Day 28: action

Knowledge, without action, is useless.  It’s not what you learn, it’s what you live.”  

Dr Kyla Dillard

Sometimes I am tentative about going to power yoga class because it is so intense. I am always grateful after finishing, because I feel confidence in my body’s ability to be strong in the end, no matter how tired or stiff I feel beforehand.

During one of the vinyasa sequences, I realized that I have been neglecting my body prior to this yoga challenge. I assumed that mental fatigue meant that my body was tired too. I didn’t realize that I could energize my body physically by eating healthy power foods and allowing it to work through exercise to bring mental clarity.

Still having trouble with lunges because my flat feet hurt from flexing. Definitely going deeper in my hip openers and forward folds, so I think my spine and back feel better about extension poses. I was able to attempt wheel pose today! I will work on raising my hips and curving my back more.

It is hard to believe that the summer break is coming to an end this weekend. Still waiting on news from the bctf and our school board.

Day 27: time

Restorative class was wonderfully smooth. I felt very even and relaxed.

Not much else to say except that I feel like I have more time by taking time to take care of my body. It’s a great, positive cycle.

Time is a mysterious healer of all injuries. Even the chronic pain can even out to a softer, manageable condition with the right attitude. Feeling strong in all aspects.

On another note, I spent two hours in the company of books at the bookstore then at the public library. Borrowed a book and am enjoying the pleasures of sharing a book with all the people who have read it before me. Some people think it’s unsanitary or impersonal, but I rather think it’s quite a unique connection with the people in our city.

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I've got four of his other books on hold.

Professional growth

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I think there should be more open dialogue about being a young professional.

The reality is that tonight has not been the only night I’ve been up past midnight fretting about my career. (I am certain that I am not the first.) Now that I have actually begun climbing the ladder I feel anxiety similar to the panic I feel when I encounter heights. It is a fear of the unknown, the feeling that I must climb higher and knowing that the fall could potentially be further. I feel anxiety about my ability to stay strong and calm even when my palms sweat with anxiety during the worst parts. I also feel excitement about climbing closer to the top, and getting out of this terribly frightening experience of climbing in thin air, unsupported.

Knowing that there are so many opportunities available to me as a new teacher is an incredibly wonderful and exciting thing for which I am grateful. However, I am running through scenario after another, of all the planning, prepping, and strategies I need to pull off a decent job as a new teacher in each of the positions I’ve applied for. It is humbling to know that I will almost definitely not be good enough. It takes every effort to remind myself that it’s okay to make mistakes and it takes every teacher years of practice ( failed lessons and frustrating tears) before they truly settle into the profession. That no teacher was born with all the right answers and strategies.

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A piece of wisdom from a third grader, a throwback to an old post.

The point is, I want to grow professionally. I have a desire to share my passion for education with my future staff, students, and their parents. It is my passion to make a difference. Right now, I must overcome my fear of the “What ifs” and know that I will be a great teacher, if not today then tomorrow/next year/in five years. And even then, there will be hard days of trying patience and angry situations. I must know that whatever skills I learn from my mistakes and failures now will undoubtedly serve to solve even tougher and complicated situations later on in my career.

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The politics that dictate education can be extremely tricky to understand as a new teacher. It takes some skill to navigate all the opinions and stances that everyone has.

The hard reality is that I must take whatever I can get, teach whatever is available for me to teach in the district no matter if it’s my worst subject, my least favourite, or the worst schedule. There is potential for me to learn from every moment so I cannot afford to live in fear and miss out on those important lessons.

Being a post graduate young professional, it is difficult to find balance in finances, friendships, wellness, and professional growth. Much of it we did not learn in school. These life skills must be learned the hard way, through experience. Last year went by so quickly, and I am looking forward to the next level of intensity that this year might offer.

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My classroom last term. I never planned on teaching band!

A link to my pedagogy .

Day 25 and 26: will power

Due to last minute work scheduling I doubled up today to make up for missing yesterday’s class.

In the power class I felt off balance in my tree pose and sun salutations. However, I felt a lot of strength in my core in the mat sequences. I must remember to tap into my core next time I am in my balance poses. I noticed that I am able to hold my planks and core twists for longer. Perhaps I am stronger now, but I also feel more peace and patience when I breathe through the held poses.

I definitely feel that I have more will power in my persistence to stay strong mentally and physically. There is more patience and confidence from previous achievements that pushes me through each moment of class. I feel its effects most powerfully in my daily life.

Relaxed in yin class, focusing on the alignment of my spine and balance of left and right. Embraced my body for the way it is and felt grateful to myself for making better health-conscious lifestyle choices.

Day 23 and 24:

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In my first yoga class this morning, I felt very in tune with my breathing so the transitions and poses were smooth and strong. The second class this evening was the opposite… It was run by a substitute teacher who came in late, and also had two young people who were not dressed to be there with any intention except to goof off.

The second class really challenged me to find calm despite the judgement that fogged my focus. I was quite distracted by their antics, and further frustrated with the instructor’s confusing and unorganized teaching. I recognize that being a sub is difficult (because I am a substitute teacher in the public school system). It took me extra effort to stay within my poses and listen to my body. A positive thing is that I was able to follow the sequence because I am familiar with all the poses usually practiced in yin. That made it easier to stay on the mat and not walk out!

This is my final week of the yoga challenge and it is truly the hardest. I feel a sore throat coming on because so many people seem to be coughing and sneezing with the change of weather. It is also a busy week being the last week of summer but I am feeling positive because I managed to stay accountable for the yoga classes I missed this weekend by doubling up today.

Silence

It’s startling how quickly my social calendar can fill up when I try to spend meaningful time with my friends one on one. It becomes difficult to plan time for rest and exercise when there are family events on the weekends. I am finally resting today after two full days of socializing. It used to be easy to lose myself in the time passing and conversations, but now I am very aware of how much activity and downtime I need to balance the intense social gathering time.

It has been easy to find peace while doing the yoga challenge daily, but today I found myself reacting to some people’s comments without being mindful of my emotions. It is a little bit more difficult to practice mindfulness when there isn’t silence and a space for it. In reality, that makes the practice ever more important, so that I can make wise decisions in the everyday busy-ness.

Day 22. Space

“Yoga is invigoration in relaxation. Freedom in routine. Confidence through self control. Energy within and energy without.” Ymber Delecto.

Though I had a lot of anxiety about time in my day today, I surprised myself by being mindful about my anxiety instead of letting it cause panic. I recognized that I felt fear (of being late, of not making yoga class, of limited time in my day) and I stayed present in the moment knowing that my fear was of something not in my control. I managed to get to places on time, attend not one but two yoga classes, and enjoy the peace that came with simply letting go.

I think we have many opportunities to shape the space we surround ourselves with. We can encircle ourselves with love, patience, peace, and kindness. I am learning that I must continue to replenish the stores of positive energy by taking time to exercise, unwind, and rest. Then it will serve to calm us in times of stress.

This applies to relationships too… That we need to surround ourselves with acts of kindness to each other, not just taking but also giving. It is precious though challenging to take the effort to learn your partners love language in order to truly express your affection in a way that will encourage them. It is equally important to have gratitude for the kindness and respect that we receive from our partners. In this way we can create a safe space for honest dialogue and meaningful growth.