.

The shala was helping me to discover myself. When I came back from holiday going on the mat was hard and painful, my muscles weren’t so used to those movement anymore, but I remember reassuring myself : “I will be fine, just take it slowly, you’ll come back to that place and it will be fine”. The first week back in the shala I was hiding  in the very left corner of the room, the one that as I’ve later discovered nobody like it, the one where Hamish could not see how crappy I was.

After the shala there was work, and that was hard as I hated it, I didn’t like having to act for the most of my day, pretending to like what I was doing, having to keep talking with people to make my day go faster, but that what I had to do, that was my learning of something I could not yet understand.

The summer was going to be smoother, I could feel that. The summer in London isn’t so bad, there’s sun,  there are people hanging around showing off smiles and there aren’t so many rich people  in the shop smacking  their misery in your face.

I was fine I think, starting to be at least, and in the end I had just two months to go before my next holiday, I had indeed booked to go home again at the end of September as soon as I came back.

Something was moving in the right direction, I was in control.

Still I wasn’t good enough to feel free but I was getting there .

Slowness and patience with myself, that was what I had understood and that was what my hurting knee was teaching me.

How to be gentle with myself, even when your thoughs are overloading your head, be gentle, give myself space and forgive instead of blame.

Sometime I was falling into the trap again but instead of making myself feel even worst with guilt and stuff,I would breathe through, repeating that I was fine,I was getting there, one day I would have been liberated from my own mental trap.

I was starting to believe in something as well as myself, in something beyond me, the universe, the signs, the people around me.

 

The suckling pig,the rotten actress and Me -Nowhere 3

Before I could even realize I had started a routine or let’s say: a ritual. Waking up every morning around 5 ish ,waiting for the bus holding a cup of warm barley-oatmilk-molasses “coffee” to enjoy on my way back along with a little breakfast prepared the night before,composed mainly by half banana,a spoon of hemp protein and another spoon of raw cacao powder. I had worked out a way to waste last time to get ready after the first week:going to bed wearing my yoga clothes.Funny?Now that I think back it is,really funny,but at the time it seemed a great way to save some time and also  taking my pj off and put my yoga clothes back on was an unbearable work in that freezing cold! Was around the second/third week that something change. I was just arrived at the shala,was just 20 past 6 and while I was trying to open the door,someone kind of run over and open it for me.Was Hamish,he looked at me kind of annoyed (at least that’s how I perceived) ,and goes like “You?Again?Is too early!”. I felt awful,I felt like he hated me,for my whole practise I felt like an idiot,I felt not good enough,I felt useless.I wanted to cry so badly that I was running trough my few asanas as quick as I could. My mind was wandering: Why was I there?Why this man doesn’t want me here?Am I such a bad person?I feel so stupid! I couldn’t talk,I couldn’t look at him.I hated him,I want it to leave. When I finish my practise I left looking at the ground.I didn’t want to see his eyes,I felt such a big disappointment. On the other side my ego was pumping: Who was he?I am going to show this man who I am,I am going to gain his respect…actually I am going to do what always worked,I will charm him!Luckily I had recently find out that he wasn’t gay,he was actually married.Here we go, let’s get the pattern started,let’s demonstrate to myself that all the man are just disgusting pig and there is just one way to get their attention (in yoga is even easier are there are not much clothes involved). Let’s get to the RING!The fight between Myself and my long time companion,call it Ego,call it  actress but for me she will always be Marlene,(as I used to call myself most of the time during my year in Italy and before meeting Satirka the only person that at the time is been able to show me that side of me). When I started practising Astanga I though Marlene had left,I though I was fine;apart from the feeling of loneliness,emptiness, and that chocking sensation recurring everyday.In the end I was on my feet,by myself, I was proud of being able to do that without crying everyday or being depressed.I was ok…I mean I didn’t have any of the symptoms clearly indicating that my soul was feeling lost (what are those symptoms anyway?). But it took me just a little to discover that actually Marlene wasn’t gone. That day I left the shala crying,beating myself up.I went home, had a shower and then rush into work without eating. I was shaky,I wasn’t in the state to work. I took Sofia in the kitchen,I cried.I told her that I hated the teacher,that I want to leave that place where nobody talk to each other.Her reply was sharp and clear: “I don’t think you should go,You need to stay.This man is actually giving you what you need.Is too easy to leave”.I swallow the bitterness of her words.I tried to say something in reply but instead I didn’t,I looked at her in the eyes,all I could see was her honesty,that deep pure honesty that always stuck me and I had to be honest as well,honest with myself. That’s where all really got started,the digging,the game,the path.