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So I’m reading a  book called “Veronika Decides to Die” written by Paolo Coelho, the author of “The Alchemist” among others. I was going to read “The Alchemist”  because it was sitting on the desk of the studio but then another student saw it and recommended “Veronika Decides to Die.” The title, because I went through such a morbid period in my life, I found intriguing, and so I bought it. I’m surprised I did because for a while I was on a kick of only reading non-fiction, because I wanted to “learn,” but I’ve been reading it anyway.

I’m not very far into it so briefly, the back cover reads “Veronika Decides to Die” questions the meaning of madness and celebrates individuals who do not fit into patterns society considers to be normal… it is a dazzling portrait of a young woman at the corssroads of despair and liberation, and a poetic, exuberant apprecation of each day as a renewed opportunity.” Basically, Veronika decides to kill herself but it doesn’t work and she winds up in a mental hospital… however she has damaged her heart from trying to kill herself and is told she only has a few days to live.

I oddly connect with Veronika because of my past. She is 24, I am 23. And while eating disorder treatment was at a facility for only girls with eating disorders, it was, essentially, a hospital for the mentally ill.

Anyway, Veronika describes her reason for wanting to die to be because she was in a routine that she could not get out of. Coelho writes, “She went to work every day, always keeping to the same timetable, always making sure she wasn’t perceived as a threat by her superiors; she was content; she didn’t struggle, and so she didn’t grow…

A page later Veronika thinks about how had she only realized that the reason her life was mundane was becuase she chose it to be that way she might have not wanted to die.

Anyway, how does this connect to yoga? Well, honestly it confused me. Santosha, in the Yamas, which are the second limb of the 8 limbs of yoga, means contentment. Yogis are supposed to be content and work towards that in the very beginning of their yoga journey. However, for Veronika, it was being content that made her miserable and it is that I related to. I always say and truely believe that the hard past that I’ve had has grown me into the wonderful person I am now, wise beyond my years, strong, open minded, patient… So what is being content exactly? Could it be boredom? I don’t know. Just me thinking on screen…

My life was changed by yoga about a year ago when it became the main catalyst for me to overcome anorexia. Ever since I have been practicing daily and graduated a 200 hour teacher training one month ago. I am constantly learning about yoga and about myself in an attempt to spread the benefits of such a holistic practice.