This has been a week of goodbyes. I said goodbye to my yoga teacher, the person who helped me find my core again—in more ways than one—after having a baby almost five (!) years ago. Lucien said goodbye to his Montessori preschool teachers, classmates and classroom. I said so long to my “new” mom friends. We had a goodbye play date for all his neighborhood friends and a tear-filled farewell with Lucien’s babysitter Rebecca, who has become a close and much loved family friend.
There are, of course, many different paths in life. I have found myself on one that includes moving, a lot. My husband’s job and mine (professor; part time writer/part time stay at home mom) allows us the flexibility of moving around, and occasionally demands it. The truth is I love and crave the adventure and sense of possibility that comes with a new address, a new neighborhood, a new set of routines. Neil has a research sabbatical coming up and we will be spending the next year or so in New York.
At the same time I realize that children, my child, craves stability and connectedness. Changing locations is hard for him. He is excited, yes, but also nervous.
There are many things we’ll miss about Vancouver, Canada, during our time away. The community centers. The fresher than fresh air. The summers. The local snowy mountains. The farmers’ markets.
There’s much to look forward to, too. Kindergarten. Museums. Subways! Restaurants and weekend flea markets. Street life. Not to mention yoga classes galore for me, for Neil (when I can convince him to go), and even for Lucien.
Years ago when I was in my twenties and living in New York, I had the fantasy of running away to the country, to a place where I could truly delve into the yogic lifestyle. Buy some land, live off the grid, study and practice and grow my own food.
One weekend I attended a class taught by the founders of Jivamukti Yoga, Shannon Gannon and David Life.
The city, they said, makes an ideal laboratory for practicing yoga. Think about it: If you can remain centered and good and kind in the middle of Manhattan, surely you can do so almost anywhere.
I’ve thought of this idea often, when living in the country (not off the grid, by any means, but away from the suburban life of my childhood and the urban life I’d led in New York); when living in big cities like LA, smaller ones like Cambridge, Massachusetts, and then here in Vancouver. What was the most yogic sort of place to live?
After living everywhere from Wisconsin to New York, from Los Angeles to Boston, from the Berkshires to Beersheva, Israel, I’m here to report: You can be yogic in the city, or live unconsciously in the country, and vice versa. You can certainly study the Yoga Sutra in Manhattan and maybe you can even garden in Brooklyn.
I can’t wait to get to there, to explore kid’s yoga classes, family yoga retreats a drive away, and this new vegetarian restaurant I keep hearing about called Dirt Candy. I am beyond excited to study with the incredible yoga teachers New York City has to offer.
I promise to share this next adventure with you all as we spend a year in the big city.
Next stop, Brooklyn.
Jessica Berger Gross is the author of enLIGHTened: How I Lost 40 Pounds with a Yoga Mat, Fresh Pineapples, and a Beagle Pointer (Skyhorse), out in paperback now. She will soon be spending the year in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and four-year-old son. “Like” her author page on Facebook. Follow her on Twitter. Visit her at www.jessicabergergross.com.