Off the Mat in Italy

I haven’t seemed to be able to do any Yoga since getting to Rome. For years I’ve had a steady and serious practice, and I even brought my Yoga mat with me, along with my best intentions. But it just isn’t happening here. I mean, when am I going to do my Yoga stretches? Before my Italian speedball breakfast of chocolate pastries and double cappuccino? Or after? 
– Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love

Fresh back from a family vacation in Italy, where I didn’t do a single down dog. Oops. I just couldn’t seem to fit it in between all the pasta and gelato. But I don’t get too worked up anymore about not getting my practice in, because I know it will be waiting for me when I get back to it. No judgements.  And more often than not, I return to my mat with a sense of renewal after a break. All that pasta and gelato may not have been good for my body…but the experience of soaking up all Italy had to offer was great for my soul.

Travel awakens inspiration. The physical souvenirs you buy can’t hold a candle to the moments you can revisit for the rest of your life. We enjoyed one evening in Paris on our way back from Italy, and serendipitously stumbled upon a string quartet, classical concert that absolutely took my breath away. This was where it took place (be sure to click on the image to see the full panorama). It’s an hour of my life that I will continually source inspiration from.

About a month ago, I got a tattoo (stick with me, I promise this will all come together). It’s my first, and one I have pondered for many years. It’s an Ankh, the ancient Egyptian symbol for life. It’s on the inside of my forearm, where I can see it often; a timeless reminder to be grateful for this miracle called life, where every day we are given the opportunity to experience blessings. A reminder to never take that for granted, and to appreciate and absorb every moment. The more the years roll on…the more I know that yoga has been an eye opening gift. It has given me the ability, the vision to understand just how lucky I am to be alive. Even when I’m not on my mat for awhile…the benefits of the practice still sustain me. 

Travel. Eat pasta and gelato. Get that tattoo. Seek experiences that enrich and inspire, and don’t wait too long. Make it your life’s mission to collect moments of inspiration. Namaste. 

p.s. I found this on Facebook just after posting: The Science of Why You Should Spend Your Money on Experiences, Not Things