As a yoga teacher, I find that most students think that we, as yoga teachers, are and always have been yogi’s. I will use the term “yogi’s” in this blog to mean we practice yoga on and off the mat all day, every day. I will also only use my story, my perspective, as I do not speak for all other yoga teachers. I am writing this to let you know, oh dear yogi who has fallen off of their mat, that you are not alone.
I have run into a lot of people lately, especially in the summer months, and I ask them “Where have you been?” They look at me with discouragement in their eyes and mumble about “I really need to get back…” At that moment I feel sad. They probably think I have NO IDEA how they are feeling. That sometimes life gets in the way; children, work, finances, children, work, WHO HAS TIME FOR YOGA?! I know the feeling. Or maybe they are feeling burnt out — they practiced hard for three months, every day, experiencing the wonderful bliss in their mind and body, and then it went down to three days a week, and then two, and then none. They feel disappointed in themselves and the thought of making time for yoga now causes them more stress on top of their already chaotic lives.
I am here to tell you, its okay. And yes, us yoga teachers are right there with you. Four years ago I was teaching ten classes a week. I have heard of other teachers teaching WAY more than that (18?!) and that baffles me because I was drained. When people would walk through the door, I would feel angry because I HAD to teach another class. I was tired, I didn’t have time for my own practice; it built up so much to the point that I didn’t enjoy my passion in life, my time on my mat. I stopped. I chose a different route and did not return to my mat for two years. Two. Years.
Those two years however, I was at my MOST unhappy. I ate horribly and gained weight. I lost some meaningful relationships as well because I truly believe that yoga kept me on my path of truth. It wasn’t the practice that drove me away, it was my own doing.
If you have fallen off your mat, I want you to know that when you are ready, we will be here. Do not feel shamed because you chose to start bicycling instead, or heck, eating instead. Yoga, is all about the journey. Sometimes our journey requires a break. However, I also want you to take a look at your life now compared to when you were practicing. Do you feel in control? Do you feel grounded and centered and light every day? I don’t know about you, but I can tell when I haven’t practiced. I can tell when I’m teaching others that I have fallen flat and my creativity starts to weaken as well as my presence for my students.
If there is anything I want you to get out of this blog, it is that 1. It is okay. DHY is all about love, and we will take you back with open arms and no judgements when you are ready. 2. Do not underestimate the power of your practice. Taking time for your practice might seem like a mountain right now, but come back and you will notice how everything moves aside for you and your time.
Know oh dear yogi who has fallen off their mat, you are not alone. You are also not alone in that maybe its time to get back to…well, you.