Monday, January 19, 2015


"Yoga is the method by which the restless mind is calmed and the energy directed into constructive channels. As a mighty river which when properly harnessed by dams and canals, creates a vast reservoir of water, prevents famine and provides abundant power for industry; so also the mind, when controlled, provides a reservoir of peace and generates abundant energy for human uplift."
-B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Yoga

During the summer, I go to yoga almost every day. It's how I refill that reservoir that is absolutely drained by the end of the school year. I eat better, I spend time in nature, I read for pleasure, and I exercise - walking, biking, paddle boarding, and, of course, I practice yoga. It is during those sunny summer months that I am able to nail difficult poses (even when I fall, I am smiling!), when my migraines abate, and when I am finally able to breathe again.

Yesterday's post got me thinking that this kind of self-love should not and cannot be reserved for the summer months only. I have to put myself and my needs first ALL YEAR LONG in order to keep that reservoir filled. Otherwise, I become short-tempered, angry, irritated, fat, lazy, anxious, unhappy, and sometimes even depressed. Last year, when my school district shut down for an extra five days following winter break, I even did "snowga" - the world had shut down, and there was nothing I could do about it, so I made the most of my extra time.

Yesterday's epiphany helped to re-order my priorities today. Instead of going to yoga this morning, I chose to go this evening with a dear friend. I went out to OU and paid my tuition and visited my cousin and my best friend who both work on campus. I took my daughter out to lunch and ordered myself a soup and salad. I visited my folks. My finger is so much better, I even took myself for a manicure.

You can hardly see that it's still healing!

I still have homework to do, and I have to pay the bills, but it is astonishing how a small paradigm shift made my day so much better. I am relaxed, happy, and looking forward to yoga tonight. 

I'm back in the classroom tomorrow, so the challenge will be to maintain this kind of self-care in the face of reality. That will be a struggle, but it is one I am convinced I have to face for my own sanity. 

I cannot possibly support anyone else until I find a way to support myself.

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