Earlier this week, I set off to teach a private yoga session knowing that I needed fuel for the car. The station I intended to stop at was closed, time was ticking so I continued to my appointment. After the class I headed to the nearest petrol station to top up the empty tank. Driving two miles in the opposite direction of where I needed to go in rush hour traffic, cursing all the way!
Am I the only one to push the envelope when my car is running low on fuel? Ignoring the innocuous red light or notification on the dashboard. Knowing that I really should stop to fill up, but on a mission to do x, y and z first. My anxiety levels creeping up as I continually check the fuel gauge.
Wouldn’t it be easier to just to pull into a petrol station? Taking a few minutes to refuel would avoid my anxiety sky rocketing. Instead, I drive on, increasingly fretful of making it to my destination on the last teaspoon of fuel!
According to a quick Google search, in 2018, it was estimated that 70,000 motorists per month run out of fuel. That is a lot of people who don’t have the time to stop to put petrol in the car. People who have no choice but to stop when they run out of fuel.
What on earth does this has to do with yoga?
I attended my first yoga class almost twenty years ago. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was heading towards burn out. It didn’t matter how many hours I spent at the office my workload never got any smaller. My inbox was always full. There was always something that needed doing. Tired much of the time & prone to bouts of depression.
“When the well’s dry, we know the worth of water.” Benjamin Franklin
I liked yoga immediately. The movement. The quiet. I felt calm during & after the class. Practising tree pose, standing on one leg, my gaze steady & my mind focused. It was a stark contrast to the busyness of life in London. Yoga encouraged me to take a much-needed pause in my day. Yoga taught me that it was okay to stop. Yoga helped me to relax & to top up my depleted energy levels.
Life continues to be hectic but……
Yoga did not magically erase all my stress or reduce my workload. Instead, regular classes provided me with a quiet space to move, to breathe and to be still. I felt calmer & more energized after a class. In effect I was stopping at the yoga station to refill my empty tank.
“When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.” Jean Shinoda Bolen
Speaking to a student yesterday we touched on this very subject. For a long period of time (years in fact!) she had told herself that she did not have the time to do yoga. A busy, often stressed working mum, she felt like she never had a moment to herself. Tired of the excuses & knowing that she had to do something she decided to start a regular yoga practice. Two months on she is amazed at how easily she has fitted two yoga sessions into her week. She set the intention, diarised the times & has created the space. She looks forward to her yoga. She feels calmer, less harried & says that her family have noticed this too. To that end, they are all benefiting from yoga!
What can you do?
This December, can you make a commitment to yourself to refill your tank? If you have already noticed that your energy levels are flagging, what can you do to avoid running on empty?
My weekly yoga classes are running until the 11th December. We re-commence on Monday 6th January. I am available between these dates if you would like to give yourself the gift of yoga. Treat yourself to the luxury of a private class. Surprise family or friends with a group yoga session. There are also spaces available on my Spring Yoga Weekends in February & March. Open to all levels of experience this is the perfect opportunity to rest, relax & re-fill your tank.
“having the weekend in the diary for some time before the event was nourishing…it was an investment in self-care to look forward to. In a sense the experience started way before the Saturday and has continued to nourish afterwards!”. Retreat attendee Autumn, 2019