Changes With The Solstice

by Jen on June 21, 2012

Today was the summer solstice, the longest day of the year and the mark of the changing season from spring to summer. Growing up in the south, late May always felt like the start of the summer because school was out and the temperatures were usually well into the 90s. It’s a little strange to me that the “official” start of the summer isn’t until late June. My birthday falls on June 16 and that makes me a Gemini. The summer solstice usually falls on June 20 or 21, which is right at the Gemini/Cancer break.

Today brought a pretty significant shift in my life that just happened to fall on the same day as the solstice. It is a tradition in yoga to practice 108 sun salutations on the day of the solstice. My evening class at Y2 Yoga was selected as one of the classes that would participate in the sun salutation tradition, but as a half-mala, 54 salutations. The class after mine did 54 more, giving people the option to “double up” and do the full mala of 108 salutations.

This is significant because it was my last class at Y2. As the sun was setting on the longest day of the year, I taught my final class. I’m taking a break from teaching. I’m not sure where to start but I have to give some sort of explanation because I did not even announce to my loyal and amazing students and friends that it was my last class. I had a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes as I led them through practice this evening. Especially given that some of my students who have been with me since day one were in attendance.

I love teaching yoga. It is one of the things that makes me feel like me. But recently, the demand that work has placed on my attention has drawn me away from the studio. I’ve found myself practicing less and less and feeling disconnected from my practice and from the place that has always felt like home. Metro has to be my priority right now, especially given the opening of the second gym. I always feel guilty that I can never jump in and help coach the evening classes or participate in them.

It’s been weighing on my heart for a while now that I needed a break and a change. I am very bad at drawing lines and saying no but I am tired and overwhelmed. I admit. it. I need to reconnect with myself and focus some of the energy that I am giving to others toward my own journey.  I am eternally grateful for everything that Y2 has provided me from a growth perspective. I completed my teacher training and began teaching at the studio and I feel so supported by the community of yogis there. It breaks my heart to leave them.

I read my horoscope this morning and it could not have been any truer for my current circumstance. I’m taking the next few weeks off to try to refocus. I’ll be traveling to the beach for a friend’s wedding next week and then to the beach again to visit my family the week of July 4. I’m hoping that after those trips I will have a renewed sense of energy and direction.

I continue to be amazed by the twists and turns that life presents but I am trying to have faith in myself and my journey. I’ve been speaking about this in every class that I’ve taught recently and I want to believe it too. Because really, no one expects me to have all the answers right now. I just have to learn to trust myself and the path that I’m on.

{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

1 sana June 21, 2012 at 1:28 am

Aw, I hope you find your way back to teaching yoga, prolly when things are less crazy with work!

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2 Jen June 21, 2012 at 3:58 pm

i know that i will! in the meantime i’m still doing some privates and small classes at the gym.

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3 Tara Deal June 21, 2012 at 5:03 am

I know it’s hard, but you made the right decision. It is only temporary, and it will all work out in the end :) It is important to take care of you first before you take care of anyone else! Good luck with the transition!

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4 Jen June 21, 2012 at 4:02 pm

you’re right. i’m not quitting forever. just taking a break. hopefully i’ll come back renewed and reenergized.

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5 Amy June 21, 2012 at 5:17 am

Wow, I continued to be amazed as well at all the changes in your life! As a loyal reader, I’ve noticed you haven’t been practicing as much lately and have been doing more Crossfit and focusing on running. Hopefully you will find that renewed energy and will be able to teach yoga again because I could tell you loved it. Glad you have some fun trips coming up :)

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6 Jen June 21, 2012 at 4:04 pm

amy – join the club. i’m ready for the change to slow down a bit. i do LOVE to teach yoga and i’m sad that my focus has shifted away from it. i think i need to focus on my own practice for a while and then jump back into teaching.

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7 Brittney June 21, 2012 at 5:37 am

I think you are doing the right thing listening to your head and heart here. You do have a ton of stuff going on and it’s fine to focus on other things right now. Good luck Jen!

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8 Jen June 21, 2012 at 4:05 pm

thank you brittney. i so appreciate the supportive words.

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9 Erica { EricaDHouse.com } June 21, 2012 at 6:21 am

I think one of the best gifts in this world is having the wisdom to listen to that inner voice when it tells you to do (or not do!) something. Good for you for taking an obviously well-deserved break to re-energize and re-focus. You’ll be so much stronger and driven once you have clarity!

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10 Jen June 21, 2012 at 4:05 pm

it is REALLY hard to listen to the voice. i love teaching but i have to take this break for myself. i know i’ll be back to it soon.

