Monday, September 19, 2011

Taking Care

Happy Monday!  I'm breaking out of my usual middle-of-the-week entry writing so as to avoid driving myself crazy by trying to squeeze in an entry in the midst of what is going to be a very busy week.

It's that time of year of my all time favorites.  To me, fall means soup, sweaters...and assisting my teacher, Jyothi, in her Thai Yoga Massage Level 1 Intensive.  From Wednesday through Sunday I'll be bouncing back and forth from Massage Intensive Assistant to Kid's Teacher to Karma Kids Desk Lady.  I'm excited about it, as these are all three hats I love wearing.  However, every time I'm either taking or assisting any kind of training, I find that I forget to make the proper space to let myself rest.

The need for rest and recovery, both physical and mental, is necessary in any intensive training, but I find it's especially true for Thai Yoga Massage.  There is a lot of intense energy and emotional exchange back and forth.  As a student, you feel like your head's going to explode with all the new poses to master, and as an assistant, it's both a major energy boost and drain to be the median between the teacher and all the students.  Jyothi affectionately calls her assistants the "good cops" to her "bad cop," which, although not true in any literal sense at all, is a way in which we function.  If a student feels more comfortable coming to us with confusion or stress, we're there for them.

I've gotten a jump on it this time, however.  I took two half vinyasa/half restorative classes this weekend, one at The Giving Tree and one at the Om Yoga Center in Union Square (I'm using my new student 3-pack - it's a lovely studio!).  I'm trying my hardest to cut down on outside activities and obligations.  Most importantly, I'm going to be super vigilant about sleep.  I'm usually super vigilant about sleep anyway, because I know how losing sleep affects the whole rest of my day, but this week it's especially important.

Regardless of what's going on in your life, fall in general is a great time to shift your focus toward taking extra good care of yourself.  A lot of people's allergies flare up around this time, and a lot of people get the dreaded change-of-season-cold which can really put a damper on enjoying the changing colors of leaves or the hot apple cider that fall is so loved for.  This is a good time to prepare for the turning inward that winter will bring by catching up on sleep, maybe introducing some restorative yoga poses to your morning or evening routine, and be mindful of not overextending yourself. 

These practices, though they sound lovely, often become very hard to actually apply - especially if you live in the city that never sleeps.  Even just choosing one to focus on can increase your energy level and your focus, and give you a little more time to stop and bask in the beauty of fall.


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