Today I was slow to wake up.
My body felt heavy and sore and I could have slept for hours longer. Yet it felt good, because I knew it was the result of three yoga practices in two days. Not classes I taught, not a special workshop with a visiting teacher. Just me, my mat, my intention and my breath.
If there’s a downside of being a yoga teacher, it’s this: the more time spent leading a class often means less time spent on my own mat. And yet my body craves it. My heart needs it.
It’s the same for any job born from passion, I suppose: The more of it we do for others, the less of it we do for ourselves.
But that’s a dangerous habit to get into. It disconnects us from that thing we love, and isolates us from ourselves. So we have to fight to keep it sacred. We must make the time to practice what we teach and preach. We must constantly stoke the fire.
If you’re in a profession that involves giving freely of your heart/mind/body/soul, please make sure you aren’t giving it all away. Save a little piece of yourself for yourself. And find ways to get back some of that special energy that fuels you.
Yoga teachers—Stop, drop and unroll your mat, under a tree or in the sunshine or next to a fountain, even if it’s only for 10 minutes. Grab five minutes of pranayama in the car. Integrate a meditation practice.
Writers—Lay down some beautiful and secret words for your very own eyes.
Massage therapists—Find someone with healing hands to touch you.
Therapists—Get one of your own and talk, talk, talk it out, unfiltered and without analyzing yourself.
Teachers—Quench your own thirst for knowledge and learning, and not just in the subjects you teach.
Nurses—Press pause on your own caretaking instincts and let someone else care for you for a bit, even if it’s only to bring you a blanket when you’re cold.
Bottom line: We’re no good to anyone if we’re running on empty; we must fill up our tanks.
We must create space and opportunity to receive as much as we give.
And that’s not selfish. It’s just necessary.
Author: Becky Vollmer
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photos: Author’s Own