By the second lockdown, I had a regular online class timetable as well as teaching in a local gym and studio before the official lockdown was announced. I was still travelling to clients too and teaching outdoors until the end of October. Online wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon and mixing that with working in the gym, travelling to clients too – meant that the two worlds had to mix.
As instructors, trainers, teachers, students, we have had to learn to do both. Juggle the technicalities of the online world whilst adhering to social distancing and valuing the moments of ‘in person’ classes or 1-1 appointments.
When the second lockdown came, I lost my job at the gym and studio due to finances and I was the newest employee. It meant I only had my little business to keep me going.
I actually took some time out during this lockdown too and I had a bit of a stressful time mentally. I needed some time for self-care as mentally I had been feeling a little overloaded again. I hadn’t stopped teaching since India. My mind was telling me to slow down.
I didn’t consider myself unemployed, but my business was and is still so new that I couldn’t live off that alone. I then started applying again for so many different jobs. This was a habit I got into. Every time I had that self-doubt creep in I thought ‘yoga can be part time; I need another job’. The universe seems to think differently every single time!
I got a couple of interviews. I then found a new place to live that looked perfect for me and I was just hoping I could find a way of affording it. In a village I’d lived in before, not too far from family or potential workplaces. At the end of lockdown, I took the plunge, moved and I knew I needed another job and I’d somehow find a way to make it work. Literally the next day I got offered a job teaching online and I was ready to start life living on my own again.
Again, I feel lucky at the timing of the lockdown and moving. I needed time to myself in order to figure out why I kept having small relapses with my mental health. Nothing severe. But the self-harming thoughts had returned shortly – nothing that I would act on. But I was aware of the thought.
Living on my own, I have started trusting myself again. I felt the feeling of loneliness to start with too – I empathised with those who were on their own in the first lockdown. Some people have been on their own the whole time.
I found my inner strength again, making choices in line with the direction I knew I wanted to go. I fell in love with my work and life again. It was at this point I really began to practice gratitude. I became grateful for the pain of the last year as I feel all of that has led me to where I am now and I don’t think I had a clear direction before. Time passed very differently in this lockdown.
I remembered saying ‘thank goodness lockdown was in the spring/summer when the weather was nice. Imagine having to do that in the Winter.’ Low and behold, it happened.’
I planned a lot of movement in my days, I began creating ideas for what is my website now and starting to really look at my business and work out where I wanted to go.
I also struggled with a bit of weight gain – but my periods came back! They’ve always been erratic but this was the most consistent they had been in about 7 years. When I type that, that really is insane.
I’ll be doing a separate blog or podcast episode on periods. Woo! Not all about mine specifically but I will be including my experience.
This lockdown became more about self-care. I wasn’t doing as much of my own asana practice but joined a lot of online ones. I had the gift of being mentored by an incredible teacher, Petra. This had started at the end of the first lockdown. Without the pandemic I may never have found her or started practicing with her. A real inspiration to me and changed the way I looked at my own practice as well as how yoga can be used therapeutically.
A reminder to me that there is still so much to learn. Not only on the mat, but in life.