As a yoga teacher I teach the importance of taking time to reflect, making time for yourself & work/ life balance. Should I therefore admit to the difficulty I find in practicing what I preach? Holiday time and weekends are for many an opportunity to relax & unwind. Spending quality time with family & friends. I have become so much more relaxed about life since doing more yoga, but I still feel the need to ‘do’ rather than just ‘be’!! Maybe just finishing paperwork, popping to a yoga workshop or arranging DIY. So much so I’m often prebooked for a couple of months ahead!! I am trying to learn to relax and enjoy just doing nothing….not the relaxation after yoga practice, not meditation, not a gentle practice but just pottering! Not planning but just enjoyign each moment as it arises. Telling myself it’s quality time not quantity time that my body needs.
I love having the opportunity to write on here, to discuss how I am growing & learning to mellow my self expectation as well as what is socially expected of me. I am learning that to be able to give of myself I need to also give to myself. In some ways the hardest thing I am learning is to treat myself as I would treat others. I’m still learning the importance of rest & restorative practice to keep my body & mind relaxed & well, but I’m enjoying the learning experience!
Sometimes what we need the most are the activities that inspire us the least. So although it is often a strong practice that makes me buzz, it is the restorative & gentle practice & pranayama that changes me for the better. With this in mind I would suggest trying a different practice for a few days & observe the difference. Notice how what we want isn’t always what we need!
As students may have noticed, this weeks’ classes have included some strong asana (postures) and some interesting vinyasa (sequences). As I won’t teach what I haven’t explored in my personal practice, this has involved me enjoying the results of a strong practice. My body feels great as agni (digestive fire) is stimulated and my mind buzzes with enthusiasm and life. However this cannot be maintained long term & we need balance. Burn out, exhaustion and trying the patience of friends as we bounce through our lives is not healthy. When playing with fire; take care not to get burned! It may be fun for a short while, but as non yogis rely on their caffeine hit, so some yogis use a strong asana practice to provide their buzz without balancing with mediation or more gentle restorative practices.
This week has also included the funeral of a good friend, a young lady who lived life to the full. It is partly due to her friendship that I am able to be who and where I am today. I only hope that her passing has reminded me what matters, that it is quality time, memories and experiences that matter. With this in mind I am spending a quiet weekend enjoying the company of good friends. Exploring pottering in the garden, walking the dog and reading, as well as observing my minds panic at the thought of just relaxing. Work, play and rest are all needed for healthy bodies and minds. We all need to make the most of our lives, but we also need to maintain our life by not burning out too quickly. Maybe next week I will explore working more inwardly with forward bends and a more langhana practice.