So, this year has been an interesting one for me in terms of yoga and life in general. At times it has been difficult with some tragedy and heartache along the way. Along with that, I turned 40 last week. I didn’t foresee this as being a big deal or life changing. In fact, that would be quite scary if an imaginary button were somehow flipped! However, I do feel that over the past couple of years, my focus has changed. Things that once seemed important have shifted and priorities have changed along the way.
As many of you reading this would know, I take regular breaks from teaching during the school holidays. For many years it seemed no matter my intentions, I used some of that time to catch up on work which began to take it’s toll. Teaching yoga is such a joy but it’s still healthy to take breaks occasionally. I also have a serious dislike for admin which doesn’t help as being self employed inevitably involves this. Last year I decided that holidays were for just that, having a holiday from responsibilities as much as I could. I stuck to it resolutely and wow, what a change!
At the end of last year, we took our family out into a National Park to volunteer for a whole month. That’s a picture of me sitting by the river enjoying the surroundings. We often go on shorter trips camping out but this would be a whole month without phone coverage. It was so fantastic that we are doing it all again this year and even spending Christmas Day there. If you are down south during the Christmas holidays, we will be in the Warren National Park at Drafty’s Camp in Pemberton from 17 Dec to 17 Jan so feel free to drive in and say hi or stay a night or two camping in this divine spot. This experience created so much space for me to breathe that I realised life wasn’t as perfect as I’d imagined it was. The break allowed me an opportunity to assess the year ahead and how I wanted it to look and it’s been pretty close to what I imagined. Not without hiccups of course but that is to be expected.
Outside The Yoga Room
My yoga practice stretches far from my mat and the yoga room these days and has become a way of life for me. It is an embodied philosophy that helps me to cope when life runs away and I stupidly try to run to catch up! Yoga reminds me that I don’t have to run to catch anything. I’m already here in life, just where I’m meant to be. It seems so simple yet it’s easy to lose track of in the day to day. For me, life outside the yoga room is still about practicing, it’s about practicing life! We are always practicing, just like in the yoga room. Sometimes things come easily, other times they feel difficult but we practice nonetheless and learn things along the way.
I’m forever grateful for the learning which I thoroughly enjoy sharing with my students who incidentally are also my teachers! My greatest desire is that my students all eventually become their own teachers and really no longer need me. Seems silly to want to do myself out of a job doesn’t it. I love hearing all the stories about your holiday yoga practice and how you coped just fine outside of the yoga room Some of you may have got on your mat or just generally gone about living your yoga whatever that means to you.
I hope you have a wonderful festive season, this is my last BLOG for the year (probably?!) and I’ll see you back on your mats in the new year. You can view the timetable and term dates for next year here
Take care until then x
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About Charleyoga & Charley Hickey
Author: Charley Hickey C-IAYT is a practicing yoga therapist and senior yoga teacher who runs group and private yoga classes in Applecross, Bateman & Fremantle, Perth. She also runs specialised yoga workshops for yoga students & yoga teachers.