My husband often claims I’m “obsessed” with yoga and there are times where I’m sure he’s right. I do talk about it quite a bit, even with people who probably are not all that interested. But when something works not only for you, but also for the students you teach week after week in such a profound way, you can’t help but want to share it with as many people as possible. And when I’m not practicing or teaching I am thinking about it. It seems I’m always musing about a particular posture or a student’s issues and how to solve them and continuing to research and read about yoga to further my knowledge to best serve those around me…so maybe he’s right. I am obsessed.
So as we prepared to for our trip out to Lithuania and Belgium this summer I was a little uneasy about the fact that there would be no Bikram. In fact, a full 10 days of no Bikram. This would be the longest break I had taken from the practice in over 4 years. But everyone deserves a vacation from the day-to-day, right? And it’s not that I thought I would instantly gain 10 pounds and my left leg would start acting up again. It was more the calm mental state, that peace within, that I felt would wear off over the course of the trip resulting in me becoming an insufferable crabby brat that worried me more than a little bit.
But as we rounded the bend in Lithuania after surviving an 11 hour flight resulting in a 4 hour layover to then take another 2 hour flight into Vilnius we were instantly memorized by the beauty of the city with the sea of terra cotta colored roofs stemming from cream colored buildings with flowers hanging from baskets at each window. It seemed as if all of what I thought my life was about – yoga, writing, singing, acting, and taking care of the dog and the house – drifted away in a single moment.
As my husband was a attending the Spirituality and Music Education Conference at the university to present his research regarding Vipassana Meditation and its affect on teachers and their decision making process in the classroom, I had tons of time to myself within the first 3 days of our trip. Not one to sleep in and lay about, I woke up early with him to see him off each day. And for those first three days I will admit I went through the Bikram Series. I was stiff and achy from the trip and my body craved a good back bend and a better opening in my hips and shoulders. But there was no heat, no humidity, and I was probably being a bit too easy on myself as I went from posture to posture.
When my husband’s conference was finished I no longer had the time in the morning to fit in my practice. We were in a new country with tons to see and officially on vacation. There are very few times in one’s life where you can shake off every single responsibility and label of what you are and indulge in the true essence of your Self. That’s what this time was to me.
As the days passed and we traveled onto Brussels, continuing our vacation, I no longer really missed the yoga. My body was fine, my headspace was happy and peaceful and I started to think that maybe I was too obsessed with my yoga practice. I felt great and I wasn’t sweating in a hot room for hours on end.
The day after we arrived home I knew I had to get the hot room to conquer the jet lag and get used to the heat before I took the podium once again. As tired as I felt as we went from posture to posture I was surprised at how strong my practice was that day.
It was only a couple of hours later where I realized the amazing effect of the yoga. I had never felt so incredible. When we were away and I thought I felt great it was no comparison to what I was feeling now. I had forgotten what feeling good honestly felt like and though I don’t regret taking a break, coming back to my practice was the greatest reward.
So the obsession continues, but whenever my husband teases me about it I now correct him. It is not an obsession, but a form of devotion. Devotion to a life of well being in which my body, mind, and soul are striving to work to their fullest potential.
A break is always good as long as you keep learning. What has your summer break taught you about your practice?
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