This time last year I was sunning myself in Tenerife with my dad and sister, reading ‘The Art of Happiness’, trying the figure my life out. A year on, I’ve just returned from a 5 day Yoga holiday in Spain, with 15 of the kindest and most compassionate women. Originally, I just wanted a holiday with sunshine and Yoga, but unexpectantly I gained so much clarity and new learnings whilst out there. When 15 people, with similar interests spend a lot of time together, there are obviously going to be some big light bulb moments, but I did also have my own patience tested.
I was joined on this holiday by my great friend Marina, whom I met on the Bali teacher training last Summer. It was lovely to share our teacher stories, as well as talking over the fact that both of our relationships broke down after becoming Yoga teachers. Is there something in that perhaps? Or are we both just more confident and realise our own self worth now?
Everyone on the holiday was fab, however, there one woman who tested my patience. Everything I said she seemed to disagree with, she twisted her face, and barely smiled around me. Christie 12-18months ago, wold have pulled her to one side and asked her what her problem was and probably caused a huge scene, making it not only uncomfortable for her, but uncomfortable for everyone else. However, I persisted with trying to get to know her, being kind, asking questions and trying to understand her. I gave her the benefit of the doubt, as everyone has a story and we never know what’s going on in people’s lives. My patience was tested, but I didn’t give in, I remained patient, and understood that she’s not horrible person, she just didn’t click with me, and she was in a different place.
My patience was also tested when it came to my fear of being upside down and being on my head. I am terrified of headstands and not having control of my body. Marina knew this already and had promised to help me overcome my fear in Spain. We spent a lot of time working on my headstand, against the wall easy, inside the ‘feet up’ also easy, when Marina holds my legs, easy, by myself not easy and terrifying. I have no patience for this, why can’t I just do it? My core is strong enough, it’s just my head thinks too much, ‘I’m going to fall and snap my neck’ etc. When I take step back, its funny and I just need to chill the heck out. I did hang upside down in Ariel yoga for about 5 seconds 😀 which shows I’m on my way down the ‘no fear of being upside down road….’ Patience is the key.
My second learning was that my physical and mental fitness has deteriorated a lot since May last year. Because I teach Yoga every day, and have a full-time job, I don’t get enough time for my own self practice anymore, which means I’m not as strong, I can’t hold the poses as long and my breath is out of synch. I also used to really enjoy running, but because I’m so tired each morning and I don’t have time on an evening I’ve lost this me time too. I ran in Spain with Marina, and she jetted off ahead of me whilst I tried to breathe and run through a massive stitch in my side- what’s going on? I went to Ashtanga for the first time ever too (oh my god I fell in love with this class and teacher) and again I struggled in such a dynamic class and I ached for 2 days. I talked all of this over with my holiday friends, the conclusion was that I’m not giving myself any me time. I need to make more time for running and Yoga as well as meditation and self-love. How can I help my students become great yogis, when I’m not a great Yogi right now.
I connected with a beautiful Russian soul, who taught Yoga in Texas. She was 67, but didn’t look a day over 48 and she spent a lot of time talking with me about her life, and how her path had changed constantly. She didn’t marry until she was 50, but she never worried because she was happy with herself, loved herself and enjoyed the present moment. As long as I can remember I always had a plan, I remember as a child playing made up games with my sister we would pretend to get married and play with our dolly children. This goal to marry and be a mum, was embedded in my brain from such a young age, no wonder I was filled with envy and jealousy for so many years when I saw school friends get married and start families. This beautiful lady didn’t have any children, she told me she had always wanted them, but it had not happened for her, and that was fine. She was so cool and calm, I admire her patience and presence so much.
Yoga teaches us to be patient, to be present and to love our selves, and I need to take these learningsback into my day to day life at home.
Lots of Love
PS Thank you Marina