Time out (panic and yoga)

The last week or so has been really strange. Very unusual. Because I have sat at my laptop every evening, but I haven’t been working.

It’s the summer holiday. I’m a teacher. That’s the great thing about being a teacher, isn’t it? The looooong holidays!

Except that, if you talk to any teacher, they’ll tell you that they spend a good proportion of each holiday working. Either marking or planning… or just panicking!

I work part-time, but during term time, I spend each evening working. I sometimes take a Friday or Saturday night off, and I don’t work during the day on my non-work days. But I do basically seem to work all the time.

I think J might've been trying to make a point when he took this....

I think J might’ve been trying to make a point when he took this….

As much as anything, this is partly choice: I love my job, and so I’m thinking about it all the time, and I end up dipping in and out of it a lot. But it is also due to the fact that teaching is a time-consuming, all-consuming, stressful profession. I’m not saying it’s the only job that’s like this. It’s just the one that I happen to be in, so I’m writing about it. And I am someone that, in general, finds it difficult to switch off, so I seldom switch off completely from teaching.

However, over the past week or so, I have completely switched off. And I’ve enjoyed thinking about other things. I didn’t expect to enjoy this blogging thing as much as I have. I like the process of reflecting on what I’ve done and “where I am”. And I have gained so much from reading other peoples’ blogs. There’s no way I’ll be posting this often once I’m back at school, I realise that, but that’s fine. I’ve dipped my toe in, and begun the journey. I’ll just continue as and when I can once term re-starts.

But tonight, I’m starting to panic a little. Should I be working?

Have I taken too much of a break?

Am I going to regret the past week “away” from work?

I can never work out which is best: continuing to work a little all the way the holiday period thereby (hopefully) reducing the amount I’ll have to do next term. Or accepting that, whatever I do, the first couple of terms at school will be really bloomin’ stressful, and so I might as well just take a complete break now while I can!

Tonight, I did half an hour of yoga (Yin Yoga for Runners – Hips and Hamstrings). I chose a sessionΒ  that inverted sneakers had linked to in her article about yin yoga.

Usually, I do sessions from Jason Crandell, which I absolutely love. I have a whole set of podcasts that I downloaded years ago, that are no longer available, as far as I can see, and I listen to them on my iPod as I do a sequence in the garden, or wherever. I will definitely continue to use these. But they are fairly fast paced (Vinyasa yoga), and I liked the idea of doing some deeper stretches, as in the yin videos.

a not-very-yoga headstand (on a ship- while working at sea)

a not-very-yoga headstand (on a ship- while working at sea)

The yin approach to yoga seems to be more akin to the classes I did for a few years through my pregnancies (and beyond). I never did “pregnancy yoga”, I went to a “normal” class and just adapted poses as and when I needed to. These were classes where we worked pose by pose, holding each one for a fairly long time. I have *happy memories of holding a downward dog for what seemed like a hundred years, with my big pregnant belly hanging down….


huge and pregnant, but still trying to be a tree

huge and pregnant, but still trying to be a tree

My main worry about doing this yin video session was that I wouldn’t be able to relax and switch off and slooooow doooown enough to get through it. And I was right! That was the bit that I struggled with. But that’s just why it was good that I did it! I managed to complete the session, and I felt really good after it. But it wasn’t something I found easy to do.

And I am pretty sure there is no way I’ll be able to do it once term starts. There’s no way I’ll allow myself the time. And no way I’ll be able to switch off for that long. But that’s just why I should! But that goes for a lot of things. And I’m also training for a marathon (yes yes I know that the yoga is part of this, in some ways). And bringing up 3 kids. And I’d like to play the piano/flute sometimes. And see my friends. And my husband! And and and….

Anyway, I’m still on holiday for now.

happy place

happy place

Someone told me once that I spend so much time worrying about what WILL happen (I guess this is linked to that planning thing I talked about) that I’m sometimes in danger of not appreciating “the here and now”. Since they said this to me, I have tried to catch myself doing this, and appreciate where I am.

I’m on holiday, and today I ran along the coastal path (just 2.5 miles) and swam in the sea with the kids. We ate ice cream, and went for walks. And I didn’t do any school work.

our beach

our beach

I shall have to re-read this post in October, when it’s cold and dark and raining, and I have so much work that I don’t know where to begin. This can be my “happy place”.

waiting for ice cream

waiting for ice cream


10 thoughts on “Time out (panic and yoga)

  1. I’m so glad you DID make some time for yourself and tried one of the videos!!! The cool part is, some are 30 minutes, and some are upwards of 90 minutes. And it’s relaxing, not energizing so once the term begins and its the end of the day, maybe make it your goal to turn off the TV/Laptop/iPad/etc and do it for even just 20 minutes. Even if you don’t finish the whole thing. I totally understand – as a fellow teacher, your job is never done! The work is endless!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s the problem, isn’t it. But it’s maybe also the point. Your work is never done, so you might as well just switch off at one point! (not that I’m good at doing this). Yes you’re right- I really should try and do these once term starts. They’d help me sleep, too, which is not always something I find easy… hmmmmm…. I think I’m detecting a bit of a pattern here πŸ˜‰ Thanks again for the links. I’m going to enjoy using them.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah yes, that sounds so familiar (I’m an academic). You def shouldn’t be working while you’re off and sometimes forcing yourself to stop does your brain the world of good! As for blogging once back at school – I sometimes find that my running blog helps me unwind and I’ve kept that up even while working like crazy. I also have a work blog – that’s a bit more hit and miss (more miss) because it doesn’t help me unwind… Look forward to reading more

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aha! I did wonder when you were talking about results day/ clearing being such a busy time. Yes- my husband’s also in academia, so we both do jobs where we could quite easily never stop working, given half a chance! πŸ™‚ That’s interesting what you say about the blogging and unwinding. My twitter account is for teaching stuff, and I gain a lot from that. But it does again mean that it’s more of the same…. I’ll be interested to see if I manage to keep this going. I really hope I do, as I’ve found it so cathartic. I’ll definitely keep running now, whatever. That’s a given! πŸ™‚


  3. They’re right — worry is such a waste of time! It’s not that I never worry, but my husband is constantly worrying about everything, it seems. We can’t go to the movies if it’s nice. But no wait! They forecast rain. We can’t go to the movies . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Liebster Award (and list) | 11months26miles

  5. Pingback: So is it the running or the yoga that’s keeping me calm? | 11months26miles

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