Each Summer i take an 8 week break from facilitating a gentle yoga for good health and calmness practice in my local community.
I relish this time, not because i don’t enjoy teaching. With 15 years teaching experience, this time away from facilitating in the public domain is like a yoga Nidra practice, a much needed pause for the senses from the extroverted energy required to teach.
Yet, this pause is very much an extention of facilitating yoga: living and being that which i teach. Which is to respect the awareness that arises from a sincere dedicated practice. My personal practice has shown me that honouring my awareness: is to create the space to be, with no where to go as often as possible and includes a yearly hiatus from teaching Yoga.
This pause during the long Summer days, is when Yoga often happens off the mat. The space from teaching embraced with tending to other aspects of my life.
The self love, intuition and awareness that my practice provides, shows me that simply being present for my family, focus on deeper connection with my partner, soak up the Summer Sun and plunge daily in the cool lake, tend to the garden and cook meals, is the most natural and ordinary situation.
For me there is an abundance to the ordinary, the need to step back and take things easy and simply allow the qualities of my practice play out, are the times when moments of immense gratitude followed by waves of peace and happiness are heightened. Not because i have achieved something when i was practising Yoga, but born from my practice and the space to allow this experience to arise in the most mundane tasks.
Gratitude is a practice in of itself. To have the experience of gratitude arise in whatever situation: is to feel fulfilled.
Life on and off the mat are not seperate. My practice is the fertile ground that nourishes how i respond to my children my partner, people, how i respond to life and how i faciliate Yoga. These are the qualities that determine how i am advancing in my practice. Not advanced postures!
How can i facilitate living yoga and the qualities of gratitude, awareness, happiness and kindness if i am not adept at first honouring those qualities within my life? Just as our bodies are different and so our asana practice will unfold differently, so to is the way Yoga plays out off the mat and weaves into our life.
Yoga is awareness, the capacity to sense and comprehend what serves each us in our own unique way. The need to take a 6 week pause from teaching each year, emerged from awareness, as a need to attend to my own growth, my family and in turn contributes greatly to the knowledge i facilitate and the different techniques practised and imparted.
Eventually the hiatus ends and Yoga resumes for the year with a fresh perspective. A ripe opportunity to begin another year of practising the liberation teachings of the beautiful art and science of Yoga. As we gather again and begin with the practice of self inquiry. An invitation to question and renew attitudes and commitment towards our practice then set a resolve for the year.
This year without doubt my resolve is to expand gratitude. Allow it to flourish even in those times that i am tired, facing resistance or challenged.
For now however another year has bought another blessed opportunity to practice together with familiar and new faces, to breath deeply and co create the space to support each other.