Ferris Bueller said it best, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.”
This has been a reoccurring theme in my life over the last few months. Professionally, I’ve had some pretty big, back-to-back projects at work I’ve had to tackle. Personally, I decided to audition to teach Hot Power Fusion at CorePower Yoga at the end of December, which meant spending all of my free time picking up my flashcards again and getting reacquainted with my cues. Then after I nailed the audition, I started teaching two to three yoga classes a week at the beginning of January, in addition to working my full-time day job. I also committed myself to volunteering one Saturday a month to lead a yoga warm-up for an all-ladies ski/snowboard event up at Mission Ridge in Wenatchee through April. Just last week, I put down my deposit for Yoga Sculpt Teacher Training that starts mid March. Somewhere amidst everything I’ve committed to professionally and personally, I’m trying to catch my breath, get enough sleep each night, maintain somewhat of a social life with a handful of close friends and find time to be on my mat for my own yoga practice. It’s a lot to manage right now and frankly, I’m overwhelmed.
Tonight, I lay in bed unable to sleep, thinking about my ever-growing To Do List for both work and personal life. There’s so much to do! I can’t help but wonder and worry, “Will I ever get caught up?” This question alone was enough to keep me from falling asleep tonight. Instead of wasting my time tossing and turning, I decided to get out my computer and tackle one of my To Do List items – update my blog with a new post. I’ve been meaning to write this very post for the last few weeks.
I always start each class I teach at CorePower Yoga with an invitation for students to set an intention for their practice. Setting an intention for a yoga class is an easy way to bring your yoga practice into your daily life, off of the mat. It’s what turns yoga from just being a physical exercise into a mental exercise. An intention can be a thought, quality or virtue you choose to think about on focus on during class. When I open the dialogue up in class for setting an intention, I always suggest an intention for students to try on, but only if they’re inspired to do so. Intentions are personal and private. Sometimes people come in already having something they’re focused on, which is totally cool. Sometimes people don’t want to think about anything other than the yoga poses and that’s cool too. The intention I suggest for class is just a guide for those looking for inspiration on what to think about or focus on during class.
During the first Hot Power Fusion class I taught at CPY, the intention I suggested for class was: Being Present. I chose this intention because I wanted to be present for my first class as an official yoga teacher and experience the class in the moment with all of my students. Here was my official intention suggestion for class:
You’ve all heard the saying, “There’s no time better than right now.” Make your intention for class tonight to be about being right here, in this exact moment. Be present for your practice for the next hour. Don’t think about your To Do List, what you have to do after class or what you have ahead of you next week.
For the next 60 minutes, think about you, be here on your mat and dive deep into your own practice. Think about how your body feels in each posture. And when you start to feel yourself slipping away and thinking about something else not in this room, the quickest way to get back into the present moment is to focus on your breath.
All together, let’s take a nice, deep inhale through your nose and open mouth exhale send that intention out into the room.
Fast-forward a month, I’m looking back on the flashcard I had scribbled my notes on for this intention for class and realized I could have just used Ferris Bueller’s famous quote and summed up what I was trying to say in two short sentences. I also realized I was publicly telling myself to slow down and enjoy the moment of teaching my first class. Had I not have made the intention suggestion of Being Present, I might have missed this important life moment and forgotten it forever.