I don’t recommend doing an Ashtanga class after a 15 km ski tour when you’re already not feeling well.
Nevertheless, I wanted to go. I wanted to push myself to get out that door and on to my mat. I don’t regret it, but I don’t recommend it.
It got me wondering: when is it “bad” to do yoga? So often I think of yoga as a magic elixir that can cure all pain, heal old injuries, soothe any anxieties while making me more aware of all the other things I need to work on. For the most part, this is what I love about it. But, when is too much too much?
It’s not that I felt absolutely awful coming out of the practise today, but my instructor told me I looked awful and that I should go home and rest. Did I unnecessarily push myself tonight? Probably. I probably wouldn’t have gone if it wasn’t for this 30 Day Yoga Challenge.
At the same time, I had one of the strongest practises tonight since we started the challenge (until the last 5 minutes when I wanted to curl up into a little ball and never wake up again). I felt my flexibility and balance coming back after my month away from the studio over Christmas. I also think it was a strong practise because I was finally focused 100% on the practise itself. I felt humbled today by how “off” my body was feeling, and I surrendered to it.
Lesson from Day 8
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how you felt yesterday, how solid your practise was compared to today or what progress you’re making. Each day you come to the mat is a new day. Ask yourself, how am I feeling in this very moment? And that is where you are. Push a little harder if it feels right. Take a step back if it doesn’t.
Most of all, make it your own practise and don’t feel badly if you miss a day.
© Meghan J. Ward, 2011.