My Return to Restorative
The past couple of weeks have been pretty crazy. Heck the past couple of months, years? have been pretty crazy. I’ve felt like I’ve been on this big push to be better, to reach farther and to succeed for a while now. I feel like I have been “building up” to all that I can be and not truly celebrating the success that I have had so far.
At 26, I am already a certified personal trainer, a registered yoga instructor, 7 months away from a doctorate degree, one silly test away from a licensed Physical Therapist and well on my way to having my own business. I never took the time to look at myself and think “Damn girl, you’re pretty fucking awesome.” Until now.
Because, damn I’m pretty fucking awesome. And so are you.
Sometimes I am so full of passion and drive that once I accomplish one thing, I move right on to the next big thing, the next awesome idea. (apparently, I have more of them than I realize?) While I am grateful for my determination and drive, I am realizing that these great qualities are preventing me from truly celebrating myself. And that isn’t great.
Most people my age are continuously looking for the next big thing. For some it’s their career—working over time to prove yourself, putting in extra hours for the promotion, returning to school to received your advanced degree or taking your vision and creating your own business. From some it’s their love life— meeting the one, falling in love, having the picture perfect relationship, or buying that house and settling down. For others it’s travel—the next country, a round the world trip, or the thrill seeking adventure you’ve always dreamed of. And still other’s it’s their health and personal development—the best morning routine, the perfect diet for your body, the perfect meditation or the becoming the embodiment of every fitness article out there. And let’s be real—for most, it’s attempting all of the above, OH and sleeping.
I’m not talking from experience or anything….
The problem with looking to the next big thing is you don’t get to enjoy what is right there in front of you. You don’t congratulate yourself and sit back for a second to enjoy. You don’t feel the benefits of all your hard work. You’re on to the next without even realizing it.
I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Yes, I am still hustling. Yes, I am still busting my ass. Because I have big dreams and nothing is going to stop me from getting there. But, I’ve realized something profound. (well, profound to me, you might have gotten their years ago and if so, you can just ignore me)
I’ve found that over the past couple of months I have began to slow down my yoga practice. After falling love with the hot, sweaty Vinyasa Yoga practice, I have found my body craving slow movements, long holds and a deepened breath practices. Now sweaty Vinyasa Yoga will always have a place in my heart and there is no replacement for that feeling when you walk out. But this new feeling is a whole new world. As I slow down my yoga practice and come into more restorative postures, I open myself up to slowing down in my daily life. Not slowing down everything but in my free moments, instead of rushing to the next thing, stopping, breathing and just being. Instead of filling every minute of my day, I use my extra time to reflect and enjoy. The more I do this, the more gratitude I have for my current life. The past few months, many times I have found myself in my car with the windows down, near tears and the only thought going through my mind is “wow, my life is really great. So this is what truly being happy is.” And that my friends, has been insanely eye opening for me.
When I take the time to slow down, I am more grateful, happier and coincidentally, open myself up to more opportunities. Holy shit.
As I have felt my shift in my personal yoga practice, I have had more career opportunities, inspiring ideas and vision for my future fall into my lap. Funny enough, most of my latest yoga teaching opportunities are teaching more restorative classes with essential oils or programming restorative classes to compliment high intensity classes. Is this the universe telling me something? I think so and I’m going with it. I have been asked to speak at events, teach more classes, join new studios and create new programs. I have been inspired to pursue new paths in Physical Therapy and stumbled upon a potential niche that 3 years ago, I would have never imagined pursing (more to come on that). I have found yoga teacher trainings that speak to me and connected with humans that are all around GOOD people. By stepping back, I have finally felt like I have found a way to fuse all of my passions into one beautiful, healing practice. I see how I can use my passions to fuel a career that contains Physical Therapy, yoga, personal training and essential oils. I finally feel like I’ve made all the right choices and that yes, this is going to be a beautiful career that I love. And that makes me so damn excited.
So what has slowing down looked like for me these past couple of months:
- Taking 5 minutes out of each day to meditate--- whenever I can fit it into my day.
- Sitting outside in Mother Nature often
- Practicing breathing exercises in between DPT classes to calm my mind
- Utilizing my arsenal of essential oils to support my mental and physical health—even if that means taking my shoes off right before class to oil up (yeah, I’m that girl)
- Creating a morning routine that works for me
- Writing down at least one thing I am grateful for every morning
- Weekly Face masks
- Laying in my boyfriend’s hammock
- Reading a book for fun
- Yin Yoga Classes
- Restorative Yoga Classes
- Escaping the city to the mountains for beach.
- Playing with crystals
Oh and in case you were wondering…. After a couple of months of feeling like I had nothing inspiring to share with you or nothing interesting to write, I sat down and wrote this post. I just finished a self-led gentle, explorative yoga practice supported by ylang ylang essential oil with a beautiful new playlist flowing around me. And my friends, there is your inspiration.
P.S. I wrote this and saved it to publish today. I was once again reminded of my need to slow down this Saturday in a conversation with my wonderful boyfriend. So this is my thank you to Chris and everyone else who help me to remember that sometimes I need to slow down and stay in the moment. As always, I am a work in progress.