My Korean Leap of Faith
If you are deciding to take your own leap of faith to study abroad in another country (graduate school abroad in this case), these tips will help you to get the most out of your time there. Learn from my mistakes, and see what to look forward to (hint I’ve never regretted a leap of faith abroad).
“Yoga is not about being bendy … it is about breathing and moving and smiling on the inside. It is the hardest thing I have ever done, but also the best.” – Author Unknown
We all had to start somewhere in yoga (or perhaps you have wanted to start). That day took courage and unquenchable curiosity to drive or walk to the pre-chosen studio, ask for the paperwork to sign up, and roll out a mat in a little space in a foreign studio.
Add not speaking the same language as the instructor and those in class, and that was my first yoga experience: South Korea in 2007.
I wanted to try yoga for so long, but thought I lost the opportunity when I went to South Korea for my graduate degree in 2007. I couldn’t speak the language, and I had never tried yoga – that sealed the deal to never allow myself inside a studio, right?
Well, it was for me, until my American friend told me he tried out the class and loved it. So, I sheepishly went with him to the next session, and loved it too. I attended regularly for the full two years I lived in Seoul, and it saved my sanity during my MBA program.
I followed along well for the most part by simply watching the teacher and the other students around me. My teacher spoke little English, but made us feel connected to the practice by simply stating two words in English – inhale and exhale. She whispered these words whenever she walked near us – she knew what all yogis eventually learn: breath is the most important part.
Behind of course, simply showing up to the practice.