I remember how my English teacher used to tell me that walking away from a freshly written paper before proof reading it would give me a fresh set of eyes to catch errors. This always seemed to work, and now I believe that it also holds true to many of life’s other endeavors.
I used to work at a job where taking breaks, although encouraged, was almost impossible. Some days, I would work for 8 1/2 hours straight with barely any time to go to the bathroom and where lunch turned into a few bites of food between seeing students. Often times, I would walk out with my head pounding and on the verge of tears from exhaustion. It was not healthy and I left that job knowing that it was no longer good for me.
Besides quick breaks from work during the day, sometimes we need general breaks from life’s routine to not only find relaxation, but to find inspiration and answers. A local business owner recently told me about a time when his business was on the verge of failing. He was desperately attempting to turn things around, but nothing was working. And in the midst of the chaos, he decided to take a two week vacation. That decision, which many people thought was crazy, ended up being the best thing that he could have done. He returned from those 2 weeks with a clear head and within a month business was booming, he signed a lease at a larger office and doubled his staff.
Today, I experienced the power of taking a break. As I mentioned in a previous post, I have not been attending yoga classes for the past week and a half. For the last few months, I have been practicing up to 5 times a week at various studios around the city. Then for no reason at all, I took a few days off. Then a few days turned into 10 days. This morning I woke up knowing that yoga was back on the agenda and headed to The Lab for a class. And guess what happened? I easily and effortlessly balanced in forearm stand away from the wall. Then, I balanced in HANDSTAND away from the wall for the first time ever!!! A few months ago, handstand was a pose that terrified me. Sometimes, I would even lie to the teacher about why I shouldn’t go upside down that day (that’s so bad!) I did whatever I could to avoid handstand. And today, after a 10 day break from yoga I balanced in handstand for at least a moment! How exhilarating!
So I think that my English teacher was right, sometimes we all just need a break. Maybe it’s a 10 minute walk around the block to get away from your desk, other times it may be a week or more off from what you are trying for the hardest. Somehow the universe has a way of offering things to you when surrender to relaxation and a soft mind. So try it for yourself and watch your possibilities bloom.
Please share stories of how this approach has worked for you in the comments section.
So, here’s the thing with yoga: you work for weeks towards a pose you saw your teacher do and feel like you are never ever going to get it.
Some days you’re not flexible enough, or not strong enough, or are off balance. Then you kind of forget about it and move on. A month later a teacher leads you towards that same pose and suddenly you get right into it like it’s an old friend that has been there all along.
For me that pose has been Bird of Paradise, and today for the first time I stood up into the full expression.
Just another sign that nothing is impossible.
What is a cleanse, you ask?
It is a program where I will use all natural supplements and fiber drinks to rid my body of all the toxic waste that has built up over the years. I will eat a low fat, high fiber diet and basically poop everything out!
I have always been interested in trying a cleanse and knew I wanted to start before going into my yoga teacher training. Starting the 10 month training with a clean mind and clean body will help me be more receptive to the benefits of yoga and the philosophy behind it.
Getting out all of the gunk that has built up from years of eating poorly, partying, and environmental toxins will surely be an interesting process and I am excited to write about this experience each day. I start tonight by taking 5 cleansing tablets and one acidophilus pearl, and will hopefully start seeing some results in the morning!
All of us here in the urban commune are doing this 10 day cleanse together, so it will be interesting to see how we each handle it differently. Better go get some more toilet paper!
The affirmation on my tea tag this morning:
In my opinion, there is no better way to experience yourself than by practicing yoga. You really get that full experience when you are twisted into a pose where you can smell your own armpit and you have sweat dripping into your eye! The pose that allowed me to fully experience myself this morning was a twisting triangle pose.
I encourage everyone to fully experience yourself this month. Maybe try something new like yoga or meditation. If that’s not up your alley just take a really cold shower and feel yourself really come alive!
Have a great first day of August!
We have one body, one single vessel that is our sole means of functioning. So why not take care of it? I grew up with a father who is a car and motorcycle fanatic. Growing up, our family vehicles were religiously tuned up, tweaked, and cleaned. We always had oil changes, new brakes, new tires and a properly running engine. Imagine how healthy our society would be if we all religiously took care of our bodies the way my dad took care of his cars. Only putting the highest quality fuel in our engines and ‘tuning-up’ at the gym (or in the yoga studio) a few times a week.