Yoga And Travel: Living In The Question
By: Katie Lee
If I could give my 16 year-old self one piece of advice it would be to be to practice yoga and travel while living in the question.
I may not have known exactly what this meant ten years ago but the seed would be planted ready to slowly grow, sprout, and eventually blossom into a much better understanding of this world even earlier than it already was.
I always seemed happy and carefree on the outside but on the inside I was stressed, anxious, and put a lot of pressure on myself. I made lists for everything. I signed up for every club, council, sports team, and volunteer opportunity I could. I worked a minimum of two jobs at a time. I had a social life, friends, and even a boyfriend. I was doing very well academically. And my calendar was completely fully jam-packed booked. I was doing everything I thought I should be and everything that I thought other people wanted me to do. I was constantly planning and manipulating my life so I would know what was up next, where I was going, and exactly how everything should play out. I was so busy and focused on what was coming I never took the time to know and appreciate what was; to relax, breathe and go with the flow. I was “planning my future” trying to control every outcome. I guess I needed to find out the way I did but I laugh now because heck! My 16 year old self had planned my present 26 year-old self to be married, have a full time job, and have a house and kids by now HA! Maybe I was naïve or maybe that is just how it’s “supposed to be” but I have a much different outlook now.
I was first introduced to the concept of living in the question just prior to my first Yoga Teacher Training.
One of the prerequisite readings was the It’s Yoga Philosophy by founder Larry Shultz. The entire It’s Yoga Philosophy really stirred something deep inside of me. It opened up a door in which so much knowledge, wisdom, emotion, creativity, ideas, and freedom flooded out. Like when a damn that has been blocking a river is broken. A barrier created to suppress the river breaks open and the waters are free to rush and flow to places it has once seen but not since long, long, long ago. That is what it felt like as I learned of this whole vast world of yoga and read the It’s Yoga Philosophy. It was as if I was remembering things that had been forgotten in my mind but were always there buried under many layers deep down in my heart.
Living in the question is one of the main pillars of the It’s Yoga Philosophy. It is about living in the not knowing, quieting the mind, and listening to that inner voice. It is slowing down, breathing, accepting, and growing in the knowledge and wisdom that is gifted to us.
Living in the question has become something that I choose to do every day.
Some days this can be challenging. This can be especially difficult when other people seem to have everything “figured out”, when life gets tough, when we lose something or someone, or when we feel lost and confused. But it can also be liberating and freeing taking us down our own individual unique path we only imagined in our dreams. It is something I remind myself to do in yoga, travel, and life. When I am in an asana that is uncomfortable physically, mentally, emotionally, or any combination of those, I remind myself to breathe. I remind myself to live in the question, find comfort in the discomfort, and listen. To feel the layers of judgment, criticism, and thought slowly fade away and listen for my heart to speak. Sometimes it speaks of wisdom and guidance but most of the time for me right now it is stillness and silence.
When I travel I do the same thing. If I find myself getting too caught up in planning, organizing and thinking about what is next I remind myself to live in the question. To be okay with not knowing what every step of the way will be and accept where I am and trust. Trust that the universe and my present actions made with my heart will lead me to exactly where I need to be. I release control and am truly able to enjoy wherever it is I am. This has led me to some of the most spectacular landscapes of waterfalls, hidden beaches, forest trails, Caribbean islands, and so much more. It has connected me with people my path only crossed when I was able to let go of control. It has led me through circumstances both enjoyable as well as painful that have shaped my perspective on the world, my experiences with other people, and my entire life.
I remind myself every day to live in the question, be present, and embrace the not knowing. That’s the exciting part right? Not knowing what is next, not knowing what is coming, being able to fully live in the now, and enjoy this crazy adventure we call life.