”Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are.” ~ Jason Crandell
Sometimes it’s too much too handle…
Today’s post is very personal. I sometimes feel an urge to share my feelings and mood swings when in China with a larger group of people (one of the perks of being a blogger). I came back from Europe to China 3 months ago with certain ideas and goals in my head to implement:
- Travel more frequently around China on my days off.
- Plan South America Journey for 2015 (6 months on the road).
- Start learning a new language and improve my oral Chinese.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle and inspire others to do so.
- Make eTramping more informative.
- Publish our e-Book.
- Improve my teaching skills at work.
- Get myself ready for moving to Europe for a year to do my Master’s Degree in Social Media and Blogging.
I love challenges and I’m ambitious but this time it was definitely too much to handle. I worked long hours in the kindergarten to become more efficient teacher. I spent hours in front of my laptop blogging, e-mailing and working on our social media channels. I worked out a lot. I studied a new foreign language for hours (Dutch). I traveled like crazy during the weekends. I didn’t sleep much. I put too much pressure on myself. One morning I just broke down in tears…
I was sleep-deprived. I had a bad cold. I felt miserable. I hated my blog. I hated my travels. I hated China. I fell out with Cez. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. Total slough and emptiness.
Then my mom came along saying “Sit down for a minute, quiet down, meditate and pray. Make your mental and physical health priority. Find serenity and fight your stress!”
So I did.
I packed my yoga mat and put on some sport clothes. I cycled to one of the most relaxing and charming places in Dalang – Songshan Lake. I sat down on the grass. I totally chilled out. I closed my eyes. I started controlling my breathing. I calmed down. It was just me and my thoughts. Nobody around. The time stopped…
After a couple of minutes I started loving this feeling of not being stressed anymore. I smiled. I was getting back to my old me – full of energy and positive attitude towards life…
That day made me realize that I lack balance in my everyday life. It’s been always black or white, one extreme or another, my way or no way, 100% in or out. I wanted to change this. I don’t need to be perfect all the time – nobody is. I can’t put so much pressure on myself. I need to find this balance between working hard and chilling out. It’s ok to be lazy for a day or two, go for a trip without making notes every 5 minutes while thinking of the next blog post and taking photos like crazy. I need more fun and more time for myself.
Finding the balance through yoga and meditation
I started reading about yoga and meditation a lot. As Catholic, I don’t believe in Buddhist approach to life and after-life (although I fully respect it), but I found yoga (as a form of exercise) and meditation (as a form of relaxation) so beneficial.
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- It increases my strength and flexibility.
- It lowers my blood sugar.
- I feel much healthier and fitter.
- I sleep much better.
- I’m definitely more relaxed throughout my day.
- I have my energy.
- My migraine and tiredness is gone.
- I started to appreciate little things happening in my life I never paid attention to before.
- I focus more on fixing things, not destroying them.
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- It helps me quieten down and release my stress and get myself ready for a busy day in China.
- I started listening to my body and follow my heart.
- I became more organised when it comes to work and travel.
- I’m on a good way to change my lifestyle and find my balance between work, travels and sport.
What I love the most about yoga is the fact everyone can do it and I can do it anytime I want and anywhere I want. All I need is a piece of ground, a yoga mat and some water.
I’ve been practicing yoga and meditation for more than a month now. I’m totally new to it so I discover new things every day which is so exciting. I do some meditation right after I wake up to get myself mentally ready for a busy day at work. As for yoga, I try to practice it every two days for about 15 minutes at home or go for a longer 45 minute sessions at the lake.
I try to be creative and innovative so I often come up with some “weird-looking” poses nobody else could follow (Cez can’t stop laughing when observing me), but I don’t really care as long as the poses make me feel good and more flexible.
Everyone has their own way of dealing with pressure and stress nowadays. I’m glad I found mine. So far it’s been working well and I hope it will stay this way.
”The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind & the harmony of the soul create the symphony of life.” ~ B.K.S. Iyengar