• Speaking My Mind

    Seesaw

    I’m grateful to announce that I’ve recovered from my breathing issues. Thank you for all of your well-wishes.

    Since I’ve last written, I’ve been navigating feelings of entitlement and gratitude. Honestly, I think “entitled” has a more negative connotation than what I mean. “Deserving” might be a more suitable word. So…I feel deserving of more than what I have, and as a result, I have not been as grateful for what I do have.

    I think these two feelings tend to seesaw for me because previously, I was extremely grateful and if anything, I didn’t feel entirely deserving of what I received.

    Do these two feelings also seesaw for you?

    The shift from gratitude to deserving can be attributed to the tremendous growth that I’ve had over the last year and a half. For me, growth causes me to desire more for myself, which is totally natural and healthy. However, I don’t like how I’ve become rather negative and a little bitter about my current situation.

    After two months of reflecting on this, I came across this quote on a yoga Facebook group I am part of.

    Finding ways to feel good in the gap of space between where you are and where you want to be is everything.

    It was a helpful reminder that while I may not be completely satisfied with where I am at in my life, and while I aspire for much more, it is not beneficial to be miserable right now. It would better serve me if I enjoy this pause and if I find gratitude for it too. I will eventually get to where I want to be, and so will you.

    xx Vic

     

  • Speaking My Mind

    Harmony

    My life has been flowing pretty well.

    Seven months in, and I still enjoy my full-time job. I am continuing to learn so much there and I feel like I’ve made some valuable contributions. Additionally, I have a thriving part-time yoga-teaching job. I’m currently teaching two classes a week, but in 2020, I will be teaching three! Career stuff aside- I’ve accomplished a few of the goals I made for myself for 2019 and I’ve been upgraded from my dad’s old car from 2011 to my mom’s car, circa 2016.

    Essentially, I am living the life that I couldn’t even fathom as a possibility last year, however, I have been a bit depressed. I’ve been excessively critical of myself for being stuck in a routine, for not socializing enough, for not traveling, for not being adventurous, for not learning from my past mistakes, and for being unhappy when I have so much to be grateful for.

    Can anyone relate to this??

    I did an oracle reading the other day to help me refocus, and the card I pulled for my “obstacle to overcome” was “Harmony.” This caused me to wonder what exactly do I believe I need to be in harmony? 

    A year ago, I believed I needed a full-time job to feel at peace. I wanted to have somewhere to go every day, a place where I could make an impact. I wanted purpose and I wanted to begin my professional career. I also wanted to teach yoga so I could my passion for it.

    I have acquired both of those things, so now what? 

    Interestingly, one of the things I wanted last year but I feel at peace with now is graduate school. I am not anxious about going to graduate school. Don’t get me wrong, I still want to pursue higher education at some point, but I know that that “point” is not now. Based on my experience with flowing, I am confident that I will know when I am supposed to go back and I will also know what I want to study. So the lack of graduate school plans isn’t causing my current dissatisfaction.

    I suspect that my unhappiness and mild depression are primarily due to my feelings of nostalgia. It seems that when the temperature cools down in autumn, I begin to reminisce and romanticize the past. A year ago I was romanticizing my childhood, which was pretty wonderful, but at the end of the day, I was focusing on the past because I was lonely in the present. My childhood friends had all moved away and thus, I reminisced about them.

    Currently, I’ve been reminiscing about the hellish campaign job I had last year as well as my last relationship. I think the reason I’ve been nostalgic about my campaign job is that I miss some aspects of that job that I don’t have in my current position. For example, I miss the social nature of that job, although, at the time, I hated that the socializing was often late at night. In regards to my last relationship, I miss having someone to talk to daily. This is largely why I’ve been keeping myself busy with online dating.

    How can I find harmony with where I’m at right now? 

    The cards suggested I use guidance from higher powers, whether that be figures of authority and/or spiritual figures, to support me. I think I need to practice what I teach in my yoga classes: being present.

    Aside from practicing presence to achieve harmony, I have been writing quite a bit, I just haven’t been sharing my work. It’s been frustrating to spend hours or days on something and then have the work not feel…true to myself anymore. Maybe those feelings will change but if not, I’ll be working on new content. 🙂

    Have a great week, everyone!

    xx Vic

     

     

     

  • A woman doing camel pose on a yoga mat in an apartment.
    Yoga

    Yogi-in-Training: Cultivating Confidence

    I wrapped up my first week of yoga teacher training on Friday, and tomorrow I am beginning week two. Thus far, the training has been an emotional experience because I keep having to confront my low-confidence. The areas where my confidence has been challenged the most are 1) inversions, or poses where your head is below your heart, and 2) teaching.

