Sunday, I graduated from my advance teacher training in the foundations of yoga therapy. I am now a 500RYT (a registered yoga teacher with at least 500 hours of training), which I am totally stoked about. This training has been soooo incredibly difficult. It has demanded so much from me over the last 10 months. I have worked so hard. Especially the last two months, with finished homework, midterm and final assessments, not to mention starting an internship and working with clients.
I have felt the sense that I've had to put a lot of things to the side in order to finish this section of my training. Now that it's over and I have my fancy new certificate, I want to pick everything back up. Like, right now. Yesterday I made a to do list in my head of all things I needed to get done to get back on track after these last couple months. I've let a lot of things slide, so I felt compelled to make up for lost time.
I packed up my computer and headed to the coffee shop between classes. I sat down determined to "power through," and get my entire life in order in that two hours. And nothing happened. Well, something happened. I got anxious. Distracted. Fuzzy-headed. And I basically wasted those two hours and that $5 latte. Cue shame spiral.
Luckily, I had the opportunity to get back into my body while teaching my afternoon client and put a stop to the spiral of shame. The process was distressing nonetheless. Why did all that happen? Why couldn't I work as well as I was the last two months? The things I need to get done are just as important as my homework and other school things. So, what was up?
It clicked for me this morning thinking about my classes and what I've been sharing in svasana lately. Svasana is a vital part of our practice. It is the intentional pause after activity that allows your body and your entire system to assimilate the new information you've encountered in your practice. Svasana isn't something you can skip if you want to have a full and fulfilling practice. And as we all know, every yoga pose is basically just a metaphor for life.
I got a crazy, first-hand experience of what life is like when skip out on class early and miss our svasana. It's like you're not showing up fully for the next activity. You're distracted, fuzzy, and anxious. Class isn't over until you're taken the proper rest, until you've calmed your system after all of that stimulation. I'm realizing it's the same thing for the phases of our lives. That intentional pause after a particularly taxing time is what allows you to move forward from a place of centeredness and wholeness.
Honestly, this is not something that I actually know how to do in my life. It seems so easy on the mat, but the real-world translation of this particular aspect of yoga is a fucking doozy. What does a real life svasana even look like? I'm not currently in the place financially to just take a week off and sit silently at some retreat center (fingers crossed that's not true for long). So how do I svasana in the midst of work and relationship and kids and dreams and career? I'm not sure, but I'm my money is on the fact that it's more in my head than it is anywhere else.
Can I just give myself a fucking break for once?
Can I let myself relax and maybe even (gasp!) celebrate the things I've accomplished without rushing off for the next conquest? I literally didn't even allow myself 18 hours after graduation before jumping into my next projects. Could I stretch that to 48? Or maybe 72? This is my intention for the next couple days. Just breathe and relax. Don't start anything new. Cultivate at attitude of svasana in this time after so much activity. This is my attempt at svasana irl.