So, after an 11 day absence 2 weeks ago, last week I forged ahead and went to class. I write about it and it wasn’t pretty. Then last Friday night, I started to get sick. That tickle in the throat, a sniffle… Almost everyone I know has this devil of a cold. My sister has had something for nearly 2 weeks, my husband about 10 days, and my office appears ground zero with Dayquil the most in demand item around. So guess what, no yoga in over a week. In NY we say: Oy Vey. I have no fever but am very sweaty, tired and most significantly, congested, breathing mostly through my mouth. Today is the first day I’ve felt better, so I’m back at work, I’m thinking about yoga tomorrow, but more likely it will be Sat or Sunday. It’s really the breathing (ain’t it always) that has me concerned as it’s quite shallow and mostly through my mouth. Besides stressing that I’m practically repeating the same absence (and subsequent pain) all over again, I’m trying to stay calm. Feels like groundhog day. I’ll get through this and get back to yoga. It will not be pretty lord knows, but being big picture, this is all part of the journey right?
After trying to get back in the saddle from a nearly 2 week yoga absence, I did 3 classes in a row, took a day off and went back to an early morning class. Boom. It stunk. It’s amazing how much one regresses in less than 2 weeks (after all, I still went to spin a few times) especially when your diet goes up in smoke. So, the morning class was HOT and somehow I seem even less flexible then my first class back. (Hello?!) I am also convinced that some extra pounds have made the pose after triangle and rabbit much worse as my stomach seems to be getting in its own way. Lovely.
Balance is better so I’ll take that but today’s class was one of those dreaded classes where your breathing is off. This happens to be every once in a while but today was one of those days. I could tell I was breathing in a more shallow way starting right at pranayama breathing but from about eagle on, I was just having trouble with my breath. I was breathing too fast and couldn’t really slow it down before the next posture started. I didn’t panic but it did frustrate me. I sat out a set of locust to try and catch up and slow down by breathing. It helped but a pose or 2 later it raced away on its own. I felt like I was wearing an outfit that didn’t match–my breathing didn’t match the pace of the class. I made it through an ugly class where I couldn’t give it my all. I did ok, but I didn’t really push myself as breathing was just out of sync. I hope that chasing or catching your breath feeling will not come back anytime soon. Not fun!
I took a yoga class in the middle of a slow work day. Interesting assortment of yogis…a few older folks, some serious athlete types, a few dancers… the usual Bikram class assortment. It was a new teacher, which I also like trying since you never know when a different message connects with you in a powerful way. The teacher was fine. pretty much on script but conscientious and controlled. I was in day 3 of classes, after an 11 or 12 day hiatus. My balance was off and I was fighting to get back to the flexibility I had before the break. The teacher told us to have no expectations as each day is different, so I took a deep breath and told myself to do the best I can. This was a slightly different tone from the previous day’s class when the teacher told us to kill ourselves in class.
So, it was more of the same, which is fine. I was able to do the whole class, I was still more wobbly than previously and still not able to touch my forehead to my knee in the pose after triangle… but I was getting better. Pushed harder than normal in triangle and toe stand. And tried to convince myself I will be able to actually do bow pose some day!
What I noticed is that everyone was at their own level in class and it was cool to see. Some people are super advanced and have a serious practice. Others may be recovering from injuries or are just getting started or have other issues and are more limited in what they can do. And I fit right in. I can grab my leg in standing head to knee and sometimes kick out, but rarely hold the pose and can’t get my head to my knee yet. I try in eagle, but my leg is no where near wrapping around the back of my calf (Adrienne, if you are reading this, I will be forever jealous that you can do this), I can barely get my elbows under my body in locust, they generally stick out and stubbornly refuse to submit to my will… but it’s all good. We’re all doing our best together… very different abilities but singular in our focus.
So, I’m back after an 11-day yoga break due to work and travel. It happens. I knew I’d be back to yoga, so I didn’t panic but let me tell you, my absence shows. Took my first class yesterday and then woke up today and could barely move! Went back today and was much tighter than I can remember. I’d say I’ve lost about 20% of my (already limited) flexibility. What did I notice the most: BALANCE. Oh my lord. I could barely hold standing bow for 10 seconds, let alone 1 minute. I felt sorry for the people behind me as I kept falling out, especially on my weaker side. Holy backsliding! Also flexibility in generally is worse, not surprising. I’m hoping in a week or two, I’m back to “normal.” I think the main thing is not to get bummed out about it, but to move on. My teacher today said “imagine you can do every pose. Even if it takes 20 years.” In other words, no, I suck at this, but rather, I can do this. Also, the Bikram refrain to “kill yourself” in class came up. Not a huge fan of this, but it is a good reminder to push yourself. What’s also interesting (and probably helped my return) is the classes have not been crazy hot. I think this is because it’s so cold outside, they don’t want to completely shock your system. I am getting a massage shortly, so hopefully that will help. I think the lesson here is to keep on keeping on. In the past I’d beat myself up both about missing class and my performance. Now, I’m simply glad to be back, proud I did both classes completely and looking forward to improving. Progress, at least mentally!?!
PS-MY husband got me a combo yoga mat and towel. Love it!!!
I’ve been feeling more aches and pains these days. Not sure if it’s due to the weather, my age, pushing myself in class, not pushing myself, etc. I keep hearing that “sitting is the new smoking,” which sounds horrible to me since I sit most of the (long) day at my job. Maybe that and shlepping my heavy handbag plus yoga bag is to blame.
The result is that I stand alot. I stretch during the day and I try to get massages since my shoulders are often the culprit. I also think I’m doing something wrong in triangle as my neck is often achy after. Hmmm.
I believe yoga is supposed to help with these kinks so I’m guessing without yoga, I’d be even more uncomfortable.
I’m also debating about my exercise routine. It’s not news that switching up your workout routine is good so your body doesn’t get too familiar/comfortable with anyone thing… not sure how that plays in Bikram, which is the same exact workout each time. I try to add some spin but not sure if I need to mix things up more. I get frustrated when I do other things b/c I think my yoga suffers.
That’s my latest thoughts and ramblings. Now time to stand up and stretch!