So lately, I’ve been really struggling with my yoga practice. I use to practice yoga at least four times a week at home or in class. Yoga helped me feel better and I was more focused, as well as stronger and more flexible. I wasn’t perfect at yoga or even great, but I was better at it than I am now. Over the summer, as most of you know, I was in Germany which I’m super thankful for, but my yoga practice suffered. I could have easily done yoga there, but life seemed to get in the way. I found myself super stressed about everything because things were just not working out the way Den and I had expected them to. Although one of the best things in the world did happen over this summer, my best friend asked me to marry him, there were still many stressful moments. I couldn’t get a work visa regardless of my efforts, I struggled with not being able to understand the language well, and cultural differences lead to people not getting to know the real me. I was facing stresses that I wasn’t use to, and usually, in situations like this, I would go back to my yoga practice. I would usually find some peace, calmness, or let out my emotion on my mat, yet this time, I didn’t do that. I don’t know why, but I didn’t and I honestly wish I had.  And it is something that I’m trying to get back to.
Now that I’m trying to get back to my yoga practice I’m finding that it is super difficult not just physically, but mentally too. Mentally, I have trouble staying as focused as I was before and the ability to quiet my mind. Physically I can’t do half of the stuff I could do before. This isn’t completely because I hadn’t practice, but also because I somehow hurt my lower back. I mean, I usually have off and on lower back pains but nothing like this. This new back pain has made my practice more difficult than before, but not practicing yoga surely has contributed to the back pain as well.
Anyway, I don’t know about you, but I get super frustrated when I know I use to be able to do something, but can’t do it anymore. So there I sit in my yoga class chanting the mantra in my head on repeat “You are where you are and that is good enough.” Which as great as this sounds is easier said or thought than put into practice. But I keep my focus on this and know that physically I am where I am in my practice and I need to try to be accepting of this fact and myself. I feel like this mantra also translates over into my everyday life too. I am are where I am and I should try to appreciate the now. Right now, I’m in that in-between phase of being a college graduate and trying to start a life. And sometimes I have to remind myself to appreciate the journey I’m on and the wonderful people around me. I should try to be content with the now and is something I’m working on every day.
So now I’m trying to get back into my practice and I’m going to classes in person as well as using to do my online yoga practices as well as meditation. So hopefully my back will improve as well as my strength, flexibility, and calmness. And I hope it will help me appreciate more the journey I’m on! I’ll let you guys know how it goes.


Dominique Altif