Teacher Feature: Mary Catherine Starr

Over the past month or so, the crazy weather in DC has really caught me off guard. Being from the south, I’m not used to drastic ups and downs like this, and it’s been doing a number on my balance–both mentally and physically. Similarly, with the change in time (yes, I’m still adjusting from “springing forward”), I’ve felt a bit off-kilter for the past couple of weeks. In my typical fashion, my way of handling an imbalance in my life is by running around at a high-speed, like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to find a way to get on top of everything I have to do. In my efforts to find balance, I’ve actually been running myself ragged trying to fit everything in, and even though my days are getting longer, I’m still never really “done.”

As we move into April and I stop to reflect on the past month, I realize that this pace is not sustainable or “balanced” at all. Each spring it seems that I jump up, energized by the sunlight, ready to take on the world, only to come falling back to reality a few weeks later, realizing that conquering the world does not mean living in a sleep-deprived state, or mindlessly moving from one “to-do” to the next. By stopping to notice the effects of my springtime hysteria on my life and my yoga practice, I know that it is truly time to slow down.

I’ve witnessed this springtime frenzy in some of my classes, too, as students come in with a new found energy, but tighter shoulders and hips, and in some cases, difficulty listening to their bodies and not pushing past their edge. I’ve noticed this in my own practice, as well, and over the past week or so, have been making an extra effort to slow down–to step back, instead of jumping back to chaturanga, to take the modification when it feels right, and by coming into child’s pose more often, searching for that moment of stillness in an otherwise constantly-moving day.

So, as April unfolds and the weather begins to get warmer, the cherry blossoms come out in full force, and we start to settle into the longer, sunlit days, I’m going to be working on slowing down. Taking time to unplug from the hustle and bustle of daily life, and to remind myself that the summer is on it’s way and there is plenty of time to get everything done–while still taking time to stop and breathe.

Reflecting on this past month, have you been doing the run around, too? If so, how can you find simple ways to slow down the spring frenzy, and bask in the sunlight? Join me in setting an intention for the spring, and lets blossom together :)

Mary Catherine

One thought on “Teacher Feature: Mary Catherine Starr

  1. Anonymous

    March 31, 2011 at 9:52pm

    Mary Catherine,

    Your comments really resonated with me. Thank you for sharing! I too have felt the same way the last several weeks with the ups and downs in the weather and time change and I thought it must be just me :) Thank you for reminding me to find ways to slow down both in my practice and in my frenzied life! Lisa Davis

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