Hello All and Happy Monday, We are settling into the new house and I don’t want to leave. Last week was a tough week for me. I really let someone else get the better of me and dictate my actions and emotions. It was very hard for me to get a handle on it. The timing couldn’t have been better, though. I was scheduled to teach the Pranayama portion of my 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training program and it was like a big slap on the face of, “hey -here are the tools…. USE THEM!” But it didn’t matter. I was really upset. In the heat of the moment, I put in for a sub request for both my Friday and Saturday classes. While teaching yoga is a wonderful anchor for me, I knew I couldn’t show up for the practitioners if I couldn’t get a handle on my own shit. I needed space to process. One of my teachers, Doug Keller, says, “While it is hard – though not impossible – to change a feeling in the moment, it is much easier to get a handle on the breath.” While I was so annoyed and upset last week, I knew I had to get a handle on my breath. What it actually felt like was I needed to catch my breath. And the reality is, it’s sometimes very difficult to take the time to get a handle on the breath. What the universe reminded me, once I found space, is that we are constantly re-learning the same lessons again and again. Which brings me to the hard truth I realized about a year into teaching. I’ve been teaching yoga all of Melissa’s life (Melissa is my second child and turned 7 in May). On my first day of my 200-hour Yoga Teaching Training program, I found out I was pregnant with her. If you have been pregnant or gone through a YTT program, or any kind of teaching/coaching program, you know both are emotional and life changing experiences. A lot was discovered or really uncovered over those months of pregnancy and training. After Melissa was born I started teaching very slowly, 1 class a week slowly turned into 2 classes for about a year, then all of a sudden, I was teaching 5, then 9, then 14 a week. During that time, I was writing, creating, being a mom, and finding my voice as a teacher. The readings I shared, the things I would say in class were resonating with practitoners. My classes were getting bigger, people were following me from place to place, I could sense the empowerment happening from things I was sharing and it felt amazing. Until the truth caught up with me. I recall leaving class one day, and thinking, what a poser I was. That if anyone were to come take a look at my life they would say, you are a liar. At that time, my marriage was unwinding, we were struggling in just about every area we could be and the future did not look bright. I didn’t believe I was worth or deserving of the love I craved even though I told everyone in my class that they deserved it. That day I decided that I had to not just believe what I was sharing with my class for them and me, I have to live it. I had to practice what I preached.
Doing that has led me down a path of amazing adventures. It led me ito leading workshops, retreats, building community with in the park classes, being recognized by Lululemon, and even wear a bikini for the first time in 7 years! It led to my freedom from my toxic marriage (one of the hardest things I’ve ever done) and it led me into the arms of true love.
Practicing what I preach has not always been easy and there is still so much work, but it’s all so worth it./ Our focus this month is Satya (truth) which can mean being aware of our actions and words so that when we choose them, they sync with the first yama, ahimsa.
This week I encourage you to become aware of whether or not you are practicing what you preach. Let me know what you have discovered. I love hearing from you. I hope to see you on the mat soon. If you are looking for a great way to enter the wekend, I will be at Georgie’s Pilates Loft for a Special Pop Up Restorative Candlelit Stretch with Jess class on Friday evening, December 7. You can sign up here. In truth and love, Jess