    I’ve noticed just in my first week of training how most of the time, whether it be in asanas (poses) or in teaching, confidence is essential to success. While physical ability and knowledge are important too, confidence is mandatory. I think this holds true in most areas of life.

    This theme of “confidence” became apparent on the second day of training when I was trying to do an L-handstand. First of all, I did not expect myself to do any types of handstands throughout this training, but I surprised myself by trying it and successfully doing it on the first day with the guidance of the instructor. On Thursday, I attempted to get into the inversion on my own, considering that I’ve been executing it everyday with the help of someone. Unfortunately, when everyone was doing inversions easily, I became nervous and afraid to do it on my own. It wasn’t that I didn’t think I was strong enough, I just didn’t feel confident. Eventually, the instructor helped me but I spent the remainder of the class silently crying. I was upset that I was too afraid to do something I know how to do on my own. On the last day of training that week, during the inversion portion, I had the instructor help me the first time and the second time I got into the inversion on my own!

    The doubt I have in my abilities is probably a combination of the unfamiliarity I have with the poses as well as the intimidation I feel toward the challenging postures. A majority of the class consists of dance students, so they are probably more comfortable with contorting their bodies into different shapes and they are also more comfortable with physical challenges. Although I’ve been practicing yoga daily, I haven’t even been doing it for a year yet and aside from yoga, I have not had to be this in-tune with my body. I spent most of college not doing any physical activity. Before college, I played and taught tennis, but that type of physical exertion is so different from dance and yoga.

    The second time my confidence was challenged was when I taught my first mini class on sun salutations. Once I thought I messed up in my instruction, my lack of confidence consumed me, causing the rest of my instruction to be quiet and full of uncertainty. I know from my experience with my thesis, job, and public speaking courses that I gain confidence from being an expert and with tons of practice. By the end of the training, I expect to be a confident and loud-spoken teacher.

    For my first week of training, I recognize how everything I’m doing is out of my comfort zone, but I am doing it anyway. That in itself is admirable, and I need to give myself more credit. In fact, on the first day of training, one of the dancers found out I wasn’t a dancer so she asked me why I was doing the yoga training. I don’t know if she was asking from a place of cruelty like…why bother doing yoga if you aren’t a dancer? Or if she was asking simply because she just wanted to know how I found out about it and what drew me in but…it’s cool that I don’t have a dance background because I bring something unique to the group as well as to future classes I teach.

    I am proud of myself for continuing to try things I’m scared of and for having an adventurous spirit. I’ve never followed an expected path such as being a dancer with a side gig as a yoga instructor or studying economics with a math/finance/stat/accounting/business minor. I studied economics and women’s and gender studies, and I’ve never met anyone else with that combination before. I’m also a “normal” person (a non-dancer) that is aspiring to be a yoga instructor because I wanted to learn more and deepen my own practice that has transformed my life and continues to transform my life. That’s amazing.

    Anyway…I want to write a blog at the end of every week to reflect and to set an intention for the upcoming week. I’m doing this specifically for the yoga training to ensure that I gain the most from my experience, but perhaps I’ll continue to do it afterward too.

    My intention for the second week is to practice confidence and to meditate on the confidence I want to cultivate. I also want to practice teaching sun salutations and study the asanas so I feel more comfortable with them from a teacher’s perspective.

    Do you have any reflections for this past week? What are your intentions for this week?

    xx Vic

  • Speaking My Mind

    Moments of Self-Doubt

    I got into a horrible fight with my mom on the last day of spring break. She had gotten back from a difficult medical seminar and she was trying to relax at home when I came downstairs from my bedroom to sit with her and my sister. It was late, around 10:30pm, and they were planning the family trip to Disney to celebrate my graduation.

    I was joking with my sister and mentioned how I was turning twenty-three this year, which prompted my mom to ask me what I am doing with my life. Assuming she was joking too, I responded that I don’t know (which is pretty true though). For some reason, this response instigated the fight, which was essentially about how I need to get a job and how I’m not doing enough and how what I’ve been doing my entire college career has been a waste of time.

