If you never heard the word ikigai, it's totally fine. I haven't either until recently. Ikigai is a Japanese concept that means "a reason for being".
Which leads me to the reason I'm here today. A new studio in Tel-Aviv called IKIGAI opened last month by Reut Reuveni. She claims it's a place where you practice your happiness. And it really is.
I had this whole post written on where this all started for me, and how it all connected. But I decided to replace it with a story.
The other week I registered for my first Yoga Meditation class at the studio. It's located on the other side of town from where I work and live, but I knew I had to give it a try, even though I was quite worried that I'd need to stress to leave the office to make it on time. As I suspected, I found something to do last minute which made me miss the option to get there by bus or bubble without being late. So I ordered a cab, which got caught in traffic and by the time it picked me up Waze showed I would be 5 minutes late. I instantly got upset at myself for getting stuck at work. For needing to pay extra for a cab. Worried that I'd miss the beginning of class which was pure meditation. That I wouldn't be let in late. I almost told the driver to turn around and take me to my regular Pilates class or even straight home. I was staring at the minutes on Waze, the money on the meter, and every red light filled me up with even more frustration. My body started to ache from the stress and the only thought left was that the class was not worth what I was feeling and that there's no way in the world it would help me get out of it.
I eventually arrived, 5 minutes late. Luckily her husband was there to open the door and let me in. Otherwise they do not let people who are late in. There was a perfect spot, and a mat rolled on the side, as if they were saved just for me. I immediately sat on my meditation pillow, started breathing, and let Reut lead my thoughts. 10 minutes of meditation, 1 hour of Ashtanga Yoga, Savasana, a gratitude ritual, and her closing line: "Life is beautiful. We're here to have fun. Namaste".
Oh boy, should I add anymore? My whole evening turned around. I was glowing. I felt light. I felt whole. I felt strong. Everything that followed just flowed with ease.
The following day I went to their 1 hour meditation class. This time I arrived early. Finished up some emails in the waiting room. And even though I was still waiting for 2 work deadlines I had that evening, I did not let myself be bothered. The class was perfect nonetheless. And just like that, my whole week looked differently.
I'll stop here, go give it a try. There's Yoga + Meditation, just Meditation, Pilates, different workshops, and more to come: https://www.ikigaitlv.com/
To follow on IG: https://www.instagram.com/ikigai.tlv/
Contact: 053-3603060 / 38 Shenkin st, Tel-Aviv.
More about the ikigai concept:
"Your ikigai lies at the center of those interconnecting circles. If you are lacking in one area, you are missing out on your life’s potential. Not only that, but you are missing out on your chance to live a long and happy life." - Marc Winn
Photos of the studio:
All images are by IKIGAI.