A Yoga Packed Weekend + Dealing With Anxiety
So apparently I said "Yes" to a lot of things over the summer that are all happening at the same time.
In a 3 week span I have multiple wellness fairs, the start of teacher training and a presentation at an annual conference. Oh and in totally random news, I'm taking my real estate licensure exam. More on that later.
The craziness kicked off this past Friday and I can't lie, I was feeling so much anxiety during the week leading up to it. It was a great lesson in mindfulness for me actually. Anxiety is a normal feeling/emotion. In mindfulness practice we don't try to fight or stop anxiety, we practice feeling it completely. When I started to feel the physical effects of anxiety I stopped and actually felt and brought awareness to the feelings in my body - the 'tightness', the shortness of breath, the knots in my stomach, the self-doubt and negative self-talk. I was able to identify these things immediately as anxiety. I was able to feel them fully and release them. I was able to tell myself, "You have a lot going on. These feelings are normal. You are prepared. These feelings will pass". In the past I may have given into the 'anxiety' and backed out of one or more of my commitments as a result. That is what anxiety tries to do, it tries to trick us into stepping out of our power instead of into it.
Other things I did to help were better prepare myself for my commitments - I practiced my speeches, wen't over my presentations a few more times, carved out more study time for my RE exam and went over my checklists. I also practiced self care - yoga, running, meditation, etc. By Friday morning I was feeling much more calm and confident.
The weekend started early Friday morning with the PA Breast Cancer Coalition's Annual Conference where I presented in both the morning and afternoon workshop sessions. Since I knew the attendees wouldn't be dressed for a physical practice, I used my time with to talk about the 8 limbs of yoga, the various styles of yoga and how they differ, and the connection between mindfulness and yoga. I spent most of my time on the latter as I think it is the most powerful benefit of a yoga practice, especially for someone dealing with the trauma of a cancer diagnosis.
The conference was a lot of fun. I ran into so many people I know from different parts of my past and current life. Also, the food was great! After my final presentation I headed straight to Yoga on Chocolate to kick off our first Teacher Training Weekend. While this is my fourth time leading a Teacher Training, I was especially nervous because I didn't know over half of the group and neither did my co-teacher, Pat! As soon as I met everyone though I immediately felt at ease and was assured that we were all meant to come together for this experience.
Our first weekend could not have gone any better. The trainees were attentive and hungry for information and Pat and I worked wonderfully together. The only problem is everything ran so smoothly that we burned through way more content than we had planned for. Not a bad problem to have.
While I started my week off with anxiety and self-doubt, by Sunday evening all I could feel was gratitude. Gratitude for the tools of yoga and mindfulness, gratitude for my teaching partner, Pat for trusting me as a co-leader, gratitude for my husband who took care of the house and dogs and made sure I had a home cooked meal every night after training, and gratitude for the all of the teacher trainees who showed up big this weekend. I am excited to see where these next few months take us.
My busy schedule continues throughout this week. I'll be teaching yoga and mindfulness at a local wellness fair today and this weekend I'm attending the Girls World Expo with Athleta to share the benefits of yoga and self care with young girls from all over the state and also to promote our newest program at STUDIO B, Project Y.E.S. - Yoga, Empowerment and Self-Esteem Training for pre-teen and teenage girls. Click below to learn more about Project Y.E.S. and to sign your daughters up for our next session which starts January 10th!