My Yoga Fantasy

Erica Rodefer Winters used to dream about spending a month in retreat, studying at the feet of master, and drinking in the yogic life. Today, she'd be happy to get in an hour of practice before her busy day begins.

My yoga fantasy once looked a lot like this: I’d go to India for a few months to completely immerse myself in the practice. I’d be up at dawn to meditate, salute the sun, and practice for several hours. Then, I’d sit at the feet of an amazing teacher (Mr. Iyengar, I think) and hear about the philosophy and methodology straight from the source. I’d eat a healthy, vegan lunch and have some free time to work on the seva chore I’d been assigned, something gross like cleaning floors or toilets. In the evening, there would be more practice. I would get a spiritual name, and I’d start to see visions in my meditations. My kundalini would awaken, and I’d be able to come back to my life and share the story. I would be a real yogi.


It was a nice fantasy. But I knew it was just that—an unrealistic fantasy. Even years ago when I was single and had no obligations outside of my 9 to 5 job, I didn’t have the time, money, or courage for such a trip. And, let’s be honest, as nice as it sounds I probably would not last very long in an ashram in India. I like modern conveniences. I struggle with my 10-minutes-a-day meditation practice. And I’m not a fan of cleaning even my own floors.

Of course, I’ve also fantasized about going on a yoga retreat in a tropical setting with plenty of time for hiking to waterfalls and lounging by the beach with a fruity drink in my hand (preferably with one of those cute paper umbrellas). Who hasn’t?

Now that I’m a mom with lots of responsibilities, both fantasies seem pretty out of reach—if not downright comical. It might happen one day, but right now it seems like such a distant dream I’ve decided to focus on a very different yoga fantasy.

I just want to wake up an hour before my daughter and my husband start to stir, unroll my mat in my living room floor, and have an hour of uninterrupted practice. It’s definitely not as exciting as my former fantasies, but the realization that it’s within my grasp makes it even more appealing. (I just have to wait for that magical night when my 9-month-old sleeps all night long in her crib—it has to been soon, right?) I know it’s going to happen. And when it does, it’s going to feel as luxurious as a trip to Costa Rica and as enlightening as a month in an Indian ashram.

What’s your yoga fantasy?