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11 Kimberly June 21, 2012 at 6:50 am

Jen,
I am sorry that you had to make such a difficult decision. As you know, life changes and sometimes you have to let go. You know what’s best for you. I don’t know about you but whenever I have let something go I always thought I was letting people down. If you think this don’t believe it. The people who care about you will understand. Today is a new day!

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12 Jen June 21, 2012 at 4:06 pm

kimberly – it was so comforting to read your words when i woke up this morning. thank you.

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13 Pam June 21, 2012 at 7:37 am

Dear Jen,
Your heart, your inner voice of wisdom, and the light that guides you will never lead you astray. You are on a life journey where there are many turns, some with hills and some with valleys. Follow your path. It will be the correct one for you. The beach is a wonderful place for reconnection and energy flow. Listen while you are there.
Blessings to you.

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14 Jen June 21, 2012 at 4:07 pm

pam – thank you so much for your beautiful comment and your encouragement.

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15 Christina June 21, 2012 at 7:52 am

The beach is so restorative – enjoy your vacation time. It is well deserved!

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16 Jen June 21, 2012 at 4:08 pm

i cannot wait.

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17 Devon @ the food bitch blog June 21, 2012 at 7:55 am

I feel the same way about June being the “beginning” of Summer. Summer starts in May for this Floridian.

Life is constantly changing & its how we adapt that matters :)

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18 Jen June 21, 2012 at 4:10 pm

it’s so true about summer! you are so right…life is CONSTANTLY changing. it’s insane!

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19 Caitlin Jane June 21, 2012 at 8:32 am

“Wisdom means to choose now what will make sense later.I am learning everyday to allow the space between where I am and where I want to be, to inspire me and not terrify me.”- Tracee Eliis Ross

You are exactly where you are supposed to be right now- embrace it, love it and just keep moving forward! :)

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20 Jen June 21, 2012 at 4:11 pm

i love this quote. thank you very much for sharing it. i pray that i am exactly where i’m supposed to be. i really appreciate the kind and encouraging words! xo

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21 Miriam@Bellaspire June 21, 2012 at 8:37 am

This is exactly why people admire you Jen!! You follow your heart and the decisions you make have historically lead to success. I’m proud of you!!!

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22 Jen June 21, 2012 at 4:12 pm

thank you, i pray this leads me in the right direction. it’s tough!

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23 Kate June 21, 2012 at 8:43 am

Boo! I will miss your classes at Y2, but it’s admiring how you followed your intuition and are putting yourself into your job at Metro. :)

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24 Jen June 21, 2012 at 4:13 pm

kate – i am going to miss you guys more than you even know. it’s so sad to leave but i have to take a little break. don’t worry, i’ll be back to teaching once things settle down and i get back in the groove of life! :)

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25 Dominique @ FreeToBeAthlete June 21, 2012 at 8:55 am

Jen, you have to do what is right for you. Period. I can’t say this decision makes me happy, because I truly enjoyed your class and I will feel a void. It wasn’t just your routine, but your energy and honesty as well, that made class such an enlightening and joyful experience. You will be missed. Admitting that you are overwhelmed, though, can be impossible for some, so I am happy for you that you can do the hard thing and go with your heart. Maybe we can start grabbing coffee together to get my Jen fix. I wish you all the luck in the world, in whatever direction brings you joy.

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26 Jen June 21, 2012 at 4:17 pm

thank you. emailing you. xo

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27 Chris K June 21, 2012 at 9:19 am

Jen,

The selfish part of me is feeling sorrow, but my heart is cheering for your strength and well being. Reach over your shoulder and pat yourself on the back. I am so thankful to have attended your last class. I wasn’t planning on practicing last night, but I was drawn there for some unknown reason. Now I know. Thank you for all you have done for me, immeasurable. Keep that tattered book that you often choose to read from in class close. Mine is beginning to show the same wear.

I have confidence in your intuition and your sound decision making ability. You have my greatest respect. I will always consider you a friend and favorite teacher.

Chris

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28 Jen June 21, 2012 at 4:17 pm

chris – YOU are part of what made me cry last night. i feel so lucky to know you and that our paths crossed. emailing you.

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29 Jen June 21, 2012 at 9:21 am

We’re really going to miss you at Y2, Jen! You are one of the reasons I fell in love with yoga. I hope you find what you’re looking for!

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30 Jen June 21, 2012 at 4:14 pm

jen – i can’t even tell you how much i am going to miss all of you. seriously, y2 has been a home to me for almost three years and i’m sad to leave but need a little break to remember why i love yoga and why i love to teach. i’ll be back to it…and hopefully soon.

