Following on my previous post of 5 Reasons To Take a Sabbatical (an extended timeout or break from work), here’s what I did when I took 7 weeks off my producing day job. Hopefully it will help spark some ideas of what you might like to do when you take yours.
I ended up doing a mix of all my 5 reasons to take a break, to varying degrees:
Time-out to recharge/ escape/ evaluate.
Learn new things.
Travel and explore the world.
Spend time to develop an existing skill/ personal project.
If you’ve been following my updates on Instagram, you would’ve seen some of these already, so here’s the overview of everything on one page. :)
Week 1: Advanced Yoga Training - Creative + Intelligent Vinyasa Yoga Sequencing
I’m teaching yoga part-time again on weekends, and wanted to brush up on some of my yoga sequencing skills. So I did this 50-hour advanced training on creative and intelligent vinyasa krama sequencing with one of my teachers, Daphne Koken.
Week 2: Long weekend in Palma, Mallorca
I met up with a good friend from nutrition school and we spent time hanging out, eating good food and catching up on the beautiful Balearic island of Mallorca, Spain.
Week 3: “Me Time” in Amsterdam
I had some down time this week in Amsterdam and spent time reading, catching up on ‘life admin’, gym training, dinners with friends and teaching some yoga classes at Equal Yoga.
Week 4 + Week 5: India!
I spent 2 weeks in India with a good friend of mine. We started off with 3 days in Varanasi - visiting the temples of Shiva, observing the daily rituals along the ghats of the Ganges river where people wash laundry and bathe, and also watching the ancient ritual of burning bodies by the Ganges.
The next week was spent in the Isha ashram down south in Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu - learning about the spiritual practices from Sadhguru. I went as a ‘spiritual tourist’ - curious and open to his teachings, but also realising after spending some time there that he is not my guru, and his teachings don’t resonate with me on a soul level. Even so, I am immensely grateful for the opportunity and experience to have been there, being inspired by other spiritual seekers’ stories and journeys.
We spent the last few days in the capital of Kerala, Kochi, where the Kochi Biennale was happening. It’s such a beautiful old colonial town, we had a blast soaking in the history, art and culture. And all that good food too!
Week 6: Koh Phangan, Thailand
This week was spent in Koh Phangan, Thailand, where I spent 5 days on an intensive handstand training with my handstand coach, Yuval Avalon.
Drills, drills and more drills - refining technique so I can finally get closer to my 30-second freestanding handstand goal.
Week 7: Singapore
I couldn’t be on that side of the world and not go and see my parents, right? So I spent some time in my hometown, Singapore, catching up with friends and family. And also eating like there’s no tomorrow.
All in all, it was an amazing mix of learning new skills (handstand training)/ brushing up on existing skills (yoga training), travelling, being immersed in different cultures and spiritual practices, with some history and culture thrown in. I was in nature, by the beach (Koh Phangan) and in some busy cities (Varanasi, Kochi, Singapore), and had a great time switching off that “work mode”.
Thoughts on My Sabbatical:
I was back at work from last week, feeling refreshed and recharged. I know I want to be here and also ready and excited to take on my next new project… I also know I want to keep teaching yoga part-time, but I’m being mindful of how many classes I take on, so as not to get into a situation where I feel like I’m burning the candle at both ends, doing too many things yet again, as I tend to do!
That pretty much sums up why I feel taking that extended time-out for yourself is so important, so I’d say my sabbatical was a “success”. Wouldn’t you agree? ;)
Stay tuned for the next related post on “How to Plan For a Sabbatical”.
If you enjoyed reading this, you might also be interested in these previous posts:
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