It’s midterms weekend and like in the previous quarter, I find myself in the library trying to finish up my reviewer before I start the test. This week is filled with anxiety for the whole class, and I am not spared from this feeling. I, too, feel anxious about the test itself, but I was able to successfully employ a few tactics to manage this stress. I am much more calmer, alert and ready to take on this test.
Today I made time for yoga despite the yoga studio being out of the way from my routine earlier. An hour and a half is that in-between time that is not sufficient to start a camp in the library, but at the same time, every time I get to study for this test is precious and I did not want to waste that on waiting before yoga class. I went to church in River North, and since I had an hour and a half of free time after church and before my yoga class, I headed back to Lincoln Park where the gym is located and stayed at the coffee shop next door to do 1.5 hours worth of reading. Even if I spent money on expensive coffee and only staying there an hour (I don’t mind spending on great coffee especially if I camp out in the cafe for more than 2 hours), I think it the time and money invested was all well spent. I was able to focus and digest what I was reading. Caffeine must’ve helped, along with my determination to go through my notes in under two hours.
Following that coffee break, I went to yoga class. The 4 pm yoga class at Equinox-Lincoln Park is a new addition which I gladly welcomed, especially since it accommodates busy Sundays when I couldn’t make it to the morning yoga classes. The instructor was especially fantastic, who really helped us push our practice by challenging us to make small tweaks to regular poses. We didn’t learn a new pose but I felt that we improved on the poses that we do know already. After the class, I felt a sense of focus, calmness and strength that I felt cannot be shaken. Breathing, striving to get a challenging pose right, patience, approaching this with ease, and quieting the mind all help bring about this calmness.
The main thing I learned in today’s yoga class is: Allowing ourselves to let go of negative things, things that does not serve us and that add to our burden, on the mat. As we awoken from shavasana, we can leave all negative things on the mat and begin the remainder of the day with renewed spirit. What a powerful message.
She shared with us this quote:
“Man, because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then he dies having never really lived.”
She encouraged us to create space for mental, spiritual and physical nourishment through our practice. It is true that amid hectic schedules and urgent deadlines, an hour’s worth of yoga helps me make it a point to save some time for myself too, and it’s an activity that doesn’t only help me take a break but also inspires me to slow down and live in the present.