Recently I had to deal with some major schedule changes. As a fitness instructor, I’m used to my schedule being in flux. There are always class changes, occasionally location changes, some weeks you sub a class, there’s very little routine. I’m very used to seasonal changes especially. I had even given up a few classes on my own to take a few others. However, I didn’t expect the drastic changes that happened this fall. At least half my schedule changed.
One of the biggest differences is that I don’t have to get up at 4:45am anymore. At all. It’s been over five years since I haven’t had one to three of those very early classes in my schedule. That should be great, right? Yes, it should and parts of it are. I also have an evening class now, something I haven’t had in over a year. I have two classes on Saturday morning. For most of my career I as able to have clear weekends and for the last year I had only one Saturday class.
When I began teaching full time, most of my background was martial arts related. Even two years ago my schedule was heavy on the kickboxing and conditioning classes with a few yoga sprinkled in. This has completely reversed, almost completely within the past year.
The big changes this fall initially gave me a lot of anxiety and I wasn't sleeping well in spite of having extra time to do so. I figured it would even out once my body was used to not getting up at 4am, but it's still a work in progress. The transition from summer into fall has been difficult this year. For some reason the dark is bothering me more, potentially because I've been training for a half marathon and I'm now trying to work my runs around my new schedule. I tried doing a long run at 5am on a Saturday recently and was tense and on edge the entire time since I was in complete dark for almost an hour of the run. I've just switched days around, but it's interesting how I'm in flux with the seasons.
I believe my focus changed more in the direction of yoga in fall of 2014. I was just finishing up a teacher training at Yoga Now, was newly engaged and got hit by a truck while riding my bike to work at 6am one morning. Overall, I was lucky. (The bike was not.) I escaped with a badly smacked up ankle, lots of deep tissue bruising and a separated right shoulder that had me in physical therapy for a while. Punching things wasn't something I could do for a very long time. When I did try and go back to martial arts, I felt it in my shoulder for days afterward. I still tried to submit a demo for my third degree, even though just doing the demo was very painful, but was told I hadn't been around enough. I stepped back, turned my focus to theatre and yoga.
This past weekend I went to Wheaton for a training in Restorative and Yin Yoga. If you know me at all, you know that I like flow. I like to push myself, even in yoga. I like the progressiveness of Ashtanga and the heat. I like the playfulness of vinyasa and the movement. I like the intensity of Forrest (when it is intense). But I had taken on a couple of gentler classes and a Restorative and wanted to give my students as much as I could and increase my knowledge and appreciation for the slower forms.
It was mind blowing. It was amazing.
I spent the entire weekend learning to 'do less' in Restorative and 'sit in the discomfort and learn to deal with it' in Yin. Because of the timing of the classes (and the darkness in the mornings) I wasn't able to run on Saturday or Sunday. Another challenge. I rode my bike everywhere, from my AirBnB to the training, to lunch with Dean, back to training, but they were short bike rides. I did several yoga practices, only two vinyasas. But I had a great time.
It's difficult for me to actually articulate, even though I'm only writing this with two days of separation, how I felt at the end of the module. But I felt ready to open up to change. Even more, I felt that the changes coming were going to be exciting and that more opportunities would be showing up. (Amazingly, I was right, I'm teaching several special workshops in October.) I also feel ready to create more or my own opportunities. I find myself saying 'yes' to myself more. 'Fear is just excitement without breath' as they say.
I'm doing some conscious changing as well. Rather than looking at things as 'I just have to get through X and X and then I'm done.' I've changed the language in my head to look at each class, each task, each training run as something I'm going to show up fully for, commit to while I'm in it and enjoy it for what it is. I'm lucky enough that just about everything I do is something I enjoy doing! My life is filled with good things. I'm going to start showing up for it.
Just like that, the pilot light flickers.