And today’s class is... ‘Yoga and Migraines’, by Jessica Dewar

Today, I was the teacher in class - for 50 minutes anyway. My topic, as the title suggests, migraines. As I’ve seen how debilitating migraines can be to my Owen, I had a special interest in the topic.The purpose of the thesis we did was to research the topic, learning about the symptoms and diagnosis etc, and develop a yoga sequence to help an individual who suffers from the condition.Today was about presenting those findings to the class.

I’ve had a fair amount of practice presenting to large groups, so our small group of 11 would seem like nothing. Or would it? Although I would remind myself that I’m a confident presenter (positive thoughts, positive thoughts), I think there is a little more pressure (brought on by thine self) to really do well with my practice and assessments for yoga. My heart is in this. I’m passionate about what I’m doing so I really want to give it my all. I spent a number of hours planning and rehearsing my presentation in my room, to make sure I was clear about what I wanted to say, the flow and how I wanted to present the information. Rather than just talking to the class, I made it interactive: asking questions, getting the class to give their ideas and share personal stories if they wanted, using the whiteboard to explain particular concepts etc.

Sitting at the front of the class on my mat, with the whiteboard to my left and Bharath to my right, I felt quite at home. Once I made it through the opening chant to begin the class, without forgetting all the words, my nerves calmed and I was on a roll from there. I was so worried I would forget what I wanted to say and when, so I kept my notes close, but it turns out I didn’t even look at them for the first 15 minutes or so! I was secretly thinking, “…go Jessica. Look at you go!”

Being grounded on my mat made such a difference to how I felt up there. The nerves or stress just seems to float away. Every time I have an opportunity to teach here I am reminded of this. That is how I know I have made the right choice. I loved every moment of being up there. Not because I’m in the spotlight, but because I am sharing information about something which a) interests me (migraines) and b) that I love, which is of course yoga.

This got me thinking. After class I was completely relaxed. I felt so free. Before class, however, let’s just say I was not so relaxed. Not terrible, but not great either. I really need to work on my ability to cope with stress - I guess that’s one of the main reasons why I began yoga in the first place once upon a time. But bigger than this, I’m just not the sort of person who could (or would want to) live a life in a high stress work environment - like the corporate world that I’ve been in for so many years. I really need to work hard at finding and maintaining a balance in my life. But, in saying that I also understand the alternative, is - “…just choose not to get stressed.” Bharath would tell me that. It’s all about my frame of mind. Therefore, technically I could work in the corporate world and not be stressed, as I’m perceiving things differently etc. I just know me, and I’m not too sure I’m quite there yet. But as I said yesterday, “we are what we think,” so I need to start reminding myself that I’m not a stressed person. (I can see so many people in my family, especially Owen, laughing at this right now. I think I have a bit of convincing to do back home because coming home and announcing - “Guess what, I’m not a stressed person everyone!” may be received with a few giggles).

So, embracing the new calm and centered Jessica that I am, with that mindset I shall begin preparation for next weeks final exam. I have a rather large manual to learn - but hey, I’m not stressed about it! The knowledge will come!

On a more serious note though, as Bharath said - once you’re life has been near taken from you, you realise there is nothing in this world to be stressed or worried about. He’s right. We shouldn’t have to go through such a horrific experience to realise, there is nothing to worry about in this world. As soon as our minds are calm, we are free. Then the real beauty of life with unveil itself.

Namaste xx