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Yoga as a Foreign Student

My life has changed drastically this past month with my move to Thailand, and I can’t stop feeling like I’m sprinting through time. I have so much to share about my transition, but I am still digesting and processing.

Just this week, I have started talking yoga classes at my local gym in Thailand. I am very excited to focus on being a student again, as my energy toward yoga for the past 5 months has primarily focused on teaching.

Walking into my first yoga class, I decided to place my mat in the middle of the room so that I could see my instructor clearly and also be able to watch other students to know what was going on. It’s weird being the only foreigner in a class where not a single person (nor the instructor) speaks english. At first, I felt a little out of place, like I didn't belong there, but as soon as we started flowing a greater sense of unity washed over me. I felt one with the class, more than I ever had in a class before. To practice, I had to base my movements solely on the movements of the other students around me. I felt connected to everyone in the room despite our language barrier and other differences.

Usually, when I sign up for a yoga class, I place so much value on who the teacher is and what wisdom they can share with me. However, as a foreign student with a language barrier, the instructors words were empty to me. As strange as this sounds, I liked it because it made me focus on other elements the practice and rely on others in the room. Without the distraction of words, cueing, and constant corrections from the instructor, I was truly able to focus on my breathing and how my body FELT throughout the entire practice. This was huge for me. Nothing else mattered besides being present in my body.

When taking classes in America, my ego would often get caught in how a pose “should” look instead of how it should feel. Now, when I look around the room to see what pose is next, everyone looks different. Because everyone's body is different. I am excited to continue learning from this perspective. I have never FELT yoga like this before!

Planting Hope in your day ❀

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