If I were to tell you being a big-shot DJ and teaching yoga had things in common, I would understand your surprise.
After playing opening sets to some of the world’s biggest DJs – including celebrities like Tiesto and Martin Garrix – I slowly transitioned from my life of partying and clubbing to meditating and deep breathing. My high motivation eventually led me to get a technical yoga teacher training in France, after which I taught yoga to many different people until, like DJing, I stopped.
Why did I ditch the glitz and the glam for a life of simplicity in the first place? There are a few reasons.
But then, why did I stop worshipping the land of the yogis to revert back to my set ways?
Because of balance. That’s why.
The nightlife world and the culture of Western yoga are two things I dove into headfirst, without really thinking about anything else. They were absolutely great times that taught me so much about myself, but they were also endlessly consuming.
Don’t get me wrong — I still feel a pang of excitement when I’m near any turntables and some days, I deeply crave a challenging session on my yoga mat. It’s just that neither lifestyle was made for me, nor was it made to last.
Extremes are exactly what they claim to be: extreme.
People often asked me why I became so picky with my gigs and eventually stopped DJing altogether.
Well, for one, I don’t do well with extremes. The binge-drinking, the partying, the hangovers, sleeping during the day, living at night, chasing my money from club owners with questionable and dodgy habits — it just doesn’t work for me. When I look back to photos of myself at that time, I see not only myself 15 pounds heavier, but I see myself emotionally empty.
On the other hand, pretending I’m the ultimate zen guru with everything put together at all times didn’t float my boat, either. The stereotypes I was expected to fulfill, the judgment, the standards of success, and the unwritten rules were just too much. When I wasn’t feeling my best or when I was upset, I felt like I was a failure, and the pressure eventually sucked out all of the initial joy I found in the process.
I came to realize I’m just not an extreme person. I’m actually kinda hard to define — I don’t think I’ll even be able to properly do that for another 40 years — and that’s perfect for me.
Both idealize a glamourous lifestyle that is reached by only a select few.
When you join the world of teaching yoga, you visualize yourself guiding a group of beautiful, athletically-able men and women in their 20s to 30s who are also seeking the balance of a mindful life. Preferably, in the mystic jungles of Bali.
After you DJ a massive and enthusiastic crowd for the first time in your career, you ride a serotonin high for the next two weeks and imagine yourself djing the sunset timeslot at Ultra Music Festival.
But when reality sets in, you quickly understand that the expectations you have were flawed (as they usually always are). Not only are they flawed, but the fact that you have them in the first place sets you up for disappointment right off the bat.
Setting goals is motivating, but setting expectations is detrimental to your goal setting. I had some pretty big dreams and a pocket full of expectations, so the universe humbled me day after day until I learned my lesson and moved on to something better.
Things take time and the stagnancy can kill you.
At some point, you start to ask yourself: is this really going anywhere? Am I wasting my time? You self-doubt and you criticize yourself until BOOM — a big break comes up. A huge gig. A huge teaching opportunity. You’re thrilled, but after your 2 minutes of fame, you are right back where you started. Nowhere useful.
The glitz, the glam and the fame are not immediate. They are not given nor are they necessarily earned fairly.
The more time passes, the more things get stagnant. Giving up seems like the lazy way out, but it actually the most intelligent option.
Leaving behind things that you know aren’t serving you is simply the best and only way to move forward.
Which brings me to…
What is right, will feel right.
I have learned to determine which social settings make me comfortable and which ones make me truly, naturally happy. I know I’m in the right place when I feel like I’m in the right place, and that’s all I need to base myself on to build my dream life.
If there’s one lesson both experiences have gifted me with…
It’s that if you want something in life, go after it.
If you have something to say, say it.
If there’s something you want to do, do it.
If there’s something calling your name, answer it.
The things that call to you are the things your intuition knows define you as exactly who you are meant to be.
And even if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t matter. It did its time and fulfilled its role. It’s OK to outgrow things.
If it brings you someplace where you’re happier and you’re better for it — that’s kinda all that matters, right?