Sitting and standing

“Don’t teach if you’re tired or not feeling well” my teacher advised us during TT. I’m sure this is overall good advice, but a little hard to put into practice in the real world. Especially for me. I’d got a good early night, definitely not feeling well. Just low-level stuff. It could be a cold coming on. It might just be the usual me/ME. I hoped it’d just sort itself out.

handsYesterday morning I turned out of bed at the usual time for my morning meditation practice. 20 mins sitting in the semi-darkness, wrapped in a blanket — just waiting for the bell on my timer to sound. No real attempt at meditation this time, no softening or opening, just a patient sitting it out. When the timer sounded I went straight back to bed.

And actually this experience made me happy! In the past I’d not have taken the time to acknowledge how I was really feeling. I’d have rushed to work before I’d properly woken up and realised that my body really didn’t want to be there. Now the space for meditation practice allows me to understand better what is actually going on, feeling the truth in my bones and my muscles. It’s hard to pretend when you’re on the cushion, nothing to distract you from the inner witnessing.

not feeling well today.jpgSo I took the day at home, instead of the office, keeping the working day shorter and lighter. And then on to teach, subbing a friend’s class in the evening. My first for real, public class. And I wasn’t going to miss it, unless I couldn’t actually stand upright, unless I genuinely couldn’t keep the students safe.

And it was OK. Each time I teach is just another experience. I do my best each time, according to what each day offers. After all this is how my own practice is: each practice the same, but different. Each one the best offering I can make, according to the rules of the day. Be bold and adventurous, be curious. Or be gentle and slow. Breathe, move, repeat…

So, yes, I’m sure teaching when you’re not feeling 100% is better avoided. My class was not the best ever (even within my very limited experience). But I must trust that offering what I can is better than offering nothing at all.

Otherwise I’d never stand up to teach.

And if I thought about it too much, waiting for perfect circumstances, I’d never do my own practice either.

9 thoughts on “Sitting and standing

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  1. I love this post. I only wish that I could come take one of your classes! It would be neat to do yoga with a group of spoonies–to hold, as a group, our limitations and, in general encourage the kind of mindfulness that you’re talking about–though, I suppose that’s what yoga for “regular people” is meant to be about, too!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. thank you Diana. I’d love to have you in class of course! Yes, I think yoga is the same deal for everyone — acknowledging what is. The fancy poses are just the external manifestation of a whole lot of concentration, exploration, and acceptance. My shapes just might be a bit less fancy than ‘regular peoples’.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hat off to you for listening to your body and its needs! Like you said, it shows you’ve come a long way! It really is a milestone to get to that point if you’re like me who used to have a “push through” mentality, what you did is definitely lots healthier for both body and mind!

    Can I ask how you got into the routine of meditation? I am trying to get into it myself because I love the effect it has on me, how it makes me feel more connected with myself. But I can often find it very overwhelming when I’m not at my best, even though I just do 3-5 minutes with guided meditation, which make the gaps between each meditation very large, several weeks, if not more. But the way I feel after a few minutes of yoga or guided meditation is quite amazing, and a special kind of ‘fullness’ or presence all around, not to mention refreshed, and I really want to apply that to my life in general because I think it would be really beneficial and healthy! Sorry for the long ramble, I really should learn to keep things short! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Martie, thanks for your comment. Yes, I’m definitely learning better how to take care of myself by paying better attention to myself — I used to be a ‘push through’ person too, big time!
      I think the simple answer to meditation is just to prioritise it and make it a habit every day. You’re already half way there if you believe in the good it does you! It’s great to do it now then then, but much better if you do more often. For me the secret is in **keeping it really small with no expectations**. If I make a big deal out of it, then I get freaked out and think that I can’t do it, don’t feel well enough etc.
      So maybe just think to yourself: I’ll sit quietly and take a few really conscious breaths with my eyes closed, feeling how each breath comes in and out of the body, and feeling if I’m tense or relaxed etc. And then maybe it feels OK and find you do have the energy for this, and so you take a few more breaths with this kind of focus and curiosity. And maybe you sit a little longer, your mind wanders but that’s ok; just come back to the breath.
      And then whenever you like, you stop. It might be 30 seconds, 3 minutes or whatever. There’s no timer, no need for an app. You can do it whenever you like (waiting for tea to cool, in the shower, in your favourite armchair, on the bus….).
      I hope that helps a bit. If you want to chat further or share any experiences you’re welcome to email me. I’m happy to share more of what works for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sorry for taking so long to get back to you! Thank you so much for this, I feel more optimistic about it now and I’m looking forward to applying what you’ve shared into actual practice. You’ve broken it down into really simple and non intimidating terms that I feel like it might actually be achievable, I always was one for overthinking and overcomplicating things, woops hehe. If you don’t mind I would like to shoot you an email some time! xx

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Keep it small and simple and you will be able to do it! But you know that already and you do it with other things quite naturally I know…
          Yes, do please email me! I’d love to hear how you get on and share experiences! x

          Liked by 1 person

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