The West Coast Runaway
Pacific Coast Hostel, University of British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
If Whistler taught me to find the courage to sit in moments of extreme anxiety, returning to Vancouver is giving me the canvas to explore slowing down just enough to listen in to what my body needs.
I have had my successes today (resting when feeling a throbbing pain in the foot of my broken navicular bone, taking a mid-day siesta instead of trekking back into the intoxicating town, taking time to just gaze at the Sauder School of Business at UBC like a love sick puppy) and the not so successful moments (saying screw it to healthier options for dinner and hobbling over to Triple O’s for a Bacon Cheddar Burger + Sweet Potato fries (#worstvegetarianEVER), only to recognize after inhaling my sweet potato fries that I am full and should take the burger home with me – which then was concluded with me eating every meaty bite until it was gone).
I found myself pondering while sitting on a weathered wooden bench across the pathway from my bucket list wannabe postsecondary business school, the importance yoga has had on my life and how it is bridging me towards the life I want.
You see, I’m not involved in yoga for the physical benefits, the cute outfits, the feeling of community/ tribe with being a member of a studio, and certainly NOT to balance on my head…
I am on my mat as of late to develop an inner awareness so I can continue on my journey with ease. This isn’t a mystical floofy concept imagined when you may think of those eccentrics personalities speaking in exotic tongue and swaying with the smokey purr of tantalizing incense.
It’s the simplicity of being able to recognize the signs and symptoms of a possible anxiety attack, allowing me to take preventative measures. It’s being able to recognize tension in my body and possibly observing the linking factor of a short, shallow breath that may be accompanying it. It’s being able to recognize that voice, that feeling, of negative emotion – witness it, experience it and let it go. It’s knowing that whatever I desire the most, will come to me when I’m at my most centered and balanced.
There are a lot of “I should be….”‘s floating around my head right now.
“I should be in Grande Prairie.”
“I should be studying, reading, learning..”
“I should be doing this. Not that.”
And the really cool thing about building the skills acquired from a yoga practice is to remember to stick to the absolute basics.
My body needs time to heal.
I need to rest my foot, to allow the bone to repair itself.
In an event where difficult emotions may already arise, I also need to take time to do what feels good for the soul.
Right now, what feels good for the soul is being here in Vancouver. (Give it some time and it won’t be good for the pocket!) But in a moment where I feel constricted, confined and suffocated from anxiety, it is my job to take the time to be in an environment that revives me emotionally, mentally and yes- spiritually. There is little physical difference between being here and being in Grande Prairie – but at least here, in the beautiful city of Van-city, I have the endless ocean to gaze into as I rest my foot. I deserve this rest. And I also deserve to wobble down the streets of this intoxicating city, just me and my boot!