Less Stress, More Savasana

Less Stress, More Savasana

Heard the one about the yoga teacher who’s tired and wired?

Whilst chatting with a friend after our morning run, I burst into tears, out of the blue. I joked that I was just tired and emotional. Surprised? I shouldn’t have been. Yoga teachers get stressed too.

Those tears were a sign that I’d not been giving enough time to myself. On top of this I’d been finding it harder to wind-down without guilt, as there always seemed to be more ‘to-do’.

Yoga teachers who teach full-time will most likely have been there at one time or another and relate. I’ve found this to be a recurring theme and it’s not so strange when you think about it – we give a lot of our energy to others whilst teaching and if we don’t take enough time to replenish then it is only a matter of time before a slump comes. It’s the same for any of us in a life or work situation where we give a lot of ourselves. We all need to recharge. And it’s not selfish. Filling up our own cup enables us to give our best to the people, work and causes we care most about.

“You need a holiday,” was my friend’s advice. I knew a holiday anytime soon was not on the cards, but when I got home I did what I could in that moment – I lay down for twenty minutes. Yep, that’s right, Savasana, plain and simple. And you know what? I felt a lot better for it – no longer tired or emotional, my perspective had shifted. “I should do this more”. While I make an effort to get on my yoga mat each day, I admittedly don’t take Savasana every day. Why not when it has the capacity to make such a difference? Last month I wrote about slowing down and I find myself still thinking about that this month off the back of a busy, albeit exciting period. So, I’ve decided to embark on 365 days of Savasana – the easiest pose to do, yet the hardest to master. Everybody (yoga teachers included!) needs more Savasana in their lives. If you’d like to join me then come on over to www.ucanyoga.co.uk and click on the 365 Savasana tab. I’d love to have some company on the journey. Let’s see what we learn about ourselves on the way.

This article was originally published in the September 2014 issue OM Yoga Magazine. You can read a selection of my past columns and a FREE preview of the current issue of the magazine by clicking here. And find out more about the 365 Savasana Project here.


The glorification of “Busy”

The glorification of “Busy”

No matter how old I get, September is always associated with ‘Back to School’. The move into Autumn symbolises a time when many of us feel we need to get our heads down and get back to work after the summer. And before we know it, our daily calendars are full to bursting (if they weren’t already, that is).

I have an admission. I don’t like being busy. I like to be productive, to be effective and actually get things done. But, busy? To me, it’s overrated. I’ve increasingly noticed that whenever I say that I am busy the response is usually “that’s good”. And for a long time that was my response too. But why is that?

We have more time-saving technology and services at our fingertips than at any other time in history, yet we all seem to be busier than ever. Some of us wear our Busyness like a badge of honour. But is there a problem here? Are we confusing busyness with effectiveness?

Yoga teachers are certainly not immune from this. In London, where I live and work I see exhausted, scheduled to the hilt yoga teachers regularly. And I have fallen into this routine before too. For every class or client you guide through their yoga practice, you are giving your energy. So, there’s no surprise really that if you don’t take steps to replenish, it’s just a matter of time until you’ll burn out. However you spend your days, whether you teach yoga, work in an office, are a stay-a-home parent or anything and everything in-between, we can all work to burnout. But whom is that serving? From the point of view of teaching yoga, it’s tough to give your best in this state.

The busier we are, the less time we have. Time is arguably our most valuable commodity and it’s irreplaceable.  It’s a significant thing to lose.

I think it’s time to stop worshipping at the altar of busy.  Being busy for busyness sake or to attain more ‘stuff’ isn’t all its cracked up to be. What if we took another look and scrutinised what we are actually busy with? Try it and you might find there are things you can take off your to-do lists and lighten your mood and improve your wellbeing at the same time. Give it a go and notice the relief this brings.

This was originally published in OM Yoga Magazine. You can read a selection of my past columns and a FREE preview of the current issue of the magazine by clicking here.

Click here to learn more about the 365 Savasana Project.