Have you ever noticed just how quickly you move through a day? I remember when I worked a corporate job and sat at a desk, four hours could go by without me getting up once to go to the bathroom. I have those moments now in my yoga life where I'm running from class to class, and I rarely get a chance to stop and just take it all in. I get tired when I don't stop, actually exhausted. I'm blessed to have a full plate, but am working towards being very mindful of my energy so that plate doesn't get too overwhelming for me. I'm always checking in with myself to make sure I'm taking care of me while I take care of others.
I'm exploring the pause this week...
Years ago my friend and the person I consider to be one of my greatest teachers, Jodi Epstein, had an entire class built around pausing in between postures to take in everything. I've never forgotten that class, but I have sadly stopped practicing many of those principles. These several years later I am finding that class whispering in my ear again. Last week was a busy week for me, more than usual as I was preparing to lead my first Reiki Level 1 attunement as Master Teacher. It was an honor for me to do this, and it definitely was one of the highlights of my life. As I was preparing my materials, binding my manual, and energetically practicing the work I needed to do I suddenly stopped one day and could feel my energy moving at an overwhelming pace. I sat and paused just observing myself and what was happening in my body. I felt so fatigued in the middle part of my week that in the middle of a chaotic day when I had a break I found myself laying down on my bed. I had so much to do...I had the choice between possibly two hours of sleep and getting nothing done, or no sleep and getting everything done. I compromised with myself and laid on my bed and said "I will give myself 30 minutes to lay here. If I fall asleep I will get 30 minutes of pure rest. If I can't sleep I will get up and move." Something interesting happened to me when I laid there...my mind ran a mile a minute. I kept going over all of the tasks I needed to do, wondering if I was tired or if I was really procrastinating (see last weeks blog). Suddenly I realized I wasn't giving myself permission to just hit pause. I wasn't letting myself surrender to even just a few minutes of rest. The minute I took the pressure off of myself and said "ok it's 30 minutes just BE with yourself, and let go of all of that"--I was able to truly rest in 30 minutes. I climbed out of bed and hit my tasks head on with more vigor and stamina than before.
This was a huge lesson for me, I needed to pause more. I want to try to pause in my life off of the mat, knowing there is value even in the briefest of pauses. I can fill my well in 20 minutes in so many ways. On the mat we often push ourselves through this fast pace, or we give over to our mind chatter and rarely get to experience what is actually happening in our bodies. It's interesting to find a soft pause in those first few moments after our first downward facing dog, or as we transition from Warrior II to Half Moon, or when we come down from wheel. Those moments of pause allow us to see our inner life, what's really going on, and give us a brief moment to gather our peace.
This week on the mat we will practice a delicate pause throughout our practice. Simply noticing and pausing in moments softens us, allows us to move forward with more grace, and gives us a sense of where we're at in our practice. Join me this week in working on pausing on and off the mat. I think we'll all be glad we did.
Check out my schedule yogis...I'd love to see you all on the mat. Some great happenings. My Surya folks I'll be leading The Surya Yoga Wine Retreat on July 16th...check out www.suryayoga.com for more info and please join me! Some exciting news will be around the bend at some point...people have been asking for retreats. It's coming my friends...it's coming.
Love and light to you all!