Regular practitioners of Bikram Yoga often hear the phrase, "Maximum exertion to maximum relaxation." (Teachers: is this part of the dialogue? Or just a Bikram-ism?) It's a good reminder. You work, struggle, and sweat, giving 100% in the posture, and then you let go completely, allowing your body and mind to restore its natural rhythm and prepare for the next pose.
But I've always found that whole relaxation thing to be, ironically, a big struggle. I remember when I first came back to yoga, those savasanas between the postures were the times where I really had to keep a handle on my bucking bronco brain. By the time I hit the floor, I always wanted to bolt from the room. I was usually OK during the postures--relaxing between each was the problem.
Fortunately, that part of class has gotten easier with time. In fact, I am to the point where I can really sigh and sink down into the floor, enjoying each of those juicy, nourishing 20 seconds. Too bad it's not floating over into my outside life a bit more!
I can't help see the connection to the seasons of a teacher's life! Like may people, I think I crave that perfect balance between work and fun, between business and relaxation. I don't want to be up to the gills in teaching and all that comes with it, but I don't want to feel bored or purposeless. Maybe striving for that "perfect balance" isn't realistic. If we don't give it our all sometimes, how can we ever see what we're capable of? And if we don't allow ourselves to relax completely, how do we ever truly come back to equilibrium? Part of learning to accept the moment is acknowledging that the moment is often not what we want.
I mentioned in a previous post that I'm off for the summer. I went from the maximum exertion of the regular semester to the relaxing dolldrums of summer. Occasionally, I need to work on losing the desire to "bolt from the room." I'm learning just sit with who I am and what's around me. (It's actually getting better! I bet that by the time I get the hang of it, school will be starting again ;-)
I'm in an extended 20-second savasana. I should just take it, right??