To teach over the holidays was a funny experience – I can never quite tell if I should make the class very active – to burn out the holiday excess and sluggishness, or to make it super soft – to combat the holiday stress.
Before I came and lived in Denmark and be involved with the real Christmas business, I have never heard of the term holiday stress – I thought holiday inherently carries the opposite meaning to stress. Yet people, I, am holiday tired, and stressed. It is with irony and absurdity that we manage to get, at times, even more stressed out than normal, on these designated resting days. That away from the regular working schedule and getting free time, was often so packed full with activities. It is as if we hadn’t done something specialt, the holiday is deem wasted.
We, as a species, are not resting enough.
I am sure this is nothing new, or controversial, look at the popularity of all the various rejuvenating tools out there – meditation apps, Yin yoga, restorative yoga, beach trips, nature trips. Humankind is very constantly in the bound of not resting enough – how often do you get a full night of restful sleep without scheduling an alarm, or awakening because of duties and activities to do the next day? How often do you dedicate a few hours taking your mind off informations – TV, books, games, social media, and instead make a cup of tea and stare into the night sky. How often do you take walks not because of miles goal or fitness goals, but for the purpose of occupying the time?
I don’t rest enough.
I teach and preach restorative, balance, the contrast of activity and passivity, but I don’t rest enough. When I am off from teaching, when I really should be taking time to myself and resting, I am instead running errands, writing blogs, organising my schedule, taking new teacher trainings. When I am lying in bed, physically exhausted, I am instead browsing through facebook, looking at my classes sign in sheet, trying to get interesting new video to watch.
People around me don’t rest enough.
The amount of times I’ve observed my husband on the computer until 5 minutes before bed time. The times I’ve seen my mother in law comes home, absolutely exhausted and sat on the couch for hours on end to summon the energy to get to shower and sleep. The number of people, yoga teachers no less, that I have seen, taking no days off and working 6.5 days a week. My own mother, having her own schedule packed with activities and small travelling, and leaves no resting days at home.
In the old days holy days are meant for rest. It is meant for us to not have to shop, to not have to make activities, and to have time to reflect, rest, and be ready for the next week. It is (probably) from the idea of rest that we have weekends, that we even have the concept of weeks. If humans never sleep or rest, would we ever have the need for a clock or the concept of time?
In 2018, my goal is to make my own holy days, and my own cocoon of rest.