Friday, January 15, 2010

a break from yoga?

(today’s post inspiration brought to you by babs)

It came as quite a shock to me to realise I have been practicing yoga pretty much consistently for nearly 20 years! I may still think I’m 17 in my head but it turns out I’m not. (I currently have a 17 year old work experience girl working with me and she is a constant reminder that I am getting OLD!!!)

I digress!

I practiced yoga with my mum as a child, not continually but certainly on and off. But apart from a three year break where I defected to Pilates, I have been practicing regularly since I was 16. At first it was just a good balance to all the dance classes I was doing. Then it was just a good balance for my head whilst I wrote my thesis (both of them!). It started to become a basic daily necessity of my life about 10 years ago when I first started living and working in London. A girl has to find that bit of peace where she can!

That natural progression from all this was, of course, to train to teach. The training was primarily to develop my own understanding of yoga. Ending up being a full time yoga teacher for two years was just one of those things that happened almost by mistake.

So what has all this to do with breaks from yoga?

I haven’t taken a substantial break from my own practice for a long time, other than the odd week here and there when I’ve been on holiday or sick. When I do take these short breaks I feel it. I come back to my mat refreshed and raring to go, but I do miss it while I’m away. I never feel I need to take substantial breaks away from my mat.

The break I’m talking about here is with teaching. After two years of teaching full time I’m sorry to say it really started to feel like a job. All jobs, no matter how much you love them, have elements of dull plodding routine. All jobs have at least one aspect that isn’t fun. I loved teaching yoga. What I didn’t love was marketing, finances, doing my tax return. Everything became a bit too much and that joy of yoga, that I have spoken about before started to disappear.

Apart from the odd cover class I haven’t taught yoga since last September. The break ahs been good. I have been able to re-evaluate my own practice and I’m working with a great teacher again. I have great teaching opportunities coming up and after my break I’m ready for them.

But this time I’m grabbing them with balance and mindfulness. I do, after all, have a terrible habit of doing too much which is probably another post for another time!


Anonymous said...

I need to practice Yoga more regularly. I tend to throw myself enthusiastically into ten week courses and then swap to something else like swimming. Can you recommend a "core" of maybe five exercises that can be done each day?

I have missed my daily "fast walk" each day while it has been so icy. I feel really sluggish. Monday I start back to fitness!!

Rachel said...

Angela - that gives me an idea for a post early next week. Keep an eye out!

Eco Yogini said...

oh I'm so glad that you're feeling refreshed. I seem to remember a few posts about your (could I say ambivalence? maybe need for a break is better) towards teaching back in the summer-sept... I always am the type that i'd worry I'd never come back to something if I stop- which is silly.

sometimes we NEED a break to regroup and refresh! Thanks for the link on my space Wednesday :) Yoga in the UK is so interesting!!

There's an expression in French "Le Nombril du Monde" (well that's part of it), and it fits really well with how north america thinks of itself. Using our "culture" (and of course I should know better- Canada isn't teh same as the USA at all!) and practice as the basis- as if we really are the "world's belly button" lol.

you've given me some thought for another post :)

Blessings and Welcome back Rachel!! Your future students are lucky to have you :)

Anonymous said...

I look forward to that Rachel :) Have a great weekend!


I understand this completely! It's where I'm at right now in my life and my practice - I feel I taught all I could where I was because I knew it well, yet, in order to go futher with my teaching, I need the space to go further with myself (my practice) and to rekindle the love I have for what I share.

Lovely writing...

Marie said...

A break from routine is helpful in keeping us awake to life. Lovely blog!

rand(om) bites said...

Oh hon, I love the way you can look at how things in your life and see how they manifest. I'm also glad you had a break and can see things a little more clearly now. When something becomes a chore and unenjoyable, it is time to take a step back from it all and make changes if need be. Regenerate and re-inspire! :-)

babs said...

Thanks for the link! Great post!

I think it is great to take teaching breaks and then come back with new material and new enthusiasm. Sometimes teaching does feel like a job and I find that when I take the time to focus on my practice and be a student that my teaching improves.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes, a break is the only way to refuel. I'm struggling with that, too, right now...

-YW (A Green Spell)