…is that you don’t get to practice as much! Whenever I get a new gig thrown my way I feel like I cannot say no – mostly because I love to teach, but also because it’s great exposure and I always need mas dinero. The only problem with that is my own practice suffers, which begs the question: How much can I teach and still protect my own practice / continue to know what the hell I’m talking about?
Already since becoming a teacher I’ve had to give up my favorite Monday and Wednesday classes (with my yoga guru Paul T), but now for the next two weeks (thanks to an awesome subbing gig) I’m also going to miss my other favorite class with the one and only Amy S (you’ve heard me sing her praises before).
So what’s a yogini to do when I can’t throw down my mat and get a serious sweat on during my favorite times?
Toss down my mat in my apartment and pretend to self practice for an hour? I don’t think so. There are one-too-many piles of laundry and several-too-many dirty dishes calling out to me when I try and get my asana on at home.
Go outside? Yeah right. One with nature isn’t nearly as graceful a look on me as it is on other people. I tend to just flail madly while fighting off bird-size mosquitos here in South Florida. Nothing too Zen about that.
Go for a run? Yeah I do it, but that’s hardly the asana work I’m after. Sure I get my sweat on, but we all know how hamstrings feel after a yoga class and how they feel after a run and those two feelings are not at all similar.
So you can imagine my panic as I teach more and more and love it, but feel my own practice faltering. What do I do?!
I’ll tell you:
1) Chill out. It’s yoga. When I get all worked up about my practice I have to remind myself that I’m stressing out about yoga – and if there’s not irony in that than I have no idea what Alanis Morissette was talking about. There will be time to practice when there’s time to practice otherwise… (bringing me to my next point).
2) Find time. There are classes every day of the week somewhere in any major city (like Miami) many of them starting as early as 6am… how can I possibly argue that I don’t have time to practice with class options beginning at 6am and usually running as late as 8pm? Maybe I can’t booze as hard on the weekends if I want to get up and practice on a Saturday morning, but if that’s the issue than maybe yoga isn’t as a high up on my priority list as I’m saying.
3) Try new classes. So I’m not practicing with my favorite teacher every day at the same time. Maybe I’ll find a gold mine in a new teacher who has a huge amount of knowledge on postures I’ve never even tried! You never know what you’re walking into when you step foot in a new class, but I’ll bet it’s awesome sauce if you give it a chance.
4) Make it a short self practice. Self practice doesn’t have to be a grueling two-hour-long Mysore practice. Maybe it can be as short as 15-minutes. Another one of my favorite yoginis, Rachel Novetsky (and I’m not kidding she’s bomb) did a workshop on 15-minute, 30-minute and 45-minute sequences that you can do when you travel. It doesn’t have to cut into your laundry time for that long. If I love to practice then I should be able to do it anywhere. Dirty dishes and laundry be damned!
Basically I like to complain that I don’t have time to practice, but here I am composing a fairly lengthy blog post… why am I not getting my Surya Namaskar A on? The bottom line is this:
We practice as much as we let ourselves practice.
And to quote one of the greats:
“Yoga is 99% practice and 1% theory.”
~ Guru Pattabhi Jois~
Something to think about, teachers!