I feel honoured to have spent this past weekend and Mother’s Day with my mother and many other inspiring yoga teachers at weekend 1 of 3 in our 50-hour ‘Art of Assisting’ yoga teacher training.
I have been on the path to learning about giving yoga assists and Thai Yoga Massage for years and sharing this feels amazing. Because of this course there are now 10 yoga teachers, (myself included), that are going to be giving more yoga assists in their classes.
The benefits of healing, conscious touch are going to be received more because of our time learning together. The art of assisting with or without touch is going to allow teachers to be more in tune with what will serve their students.
The manual and the course offer the foundation for this learning, but there is also such a gift of knowledge from the teachers that are in this course. They are raising great comments, questions and insight.
The 2 main schools that I have studied with (DevaTree School of Yoga and Lotus Palm) both have always given the message that self-care is top priority when you are giving to others, so it was easy to set an intention for this course. I wanted to allow myself, the amazing assistants (Lisa and Shelagh) and students time to recharge and receive with all of the energy going towards learning and giving assists.
An ‘Ah Ha!’ moment came as I sat in meditation this weekend. As you know it isn’t easy to reproduce a moment like this via conversation or on paper, but I will try to convey my thoughts.
It is like the breath.
My exhale needs my inhale.
My role as teacher requires my role as student.
Giving requires receiving.
My logical mind knows this and has heard it over the years, but as we have just celebrated Mother’s Day it is more at the front of my mind and my ‘Ah Ha’ moment was something I was able to really process on a deeper level.
I was raised by a mother who gave and then gave more to my brother and I. I felt loved, nurtured and cared for. It was beautiful in so many ways and then I became a mother and it was exhausting.
I finally understood all that my Mom gave. I have the same instinct as I raise my children. How often do I change all of my plans, sleep or work hours to accommodate the desires and needs of my children? I am forever learning this dance of giving and then filling up to give again with my family.
There are sayings that tell us it is better to give than receive. This has such truth to it. It feels wonderful to give fully. When all we are doing is giving though it is like only exhaling. It runs out.
As a yoga teacher I remember back to teaching 11 classes a week, 2-3 Thai Yoga Massages and 10-30 hours of administration work per week. I was driving everywhere, not eating properly, staying up late to fit more in and skipping my own yoga practice.
I ended up getting sick and was in bed for weeks. I had to rely on my partner, my mother and my friends to look after work, the kids, the house and me. All I was able to do was receive the care and get better. Yes it was a huge struggle. It also was great learning. (I am laughing now as I write because of how difficult this life lesson is for me at times…er… still).
For the past 29 days I have stuck with a promise to myself to make the time for a daily yoga practice for 30 days. Some days this is a full 60-90 minute class and other days it is standing in mountain pose, taking 10 deep breaths or sitting in meditation for 2 minutes.
I have also been conscious about my energy this month. I have been going to bed earlier, reading books for pleasure, taking baths and saying ‘no’ when I am feeling tired.
I have felt such a difference in my yoga classes and Thai Yoga Massage sessions this month. I feel inspired and creative in making my class plans and ready to flow with things when the class plan or massage isn’t going to work for the people who show up.
So what am I going to do after the 30 days? Begin again. 30 days of giving to myself – this time I am sticking with the daily yoga practice (any pose, breath or meditation counts) and then I am going to add another element that brings me joy. DANCE.
So for the next 30 days I will be doing at least 1 minute of yoga and 1 minute of dance daily. Want to join me? Pick something that feeds your soul and please share your journey and what you learn along the way.