One of my greatest challenges as a yoga instructor is my personal practice. Sounds silly. When I was teaching, I taught 5 yoga classes a week. You would think a personal practice should be a piece of cake, right? Wrong. oh so very wrong. One of the biggest reasons I scaled-back on teaching was the decline of my personal practice. The busier my teaching schedule got the less “time” I left for my own personal practice. Teaching yoga is not a personal practice. It is a gift you give to another person, but it is not a gift you give to yourself.
Right now, I am transiting from full time yoga instructor and Fempreneuer to a 9-5er with two (growing) small businesses and a personal yoga practice.
Personal. Yoga. Practice.
I have taken a long time to think about my personal asana practice. In a recent blog post by my friend, Lana said “Labeling the way I feel at this current moment is more of a question-I’m questioning myself. Introspection. Svadhyaya perhaps. It’s possible I’m just in a “winter” of my life-a dip-there’s highs, lows.” Her blog post resonated deeply with me. After teaching so many classes for so long, I am ready to go within. I chose to scale back my teaching because my asana practice, and yogic education (which should be never ending) seemed stagnant.
So, while I am not longer teaching I have consciously made the choice to dive head first back into my yoga practice. My yoga and asana practice has become more personal. I haven’t felt a connection to community classes in a while, so I stopped going. This has been challenging since my social life tends to revolve around yoga studios but it’s what I personally need right now. And lets face it, until the new salary kicks in, I can no longer afford to pay $18-$25 for a drop in class.
Each morning as Stella sleeps, I spend time in meditation and light asana on my sunny balcony. With all the changes I am facing, it’s time for me to look within. For me, self-reflection always comes on the mat. One thing that keeps coming us is IMperfect(tion).
In many ways I struggle as a yoga teacher and a wellness coach over my lack of perfection. It’s the Virgo in me to want to fit in to the perfect healthy yogini mold. I want my belly to be flat, my arms and legs long and lean and I want not to reach for the salty and sweet snacks when emotions run high. But I am human and not always perfect. Even though my clients are successful and my students deepen their practice, inside, sometimes I felt like a failure. Which was not easy for the Virgo in me to accept. Virgos are perfectionists.
The perfectionist in me also struggles on the mat. In almost each yoga class I have taught, I reminded my students “this is your time on your mat. Let go of judgement. Dive into yourself and love your practice.” Coming back into my personal practice is helping me, yet again let go of my IMperfect(ions).