Except it’s not. Last year had its moments but it sucked a lot too. And this year isn’t off to a very good start. I have no job and I have only a temporary place to live in. I feel completely lost but I don’t know in which end to start to try to sort things out. The issue of an apartment seems the easiest to do something about but suddenly I find myself unable to make any kind of decision. I go to see apartments and leave without filling out the application form. I mean, who knows where I will be six months from now so is there really any point to trying to find a long-term place to live in? Or what if I get an apartment but need to leave Helsinki and then I’m stuck with a contract for one year? And even if I most probably will still find myself in Helsinki six month from now can I really afford an apartment if I don’t get a job and after I lose my income-related unemployment benefit? And I’m so angry all the time. This was not how things were supposed to turn out.
Another pretty tough week went by. Although the break-up itself happened already some time ago there’s still a lot of feelings that need to be processed. The move and giving up the apartment brought a lot of stuff to the surface last week. Especially the practice has a tendency of forcing me to feel whatever is buried within me, there’s really no way to escape. I don’t know if I got through even one practice last week without ending up in tears at some point. But that’s the thing about pain and anger and sadness, they demand to be felt before you can let go of them. Luckily I got to work for a few days at the yoga shop, keeping my mind somewhat preoccupied with other things. On Friday I left for Kokkola and my parents place and being here is nice and healing. I’ve been keeping pretty busy, making Christmas candies and a gingerbread house. Practice is not really happening here, I always feel I don’t have a warm enough space where to practice here (I really dislike practicing in the cold), but at least I’ve been running for the past two days. There’s a lot of snow here whereas there was none in Helsinki and it’s so lovely to just be outside and enjoy the cold and the snow.
The past week seemed almost never-ending with a lot of things going on. I attended Petri’s and Juha’s workshop here in Helsinki Monday – Friday. The practice week was a somewhat tough one as the cold here finally caught up with me and I felt really stiff and my back was a bit sore all week. Petri also gave a lecture on Wednesday but unfortunately I had to miss that. Yesterday there was a Christmas party at the yoga school. It would have been fun to go to led class with Marke but after a six-day week I needed a rest. But I did go to the vegetarian restaurant by the school, OmNam, for a Christmas buffet of porridge, samosas, sweets and glögi (a warm drink with spices). There was a lot of people there and I sat there for quite some time, chatting with people, having a good time.
On Tuesday I met up with a few of my old colleagues from Biomedicum. I also did the last of my packing in the beginning of the week and on Wednesday my dad came with the van. We (or actually my dad) carried most of the boxes down to the car while waiting for a girl to come get my sofa that she was buying from me. And then on Thursday morning mum and dad came to get the rest of my stuff, which are now in storage in Kokkola. I myself took the bags I was left with and headed to my friends place in Töölö where I’m staying until I’m going hom to Kokkola on Friday, except during the weekend during which I stayed with a few other friends in Myllypuro where I got to play with Alisa, 3 year, and the guest dog Osaka.
Thursday was a really difficult and emotional day for me as I really felt that I was leaving everything A and I have had together behind me. I am immensely grateful to have such great parents that come to my help when I need it and for the friends who invite me to stay at their places when I don’t have anywhere else to go.
“A friend in need is a friend indeed”.
Back in Helsinki since one week and time has been flying. It’s been nice to be back, especially in the beginning of the week when the weather was nice: a few degrees minus and the sun was shining. Now it’s just grey and raining. It’s been lovely being back in the Annankatu shala and to see my teacher and my friends there. It’s also been so nice to get back to my practice. Except for Karandavasana everything is pretty solid, more so than I expected after two months of doing a shorter and different practice. And Karandavasana will get better again also. Back home is a somewhat different story. I’ve been spending most of the time packing my things in boxes for the second time this year. Yes, things change and after four years together A and I have decided to go our separate ways. So it’s also been a pretty tough week. But life goes on even though I could be falling apart completely (no job, no home, no boyfriend…) I try to see the positive in my situation. It’s not an end, it’s a new beginning.
Before Anni and I left Mysore last weekend Sharath gave the loveliest conference ever. He spoke, among other things, about each of us having the temple inside us, in our hearts. He also taught us a short pranayama sequence of alternate nostril breathing that is good to do for example when you need to relax yourself. He also said that singing Bollywood songs is a good way to relax yourself and then he even sang us one of his favorite songs. After the conference we went to say our thanks to Sharath. He seemed surprised and asked if we were leaving. We also had our picture taken with Sharath. It’s really not the best one, suddenly standing there beside him we both grew very nervous and all three of us look all but relaxed, but it’s a nice memory to have anyway. The rest of the day was pretty crazy as we had a lot of loose ends to tie up and when it was finally time to leave we had to wait 30 minutes for our taxi to come. Good thing it didn’t come one minute later because the traffic in Bangalore was crazy and I got pretty nervous, not sure we would make our flight in time. Luckily we got to the airport 30 minutes before check-in closed and made the flight. The rest of the trip was quite uneventful and the flight from Delhi to Helsinki seemed to take forever. When we finally landed in Helsinki both Anni and I were wearing big smiles on our faces and drew deep breaths of the cold, fresh air. I love you India but home is home.