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31 Sara June 21, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Such a beautifully written post. It’s so hard to say no sometimes, even if it’s for the right reasons. Good luck figuring it all out and enjoy the time off!

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32 Jen June 21, 2012 at 4:15 pm

thank you sara!

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33 Laura June 21, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Way to go. It’s not always obvious, but you need to put yourself first. I realize this is much easier said than done, as I have a hard time saying no or letting go of things myself. I admire your ability to follow what you feel is best for you at this moment. The beach is a wonderful place to retreat to in times like these.

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34 Jen June 21, 2012 at 4:16 pm

it is so much easier said than done. i am so sad but just trusting that this break will give me the fire i need to get back to it and love it. i cannot wait to spend time at the beach with my parents.

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35 Maddie June 21, 2012 at 3:27 pm

LOVE YOU!

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36 russg June 21, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Good Luck, sometimes a break in our every day patterns and a change of direction is always good for our spirit. I am glad you told us today and not next week, I was planning on selling all my possessions, quitting my job, and packing myself and my dog up and moving to Charlotte and take one of your Yoga classes. Just don’t stop blogging, I need my blog fixes and I enjoy reading your blog every day ( your blog is my favorite blog).

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37 Jen June 22, 2012 at 12:05 pm

hey russ – thanks so much for the comment! you’re welcome in charlotte anytime! ;)

i won’t stop blogging. hoping to step it up a bit actually!

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38 Marty June 21, 2012 at 7:49 pm

One of the best pieces of advice I was ever given was to take care of myself first, then take care of others. If you don’t take care of yourself, there is nothing left to share. Good luck with your journey and remember, you do not have to be all things to all people. Some will be disappointed by your decisions but you are all that matters.

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39 Jen June 22, 2012 at 12:07 pm

thank you marty. love this comment – especially the last sentence.

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40 pamela June 21, 2012 at 8:36 pm

I am going through a lot of changes now too and I keep reminding myself that change is a season and it’s not forever. Give yourself this season to rest and regroup and then focus on Metro. Give yourself a season of change and remember that where you are now is right where you need to be. I am not religious but I love this passage from Ecclesiastes:

“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven ~
2 A time to give birth, and a time to die; A time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted.
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; A time to tear down, and a time to build up.
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance.
5 A time to throw stones, and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, and a time to shun embracing.
6 A time to search, and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep, and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear apart, and a time to sew together; A time to be silent, and a time to speak.

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41 Jen June 22, 2012 at 12:06 pm

thank you so much for reminding me of this beautiful passage. i am trying to remind myself that even though it feels like EVERYTHING in life is changing, that i will eventually emerge on the other side and hopefully as a stronger version of my prior self. sending positive energy your way.

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42 Sarah June 21, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Jen, I just want you to know that in a short amount of time you’ve accomplished so much and grew into such an amazing teacher. I LOVE your classes and the heart you put into each one. Of course I’m sad to read this but I’m very happy for you to be able to hopefully relax a bit more and give yourself a bit of a break. If anyone deserves one, it’s you!! I’m already excited to take your first class back! ;) enjoy your new endeavors , best of luck! Oh and I’ll see you at the trail race hopefully, which I need to get back on the horse training for….

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43 Jen June 22, 2012 at 12:04 pm

sarah – thank you so much. it is heartbreaking to leave the students and my friends at y2 but i’m looking forward to stepping back a bit and focusing on my personal practice and life outside of yoga.

and about that trail race…i’m in the same boat. i haven’t run over 5 miles in i don’t know how long! yikes!

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44 Lee June 22, 2012 at 8:33 am

I think it’s good that you realized that you stretching yourself too thin. I’m sure that yoga will find it’s way back into your life when the time is right.

Will you be in Atlanta for the 4th? Are you bringing Sully? Because if you have free time, we could have a golden retriever double date. Murphy would like to meet her!

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45 Jen June 22, 2012 at 11:55 am

hi lee – i know it won’t be long before i get back in the teaching groove. i just need some time away.

i won’t be in atlanta for the 4th. my parents actually just sold their house and moved to florida so i’m flying down there for the fourth. BOO!

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46 Chelsea June 22, 2012 at 3:29 pm

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-3986/10-Things-to-Remind-Yourself-on-a-Daily-Basis.html

This article made me think of you. I’m glad you’re doing the right thing for you.

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47 Jen June 22, 2012 at 4:57 pm

thank you so much chelsea. i love this so much.

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