Monthly Archives: September 2009


dis-com-bob-u-late (verb):

1: to cause to be confused emotionally [syn: bewilder, bemuse, discombobulate, throw]

2: to be confused, disconcerted or perplexed; to be unable to think clearly.

I am discombobulated.

I have been through an intense experience (the yoga teacher training course mentioned in my last post) and I have come home straight into another set of intense experiences (starting a new job as well as various other family changes happening at the same time).

I have had no time, either during the teacher training course (TTC), or since I got home, to sit back and reflect on what these experiences have meant to me. I think the course has had a profound effect on me. I think that the effects will be lasting and deep. But I cannot yet say what they are or quite how they will change me.

Practicising yoga together on the deck, overlooking the mountains
Practicising yoga together on the deck, overlooking the mountains

I had imagined, before I went, that I would keep a diary of my time during TTC, and that I would come home full of details and anecdotes, enthusiastic and bursting to share my experience.

Instead, I find myself tongue tied, unable to articulate what I think or how I feel.

I am reminded of the ways in which my illness (pneumonia) a year ago influenced and changed me. Sometimes I feel as though I am constantly banging on about that illness, and I worry that I am in danger of defining myself partly through it. But, being so severely ill did profoundly affect me, and in ways that I am still discovering. It caused me, consciously and unconsciously, to examine myself and to think about what I wanted to have more, or less of, in my life. I would not have started running had I not been so ill, and I would not have dreamed of becoming a yoga teacher. I would probably not have applied for, and got,  jobs that I wanted. It has, however, also left me with a legacy of feeling betrayed by my body, and a sense that I cannot quite put the trust in it that I used to.

Similarly, I suspect that it may take some time before I discover what the effects of the yoga TTC have been.

Eating together, overlooking the mountains
Eating together, overlooking the mountains

There were some moments that were truly magical. Hiking above the clouds on the alps at dawn with the sun just touching the tips of the mountains is unbelievably awe inspiring. There were other times that were incredibly tough: people cried and shouted, argued and flounced. It seemed as though there was someone or other doing at least one of these things at least once a day.

Standing together, facing the sun as it rises over the mountains
Standing together,   facing the sun as it rises over the mountains

Life has been so manic since I got back that it was only yesterday, traveling to work and listening to some chanting on my ipod, that it really hit me how much I miss the ashram, and what a deep level of serenity I came to experience there. I miss the people too, both my fellow students and the gentle, wise, and sometimes unworldly Swamis who taught us. There were a few people whose company was a constant challenge to me, and others with whom I would gladly go back and live tomorrow. But I have shared an experience with all of them that is hard to explain and describe to others who were not there.

I think, and I hope, that some of the friendships I formed there will make the transition back into our ‘real’ lives, and will prove to be lasting ones.

Entertaining each other
The poignant beauty of Marianne’s voice and lyrics

So, it is good to be back. It is good to be back in the bosom of my family, in the company of my friends and in the arms of my man. It is good to be in London again, good to be working again,  good to be knitting again and good, at last, to be blogging again.

But I am also sad to have left behind me this precious, extraordinary, life-changing experience. I am thrown into confusion as to what it all has meant, and what it might turn out to mean.

I am discombobulated.

Now, when I look up, this is what I see. I miss the mountains!
Now, when I look up, this is what I see. I miss the mountains!

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