It has been rough month. All sorts of things have gone wrong and my stress levels have been through the roof. I even got an ear infection which has been making me dizzy when I shift my head position from upright to another orientation. No big deal right? Well, when you teach yoga your head ends up all over the place. No fun. I have been tired and planning classes has been challenging… but you know what? I always feel better after teaching a class. It is the weirdest thing. It is sort of like I choose what poses are going to happen during class but the whole room of people puts in the energy and intention.. and it seems to rejuvenate me… I think most of the other people get a similar thing. At least I really hope they do. I don’t feel much like I teach yoga at all honestly. I feel like I have the pleasure of sharing a practice with all kinds of amazing people and we feed each other with our shared focus. I know. That sounds all “flaky energy new-agey” but I swear it is what I feel like happens.
As I mentioned in my last post I am reading the book “The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards” which talks a lot about the benefits of yoga but also the risks and realities of the practice. In my own life yoga has been an amazing tool that has helped me with depression, anxiety, panic attacks and my overall health. However it hasn’t made every day a good day, nor has it stopped me from swearing when I lose my wallet. It hasn’t really done much about my tendency to whine about thing endlessly and I still lie sometimes despite all my yoga practices and my continual studying yogic ethics (which say I shouldn’t lie). Yoga hasn’t cured my allergies either. I still make mistakes. I still get colds. I still get grumpy.
I think sometimes people are looking for yoga to perform miracles. When I first started practicing yoga I felt for a brief period that I had found the answer to everything. I was passionate about my practice and had the time to focus on the lessons yoga had in store for me. It was a beautiful time.. introducing me to a practice that was deep and life changing. But life throws its twists and turns and despite everything yoga has taught me it hasn’t given me all the answers. It has helped me manage rough times a little better and has provided more ease and comfort in my body but there have been no miracles. Yoga is a great compliment to life… but life still happens and sometimes you get sick no matter how much yoga you do.
There is a quote at the front of Paul Grilley’s Yin Yoga book that says “Religiously practicing a set of postures at the appropriate time could save your life and that same routine, if carried beyond the appropriate time could do you great harm“. Yoga is a both a fad and an ancient tradition… I believe it should be approached common sense rather than blind faith.
For some reason my beautiful days are always followed by low days. It is as if the world needs to balance all these experiences out somehow. Yesterday was glorious. Today.. well it sucked. No one showed up for my class. My allergies were horrible. The baby didn’t sleep at all during the night so I was a wreck. My body was sore from my “glorious” but perhaps overambitious practice the day before. All the silly doubts I had about becoming a teacher came back in full force. Whew. Time to dust off those old cobwebs of doubt and fear and get back on the horse…Where does all this mental garbage come from??
I have a day job. Yes it is true. I do not make a living teaching yoga. Actually at the moment teaching yoga has cost me $272.25. I track my expenses pretty closely. I have no illusions that I will be making big bucks teaching yoga. I was warned well in advance that this is rarely the case despite people shelling out the big bucks to learn yoga. I teach for the love of sharing this practice. I have made a promise to myself however that teaching yoga can’t “cost” me money. I need to at least break even. As you can see from the figure above I haven’t quite sorted that out yet. In time.. I am still pretty new to all of this.
So my day job is design, marketing and computer techie type stuff. Yesterday I was working away when my mind started to wander. I struggle with this a lot in my job. Sitting in front of a computer for hours is a bit mind numbing at times. It was sunny out. I wanted to play. I decided to take a half hour break to do some yoga. I went outside and did yoga on the stone patio in the back yard. It was warm and wonderful. I felt incredibly refreshed afterwards. Work became interesting again. I REALLY need to remember to take these kinds of breaks. It makes such a difference with productivity and general happiness in my job. I accomplish so much more when I remember take some time away from the screen.
Thankfully the class I taught tonight was Yin. I am still getting over this cold and teaching a Yin class was pretty much the only pace I could handle. I think it went well. It is so hard to tell if your own teaching is any good. I think I talk a little too much in Yin Yoga classes. I remember being in Yin classes in the past and thinking to myself “will the teacher ever shut up??” I know I know…. not very “yoga” of me to think thoughts like that is it? But really when you are trapped in a room, being told to stay still and working through some very intense “Yin sensations” a yoga teacher can be really annoying addition to whole experience. So now I wonder… Am I the really annoying Yin Yoga teacher?
My own practice has been pretty low key lately. I am still feeling some frustration about it. My journey into teaching yoga hasn’t been the glorious flexible shiny experience I had imagined. I thought I would be able to do the splits. I thought I would eat “raw food” and never get sick. I thought my grey hairs would vanish and my skin would glow. No, no.. that is not the reality at all. I am sick, slacking on my own practice, and eating chocolate to make myself feel better. And it isn’t raw chocolate. It isn’t even organic. I am so going to have zits tomorrow. I know, OVERSHARING… Time to log off before I embarass myself even more. I think I will go practice some Star Wars Yoga.