The Approximate Yogi

Conquering life one breath at a time


When Too Much is Not Enough

I’m so excited to share this lovely piece on deciding to take a yoga teacher training by guest blogger, Heather Webb. Heather and I went to school together, sharing a really transformative creative writing class in high school. We recently reconnected in the blogger world. (Check out her fantastic, funny, and honest blog frommidnightoil.)

It is Friday afternoon, and I have just laid claim to the only solitary hours I will have this weekend. My son is at soccer practice, dogs are outside, and husband at work. I’m (finally) on my sun porch, in my writing chair, drinking pumpkin spice coffee and watching the wet leaves sway with each gust of wind outside. It keeps getting incrementally brighter outside, like God is turning the dimmer switch. “Hmmm” he or she is thinking, “let’s move from near dark to ambient light”. I’m grateful, but also, it’s okay if the rain continues.

I have a list, as they say, a mile long – and it’s divided into different categories: School, Home, Heather, Colby, Dogs. There are overdue bills and a form I need to help Colby fill out to schedule his youth orchestra auditions, cleaning and unpacking from our wedding and honeymoon. Laundry. Dishes. Grading. If it keeps raining then I won’t feel the pull to head outside, walk my dogs, and ignore the piles and lists and incoming calls.

I recently saw a graphic that told us, plainly, to “stop the glorification of busy”. That here today – gone tomorrow Facebook post asked me to re-evaluate the way I moved about the world. I grew up around busy women, wanting to be a busy woman. I babysat and took my charges to the store and loved, loved, loved pretending to be a frazzled mama. I never wondered if I could be the mama without the frazzled.

So I thought about my busy-ness, about how I normally walk too fast for automatic doors. I took my thoughts to yoga, to the garden, and into my kitchen. I am a busy mama, but every mama is a busy mama, just like most modern citizens of the working world are busy people in that they have more stuff to do than time to do it in. This isn’t a me problem or a mama problem, it’s an us problem.

After all of this thinking, I decided to do something that seemed to most to be counterintuitive, but made perfect sense to me and my family. I signed up for a yoga teacher-training program. Then I took on two adjunct classes to pay for the program. csypic

Now friends, I’ve loved yoga since I was twelve years old and started doing poses from a special edition Redbook I stole from my mother. I love the release in my lower back and shoulders in child’s pose, and the strength I feel in a warrior series. It also is something that always comes last in a list of family priorities. I joke to my friends that my memoir will be called “Can I Please Just Go To Yoga?” because in any given week that is my only request. I didn’t meet any yoga friends until college, and I didn’t find a studio that felt like home until I was in my 30’s. I can mark every major event in my adult life by the poses I was practicing. I remain convinced that yoga can fix nearly everything, and I will talk about this, at length, to anyone who will listen.

Whenever I thought about teacher training, though, I thought about all of my other responsibilities. Soccer games and family time and balanced meals. It’s time now. It will be many years before I have fewer family obligations, but I am no longer accepting “crazy-busy”. I will no longer glorify busy. We could talk about mommy wars and judgment and how the busiest mom is often deemed the winner, but I think we all know this already. I’m bucking the trend, friends. Join me.

So I’m sitting here in the afternoon light, surveying the to-dos and thinking about tomorrow, my first day of yoga teacher training.

By participating in this training, and paying for it immediately, I’m actively slowing down. I may not be doing less, but I’m doing with purpose. And I am not wasting my energy on worrying about it. An old co-worker used to tell me not to run at work. “Heather,” he’d say, “you’re going to get there at the same time no matter how fast you go”.

I’m thinking about you all, dear readers, and hoping you can shed the guilt, like I’m trying to do, of slowing down. I’m reminding myself to not answer, “oh, busy” to one single person who asks how I’m doing. I’m anxious to begin something new, and proud that I am brave enough to consider my life, still full and blessed, but different.