Can there be too much yoga? Can you give too much of yourself in service? You can over-do anything. Too much of anything is bad for you. My Yoga Teacher reminded us this on the weekened when she came to share anatomy and alignment training with our Teacher Training Class. She gave us a new concept, 20% effort in yoga poses. This is a new concept for me. I am usually and all or nothing kind of girl… Too much Pitta ?
Are you a stressed out yoga teacher/studio owner? Sometimes I am! I am a type A personality. I grew up in a home with immigrant parents who taught me to always be the very best at what I do. My Dad would always say to me ‘you are black and a women you already have two strikes against you in this world.’ You will have to work twice as hard as anyone else to get ahead in this life. I took this to heart and worked as hard as I could at everything. I have done for most of my life and yoga is no exception. I had little patience for those people I perceived who didn’t work as hard as I did. To this day I still have glimmers of this shining in my head. Working that hard all the time has led me to burn out on a number of occasions.
I like to work hard most of the time, my want and need to serve often creates an inability for me to say no! I need to say ‘no’ more and be okay with it. I need to be able to serve others by allowing others to serve themselves. One of my favourite yoga practices is with my teacher John Friend. It is called The Dance of Yes and No. How does the no facilitate the yes in your life?
Last week I lost my patience with a friend and student of mine, I made her cry. This is Dianne when she is burnt out. Ordinary simple requests becomes a huge burdens to carry. What I learned by this experience is that some people are afraid to try. I sometimes facilitate that fear by wanting to serve them, taking their fear away and in return stealing their power. It is okay to be afraid of something. It is better to find the courage to face the fear and figure it out on your own. This is called empowerment. I think of this as muscle energy. Fear has contractive properties the same way muscle energy does. It is feeling that contraction of fear as strength so it can allow you freedom. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Lots of people come to me with questions and tasks that they are fearlful to figure out for themselves. I think it is time for me to say no…so that they can find the courage to say yes to themselves.
Yesterday I took a Mental health day! I said no to everything. No phone calls, Facebook, email, no yoga and only one or two texts to give away my classes. I was home alone and unplugged. I powered down my life. It was so awesome. I meditated, read my non yoga books and it gave me a new appreciation for the abundance in my life. When I was in my first Yoga Teacher Training we had to have a media free day. This was well before I learned to text, became obsessed with Facebook and twitter and before IPhone was invented. It was still hard. I learned how much slower life went and how much more time I had when I wasn’t plugged in. This NO made me say yes to life. I love my abundant life and I want to be able to stay abundant and not burnt out. In order to do that I need to say no and be okay with that. I cannot be all things to all people. I will take help when it is offered and I will serve people through empowerment. When I say no to you-I am really saying yes. Yes to being powerful, yes to finding your own way and yes to abundance in your own life.