I’m going to allow myself 30 minutes and no more to write this piece. It’s not going to be perfect and I’m not going to edit it a million times, so please absorb with kindness.
I want to share what it’s been like for a ‘self-employed yoga teach slash massage therapist’ (and stepmother of two young boys with a working from home dad) over the last few weeks. I want to capture and post this just in case any of it rings true or helps others reflect. It’s all about connecting innit?
Like everybody, it’s been up and down. There’s a been lots of underlying anxiety bubbling and fizzing, occasionally surfacing. Some great Zoom quizzes - see list of thanks below) and a rather worrying quantity of wine and crisps consumed.
I can now make a mean gin cocktail, operate Zoom yoga classes, upload YouTube videos and deflect or ignore constant interruptions and demands for fruit bars/lunch/dinner/tv/smoothies.
The main things I’ve discovered in this time and want to relish are:
I’m still here. I’m still ‘working’ (even if I’m not making much money!)
It’s taken energy and courage for me to move my yoga classes online and I feel awkward about making YouTube videos. That feeling will probably always be there. Is anybody going to find this useful? Am I doing the poses right? Is my belly hanging out? Am I going too quickly/slowly? Amy I explaining things properly? I can’t remember the name of this asana so I’m go into mutter it under my breath and hope it’s right... Etc etc.
I’ve pushed past the doubts and decided to publish them regardless of the fact there are millions of videos and teachers out there already doing a much better job than me. It doesn’t really matter. Instead, I’ve focused on the fact that all my content is for the key purpose of continuing to connect with my students throughout lockdown. I want them to know I’m still here, I’m still practicing and teaching and I want them to continue their practice.
Having a focus to produce and deliver this content has given me motivation, determination and most importantly the yoga has helped keep me sane. More sane than I would’ve been without it. Thank you yoga.
Back to school
One thing I’ve really enjoyed doing during lockdown is making the time to research, explore & learn. Meditation, qigong, tai chi and new forms of yoga and movement therapy that I’m not very familiar with... Forrest, Synergy, Jivamukti, face yoga and functional movement to mention a few. It’s been fun to weave this into my practice and classes.
I’ve been reminded why I ended up as a massage therapist/yoga teacher - because there is a never-ending universe of thrilling, weird and wonderful stuff to learn, all of it useful, interesting and enriching.
It’s like being able to go back to school and choose your lessons. If you’re reading this and know of any quirky/useful/inspiring content out there, please let me know! I’m making YouTube playlists to try and keep track.
The path is being cleared
I love this idea of the path being cleared. On the other side of this mayhem, things will work themselves out. It will be totally different (I hope 🤞🏽🤞🏽🤞🏽) but in a positive way.
I love Kween Brené Brown’s advice. She says “stitch a new garment”. What do we want to and/or need to change in our lives? If we’re really honest with ourselves, were we feeling exhausted, depleted, disconnected or lacking? Was our life exactly how we wanted it to be? Were we being completely kind to humanity and nature?
Another way to look at it is: Is Covid is teaching you something about your ‘normal’ life and habits... shopping, travel, eating out, spending time with family. What have you missed and will it ever look the same? Do you want it to look the same?
Everybody is going to have a different answer to these questions but now is the time to reflect, investigate and plan a new garment.
It did in fact take me an 1 hour 5 minutes to write this (due to an interruption).
Thanks to these lovely people:
Yardarm Tours for Weds night pub quiz
Yoga Reading for introducing me to Sophie Cleere and her functional movement workshop
Charlie P for telling me about Om & Bass
Om & Bass for introducing me to Stefan Camilleri and Synergy Yoga