I owe a lot to a lot of people for the lifestyle I live and enjoy. For one, I am so grateful for the friends I’ve made here in Austin and everywhere else, who continue to encourage, support, admire, inspire and be inspired by the things I do and the things we share in common. I move to Austin a very different person. Since I moved, I realized that the way to enjoy and embrace the city is to do what it does best, – the outdoors. And so I started running, biking, swimming and now onto other forms of running such as trail running and yes, even yoga!
Through running I met fabulous people – people who not only share my love for an active lifestyle but much more. People who are interesting to me, have interesting things to say. And then it’s a beautiful cycle. I meet great people through running or something, they become my good friends and then they become partners in my new adventures! I went to a lovely Hatha yoga class with my buddies Emily (who I met through theatre, another common interest) and Itisha, after which we had a wonderful lunch downtown in Austin, at Whole Foods and just chit-chatted for some time.
One of the best stories I have about getting by with help from my friends is how I got into triathlons last year! I was goaded into it by my friends Cha and Sha. Cha would join me for informal training and Sha gifted me a bunch of tri gear to get me started/motivated. I eventually signed up with a training group, during which I made some great acquaintances. In the end, I was so nervous about the open water swim during my first race – Cha signed up to do the race with me without training! Another friend Amit, another seasoned triathlete, diligently coached my open water swim fears away! And finally, I got so much support and encouragement from all these friends who’ve done it before.
And the more I do, the more people I meet that add something to my life. Which is great, I feel like I keep growing, keep learning about myself, about people around me. Moreover, some of my old friends, motivated by what I’ve been doing have also turned to something new for their lives – running, biking or something. I get notes, emails and facebook posts about how they were ‘inspired’ by me, which I find humbling to say the least! Me and inspire anyone else??
And sometimes I’ll get inspired to try something new from an oldest friend. My college buddy Sasha, who I have known for over 15 years and met a year ago in India told me she swears by yoga. At that time I was into running and being very ‘active’ about all that I did so I didn’t pay much attention. I couldn’t imagine sitting around in a pose, not sweating and it being ‘exercise’. But then what she said somehow stuck with me and eventually I decided to give it a shot. And it’s been fantastic. I know now why people love it. It’s great – it stretches and relaxes, it builds and strengthens, it challenges your mind and endurance, depending on type of yoga. What I love about yoga now is not only how it makes me feel after a good class but also during. A lot of course depends on the particular poses in the class. For instance, the first Vinyasa class I took – I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought it moved faster than I could handle. However, the second time around, I had an idea of the poses and was able to follow through much easier. I was also able to push and challenge myself during some of the poses.
A bunch of friends had been doing yoga and in talking to them, I first thought about it and pondered for a while. Finally cleared up clutter in my schedule to give it a shot and there’s no looking back! Thank god for the friends I have and the life I lead! Namaste!