Time For Self-Practice
Written by Jaimie Gateman & Suse Silva
This month, the YogaFit Canada corporate office has been busy hustling and bustling, as we are sure you have been too!
One thing we have noticed recently is the need to make time for self-practice. It is easy to get caught up in summertime shenanigans, but what is stopping us from maintaining our yoga practice? Last night I took a class with a student currently enrolled in our 200-RYT Intensive who is visiting from Australia to take the training (Hi, Larissa!), and she finished the practice off with saying “Remember: Yoga does not TAKE time. Yoga MAKES time.” Let us make that our mantra this month…maybe even for the rest of this summer. Change is constantly around us – let’s use our yoga to keep us grounded, centred and balanced!
There are also always excuses - in the summer, we are outside enjoying the sunshine. In the fall, we are busy preparing or adjusting to new semesters or activities. In the winter we hibernate, so maybe we tell ourselves the springtime will be the time to amp up our training and practices…
The time is NOW! Practice, practice, practice. Even if it’s in your pjs while also watching Shark Week (as I did all last week), in a studio or your basement, in the park or at the top of a mountain, with an experienced teacher or a new one... Practice! As teachers, it is especially important to maintain our own practice. I know firsthand how easy it is to overlook a practice – “well, I’m teaching every day, that’ll count as my practice!” The problem with that, as I’m sure you may also be aware of, is that a practice like that is not focused on our own needs. We are constantly watching our students, cueing them through poses, walking around, and most likely not doing the appropriate pose or modifications for us at that specific time. Plus, isn't it nice not to have to think and plan while doing Yoga?
Think of self-practice as self-care; everybody needs a little extra care once in a while. Remember the curiosity, maybe even the nervousness, when you first started practicing? Let's work to constantly explore those feelings of discovering something new. Every time we step on our mats (or wherever we are practicing), let's discover something new about ourselves and our world.
Our self-practice does not have to be an hour of physical practice everyday. You can create a self-practice that works for you, all it takes is a little bit of creativity.
Here is example of my own self-practice weekly routine:
Mondays - 1 ½ hour physical practice in the afternoon
Tuesdays - 10 minute morning meditation & 10 minute evening meditation
Wednesdays – 20 minute late morning singing/dancing (like no one's watching)
Thursdays – 1 ½ hour physical practice in the afternoon
Fridays – 1 hour evening singing/dancing (like no one's watching)
Saturdays – 2 hours walking through nature alone
Sundays – 1 hour reading non-fiction (currently reading SoulCraft: Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche by Bill Plotkin)
Of course, because I am human and love spontaneity, my weekly self-practice routine changes week to week. The key here is to have fun and do what works best for you and your life. For some, that might mean having to schedule time in your day planner or setting phone reminders. Do whatever you need to in order to make it happen and you can thank yourself later.
“Each of us is born with a treasure, an essence, a seed of quiescent potential, secreted for safekeeping in the center of our being. This treasure, this personal quality, power, talent, or gift (or set of such qualities), is ours to develop, embody, and offer to our communities through acts of service – our contributions to a more diverse, vital and evolved world. Our personal destiny is to become that treasure through our actions.” – Bill Plotkin
Now go discover your treasure and share it with the world!