Summer Vibes – Work & Rest

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.

Published by ericaengel42

I practice & share Hatha Yoga for a simple reason -- it works. Hatha Yoga in the Himalayan Tradition is a holistic system of philosophy & practices passed down through an unbroken 5,000 year lineage of Himalayan sages. What Hatha Yoga is not: trendy, bendy or one-&-done. What Hatha Yoga is: a systematic approach to uncovering the real, authentic YOU in body, mind & spirit. Hatha Yoga cultivates well-being, stability, clarity & ease in modern life through traditional, time-tested practices. I also recognize both our shared humanity & our differing privileges & barriers -- I am a cis-gendered white female with a graduate degree, who has dealt with family trauma & an eating disorder. My goals in my own practice include to cultivate awareness of my own privileges & social conditioning, unlearn & re-learn in order to be mindful & take compassionate action toward a more beautiful, just & peaceful world for ALL humans, creatures & our Earth. I'm making mistakes daily, & hopeful that I'm falling forward toward these goals & vision. I hope we can walk our paths & support each other along the way.

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