New Beginnings

I’m starting my last year here at William & Mary, which is hard to believe—the program goes by so fast! I realized that, despite my intention to check out the campus rec center, I’ve been here an entire year and had never gone—this year, I decided, will be different. I went to a yoga class during their free group exercise week that has enticed me into buying a class pass for the year.

As a counselor in training, I spend a not-insignificant amount of time contemplating self-care—so much so that I think I’ve even written about it here before. This is something that’s explicitly talked about in the helping professions, because burnout is so common in those fields (although this recent article in the New York Times points out that burnout is relevant to all professions, and that self-care is important to everyone). And so, I have a continual underlying desire to find the perfect self-care routine that will unlock maximum levels of both productivity and contentment. I don’t know if such a thing is even possible, but all of us are just hanging out on earth until we die, and finding an optimal self-care routine seems as good an ongoing life project as any.

Because my schedule this semester is so packed, I’m glad the student rec center is so convenient to the School of Ed building, and that they offer such a wide range of group exercise classes. I wish my schedule would allow me to attend more of the classes, but I’m also happy to start with a weekly yoga class and go from there. I like yoga because of how solidly in your body it allows you to feel, and I know the instructors at William & Mary’s rec center are well-trained and knowledgeable. Anyone who’s ever been to a yoga class knows the best part of the class comes at the end, when you get to lie in corpse pose with (hopefully) a clear mind and an open heart, appreciating what you've taken time out from your day to do. But last week, I was particularly moved by what comes after corpse pose, when you roll, briefly, into the fetal position, “place of new beginnings,” the instructor said, before you rise and make your way back into the busyness of your day. It is a gift—a new beginning, in the middle of the day in the middle of the week—and this semester, it’s a gift I’ll make time for.