According to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, there are eight limbs of yoga. Typically, this blog focuses on Limb No. 3: Asana – the physical practice of yoga. Today’s reflection will focus on the second limb: Niyama – the awareness and study of self. So gather ’round, yogis. I got a story to tell:
I don’t know why I am still surprised at how tiring it is to be a fortysomething grad school student holding down a full-time job, a family, and a daily yoga practice. But here I am: it’s the beginning of my second year and I’m flabbergasted by my life. I’m even more shocked by something I didn’t do last night:
I didn’t set an alarm for this morning.
Nope, I sure didn’t.
I’ve talked on the blog again and again about how I struggle with the concept of rest. Although I’m getting better at recognizing when I need to chill, I still need that push from time to time. I started my day at 5am yesterday, not ending it until after 8pm. I worked, attended a digital humanities course, started my practicum (aka my second library job), and ended it with a birthday dinner for my youngest child at her favorite restaurant. I came home and pulled out the books again, reading up on social media practices for lending libraries. Then I performed five skincare steps, brushed my teeth, set my alarm, crawled in bed, and cried from exhaustion. I cried because I was less than 72 hours into the new semester and was dog tired already. How the hell was I going to pull off my final year if I’m already waving the white flag?
As my husband – also a very tired hard-working adult – comforted me, he reminded me of my commitment to rest. I sat with that as he dozed off, wiping the remnants of my tired tears. I turned over, grabbed my cell, and turned my alarm off.
And I slept the entire night. No getting up to check on a child’s breathing at 3am. No late-night trips to the restroom for my pea-sized bladder. I just…slept.
I woke up at a more palatable 7:15am and started my day, more well rested than the day before. I know this won’t be a habit, turning off my alarm during the work week, but I learned last night that it is an option – and sometimes, a necessity.
See you on the mat tomorrow!
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