Well, it’s been about a week since the 9-day intensive of Yoga Teacher Training wrapped up. We don’t meet again until Labor Day weekend and I can’t wait. During that intensive I felt so calm and collected. I felt present in my life and aware of what was happening around me. When talking to my family or Michael I felt as if I was listening and understanding on a new level. Often I feel like I am half listening and can’t get out of my own head and put my thoughts to rest to hear what they are saying clearly. I want to feel like this all the time and was excited to use the lessons from Yoga Teacher Training in the real world. I thought I’d share how last week went, what I learned and how I felt and what I took away from it. To me the time outside of the studio implementing this is just important as the time spent in the studio learning and connecting with it.
The week started out well. I felt like I had a good handle on all that I learned and felt like I could conquer the world. The question of “Whose business is it?” helped me to put many of life’s obstacles in to perspective. About half way into my first day back to work I realized that finding peace and zen in the real world wasn’t going to be as easy as I’d hoped. I longed to be back in the yoga studio surrounded by loving and inspiring people. That night, I got home and headed out for a run. My Garmin was dead so I decided to “run free”. For the first time all day I felt that sense of freedom and peace I’d felt for the 9 days before. I listened to the sound of my feet on the pavement, the bird’s chirping, and my breathing. I felt myself relax and my mind began to silence. The rest of the night I was calm and felt like time wasn’t moving so fast. I should mention that during Teacher Training I had this feeling of freedom from time. I didn’t care what time it was, I wasn’t wishing for it to be Saturday not Monday and time seemed to stand still. To experience that after my run felt so good, I was able to bring peace in to part of my day.
As the week continued on it felt as if it was getting harder and harder to find that peace and calm I had felt. I was anxious to get to yoga and relax on the mat or to head out for a run. By Wednesday I felt like my old self. I felt like I couldn’t slow down and control my thoughts, I was just moving from one task to another and never being mindful of what was happening. I felt like I was racing inside. I ran 6 miles that night and hoped that I would start to relax, no such luck. Wednesday had been a stressful day at work so maybe that contributed to it but I could not keep my negative thoughts at bay. I kept asking myself “whose business is it”, are these negative thoughts true, what am I accomplishing with them and most importantly who would I be without them. Those thoughts kept creeping back in. As I laid in bed that night I told Michael I didn’t feel very “yogic” that day. He reminded me that it will take time and like everything else not everyday will be a success.
I’d like to say that Thursday was better but as a whole it wasn’t. I did however create SPACE for myself. I let myself be “imperfect” and for that small window of time I felt great. I got home from work and had 4 miles to run. I wasn’t in the mood to run. I was in the mood to lay on the couch, read magazines, paint my toenails and watch Extra. A rare day indeed. I told myself it was beautiful out and a run would feel good, I changed and as I sat on the front steps and laced up my shoes I just really wanted to go for a walk. I didn’t though. I ran and after 2 miles I was done. My legs were tired and none of my usual mental games worked. So I stopped and walked. My miles would be short for the week and I didn’t get in the whole workout but I didn’t care. Walking felt good and I felt relaxed. I smelled the lilac bushes and watched the golfers on the golf course and let my mind quiet. I actually granted myself the time and space to do what I wanted to do, not what some training plan told me to do or what I felt I SHOULD do. You know what? It was exactly what I needed and I think it felt better than finishing that 4 miles would have. After all, isn’t that what I wanted to be free from? Free from my type A personality, that need to always be doing something and accomplishing things? That need to feel like I completed things to the best of my ability and often tuning out what I wanted to do what I felt I should? It was a bit of an ah-ha moment for me.
Friday I approached the day with the idea of SPACE. I woke up earlier than normal to take my time and move at a comfortable pace, not mach 10. Saturday I was home in NY with my family. The plans we had were thrown out the window in order to do what we felt like. Golfing with my dad, lunch at a favorite local spot, taking my time showering and getting ready, relaxing on the deck reading and chatting with my mom and enjoying a sunset cruise on the boat before dinner. I felt more relaxed, and we all agreed that the day was better than what we planned. It was quality time together not just time together. When I got home Sunday morning, Michael and I spent the afternoon relaxing. We could have run around and tackled “to-do” lists and filled the day. Instead we got lunch, relaxed and watched a movie, ate dinner early and went for an evening walk. The pace was slower than normal and we both loved it.
Implementing all that I’ve learned has been harder than I thought. This past week I learned that not everyday will feel “yogic” but perhaps I can make part of it feel that way. I learned that creating space and time to do what I want not what I feel I SHOULD is the key to finding peace and clarity. I won’t be able to do that all day everyday but maybe I can do it for part of my day. And just maybe, that space will give me the opportunity to put those negative thoughts into perspective and find peace. The good news is I have 6 months to work on this surrounded my some amazing yogis to encourage me.