I’ve got writer’s block which as a blogger is a bit of an issue. Normally I get a bee in my bonnet about something and that inspires me to write and plan a class theme but I’m feeling a bit stunted (not just physically) at the moment!
I’ve had the usual amount of amusing stimulus in my life like the insight that both my mother and I sound the same when we vomit (thank you Nate for the germs), that I over-think over-thinking and I managed my first unsupported tripod headstand last week in class (there is ab strength under there after all!) but nothing of note has really come up.
A few months ago when I was waxing lyrical about the joys of yoga I thought to myself sagely this phase shall pass. That I’m at that early stage of a new relationship when everything you do is fun, fresh and exhilarating. You hang on their every word. You’re lost without that person (or in this case the yoga mat), you crave their time and full attention and you feel like the sun is bursting out of your heart as you float around smiling at butterflies, old ladies and little children. Yes, I have been doing that. It’s more normal outside of London. ; )
In Yoga Teacher Training, our teachers warned us that our growth, our excitement, our learning and our practice would plateau. I imagined what it must be like to see us – the new fledgling yoga teachers and know that the inevitable plateau is coming for us. The equivalent of when your new boyfriend starts to leave the loo seat up, the pet name they call you actually starts to get a little irritating and you begin to settle for the comfort and satisfaction of good old missionary…
As with everything in life, experience and practice takes the new shiny-shine (technical term) off things and quite often we chase the light of something new whether that is a new handbag, a new car or even a new Partner as we become more relaxed, more settled and more complacent with our day-to-day lives. The harder choice is often to stick with something, with someone, and to realise that we are actually responsible for our own happiness and that means we have to make an effort each day. That life, whatever your practice, requires diligence and sometimes you do have to fake it till you make it.
Life has its duller moments and I’ve reached a point with teaching where I don’t feel the need to rely on my notes as much. I can trust my instinct more, and command a room of people from downward dog to plank without the panic of ‘precautions’, ‘benefits’, ‘things not to say’, ‘what synonym can I use for breath’ rushing through my mind and blocking my instructions. I have a routine too – I know when I am teaching and whilst I could take more on, I don’t feel pressure about work coming in and I don’t panic when clients leave me partly because I’m heading back to India in November (yes I am bloody fortunate). That said, I get up at the same time every day and do my own practice. I keep myself focused ensuring my admin is up to date and I’m always working on new side projects outside of my classes. I may not skip out of bed to my yoga mat each morning but I know I need to be there – in order to teach my students well, but also for myself. That now is the time to dig in, to keep my head down and push through this funk. For this too shall pass. Like the high times and like the lows.
One of the first lessons my Guru taught me was that if your environment is making you stressed and unwell then you have two options: change your environment or change the way you react to it. I have changed my environment more dramatically and with more acceptance than I could have envisaged 12 months ago but my issues are still there. So now I will continue to work on myself, on my reactions.
Sitting with this quietness enables me to realise how unused to it I am, that I used to constantly panic about money, buying a home, settling down with a man, losing weight for the next holiday, generally just trying to ‘succeed’ at life, and that this calmer, slower, less exciting period is an opportunity, it’s the start of breaking down more patterns of behaviour, not reaching out for more drama in my life because that is as addictive as caffeine, chocolate, and cocaine but without the widely known health warnings. Everything in life requires diligence and effort and even my commitment to a healthier well-being doesn’t come for free. It’s just about realising what in your life is really worth investing your energy in.
P.S if you continued to read this post after that opening paragraph then you truly are a loyal fan! Thank you.