Protecting Balance

This past weekend was my first off in months after working hard for my YTT and working part-time through summer. I started gaining more balance, figuratively and physically!

Saturday I slept in until the late hour of 7:30. I did my meditation and journaling practice, and I headed to Moving Meditations‘ yoga in the park. They’ve been offering community yoga at the Saturday Morning Market for awhile, but I had YTT class so I couldn’t go. During this class, it started to rain. We were under a beautiful oak tree who protected us from the majority of the deluge. It felt wonderful to progress through the poses with the sound and feel of the rain surrounding us. It was a really nice practice.

After yoga, I went to the produce stand and bought eggs, honey, and veggies. Homeward I went, right across the street really, to unload my groceries and take a nap.

Later I had a meeting with the Renegades for Science group. We’ve got some cool events coming up soon. After that, a couple of the Renegades and I grabbed beers and talked. They gave me some really good feedback about some things I’m dealing with. I’m really excited about some of their future adventures. I walked with them back to their car and then walked home.

Sunday I slept in until the late hour of 5:30 (a whole 1.5 hours later than when I get up during the week!). I met my friends at Weedon Island Preserve. They somewhat recently bought stand-up paddleboards, and I recently became a registered, certified yoga teacher. Put those two together and you’ve got SUP yoga!

Photo courtesy of Mary Mangiapia

We paddled out to a sandbar and dropped anchor. My friends saw rays in the water on the way. There were clouds in the distance, but we thought they’d stay away. I led them through the yoga sequence I’d devised. I fell in the water twice. Concentrating on leading them through the pose while modeling the pose proved to be too much! (They didn’t fall in at all.) From my perspective, the practice felt clunky, with having to keep the paddleboards from drifting from each other and me sporadically falling in the water. From their perspective, they said it was wonderful and they had a great time. I’ll take that for a first go!

Mary was nice enough to get some pictures both before and after the yoga practice. We went out at sunrise, so the light was fantastic before. After it started to rain, and we were greeted by a rainbow. We could see both ends of the rainbow, and it even formed a circle through us as the rain came down! I’ve never experienced anything like it.

Afterward, we talked over breakfast and adventures. They’ll be doing the Everglades Challenge again next year, but Mary wants to do a big trip again. Like when she circumnavigated Florida in a kayak. We talked about the big bicycling trip I’m planning to do in Canada next June.

I definitely felt grateful to have such awesome friends who live such awesome lives.

Perhaps because of all of the yoga, and particularly the SUP yoga, this weekend has left me thinking about balance. I’m trying to integrate more of my non-school life with my job, largely via yoga and meditation. I’m trying to protect my “me” time. I love working with my students, but I know if I overwork myself I can’t serve them as well as I can when I have a reasonably balanced load. I won’t work past 9:00 on a weeknight. I’ll limit myself to a few hours of school work on the weekends, so I can enjoy them as much as I did this past one.

I’m feeling very grateful and happy right now. Even with being up at 4 a.m… But I know I have to protect the conditions that lead me to feel that way. I need to continue my yoga and meditation practice. I need to keep journaling. I need to keep eating healthy. I need to start exercising more fully. My yoga practice is making some of these things easier. But I know I need to protect my time so I can stay balanced. I’m of maximum benefit to the world that way.

How do you stay balanced when things get hectic? What’s the first healthy thing to go when you are too busy? What do you protect at all costs?

Keep fighting the good fight!

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