If I was one of those Yogis who liked to use Karma as an explanation I would say that we may now be reaping it.. Facing our choices and their consequences.. Facing our leap into the unknown with whatever life has dealt us or the choices we have made so far.. But actually I don’t like to talk about ‘Karma’ as to me it smacks of spiritual bypassing at best and being controlled at worst. Same reason I don’t give credence to reincarnation. It takes you away from the Now.
For myself personally, the last few weeks have been a Godsend. I didn’t realize how exhausted I was until I stopped. Teaching 8-12 classes a week plus 3 days a week in an office was curiously draining.
The energy you exude and gain from teaching Yoga is a weird phenomenon. There’s nothing more beautiful than when you are in flow and you know everyone there is in the moment too. When time stands still and the class becomes a sacred space. When the tide has gone out on the everyday and the practice becomes a divine exploration.. That’s why I teach Yoga. Walking away from the shit we are meant to believe and the standards we are meant to live up to. That counter culture element of Yoga is what keeps me teaching. And what keeps me sane in my own practice, as I get older. As I realise that I’ve spent FAR too much time feeling as if I was lacking because the society we live in does not support unusual paths. And nor does it seem the world of ‘Yoga’ does either at times. You can be a misfit in both worlds because of the very human need to fit in, to be on the right side of whatever force you bow to. Convention states you must have a mortgage and breed. The Yoga world states you must detox and always appear happy. And both worlds can steal your authenticity if you buy into the hype and lose touch with your own heart.
I practice because I want to be who I was meant to be. To climb that sacred mountain as every Occultist wants to do. And to face every shadow I have. I don’t particularly practice because I want to stretch my hamstrings. Ashtanga Yoga is still my practice of choice as I meet it on the mat most days after 15 years and it can still be Godawful difficult. But I love it.
And so this lockdown has been a blessing for myself as a Yogi. Not as a Yoga teacher because I’ve lost all my work. But I’m fortunate to have my part time job and as everyone’s pretty much fled home I have been able to do overtime to recoup the losses. And working 38 hours a week in an office… well that feels like a holiday. My heart goes out to my self employed friends though. And the single parents too. I’m so very blessed that my biggest bugbear is not being able to have a swim and a sauna.
I have decided to teach less in the future. It’s got out of balance and it crept up on me. I’ve been teaching more than practicing for the past 7 years and that is not good. Teaching very large classes too. When you teach Yoga you have a duty of care to every single person in that room and it can be draining. Low level anxiety, especially in gym classes where you have so many people with so many different needs. It’s hard work. And when my own practice stagnates I don’t feel like I’m giving my best.
I actually spent the first 3 weeks on lockdown mostly in bed. When I wasn’t in the office I treated myself to sleep and plenty of it. I watched every single episode of ‘Hannibal’ on Netflix.. I toasted bagels with my partner and we ate them in bed. Slathered in butter. Drank as much coffee as I wanted. I slowed the fuck down. I delivered groceries to vulnerable friends which felt like a more useful act of Yoga than sun salutations. It was good:) I meditated most days and let my body rest. We walked in the woods and found some magical new places near where I live. And the air is so fresh and clean now.
7 weeks on I feel reborn. This pause, for me, has been incredible. A chance to observe what I have and reflect on what I need now. New energy in my physical practice. New paths to tread. And when I did eventually stop drinking the endless cups of coffee and eating of bagels I tried something new.. The 3 day water fast… NOT a practice you can really embrace when you have to show up in the workplace. Details to follow in the next blog…
Oh…. and I have just started teaching via Zoom. In moderation. Drop me a line if you want to Yin with me..
Stay safe in your own heart and meditate while you can <3