Last week I was very excited about my new commitment to teach right out of the gate after a weekend intensive workshop in Atlanta. After all, part of the reason for going is to continue my training so I grow as a yoga instructor (though if the sky falls and I decide to never teach another class, I’ll still go up there with the same excitement and urgency to see that Teacher of my Heart).
So yes, I manned the Mexican blanket upon my return and we had a great time. A great time was had by all the first part of the week. But let’s talk about Thursday, shall we? I start to feel a wee tired, but not in the sense I ought to have taken a nap. It’s different, really, though I’m no less excited about guiding classes, seeing all those folks and interacting with the teacher trainees. I just start to feel a drag, like someone has a hold of my ponytail while I’m trying to move forward.
Friday I teach another class. I take class from some amazing teacher trainees who are, in fact, now teachers. I really think it’s Saturday that gets me. I work at the restaurant and I start to feel crummy around five. I go to my car for Advil around six. I am ready to leave by eight and am excused for the evening by nine-thirty. I don’t feel bad, just crummy, like someone screwed my head on too tight and my muscles are on a little too loose.
Sunday arrives with all the heavy wet fog of an early March in Florida. The leaves on the ground glisten like with stage jelly for a food photo shoot in Vegetarian Times magazine. I glisten much less, and by four o’clock notice a certain scratch in my throat that displeases me more than realizing there’s a mid-season break for The Vampire Diaries.
There it is. My own mid-season break I’ve been waiting for. The illness that is just enough to make me stay at home, makes me get subs for my classes and forbids a shift at the restaurant; laryngitis.
As a kid who never wanted to go to school I have an amazing work ethic. When I was in elementary school I learned that if I told the parents I had diarrhea then that was a free pass. Even if they thought I might not be telling the whole truth and wanted, instead of a day of school room drudgery, to watch Nickelodeon when Nickelodeon was cool, they wouldn’t risk it – just in case I really had the diarrhea.
Fast forward a few years and here I am, my body contriving the newest method of a staycation – you know, the kind of vacation you have when you stay home. Stomach ailments don’t have the same clout they used to, but every job I have requires communication. So here I am after last week’s big talk, exactly a week later, staying home and resting.
There’s something that can’t be seen when it comes to spiritual practices. Sometimes I can feel it, and you can too. It’s the palpable quiet that drapes over the shoulders and brings weightiness to the hips on the cushion. It’s the steadiness of the breath in the most challenging yoga poses. That feeling, that spiritual energy, it’s right there moments before you slip into a dream that is so real and valuable. Maybe this is the place where the Guru kisses you on the head and sends to back into the world.
She works of Her own power on us, this sparkling energy. She doesn’t need us to do anything, but I think that the power of quiet and stillness allows for a these practices to work on us at a deep level.
I’m no expert in the goings on of Shakti, but I know practices which seek to make us able to hold more Love, to be stronger in the body and more calm in the mind work best when we lay down and let them work. It’s like She pulls us back by the hair and lays us out so she can dance in our hearts. We should be so lucky.
An unplanned staycation ain’t no fun. I have things to do. It’s frustrating as hell. My phone just rang and there I am, watching it ring and not a word can cross my lips. But when I consider it’s just another element of practice, as important as Savasana at the end of class when we allow the body to contain the practices and absorb them, it’s easier to just be grateful for an entire day of rest.
The day is damp outside and the cats are content. And considering this as part of the practices, as a continuation of my weekend in Kashi, it is easier to be grateful for a day out of Time and just be – restful.