Re-finding the centre

Re-finding the centre

Untitled design-2Ok so perhaps I’m not feeling banished, maybe a li’l? A failure? Yes, somewhat. I’ve had to cancel my Tuesday classes. Despite my enthusiasm to find a teaching groove, supposedly the winter is not the best time to try and cajole Western Australians from their homes for a yoga session?

I’ve sat many a Tuesday evening alone in the studio, waiting for one or two students to join, to be mildly disappointed when no one showed up. I’d buoy myself and say that just being there was enough, so I’d practice solo, go through the class I had spent the week crafting, and settle into a meditation, enjoying the warmth blowing from the heaters as light traffic whirred by, imagining my new future students walking into the space, sharing the yoga goodness.

And then, life changed, again. Hubby has a new demanding job that starts soon, meaning I’m hunkering down at home for the next year or so while our family readjusts to new working situations and I try and figure out how to navigate the new scenario. The thought of continuing with the current arrangement no longer felt right, though I’d only been there for a few months. Even if a few more months might have seen a turnaround, I needed to reassess.

It seems the yoga class is not in the cards right now. I was anxious ringing the studio manager. And when she understood and told me to just let it go, graciously freeing me from obligations, I felt relief, lightness and freedom. And that was all I needed to know. The right decision has been made for now.

Do I wish I was teaching a yoga class right now? Yes. Do I think it’s actually going to work out with my life at the moment? No. Thems the breaks when you have small kids and a part time job that requires attention as well, and something has to give. Heartbreakingly for me it feels slightly like I’m letting go of a small personal salvation.

What do we do when our dreams don’t go the way we planned? For now, for me, it’s taking a small step back, refocusing my efforts on getting the website spiffed up a bit, and reassessing what my next focus will be. I have some ideas, ok lots, so I know this is not the finite end. Despite a hollowness that fills my chest and the doubts about my own abilities and worth as a teacher, I’m trying to take the broad view. I believe I have something to offer and know when the time is right that the opportunity will unfold. Living through this heartache and maintaining self-belief is my work at the moment.

I’m back to purely enjoying yoga for what it is and for what I need each day. Each time I’m on the mat, I’m enlivened; though things aren’t quite fitting together how I’d hope at the moment I look forward to seeing you on the mat, one day.

So I’m finding my centre, a constant challenge as a mother who is trying to hold down a job whilst at the same time nurturing the passions that bring a fullness to my own existence. For you moms out there, I’m interested to learn how you navigated this time in your life. For me, to simply say, oh I’m a mom and that’s what I am going to do goes against every grain in my body. I need my own “stuff” to keep me happy and attentive towards turd bird. I wonder when one finds the natural groove, where things fit and flow together, if not perfectly, at least reasonably.

Well yoga on dear friends, and do stay tuned, I shall continue with my blog and add new yummy things for you to try in your home practice in the weeks and months ahead. I would be so very honoured if you stuck with me in cyberland.


Strength in letting go

It’s been a couple weeks now so the distance and time brings me closer to acceptance, and the reality of the long view is coming into focus. I had to say no, to what once would have been an easy and perfect opportunity. There is a craving to return to yoga teaching. Of course, like everything with a youngster, this is easier said than done. Things seemed aligned and perfectly falling into place. A studio I previously taught at had an available slot, Thursday evenings 5:30 until 7:00, perfect! Preliminary verbal arrangements with my mother-in-law were made for child-minding one evening a week so that I recommence teaching.

And then a reality I didn’t anticipate set in. Mondays and Thursdays are also daycare days. She is settling in; on the fourth visit there were no tears, for her or I. With each day she attends her time there has extended and she has become close to her carers. But there’s one thing that has not faded for me and that’s my desire to see her after a day away from her. Maybe in time I will feel different but I know reconnecting is important for us both. I let the available slot at the studio go; despite knowing this was right for our family it was still so hard.

Even though I adore my child I wrestle with the sense of loss that comes with fading oneself into the background as a parent. Staying confident in myself, remaining patient, and knowing that I can pursue my passions while providing a stable environment for girlie is harder than I anticipated. I admit, I get a bit angry at my pre-baby self, wondering if I didn’t waste time in the past, taking for granted all of the freedom I had to focus on those ambitions. Time has changed, and I am adjusting to the unforeseen sacrifices that I will make as a mother for the sake of a happy child.

This incident sparked reflection on the whole idea of letting go. So often in yoga class the ultimate release happens at the end of class when we lie in savasana, or corpse pose. But to truly release in an easeful way takes bravery and strength. Patanjali speaks of sthira and sukahm, or strength and lightness, in II.46 of the Sutras. Though he is referring to this in the context of asana this relationship between grasping and releasing applies to life in general.

No yoga posture can be obtained purely through one avenue alone; you must always refine and explore the perfect ratio that enables you to use your strength and proper alignment to safely release into your expression of the posture.

Physiologically speaking, all strength and the rigidity prevents you from feeling true release. All softness and those precious connective tissues are in grave danger of strain and tearing, potentially impacting your body’s functioning and alignment in the long term, possibly permanently.

As a new mother, life presents opportunities to observe the symbiotic relationship of these yogic foundations.  Letting go of opportunities and desires that would have once been simpler to pursue without a child requires self-conviction. A belief that alongside the new mom I’m becoming, the yoga teacher waits with confident patience, knowing that releasing this chance does not mean relinquishing long-term goals forever. In time, with perseverance, the right balance will be struck.

And so I continue this journey of watching a brilliant new life unfold. Grateful that this little being has opened my heart in ways that no other experience has.