Ever teach a class and, as you roll up the mat, you just know it was total crap? No? Liar. I think every teacher has had classes like that. I know I have. I had one last week. I just wasn’t feeling it. I wasn’t in the moment, I felt like I was just going through the paces, and it just didn’t mesh. Try as I might to get back in the game, I just couldn’t seem to pull it together as well as I would have liked. My students were awesome about it, of course, and it’s likely that they didn’t even notice any difference, but I knew. I knew deep down in my heart that I had fallen off the horse.
If I teach 5x a week at a minimum, how in the world did I fall off the horse? I am surrounded by yoga books and yoga props and yoga music and yoga clothes and yoga people, this is true, but am I really being present? I am now, but the truth is that I hadn’t been fully immersed into my yoga as I had been in the past for some time.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I never intentionally “phoned in” a class or a discussion or anything. It’s something that just sort of happened. As summer started, I felt I needed to spend more time on self-care and taking it easy. I cut back my writing and my social media (I missed you, Twitter,) until I was almost invisible, a ghost of my former self. There is nothing wrong with that, nothing at all, but what happened is that summer passed by and now here we are into Autumn and I realize that I have barely written (either here or in my journal,) and I have not been on Twitter (where I find much information and inspiration) in months and months.
I have good reason, of course. Not only are summer days best spent at the pool, but our family gained a new member on August 7. We adopted Audrey, a white Lab / Pyrenees mix. She had been a stray and was in a strange shape and condition when we got her. We very quickly learned that the strange shape and condition was due to the 10 puppies she was gestating. 9 days after we accepted her into our home, Audrey gave birth to 9 boys and a girl in our basement. We have been raising them until they are old enough to find new homes (which they are now – interested? We still have 6 boys left!) If you have never had this experience, let me tell you that it is the most wonderful, amazing, tender, horrific, time-sucking, ear-splitting, nerve-wracking, belly-laughing, cuteness-overloading, money pit venture likely send someone to The Betty ever. It’s been an adventure, to say the least. Just yesterday , our first puppy went to her forever home. 3 more will leave this Sunday, and then the rest will go into foster care. After 8 weeks, it’s time to get our lives back.
It has been an incredibly rich learning experience. Not so much about puppies (I may not know much, but I know dogs!) What I have come to realize is that, even though I did need a break from it, a huge part of my life is writing and learning and sharing and connecting with other yogis and yoginis around the globe. The exchange of information recharges me, keeps me in the now, and reminds me that I have to fill my well and teach from the overflow. I need to write so that my own ideas have somewhere to go. I need to read so that my own ideas have companions who will challenge them, agree with them, spark them into reality. I need my sangha. I need my cybershala. I need to slip-slide into Samadhi in my favorite asana of all: Sarahsana.
I am not sorry for my absence, although the residual people pleaser in me wants to apologize for it. I am not sorry because it taught me how much I have missed it, how much I learn from it, and how much it is a part of my yoga. I am not promising I’ll write every day or even every week, but I am promising to not forget how important it is and to try to make time for it. You can help me – comment on posts, tweet me up, remind me that my voice should be heard – that it matters (lie to me, if you have to.
Falling off the horse doesn’t always result in broken bones, crushed egos, or muddy riding boots. Sometimes falling off the horse is actually tantamount to willing the steeple chase because self-knowledge is the goal. I’m grateful, I’m here, and I’m back in the saddle (yet) again.