Here’s to summer:
Andie, 9-week old service dog-in-training with Canine partners for Life, has this summer yoga thing DIALED IN.
Last week I decided to dial down my teaching for the month of August (beginning July 29th, see class schedule). This was a difficult decision. One, I enjoy teaching. Two, I really enjoy teaching yoga. Three, I tend toward loving to work … a little too much.
As you might’ve heard in class last week, my voice left the building. This happens once/twice a year, usually during a season change … yet also happens to me during times of stress or overtaxing my body.
Enter new job, huge fundraiser, and an upcoming 10-day County Fair.
Now, for 3 decades I’ve pushed my body to go go go 6-7 days a week, whether in school, college, grad school, &/or multiple jobs at one time. I’ve pushed through illness, exhaustion, & relationships in order to work … granted, it’s always work I LOVE … wildlife biologist, wildland fire crew, camp director, outdoor rec student, wilderness guide, humane society volunteer coordinator, etc.etc. … yet work has taken precedence over most everything else.
In my 20s I could borrow from my energy stores without much consequence … Live on 5 hours of sleep, too little to eat, train for a marathon or hike miles a day, work hard, go adventure in the woods/rivers on the weekends, & get up Monday & do it again.
In my late 30s, however, it started to come back on me. Stress build-up, panic attacks, lethargy, “weird” health issues that no one could explain … which in turn affected my relationships & ability to function in the world. I could put on a good show (or so I thought).
Yoga is teaching me a lot about myself. First, to notice that I was past “Empty” on my internal fuel gauge. And had been for a WHILE. And to admit that. Not easy for a Type A perfectionist.
Second, yoga has been teaching me that it’s ok to take a break … whether that’s a 5-minute walk away from the computer, saying no to an “opportunity” that would tax my currently tenuous energy stores, or backing off on work (sacrilege!) for a period to recharge.
More & more of us are waking up to the fact that the speed of modern society IS NOT NORMAL. We are not made for a 24/7 “on” world. The exponential uptick in stress-related illnesses speaks volumes to this fact.
I’m a product of this modern society. If I’m unaware, I work long after everyone is gone, I work through meals, I’ll go to sleep & wake up working on something. (This is also Pitta out of balance 😉 … which has been our theme this summer in classes, i.e. pitta-balancing)
The sciences of Yoga & Ayurveda provide practices to maintain and/or return us to balance, homeostasis, reconnect us with our Selves & Something Bigger.
So I’m trying to stay aware … & I knew I’d overdo last week, it was inevitable given the tasks needing done. Time to course-correct.
I know the next few weeks with the Fayette County Fair will be taxing since it’s all new to me … so I’m scheduling my practices — morning workouts, yoga nidra, meditation, massage, my health “potions” as Jim calls them 😉 … & lightening up on workaholic tendencies.
I teach what I need to practice. Have you heard me in class these past weeks? “What if you could back off 10%?” “What would it be like to take support here?” “Allow yourself to rest.” I need to hear all of these gentle reminders.
So August will be an experiment in taking a breather, time to reset & recharge. I’m looking forward to strengthening my own yoga practices & knowledge, so I can come to classes with fresh insights & energy in September.
Of course I hope you’ll join me in a class, or schedule a private session to meet your unique interests. I hope you’ll find the yoga you need for this time in your life, whether it’s in the classes or workshops I offer from the Himalayan Tradition, or elsewhere in our community. So many opportunities for wellness locally when we seek it!
And I hope you’ll be curious about those areas you’ve been pushing hard (maybe for all the right reasons) … & maybe give yourself a break too. Allow yourself to return to homeostasis. We can do this together :).
Thanks for your example, Andie the service dog. Do your work, & rest well … preferably belly up near some good dog treats.
What has your yoga practice (postures, meditation, lifestyle, etc) been revealing to you recently? I look forward to hearing …
Remember to register for the Year Long Meditation with Himalayan Institute! You can join any time … Here’s our collective meditation hours as of yesterday:
Positive action to change the world, positively ;).
Come practice with me soon & follow our adventures on social media during my hiatus! Much love to each of you, thank you for your dedication to your practice on and of the mat.