I’m not sure how or why but this year has gotten off to an amazing start. Since the new year I have worked to cultivate a sense of peace in my life. Steering clear of drama has been one of the best choices I have made. This means that my life much quieter but I really appreciate the little things so much more. I have also made it a point to take some risks – particularly involving travel.
This week I had the good fortune of being in Istanbul. It took three days to find a yoga studio but was well worth it. When I planned this trip I envisioned myself practicing everyday and I did, just not on a mat. The yoga of this trip involved reflecting on the smallness of my place in this world and generating questions about who I am and who I want to be. Of course I couldn’t help doing a few poses in amazing and fun places along the way.
Looking at artifacts dating from the BC era definitely put my short 42 years on this earth in perspective. As I walked along cobble stone streets amongst the ruins of fortresses, restored palaces, and places of religious worship I realized the impact of the people who lived centuries ago on my life today. One can only hope (yes, it’s egocentric) that our innovations and philosophies will still be relevant or at least respected hundreds of years from now. Again, I am reminded of the miniscule part I play in this world.
Now I have always known that my grandmother was Turkish and my father’s family Muslim, yet the culture and religion of my own personal history is a mystery. Until this week I had never set foot in a mosque. While certainly educational, this trip left me with so many questions about the part of me I know almost nothing about. So now I have the desire to dig deeper – to discover my heritage – and to share my discoveries with my niece and nephew.
And as much as I want more, I think my yoga is to explore my heritage and engage in activities that promote my own cultural evolution while accepting and respecting where I am in the present.