Woke at 4 AM feeling like an over-fizzed bottle of Pellegrino shaken and uncapped before the bubbles could settle. So much Energy. Surprising considering I taught and took four hot yoga classes yesterday. This was supposed to be a morning to sleep in (granted for me that’s still before 7 AM). What gives?
Still succumbing to the residual effects of last week’s head cold, I laced up my neon running shoes anyway and savored every step of a pre-dawn, pre-asshole driver/speeder/texter 4-mile run. Between several snot-clearing strides, in the outdoor sleeping city calmness, I thought about the bubbles I woke up with this morning: wouldn’t it be wonderful to bottle that kind Energy and uncap it at will?
Maybe, maybe not. Waking up with a distinct deficit in Energy has its place too. It implores me to dive below the surface, reflect on what’s going on in my life and recalibrate – take a few classes off the plate, dial back on late night fistfuls of animal cookies, eradicate the words sorry and it doesn’t matter (when it clearly does matter), for example.
But I’ll stick to today’s experience of bubbling over with Energy. Where did it come from, what can I learn from it?
Your work in the world is meant to be about expressing the power and spirit that’s within you.” – Baron Baptiste
Reflecting on everything I experienced yesterday, I traced this morning’s Energy boost back to my first Baptiste Power yoga class seven years ago at a studio in Seattle. Rolling out my mat at the end of a long day locked in my head combing through data, stuck in meeting rooms brainstorming with sales and creative teams on how to boost membership at a tony athletic/business club in the midst of a spooky recession, and wedged into a pair of heels I wanted to hurl out my office window, I doubted I’d make it through a 90-minute hot practice. No Energy. No chance. Until I started to move. Expand. Express. The Energy came out of nowhere. How could I – I wondered at the end of that class seven years ago – leave feeling so energized after an impossibly long and frustrating day at work?
Baron’s quote above captures it for me. Any endeavor that allows me to fully express the power and spirit within me comes with built in carbonation. My previous career taught me much, but grew flat and zapped my energy. Subsequent post-work classes that first year helped me recognize I could no longer tolerate another pair of 9-hour heels or meeting room swivel chair. My path into teaching yoga has since given me access to so many bubbles. Bubbles that can burst, however, if taken for granted.
During my run this morning I thought about the two classes I taught, and the two classes I took yesterday. All so different, but all infused with an inner desire to express and share my joy of movement with others. Through moving my own body to the words shared by my teachers. Through my words reflected in the bodies of my own students.
To keep my bubbles present, I have to practice. A lot. From many teachers. I know some teachers who rarely practice, and yet somehow manage to breeze in, sprinkle the class with genius, and leave me feeling amazing. I’m not that teacher. I say with both pride and a little bit of shame that I work my ass off in other teachers’ classes and still struggle to sprinkle even the smallest fleck of genius in my own classes. In the two classes I took yesterday – one with a seasoned teacher, the other with two newer teachers tag-teaming a Community class – I left with some lovely flecks of genius: a personal story shared that enhanced my Half Pigeon pose; a hands-on assist in Prasarita I got to replicate in my own class one hour later; a reminder to press down through the inner edge of my front foot.
I loved every moment of it, regardless the sweat pouring down my face or fire torching my front thigh in Extended Side Angle. I gain knowledge and inspiration from EVERY teacher I practice with, regardless their level of experience, and am ever-grateful to the teachers who share their love of practice in my classes. Giving, receiving, expressing through this extraordinary practice I’ve grown to love so much, I realized on my run this morning, is my direct route into finding Energy.
Feeling flat? Perhaps these words will help you get your bubbles back. Love and peace.