by Nicole Becker
I was exhausted.
Did I mention the 2.5 year old?
The Yoga Teacher Training requirement was that we practiced 1.5 hours of asana at home 5 days a week and go to 2 classes per week with our teachers. These were intensive classes that pushed us to our edges. I still have permanent injuries from those days (don't get me started on my tirade about that!)
Now I was a Yoga Teacher but the problem was that I was so exhausted that I just couldn't keep up my intense home practice like before.
So I Quit Yoga!
I stopped doing these 90 minute intense home practices and going to classes.
But it was like my dirty little secret!
Because Yoga Teachers are supposed to have a home practice!
It's a cardinal rule!!!
Ok - well I didn't really quit Yoga. I just quit pushing myself to live up to some imposed standard of what a "real" yoga practice should look like. I quit trying to hold myself to a standard that was depleting me rather than nourishing me.
I told myself that for ONE WHOLE YEAR I would let myself do ONLY Restorative Yoga at home.
You see the photo in this post? I basically did some version of that almost every day for 15-45 minutes per day.
Sometimes I would do it in the bathroom of the office where I worked!!! Seriously! I would bring a beach towel and put it on the floor in the bathroom and put my legs up the wall during my lunch break. To be fair it was a BIG bathroom!
For a whole year.
That's the only physical Yoga I did.
I had to deal with a lot of self-imposed guilt and it actually took me years to admit to fellow teachers that I wasn't doing an active asana practice at home - or pretty much at all. But it felt soooo goood.
I gained so much energy back. I actually gained more strength and flexibility too! My intuition and subtle awareness opened up and I could read stress patterns in my students more easily. I became an avid student of the nervous system, geeking out everything I could find out about the physiology of stress and the science of relaxation.
As I dove into the scientific side of rest I better understood how Yoga improves our health from every angle - physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
But for Yoga to be healing, it must be practiced holistically!
Yoga is a system (an ecosystem) of movement, breath, rest, meditation, and surrender into something bigger than yourself. If you are missing one part or have too much of another, you create imbalance.
When I surrendered to Restorative Yoga, I was surrendering to the wisdom of my body/heart telling me I desperately need rest. Funny how we always make change once we hit a wall.
I try not to hit the wall anymore before making a needed change.
And my mission is to help those of you who are exhausted to fill up again. Not just with rest, but with kindness and self-acceptance. With joy and vitality.
And for those of you who can appreciate the preventative approach, I am here to help you maintain and deepen a practice of radical self-care that honors every layer of your being.
So, I hope you'll "Quit Yoga" with me sometime and take part in a class or course that encourages you to drop the artificial standards of perfection and embrace yourself right where you are!!
I have several classes and programs that might be useful so feel free to message me if you're wondering where to start this journey of deep wellness.
All My Love,
by Nicole Becker
Most Yoga/Meditation out there these days is what I call "empty calories". It's like health food that doesn't really have any nutritional value. Like the chips section of the natural grocery store. We love the chips!!! But they're not really doing anything deeply nourishing or restorative for us in the long run.
Empty calories yoga has a healthy label but is really just junk food. It feeds superficiality and keeps people stuck in the endless loop of "never-enoughness" and incessant "progress".
Then there is the organic, locally grown, vibrant, rich and nutritious Yoga/Meditation that simultaneously cleanses you and nourishes you. It's medicinal and sacred and radically healing.
This is the Real Yoga that restores the natural habitat of your soul and psyche so that you return to SUPER NATURALNESS. Vibrant, balanced, full of aliveness, integrated into an ecology of deep wellness. Wholeness.
Real Yoga is the practice of returning to our full HUMAN-NESS, which is WHOLINESS.
Yoga/Meditation is meant to help us rest, reconnect and repattern our inherited/learned patterns of grasping, separation, and fear.
Do you want to be reinforcing the cultural conditioning of superficiality or nurturing your true nature/naturalness that is perfect and alive???
Author, Nicole Becker
Yoga Therapist, Retreat Leader, and Heart of Yoga Teacher, Nicole Becker offers yoga and self-care insights and tips.