It looks like you are using an AD Blocker, we understand and we would like to share that we are an online media living partly living off advertising revenues. Please turn off your blocker or Subscribe to YOGI Times and we will turn off the ADs for you for one year.
| Hatha Yoga | | Personal Story | | What is Hatha Yoga |
parley: yoga & the crisis worker
I’ve had two new things enter my life recently, the first being yoga and the second being on-call for mental health crises. Quite opposite, I know. I’ve been ramping up my yoga practice to “as frequently as I can go” mode in order to compensate for the stress, anxiety, and fear inherent in crisis work.
In the four short months I have been regularly practicing, I have already experienced the high from regular practice and simultaneous management of a chaotic life, down to wondering why I’m not managing as well, and then realizing I haven’t been to a yoga class in two weeks. After my wonderment about how positively yoga had impacted my life, I quickly picked it back up.
Now, being on call is also a new experience. The 12 hour shifts are a combination of freedom and captivity; where you can do what you want so long as you are available at a moments notice. Cranking a jack-in-the-box for 12 hours, if you will. This past Saturday I decided that I would try something different; going to a class while on call.
I rolled out my mat, changed from my business casual clothes, and set my silenced pager next to my mat. I noticed my anxiety creeping up. I was already wondering how I would be able to focus, let alone worrying about worrying about being focused. But this was a challenge, and class was starting. Shavasana.
Behind closed eyes my mind was flying. I hope I make it more than 10 minutes! I wonder how quickly I’ll be able to reach the pager if it goes off? Am I being rude? This pager makes me feel sort-of important. “Wow,” I thought. “This is going terribly. What can I do to fix this?”
Putting my trust in mindful, focused breath and movement worked me through my anxiety about being called, ability to focus, and fellow yogis. Virabhadrasana; Parivrtta Anjaneyasana; Plank; Adho Mukha Svasana. Breathe. I found myself in that calm, content place. Even as I got paged 30 minutes in to my practice I calmly waited through 3 poses, came out of downward facing dog, and excused myself to make a call.
Happily I was able to return and finish class, more easily slipping back into a mindful state than the first time. Discovering that I had the ability to let go under pressure has reinforced that yoga is applicable to my life outside the studio, that it is more than a workout. I find myself using the mind-space of Shavasana, and kundalini –breath of fire- to let go of frustrations. I am happy about the two new things in my life, and am excited to see the ways in which my roles as crisis worker and yogi continue to parley.