Where is home? My view as an expat & recently certified yoga teacher in Dublin!
Is home that house where you grew up? The country you spent your childhood and/or adolescence? The first flat you rented? The first house you bought? The current one? Or perhaps is being with your family what has made you feel at home? Maybe all these places and people around you became your home at some point, but they have always been changing whether you like it or not.
-Where is home?- I had wondered for a long time…
My experience about feeling at home as a kid
I have moved many times in my life. I am originally from Venezuela but most of my family is from Colombia, so I also lived a few years of my childhood in Colombia. I know both cultures and I love and respect them equally. Now I am in Ireland, I have been living here for almost 5 years now.
I have learned to adapt quickly to new houses and surroundings. My family was always on the move… and when you are a kid you go wherever your family goes, and they become your home then (even if you have never thought about this abstract concept). Then you grow up and decide to move to your own place, maybe alone, maybe with a boyfriend, with a friend, with your dog, etc. Basically, you start creating your own home. This can be an intense adventure or horror story (depending on what you choose to think or believe).
The abstract concept of Home
I know everything changes so much when you are on your own… You usually try to replicate things you did when you were “at home” (even if that home was not perfect). Sometimes you might believe you made it, and you get to have a sense of being at home again after eating that dish your mum used to make when you were young for example. A few hours or days later you might feel empty (sad) again and have to start from zero.
The concept of “home” might be part of a memory from your past (sometimes slightly modified to make it seem perfect) – usually the best moment of your life (or previous comfort zone). In other words, you could be always comparing your present situation with an ideal one from your own past, or even from your dreamed future. Forcing your mind to experience an exhausting and frustrating task… because life, in reality, is always changing.
-Where is home then?- I kept asking to myself.
My experience about feeling at home as an adult
A few years ago my concept of home was not clear and I was feeling a bit depressed. I had more than 2 years without practicing yoga, and I decided to go to a yoga class about 1 hour away from where I was living. I was not feeling great but I decided it was time to do one of my favourite hobbies + it was summer and yoga in the park was totally possible. I went to my yoga class and immediately connected with my breathing and body awareness guided by the teacher on duty. I did the usual sun salutations and all the postures (asanas) touching the grass while standing barefoot. I didn’t have a mat on that occasion, but it did not matter. Do you know why? Because I finally felt at home.
It was a different sensation from the ones I had experienced in the past. “Home” was not a place anymore. It was not about being with my family, my partner or my dog either. I knew I love them so much, but this was about being with my True Self in an absolute state of presence and without mental distractions about “ideal” circumstances. Only then, even experiencing nostalgia, peace of mind was possible. I surrendered, and I felt at home!
I had discovered yoga around 5 years ago and this was my second revelation about what you can get from a practice that might seem only physical or superficial at first glance. I can not explain with enough words why exactly I felt at home or how did it feel… It is one of those things you have to experience by yourself. It is also something you need to renew every day. Otherwise you tend to forget and go back to negative patterns in your life. You are free to choose your own path, mine was through yoga and part of its philosophy. There are many possibilities. We, as humans, need to find our own way to live in harmony with ourselves and the world around us. We all need to find our REAL HOME and share our experience with our community, family and friends. Therefore, this is our daily duty!
Since that day, my perspective shifted, I decided to get a mat and practice yoga and meditation regularly again. I did so, and a few years later I decided to do the yoga teacher training in Samadhi Yoga Studios- Dublin, Ireland. Today I am glad to tell this part of my story. I am also excited to tell the world that I had my final exams last Saturday 15th July (after 10 months of preparation); now I can finally say that I am a certified yoga teacher and happy mom-to-be who still feels at home 🙂
Doing yoga asanas is more than a physical practice to me, however, its benefits begin from grounding down the 4 corners of your feet, spreading the toes out, engaging the legs and drawing the navel in as your spine elongates and your breath deepens.
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Thank you for reading 🙂