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Helm of the Heart

We are the ones we've been waiting for

Navasana (boat pose)

After the amazing, exhausting weekend of yoga, coming back to the real world (aka state testing/middle school spring fever) has been a bit of an adjustment.  After all the glorious heart-opening and back bending on Sunday, I was blissed-out and ready to spread my joy with the world.

Then Monday materializes:

  • my back- oh so achy
  • students- tired of testing, hormones raging, attitudes flaring
  • my mental/emotional/physical state- 4 hours of sleep, allergies in full force, iced venti hazelnut soy latte in hand, followed by a major crash

Thankfully, I made it through the day and came home to my couch and a good book. I’ve been pretty consistent with my yoga practice, and I had every intention of keeping my disciplined routine going. That is, until I brewed some kava tea and melted into the couch. I realized how exhausted I truly was, and of course began to go through my usual mental pattern of wanting to blow something off, feeling guilty, rationalizing…. rinse & repeat.

I have always struggled to find a healthy balance. I’m a very all-or-nothing type of person in most aspects of my life. There is a side of me that is incredibly organized, disciplined, punctual and motivated. I’m a compulsive list-maker. I’m almost always early or on time.

There is also a side of me that completely abhors responsibility, rules, structure, and that is basically a wild thing.

What usually happens to me is that I will be very regimented and then I reach a breaking point and go let my wild thing take over until I exhaust myself and feel awful about shirking my responsibilities (not eating well, sleeping or giving my body and mind the nourishment that it needs). It’s like a see-saw of stoicism and epicureanism.

I’m learning to balance these two aspects of myself. I’m not completely one or the other. These two elements must find a way to peacefully coexist.

So on this Monday, I decided to have some compassion for myself. I rested, relaxed and indulged a little. I decided not to feel guilty. I did a few couch-asanas, just stretching in ways that my body craved. When I painted my toes I held navasana (above) and strengthened my abdominal muscles. I felt accomplished in that I was allowing myself to do what my body and mind craved, without letting myself spiral out of control. Little indulgences here and there.




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