An airport blog… the life of a performer and yogi!

I’m off to Bali today and I’m writing this with a nice full belly after a delicious veggie breakfast in Heathrow. I have to say though, it’s a bit fancy in Heathrow T2 isn’t it? There isn’t a Wetherspoons or a 7am pint drinker in sight! It’s pretty relaxing in this little restaurant I’ve found and I now finally feel like I can get a bit excited for what’s to come. I really can’t wait to just find some headspace again. Not that I’m wishing time away or moaning about my current situation, more just craving a new culture and a change of scenery. It’s so easy to get swept up in this busy, self employed lifestyle and I’ve found myself neglecting my own self-care recently. If any of you have read my latest instagram posts you’ll know how overwhelmed I’ve been feeling lately- which I’m sure surprises some of you as I’m always posting about ways to keep yourself healthy and stress-free. But it happens to all of us and I’d be lying if I said otherwise!

I’ve had quite a few revelations these last couple of weeks too. Perhaps due to the build up of this trip or the need for a bit of a break. First of all, I’ve truly realised how different my two careers are… they’re pretty much polar opposites. Yoga teaches and enables me to be present, in the moment and accept where I am right now without the desire to “succeed” or “progress”. Whereas being a performer drives me to crave success and progression as well as to work as hard as possible to achieve it. Seems silly to state this as if I wasn’t aware of it- that’s why I started #YogaForCreatives in the first place, because I realised how wonderful yoga was (and is!) for life as a performer. But only in the last few weeks has it been hitting home quite how different they are and that’s purely down to the lack of time I’ve been able to dedicate to my personal yoga practice.

When you’re forced to think about what your next job may be or when auditions might come around, you’re often thinking months ahead into the future. Balancing the enjoyment and gratitude of actually being in a job (especially a longer contract like I’m lucky enough to be in) along with the uncertainty and curiosity of what’s to come when said job ends, is a pressure that we underestimate and need to balance out. How do we find that balance? Well, I’m still figuring that out as I go… 😉 But I do know that for me personally it’s in how well I look after myself mentally and physically. We of course have to look into the future a certain amount but I think finding a way of keeping ourselves present and content while also weighing up and preparing for what’s to come is a particular skill! It comes with the territory of being a performer I suppose but it doesn’t make it any easier to navigate. However, the past few weeks have definitely taught me that I cope a lot better when I fit in my meditation, I get enough rest and I put less pressure on myself. I also know that giving myself proper breaks away from work (both yoga and performance) is imperative too.

Just before I started School of Rock I completed my Yin yoga levels 1 & 2 here in London. It was a life changing time as I learned and experienced such new things and found a whole new depth to my own practice, my teaching and a new level of calm. I filmed a vlog about Yin yoga a while back actually but then had a mini melt down that it wasn’t very good so never ended up posting it 🙈 (I have these moments of doubt as much as the next person!) I will definitely do another one at some point- perhaps even while I’m in Bali and I’m also planning on including some Yin yoga in the next batch of YouTube videos I film as it truly is transformational. Anyway… one of the main reasons I’m excited to do my level 3 (other than it being in Bali!) is to be able to immerse myself fully in those feelings again. The level 3 is all about meditation so I’m preparing for a challenging yet rewarding week.

I also made quite a big decision last week after all of my revelations and thoughts. I decided I wanted to have a chat with a psychologist or counsellor of some description. Not because I feel there’s anything deeply wrong with me or that I’m really concerned about my mental health, but simply so I can dedicate some time to just talking to a neutral party. I make conscious efforts to look after my body with classes and exercises and although I meditate and have ways of looking after my mind too, I feel this is something that could give me another outlet. I may go along and hate every minute of it or find it’s not for me but it’s something I’m looking forward to trying! It seems to be something done less here in the UK, or at least less talked about. But from my research there are so many ways of finding someone to chat to. I used “Psychology Today” to search for therapists in my area and the website gives you the chance to read about each individual and choose who you feel suits your needs and budget. I also found the NHS Direct website helpful as you can enter your postcode/GP’s surgery and then they give you the details to refer yourself. As well as this meaning you don’t have to book an appointment with you GP it’s also great as it’s free.

I know exactly what will happen of course… I’ll get back from Bali and feel like I don’t need or want to chat to anyone because I’ll be in a completely different headspace. But I’ve booked a session in and I’m going to see it through no matter how I feel. Cos’… why not? ☺️

Anyway, I’m going to have a wander around some shops I’ll never be able to afford anything from before I get ready to board. I really am beginning to get excited now! I have a few days in Bali to explore and relax before I actually begin the course on Sunday so check in with my Instagram (@musicaltheatreyogi) to see what I’m up to. I won’t be on social media very much but I’ll be uploading photos/videos sporadically. Have a wonderful couple of weeks and I’ll speak to you all on the other side!

Jess x