Jasyoga Coach Brianna Sweeney aka "B" is nearly three months into her 6+ months of world travel adventures, and is finding new ways to Hit Reset—use yoga to sustain balance—along the way. Here's her latest dispatch from Phu Quoc, a tiny island off the south coast of Vietnam...
I’ve been traveling for almost three months now and life has been so full! Each day is filled with so much newness, my senses are going into overdrive. The gears in my brain are turning nonstop. I’m going nonstop.
I've been staying mostly at backpacking hostels or homestays throughout Vietnam. Usually this means I get a bunk in a big dorm room with other travelers. It's unfamiliar to not have space of my own. While this lack of personal space has negatively influenced my once consistent yoga practice, on the other hand I’m finding little ways to keep my crazybrain in check and Hit Reset with modified practices.
For instance, I recently finished a three-day motorbike tour across the agricultural countryside of central Vietnam. Traveling by bike leaves you very exposed to the external elements. My first day on the bike, it pissed rain the entire day. Not a good start. My poncho had holes in it. The rain pants I was loaned were wayyy too small so I ended up with a soggy butt. After a six-hour ride I was a damp, cranky, and stiff. I felt like a wet cat. Even my attitude was soggy.
The next two days on the bike were much better. The days and were sunny, warm, and sparkly from the prior rain. We rode by endless rice fields, coffee plantations, cashew and rubber tree groves, and greenhouses full of tomatoes and herbs. There were so many incredible new things to see, feel, and smell. It was nice to have time when I didn’t have to interact with anyone else—personal time.
I found myself daydreaming and as my thoughts wandered, the smells of the journey kept bringing me back to the present moment, back to reality. In yoga, the breath is used to quiet the mind and bring your awareness to the present moment. Time and time again I’ve found a calming rejuvenation from a few minutes spent inhaling: "I am..." and exhaling "...here now." in a slow, rhythmic manner. On the bike it was different. Each breath was something new:
Inhale: fresh rain. Exhale: happy heart.
Inhale: cow shit. Exhale: fast!
Inhale: blossoming jasmine. Exhale: Ahhhh…
Inhale: truck exhaust. Exhale: hold breath out and pass the truck.
Inhale: sweet rice and grass. Exhale: smile.
There was no particular rhythm other than awareness—and my choice to pay attention.
My life right now has no rhythm either. At first that was scary. Now it's exhilarating. No breath is the same. No day is the same. Each time I go somewhere new I have to recalibrate, which keeps me fresh. No matter where I go though, Jasyoga stays in my mind:
I am... here now.