On Yoga, And Weekends Off

Yesterday was my second Sunday in a row without a class to teach.

My personal liability insurance was up September 1 and I didn’t have the money to renew this year, so last month I had to tell the studio owner I couldn’t teach for the time being. I was sad about it – I’ve only been teaching a year and I was still learning how to be a teacher and enjoying that process – but I realized it had been a long time since I’d truly had a weekend off, so I thought overall it might be a good decision for me.

I started teacher training in September of 2008. The training ran one weekend a month for 10 months, but there was a lot of work to do on my own at home, whether reading or simply practicing. As soon as I was out of teacher training I started subbing at the studio where I studied, then after 2 or 3 months I had a regular teaching spot. I’ve taught Friday evenings after my day job and Sunday mornings since then. Teaching early on Sunday wipes me out, and knowing I’ll be wiped out on Sunday motivates me to get everything I sill need to get done for the week done on Saturday. Then there’s no time for me. No time for a bath and a book. So, while I’ve had a weekend here and there due to illness or a holiday, it’s been about 2 years since I’ve had the expectation that a weekend would be 2 days for me to relax and do nothing, or do whatever.

Like napping at 2 p. m. because, hey, I was near the bed and figured, why not? Like sitting on my ass and doing nothing but knit for an entire day. Like having only coffee for breakfast, no food, because I don’t need to go anywhere and therefore don’t really need to keep my strength up.

And you know what happens when I do these things? I get restless and cranky and feel like I should be doing more. I get mad at myself and I end up doing laundry in an attempt to justify my own existence. So, I think I’ve proven my point. I need to take weekends off, because I do not know how to relax and take care of myself. This is becoming a theme in my life, if not quite yet an issue, and it’s best I take care of it now.

So, here’s what I’m doing, now that I’m not teaching yoga anymore: I’m teaching myself yoga. I have a short list of favorite poses that I hit every night while dinner’s cooking. Core, upper body strength, hip openers: The things I need and the things I love the most. Then, before sleep, I’m giving myself 10 good minutes at least in Legs Up The Wall with an ice pack on my head (helps ward off the migraines, I’ve found) and the lights off and my favorite blue blanket keeping me warm. And on the nights I can’t get to one or the other of these, or the nights I just don’t feel like it, I’m reminding myself of what my teacher told me once during training when I said I’d been too stressed and distracted the previous month to do anything but watch TV and go to bed most nights, when I felt I should have been practicing instead: Sometimes a glass of wine and your Seinfeld dvds can be your yoga practice. I don’t subscribe to the spiritual aspects of yoga, but I’m all over the parts that tell you to honor yourself and take care of your own body and boundaries. I was very good at reminding my students of that. My problem, what I’m trying to fix here, is that I’m a terrible student.

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