Back to the Basics
I’ve been teaching at Rooted Yoga and Fitness for about a year now. It’s a lovely little studio that is anti diet-culture, and pro strong bodies and strong communities. As an instructor, I sometimes feel the pull to create new, fresh, and constantly changing classes for my students and for myself.
I was beginning to feel like I was in a teaching rut–I was using the same cues, I was teaching similar sequences, and needed to switch it up. I started scouring the corners of my brain and the internet in hopes that I could revitalize my classes, and my own practice. I found what I thought I was looking for and started running away from my “basic” and boring flows, and replaced them with funky, challenging, and dynamic sequences to challenge my students.
I thought I would reach a place of joy, a feeling of enough, and a sense of accomplishment. Instead, I felt a sense of dread each time I walked into the studio. The classes were getting more and more challenging to remember as I tried to increase their difficulty and uniqueness. Not wanting to stay in the place of dread, I attempted to remember some of my favorite classes. I was wracking my brain and could only remember the classes I had labeled basic, boring, or normal–the very classes I was actively trying not to teach.
I turned back to my notes from my teacher training in 2018 hoping to find inspiration amidst my old notes. Indeed, I found inspiration, but not in the ways that I was looking for. In the corners of the tattered pages of my yoga notes, in my crammed handwriting I remembered. I remembered–the so called “basics” I’d been trying to avoid were exactly what I needed to return to, for myself and my students.
In our sometimes chaotic world of social media and the 24-hour news cycle, we are led to believe that we must constantly reveal new versions of ourselves, create novelty in our everyday lives, and new, exciting experiences for our children so they never bore. That certainly is one option- but there’s another option as well.
We can choose to move through life finding comfort in “the basics.” Spending time with loved ones, putting our phones down, listening to the sounds of city or nature, and remembering that we once thought these basic joys in life were spectacular enough to hold our attention for more than a few moments.
We can return home to the basics whenever we’re ready to revel in their joy–we can stand outside with our toes in the grass, we can watch the clouds pass by, we can balance in tree pose and remember. We can remember that the things that we are running from, might just be the things that settle our soul the most.