The hardest step is often getting ourselves there. To the mat, to the gym, to the pool, whatever it may be for us. We come up with all kinds of excuses: “I’m tired”, “it’s been a long day,” “I’ll just go tomorrow, tomorrow works better.” These excuses can go on for days, and before we know it, it’s been weeks since we last hit the mat. Many days we literally have to convince ourselves to go, talk ourselves into it and that it’s a good idea and important. We get into good streaks and we find ourselves in bad ones. How do we stop those bad ones? What can we do to get out of our slumps and get back to our practice?
We know what yoga does for us. We feel better – physically and mentally. Maybe that ache and pain that you usually have isn’t bothering you when you get to your mat on a regular basis. Maybe you feel more energetic and able to get things done. Maybe your day just runs a little smoother when you get to your mat in the morning. Maybe you sleep better. Despite all of the benefits we receive from our practice, we find it difficult to get ourselves there.
I often find it difficult as a student and as a teacher. It becomes even harder to separate the two when I teach all day and the only way I can make it to a class is to get up earlier, or squeeze it in between two classes I’m teaching.
Even as a teacher, it’s hard for me to always show up to teach at 100% for my students. I sometimes felt that if I wasn’t really all there, how are my students going to understand the importance of our yoga practice. More importantly, if I can’t be all there, it may give them the excuse to not be all there either. Eventually that barely there, turns into not showing up to your mat at all.
The best advice I have ever heard for teachers – and this goes for all teachers, mentors, etc. – is this:
“They show up for you, how dare you not show up for them.”
We’ve already talked about how hard it is for us to get to our mat. As a teacher, we have to show 100% even if we feel 40% of ourselves that day. We all have bad days. Our job is to help people move, create a safe space and allow them to find the stillness they need that day. It might be the only moment of peace they have all day.
When I have a bad day and I go to teach, I remind myself of this quote. Sometimes, I talk myself into it, at a certain point in talking myself into it, I realize I don’t need to talk myself into in. No matter what, I have NEVER felt worse after teaching a class than when I walked into the studio that day.
Ask yourself, whether you’re a student or a teacher – have you ever felt worse at the end of class than you did at the beginning? Probably not.
Do whatever you need to do. Get yourself there. Act like you feel 100% ready for it. You won’t regret it!