  • Speaking My Mind

    Domino Effect

    I stopped crying daily. I didn’t realize I had stopped crying daily until my girlfriend was talking about the “getting-an-internship” struggle. I empathized with her and said, “Yeah, that process sucks. It used to make me sad, but not nearly as sad as how I’ve been feeling now that I’m graduating and in need of a job.”

    Then I stopped for a moment because I realized that I hadn’t cried about graduating and needing a job in quite some time. I haven’t been excessively stressed to the point where I make myself physically sick, nor have I been excessively distracting myself from reality. I’ve been productive and calm.

    She asked me how and why I’ve been so much calmer lately and I surmised that it was influenced by my daily yoga practice.

    She agreed and pointed out how before when I wasn’t doing it every day, I would regret not doing it that day.

    I added that I feel a little more…confident in myself. By that I mean, I know I’ll be okay after graduation. I’m unsure what I’ll be doing yet but…I think when I invested in myself by upgrading my blog, I’ve begun to see more of my value. Although I’m still working out the goals for this blog as well as what I want to do to achieve them, I feel more confident than ever that I will get to where I want to be. This feeling has manifested in other areas of my life, including my thesis. I’m more confident than ever in regards to me being able to complete an excellent thesis.

    It’s awesome seeing how one small decision to practice yoga daily has affected so many areas of my life. The online yoga community I’m part of has helped inspire me to start taking action, also fueled by the fact that the ending of my undergraduate career is the perfect time to take some risks! I am not tied down to anything, I don’t have a ton of responsibilities yet, and I’m young. Now is the time to take my passions further!

    I’ve been considering to invest more into my yoga practice and I am also considering higher education again. I haven’t thought about it since September but doing my thesis (and killing it!) has reinspired me that maybe conducting research is one of my callings. I’m unsure still, but I’m open to the journey!

    xx Vic

     

     

  • Speaking My Mind

    Young Yogin

    I’ve made it my goal to practice yoga daily, and so far, I’ve maintained it! It’s been…over thirty-one consecutive days. I’m not sure how many more days than thirty-one…perhaps it’s only been thirty-one days…but regardless, I’ve been practicing it daily for the entirety of January, and possibly in the tail-end of December.

    Right now, I’m practicing it when I wake up, which isn’t always early. I try my hardest to get up at 7am but I end up reading the news on my phone, snoozing for a little longer, or I don’t know what I do, but I end up practicing around 8am, and sometimes later like at 11am. I’m trying to practice in the early morning though because according to Light on Yoga, a great book I’ve been reading and using to foster my practice, yoga must be practiced either in the early morning or in the late evening.

    Light on Yoga has been a great, informative book because it provides a background to the practice as well as pictures and step by step instructions for pretty much every asana I’ve encountered since I began my practice in late August. Additionally, it includes yoga practices for various ailments one may have and it has courses to develop the skills necessary to improve, strengthen, and deepen your practice. It’s an excellent book. I’ve taken some notes on the book so I will publish what I’ve learned at some point because I think it’s important to know. Some yoga practices have completely appropriated it, and I think it’s important to know the roots of it.

    Also, I am looking for other books about yoga that provide insight into the culture and history of the practice. If anyone has suggestions, please let me know!

    Anyway…yes so my practice has been great in the month of January! I had my girlfriend take some photos of me to see my improvement. I’m not going to post them here right now, but I will. I want to incorporate more photos into my blog.

    The cool thing about photos and about having her take them is that I didn’t realize until she told me, and showed me, that I was doing the “down dog” pose wrong. My back was super arched and my knees were bent so…I worked on it a bit and now I can do it properly.

    Initially, my yoga goals were to achieve crow pose and wheel pose, but my right wrist is quite weak from playing tennis for several years prior to college, so I am going to work on doing a split and wheel pose. This week I’ve been working on stretching my hamstrings, and there has been a significant improvement, but there is still a long way to go. I have barely attempted back flexibility because I have several fears surrounding it…but I am working on it. Just more slowly.

    The last thing I want to share is that I am considering either attending a Yoga Teacher Training or a Yoga Retreat! Since I will be graduating in a couple of months, I would like to take that opportunity to expand my practice. I’ll update y’all if this idea comes to fruition!

     

    xx Vic

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