I spent much of the past week visiting my old stomping ground, the suburbs of Chicago where I grew up. I had the rare privilege of actually being with my father on Father’s Day, as well sampling local yoga classes and leading a workshop at yogaview in Wilmette. It was fantastic! I was reminded in multiple ways, at various times, of the importance of slowing down and relaxing. With less time spent working and more time with friends, family, and my yoga practice, I slept better and found time to read a novel – something I hadn’t done in months despite being an avid reader.
My Learnings and Recommendations:
1) Still Alice, by Lisa Genova. Excellent book. Couldn’t put it down.
2) Make time to do less. If you don’t schedule down time into your schedule it’s not going to happen. And down time doesn’t necessarily mean going for a 5 mile run; sometimes it is important to do nothing.
3) If you don’t have the attention span to sit down and read a book, listen to music, or just daydream, you should treat this as a warning sign that your nervous system is in overdrive. Take inaction immediately.
4) While leading a workshop on “Stress, Cancer and Yoga” I had the privilege of being with a wonderful group of yogis, some of whom commented on how nice it was to “get back to the basics” with yoga. Yoga’s real benefit more often than not is helping us let go – of tension, unhealthy patterns, stress, and imbalances. A simple yoga practice that helps us let go is more powerful than a power class that builds you up.
5) If you find yourself on the North Shore of Chicago, looking for a yoga class that will soothe your soul, I highly recommend Touching Earth, a new studio in Highland Park. I took Ceily Levy’s Yin & Meditation class and thought it was excellent.
I LOOK FORWARD to returning to yogaview in Wilmette this September for my Yoga for Survivors Teacher Intensive. If you are are a yoga teacher who wants to make a difference in the lives of cancer survivors, I hope you will join us!