Recently I found myself in a space where my life had become much more chaotic. Work, personal and family life were all taking up a lot of time. Don't get me wrong, none of these individual things were negative, but I failed to create a balance with them. Line this up with the changing of the season and I was feeling a little out of sorts. Oh, and did I mention I hadn't practiced yoga in two weeks? Ugh, yes, it's true. As a teacher this isn't an easy thing to admit, but, it is honest. All of these things combined brought out my less-then-stellar personality traits that emerge when I'm out of balance:
- My fuse was shorter
- I was more sensitive
- My energy was low
- I was stressed out
It is OK to feel this way, after all, it's a part of me. However, it is not OK to dwell in them. It is our duty to ourselves and those around us to notice when we feel these things and check in and ask ourselves: "Am I doing the things I love that balance and ground me?". If the answer is "No", then it's time to create some space. We all have our reasons (or excuses) for losing touch with our yoga practice and sometimes getting back to it can be daunting, but let me remind you right now why you should make space for a yoga class today:
- "Oh, I Really Needed That" - What will escape from your lips as you leave class. Remember that feeling? Yes! That's your body and mind thanking you!
- You'll Feel More Grounded and Focused - When life gets busy and pulls you in different directions, creating an hour of space to check in and allow the mind to settle will make you be able to see more clearly and prioritize better.
- If you Feel Better, You'll Treat People Better - What is happening on the inside reflects what is happening on the outside. To treat people from a place of awareness and calmness is going to get you further in everything you do.
- You'll Have More Energy - In our every day lives we are so used to giving (exerting energy) that yoga becomes our place to bring that energy back in.
- It's Ok if it is going to be Hard - This is common and everyone feels it at some point. When you haven't practiced in a bit, you can't stand the feeling of not being as strong, flexible or in tune as you normally are with your practice. Feel and notice your practice for what it is today, listen to your body and know it is OK if you don't go as far in poses as you might be used to. It is your yoga and it is different every single day. Some days I feel strong and focused, other days I struggle in downward facing dog - the important part is that you showed up.
- The Mind Chatter will Subside - All those things (doubts, labels, excitements) that are running through your head will quiet down and you'll be reminded of that calm person you enjoy being around.
- You Owe it to Yourself - You deserve to feel good. No matter what is happening in your life, you deserve to feel good and yoga makes you feel that way. Repeat that to yourself as you're packing your yoga pants tomorrow morning.
Lastly, surround yourselves with people that know (and love) that you practice yoga and can check in with you when they notice you are out of balance. During this dreaded yoga-less space that I had, my boyfriend looked at me and reminded me that I needed to prioritize my practice and schedule it in to my day. 2 weeks later I feel back to normal - grounded and focused. If you look at my schedule, I have blocked out time to practice every week that I'm not allowed to change. So, find a loved one or friend to have your chaturanga-ripped-yoga-back to bring you back to your mat when they notice you've fallen off the namaste wagon and I'll see you on that mat!
Bonus: Here is a Spring Cleaning yoga sequence you can do at home to tie you over until you make it to class: