Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Fish burrito, hanging on, end of summer, cartoons, whatever. I'm too scattered to come up with a title.

Remember those cartoons you saw when you were a kid, when the character would cling desperately to a branch as the creature below tried to pull him down? I felt like that cartoon character today.

Those of you who read my last blog post kindly listened to me lament about the end of my lazy summer and return to the classroom. (To those of you with normal nine-to-five jobs, I humble myself before you. I deeply appreciate that no one commented that I was a self-absorbed ninny ;-) It's hard to describe the feeling of being on an extended vacation and comparing it to my "normal," workaday self. During summer, I'm much more passive. I'm an observer. I can let my days unfold slowly. During the semester, I have to operate with an almost manic energy. Once I'm in the flow of it, of course I love it all--I'm productive, I have fun, and I feel a real sense of purpose. But that transition? Man.

Talk about transition! Today was the first day back: back to the classroom, back to the evening yoga class. That clingy sensation was so strong, it took some some real doing to let go of the summer's undoing. Walking onto campus this morning, I was in a daze. Even a visit from a sweet former student did nothing to jar me from summer mode. As I walked into the first class and saw the students' open, nervous, expectant faces, I though, "Oh dear. I'm supposed to be the teacher. I'm not ready. Get me the f**^ outta here."

The first 20 minutes or so, I was not on top of my game. I was nervous. Probably, it showed a little. I made a couple of attempts at jokes that fell flat. It wasn't until I allowed myself a 10-second mental break as I walked from the rickety podium to the side of the room to fix the lights that I was able to remember that all I had to do was be present. I didn't need to be a "teacher," I just had to cover the syllabus. Then, I'd do a get-to-know-ya activity. Then, I'd briefly introduce the first homework assignment.

The students warmed up to the class as I calmed down. It was a great reminder to not act, to not try so hard to entertain, or to please, or whatever it is I do when I'm around people I don't know. And during the second class, I was much more relaxed. Even though I was "on top of it," I was on top because I was just... me, doing what I was supposed to be doing.  

The 5:00 p.m. yoga class went the same way. At the beginning, I was so clinging to that branch. "Evening classes are too hot! I miss my 9:00 a.m. class. I'm distracted. I'm too tired. I like the 9:00 people better. This teacher sucks." Waaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh, right?

But I bet I'm not the only one... That creature pulling us down? I think it's ourselves. It's our own mind, trying to cling desperately to avoid something we're already living with. Yoga can serve a such a microcosm for what's going on in our lives.

OK, I'm officially out of juice. There is one decadent bonus to attending the evening class: a post-yoga burrito from my favorite Mexican place! Time to go eat.

Please enjoy this completely random photo that came up when I googled "hanging on." The only connection I can make is that I am about to eat a fish burrito for dinner.
Oh, heck yeah!


aHappyYogi said...

First week back to work after a long vacation, I know the feeling, sitting here on my chair at the office and have to go to the busy eveing classes instead of the not so busy afternoon classes.

SylviaG. said...

Lol! Me say: Morning classes (read: 10am)suck! I´m stiff, I can´t move, I sweat differently, I sweat a lot even though I haven´t drunk that much..." LOL
Oh, yeah, I know that creature(s) pulling me down...:) Me, myself and I - all three of us! :)
If I ever make to TT (hopefully one day in the near future), one of my biggest concern will be the early morning class (8am), since the earliest I ever practiced was 10 am....
I wich you good luck and lots of (positive) energy at school with your students!

lz said...

"That creature pulling us down? I think it's ourselves. It's our own mind, trying to cling desperately to avoid something we're already living with. Yoga can serve a such a microcosm for what's going on in our lives."
So, so true and well said. This post was such a delight to read - isn't it interesting how when we calm down and are open, then things go more smoothly? I felt that when teaching too... I think that students can subconsciously sense when we are anxious and then are less receptive to what we say. So I guess the best thing to do is just let go and trust...

Catherine said...

After the skunk fiasco, the BF and I fried up some fish and made fish burritos. Dinner was, by far, the high point of my week thus far.

Hope you are back to being relaxed into just doing what you do. :D

Yolk E said...

I love y'all's insights! Thanks for the comments.

So glad the post resonated, Lz. It's incredible how we can become obsessed with making things "go right," and that very obsession can make things go horribly wrong!

Catherine, I agree... a good burrito can make everything OK!

Hmm, Sylvia... it's so interesting we have different preferences. Want to trade places?? :-)

Lush said...

A change in season (with school in session) with a change in yoga practice (evening classes), that sounds like a great opportunity for adjustment or just shaking things up a little! :) Of course, fish burritos sound like a good reward for such change. Btw- I sent you an email a few days ago. Not sure if you've received it?