The last self-practice yesterday, surprisingly good, light and flexible, after a night of stomach issues. I almost made it through two months without any heath problems, almost. Luckily it passed as quickly as it came. And today, one last led primary. The nights and even the past few days have been chilly and the draft on the stage, next to the window, where I got a spot was so cold. My sore shoulder started acting up almost immediately. But other than that it was a nice ending to my stay here. One last conference, the last of the packing and then we’re off to Bangalore. Our flight from Bangalore arrives in Delhi at 1.30 am and so our plan is to spend the night at the airport as there’s no point in going to a hotel for just a few hours. And tomorrow afternoon we should be arriving in Helsinki. Thank you India, thank you Mysore, thank you Gokulam and all the friendly people here, and thank you Sharath for the past two months, hopefully I’ll see you again next year!
Yesterday our Finnish gang had a delicious lunch cooked by the Ethiopian-Indian Akil. A nice variation to the food one normally gets here. A big thanks to Anna for arranging it. After coffee and cookies we said our goodbyes to Maija who left later in the evening. I’m also quite anxious to get going. These last days pass slowly and even the practice feels boring, unmotivated. Whatever not so pleasant things await at home I still look forward to leaving. Two more nights.
My last week in Mysore for this time is well on its way. On Saturday it’s time pack up our stuff and leave Mysore and our home here and on Sunday Anni and I arrive back Helsinki. As it turns out I will start my return by packing up my stuff in Helsinki as well. If you have an apartment for me, please let me know. A job would be nice too. If not within biosciences then maybe teaching yoga, or something else. I’m open to any suggestions.
Practicing with Sharath has been very nice and the practice itself good; nice and easy and pretty solid, but I do look forward to going back home to my teacher and my practice. I think I’ve learned what I can (and what will be taught to me) here for now. And I miss the challenges of the practice I do at home. I miss learning also on the physical level. Here the learning seems to happen more on a mental level, at least so far. So even though I’ve been much more content with how things are this year this is a good time to go home. And also, even though I love India it is never an easy companion. I will surely miss the sun and a lot of other things here but it will be nice to be back in Finland again. But it’s interesting to notice how different each time here has been, and every time has brought different challenges. This years challenges, I find, have been mainly outside the mat and have, to a big part, been about accepting and letting go.
In the shala November has definitely been more crowded than October but it’s nothing compared to last year. I guess last year there was some mistake made with the amount of students accepted for November, I think they had forgotten to count those staying from October. And so the shala was packed and Sharath in a horrible mood throughout the month. This year Sharath has been (at least mostly) in a really good mood, laughing and joking both in the shala and in conference. But of course still firm when needed. This year all the assistants have also been very good, at least in my opinion.
Monday started with a last led intermediate class. The body felt somewhat stiff after three days of no practice but it wasn’t too bad. Later I went to chanting as usual but had to flee the room just as the class was starting as there were a few people there wearing strong fragrances and I could feel an immediate headache coming. Please, be considerate of the people around you and do not wear strong fragrances.
For lunch our Finnish crew gathered at the Green Hotel for birthday celebrations. Officially we were celebrating Anni’s 26th birthday but we also had a surprise celebration and birthday cake for Sari who is turning 40 next month. But since many of us will be gone by then we wanted to celebrate her now. Anni ordered this amazing cake for Sari from Toot-C Cake School. I bet we were quite the sight when we brought the cake to Green Hotel on a scooter, me driving and Anni holding the box with the cake with both hands while trying to stay on the scooter (although maybe still nothing compared to the guys we saw once with a huge box containing a flat screen TV between them or the two men we saw yesterday when leaving Green Hotel with two sheep on top of each other between them… :) ). And the staff at the Green Hotel had made such a nice table for us, with rose petals and everything. We had a very nice 3-hour long lunch with lots of laughter. Thanks to the birthday girls for making this possible and happy birthday once more! ♡♡♡
Today I had another massage with Despina. It was very good but not quite as pleasant as last time as she did a lot of work on my very sore shoulders and upper arms. Later thali at Sixth Main with Anni, Maija and Sari and now I’m off to drop off some laundry at Taina and Matti’s house (they have a washing machine!), get more drinking water and hopefully pick up a few bracelets that Meena at Silver Nest has made me.
Three self-practices, one led primary and four nights left…
Cows outside our house as we were leaving for Kukkarahalli Lake this morning. Yesterday both Anni and I walked, today Sari joined us and while the other two walked I run a final lap around the lake.
We saw this huge spider as we were leaving the lake. Was it real? I’m still not sure.
A bit later Anni, Maija and I met up with Sami, Eeva, Alisa, Anna, Taina and Matti at Silent Shores Resort & Spa. This is a luxury spa with a nice pool area suitable for children. The scooter ride was maybe 15-20 min, so much further than Regalis, but still within reach. And pretty easy to find. We had a nice day by the pool even though (or maybe to our luck) it was a bit cloudy.