Ok 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.
In case you didn’t hear, everyone’s in love with yoga. Walk around any suburb in any major centre practically anywhere in the world and you’re sure to find a yoga studio. Check out the news agents and shops full of ample yoga mags, books, gear and accoutrements. And then online: tremendous online yoga sites like yogaglo, my yoga online and yoga today all offer fantastic classes led by inspirational and renowned teachers.
If you’ve been on the yoga train for awhile, or are thinking of hopping aboard, I’d suggest you consider adding something else to the yoga smorgasbord: private sessions. These are a perfect addition to your practice, whether you have been yoga-ing for years or days, are injured or fit as a fiddle, would like to mix up your practice or explore aspects that I may touch upon in class only briefly.
Here’s why I recommend private sessions:
- I can really get to know you, your body and how it works
During a typical class I am gazing throughout the class at a variety of people and am ensuring there are no major alignment or obvious physical issues. One on ones allow us to check in with how certain postures, alignments and practices affect you, and inform how I monitor you in class in future.
- Adjusting adjustments
As a student, I love adjustments from the teacher. As a teacher there’s a vast spectrum of people’s preferences adjustment and pressure-wise. It takes time for me to provide regular hands-on adjustments, as I need to attune and read each body. During a private session we can talk about this constructively. When you’re back in the weekly sessions, I can confidently adjust knowing we’ve had this dialogue, and you can relax and enjoy.
- To go deeper and address your life
Find yourself wanting to pipe up and ask a question about a certain posture, practice or concern in class but feel a bit intimidated? Though I do encourage open discussion during and after class, sometimes discussing and exploring during a one-on-one session just makes more sense. In one-on-ones we can explore postures, breath, meditation and relaxation that may assist you with current circumstances like stress, insomnia, injury, conception and pregnancy.
- Specific Cross-Training for sporty peeps
Training for a marathon or other big sporting event? I’m your woman. A sporadic practitioner before then, I became yoga-fied when I completed my first, and let’s face it probably last, marathon back in 2004. I’m convinced it’s the reason I ran an injury-free respectable time and also why I recovered so quickly. Yoga’s an excellent way to lift your game and support your body during other pursuits.
- To add a new flavour
Have you had the same home practice for months or years? Looking for some variations or new meditation or relaxation practices? As a vinyasa teacher I believe variety revitalises a dwindling practice. If you’re just getting started, we can determine your faves and work from there, establishing a sequence or two that can be the base of a flourishing home practice.
For those unable to attend weekly classes, buying a block of one-on-ones is the answer. With me coming to you, we can make sure you get your yoga Rx regularly. It’s a worthwhile investment in your physical and psychological health that cannot be replicated by logging on to a yoga class site.
So you can experience these benefits, I’m offering a special to students attending Sevenergy during the winter months. Stay tuned to this space, I will be making an announcement early next week!!
Oh, and p.s. I’m playing with the look of this site – would love your feedback! Happy Yoga-ing luvlies! xo
It has certainly been a dance lately. Things have dropped off, unforeseen distractions that required a lot of time and focus have prevailed, and I’ve drifted a bit. Mostly with my writing, which filled me with frustration. Why is it that the things that nurture and support us the most are the first to fall off the plate? I tried to calm the voice that insisted I should be doing this, I could do that. But to be fair to myself, life was chaotic and unpredictable for a couple weeks and I thankfully had yoga to ride out the waves. So another lesson for the future, not to let the writing go, as it likely would have given me just a little bit more of what I needed in the recent tricky patch. Thankfully, back to equilibrium for now, writing back on track. (Oh how I missed you sweet sweet writing)
In gratitude related news, mom is here. It has been heaven, having her support, especially while I dealt with aforementioned distractions. Someone to take the girl-a-licious for a bit. To walk out of the house unencumbered for a morning swim at the beach now and then, a delicious freedom that I do miss some days. To go into a store without a mild panic about racing home for a nap, or wondering about when someone’s patience will understandably wane (hey, grocery stores are only exciting for so long). And to just spend time with mom, have her in proximity for day to day stuff; someone to talk to. I am not thinking ahead, enjoying now. It’s a special time for darling and Grandma. Now there’s talk of a visit from Turd Bird’s aunt. Bring it on, can’t wait to see my sis!
A yoga-related development has arisen: I’m returning to teaching in less than a month! Hoooray!!! I’ve found a day and time that will work; I’m ready. And I’m going to venture down a new path that feels right.
I’ve gained so much from my meditation practice that I want to facilitate the experience with students. Classes begin March 18th and I cannot wait to share! If you’re anywhere near the South Fremantle area Tuesday evenings, stop into Sevenergy and enjoy a first class free during the first four weeks. It would be an honour and privelege to see you there.
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.