I am sitting on the floor. My back towards the bed. My body curled into a little ball. Tears are running down my cheeks. I am sobbing. My boyfriend comes in to comfort me. He says: “this is a great teaching. Learn to live with the chaos around you. You are a great teacher, and now you need to be your own teacher.”
It has been a rough couple of weeks. When I moved to Denmark I planned to not spend winter here, and I always managed to escape this muddy, grey, dark, rainy place. But last winter was different – we all know why.
I just opened my own yoga studio and 3 weeks later Denmark went into log down. So I started teaching online, 6 days a week, approx. 3 classes a day. Even during our Xmas vacation I took my students ‘with me’. And their love and support is overwhelming. But it took some toll on me. Powering through the winter in a place I didn’t want to be. I am beyond grateful for my boyfriend, who promised me from the beginning to be my rock, and he still is.
So I was holding my head up high. Feeling responsible to be there for my students and fighting to keep my little yoga business alive, during some very challenging times. But the tension kept on building up.
A few weeks ago I could open my studio again. It is going very slow. So I made a tough decision. I will close the studio in just a few weeks and change the focus of my company. Does it feel like failure? Honestly that didn’t come to my mind once (only when one of my friends told me it was not a failure, which it wasn’t). I learned so much. I mean who can say they opened a yoga studio from scratch in just one week. I am happy about every class we shared there together and all the new students who found their way to Warrior Princess Yoga through the studio.
I was already low in energy from all the classes, the advanced yoga education courses I took and the many articles I wrote in the last couple of months, the move to the countryside into an apartment that still has so many flaws, all without a proper time out. Having to make a business decision to stop the studio made me even more stressed. Now I said it STRESS. It really dawned on me when we had the stress relief and management workshop the other day, that I wasn’t truly aware of all the possible stress symptoms, which I definitely showed – ask my boyfriend, he has been through some of my serious mood swings – must be true love he is still with me. But I had to admit to myself, I am pretty damn stressed. It was building up over such a long time now.
Besides closing down the studio, I am bringing my online offers to a halt. I decided to realign my business. Less public classes, more privates and deeper yoga education. Being my own teacher is also to apply all the other layers of yoga into one’s life. I started to educate myself more on stress, it’s causes, effects and symptoms, to help people like me. I am offering more workshops and now also yoga teacher training. But I also need to take a break, to make the first step into learning to deal better with the chaos around me – and if you’ve ever been self-employed or an immigrant there is at times a lot of chao. I found a retreat in Denmark, which I am very much looking forward to. And guess what, the Universe came around the corner to challenge me in this as well. I got a very good modelling job offer exactly in this one week and I said no, I had to. The quick money cannot buy my well-being. I need a timeout – now.
So why on earth am I sharing this with you? Because you are not alone, I also don’t always have my shit together. You probably won’t see me cry in one of our classes, and believe me I have been crying sometimes up to 2 minutes before a class was starting, I wash my face and I get myself together to be there for you. But I am also in pieces sometimes. Does that make me a bad teacher because I also sit on the floor sobbing sometimes? Maybe – who am I to judge, but I am definitely a lifelong student (jnana yoga). To quote my boyfriend again,” you are a great teacher, because you know how it can be. You can feel and understand your students better than someone who has never been down”. Well admittedly he is a bit biased, but hey I can see some truth in this and it keeps me going. And I hope my little story can help you to keep on going as well. And maybe this is also a secret love letter to the man by my side.