(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 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!