Wednesday, July 27, 2011

more on the importance of safe zones


"There is more to life than merely increasing its speed." ~Gandhi

Yesterday I wrote briefly about our designated safe zone at Maya Tulum. Today I'm thinkin' about why I needed a a quiet, safe, spot to retreat to at Maya Tulum and why you probably need a safe zone of your own.

I had 20 amazing yogis join me in Tulum this summer. It was a nice size group. Some would consider this small, some would consider it large. It's all perspective. Regardless, it was 20 people that I was 100% invested in taking care of. Sometimes taking care meant offering assistance in a pose during class, other times that meant taking a walk to connect to their story and reason for retreating, other times it meant me sitting alongside them at lunch and hearing what this week means to them. Because I love to lead retreats, because I believe in the power of them, and because I enjoy the students that come, I really want to give. And give. And give.

But I've learned that I have to take care of myself and I do. In Tulum taking care of myself means going a couple days early and staying a couple days late. It means that I retreat to the safe zone. It means that I take a nice long walk on the beach after I've finished teaching for the day. It means that I get massage (preferably after I've finished teaching for the day).

What I do during retreat varies very little from what you do on any given day. Think about the people that you tend to, that you care for in one way or another. Andy, my husband is a teacher to about 800 students. Now that is a lot of tending to, caring for, and shaping the lives of precious lil kiddos.

This is only one part of your day. Think about all the other things you do like running errands, driving to and from places, the exchanges at all the places you go to, even the exchanges with people that you love all require energy.

Wayer Muller says, "Every gesture, every thought or touch uses some life."

We as yogis are familiar with prana, and even more specifically pranayama. Prana is essentially the flow of your life force. Life force being that charge that sustains you and your life.

I have this feeling that many of us are more aware of our breath, and our prana in general more on the yoga mat than we are off the mat. We may ponder how much energy we are expending holding Warrior poses, but we are less aware of how much energy we are expending when we continually say yes, add another meeting, and take another phone call.

Then at the end of the day, week, or year we collapse and wonder why we are feeling sick, burned out, depleted, and/or sad.

Safe zones, sacred places are where we can go to recharge and renew. And if we can do that daily then all the better.

Also, I think it's important to mention the intention behind the safe zone. Because we can certainly take our work, our worries, and other commitments to the safe zone. The safe zone is a place we can rest, write, sing, do yoga, pray, and at the beginning or the end of the day light a candle in honor of safe and sacred time, pause and connect.

Here's to safe and sacred zones.....:)

1 comment:

Mia said...

I love this idea of safe zones, Sharon. Some time ago I was thinking of what space in our small-ish apartment I can use as a safe zone. I do have a yoga corner, but since it's in the same room as my home office it still becomes distracting. But then I started to think that sometimes, it's not so much the physical space as it is about what we DO in that space. I realized that my safe zone is really my kitchen! I love the quiet that I experience in late afternoon/early evening, before my husband comes home (not saying that I don't like it when he comes home, of course!), as I prepare dinner. It's like letting go of the effects of the day as I ground myself in chopping and slicing and stirring :)