The End Of This Chapter


Well, the time has come and gone and it is time to close this chapter of my life. 4 months has passed and I am getting ready for my flight out of China to head back to my home in Canada. I can definitely say it was an experience that I will never forget. During my time here I felt happy, sad, frustrated, challenged and everything in between. My eyes and mind were opened to life outside of North America. I was fortunate enough to be given this opportunity to live in a different part of the world and to embrace a new and different culture. There are parts that I will miss and parts that I am glad are over but it was a great experience nonetheless.

As a teacher, it was inspiring to be able to witness the transformation of all my students. With many of them taking their very first steps onto a yoga mat it was amazing to see how receptive they were to learning. Their open-mindedness and willingness to try new things only helped to speed them along to reaching their goals. It was a pleasure to be apart of that journey.

My time in Beijing has also allowed me to grow as a student of yoga. I was presented with a unique opportunity to explore teaching a new style of yoga without the pressures that I would normally have to deal with back at home. I was in a new environment where no one knew who I was and I was able to feel more free to figure out what works and what does not. I learned to face challenges when it came to language barriers, adapting my classes to fit the needs and skill level of those attending, tap into my creative side when it comes to sequencing, and so much more. I also got to explore deeper into my home practice and tested the level of my commitment I had with yoga. It was definitely different than what I was use to doing, and it had its challenging times, but looking back it was good for me to be able to explore into that aspect of my practice.

Over the 4 months there were many memorable moments during my stay here. Spending Christmas walking the Great Wall of China was probably the one that will stick the most with me. There was also touring the various temples and markets, the adventures of the subway during rush hour, the gatherings and dinners with everyone of Uptown Yoga, touring the Forbidden City, the many many times of me getting sick and losing tons of weight (actually had to go to the hospital once to get checked-up), my visit to Guangzhou for Devin Kelley's workshop, meeting all my wonderful students and being able introduce them to yoga, the days of wearing masks outside, trying to order food when the menu is all in Chinese and no one speaks a word of English, the fruit and vegetable ladies I visit weekly to pick up groceries, visiting Hong Kong and Shanghai, eggy crepes, the Internet connection and VPN, and so much more! I could fill up a page if I listed everything but these are what immediately came to mind.

Like I said before, I experienced a wide range of emotions here and faced both 'good' and 'bad' situations. I use the term 'bad' loosely here because I do not like to classify what I experienced here as something negative even though at the time it may have frustrated or upset me. I instead choose to take everything I went through as a opportunity to learn and grow as a person. Not everything in life may be ideal but you can always take something and learn something from it. China taught me a lot about myself and I had some good times here but Vancouver is still the place that I call home. It feels like the right time to return home and I am looking forward to getting settled back in. I am glad to have went through this experience and I wanted to thank all those who supported me through this part of my life. Goodbye Beijing and see you soon Vancouver!

*I will be teaching full-time again starting April 25 so check out my teaching schedule and come out for class.

Marcus Tong2 Comments