For the body, for the mind, for the heart.
|Feet not where they're supposed to be.|
|Hands doing whatever they please.|
I have posted these as evidence of my weird-ass yoga experience yesterday, during which I had the most ridiculous energy ever possessed by someone who has been awake since 6am, done a full day's work, eaten a large, greasy dinner, and spent the majority of the evening lounging in a semicomatose state.
Although I love my yoga time, I am usually very conscious of the weight of my body and each and every muscle that I am using as I move through the vinyasas, but not yesterday. Yesterday I might as well have been a frog or monkey or, in an effort to remain human, some kind of gymnast the way I was hopping about from forward fold to plank, shooting my limbs out to warrior two, sending my energy up the sky. I am, by no means, an athlete. I do not normally feel that kind of explosive fire, which is why I tend to choose physical activities that involve a slow building of strength and skill, but yesterday I just could not stop moving. Even in the moments when I was supposed to be resting, my fingers were tapping, toes were scrunching, my nose drawing circles in the air.
As I recently shared, I am currently participating in the 30 Days of Yoga Camp challenge, which involves the completion of a daily yoga video. The mantra for yesterday's video was "I am in control" and I was absolutely, 100% not in control. The good thing about doing Yoga with Adriene, though, is that she always encourages you to "find what feels good." In other words, she encourages her fellow practitioners to follow the routine only so far as it works for them, to tailor the practice to their needs and abilities.
So, it was easy for me to let go of that mantra and to just let my body do what it naturally wanted to do. Perhaps you could say that I even owned that mantra, because I took control of my own needs for that day and relinquished any preconceived notions of what the practice should look like in order to make it what I needed. In the end, I'm glad that I did because allowing my energy bursts to explode in that way meant that by the end I had 1) had a really good workout and 2) put myself in a much better (read more relaxed) place that would eventually allow me to fall asleep.
This is one of my favorite things about doing yoga - that each day can be altered to attend to whatever it is that you are feeling or thinking or needing, whether you are conscious of these things or not. Tonight, for example, my yoga energy was totally different. In fact, I'll go so far as to admit that, although I'd had quite a nice day, by about 7pm my mindset had shifted entirely and I spent the rest of the evening in a strange and horrible mood. I don't really know why; the reason is not important (we all have these days), but I just found myself feeling that soul-crushing, all-encompassing, hopeless sense of despair that I am not naive enough to imagine has only ever belonged to me. My yoga, because of this, was much more slow and focused and serving of an entirely different purpose. Today I noticed each muscle again, and I thought harder about each pose. As a result, though I didn't intend it, I realized afterward that my yoga had been truly meditational. Very unusually I hardly thought about anything except for the yoga while I was doing it. In fact, I thought so little that I didn't even have the opportunity to think about what I was thinking about. A truly rare occurrence, indeed, and something I really needed in order to shake my mood.
For the first couple of weeks after starting my new job, I vowed to take it easy on myself in terms of exercise. I hate going too long without real, physical exertion, but I knew that I would need the extra time to relax and mentally debrief from each day. Now that things are feeling more stable, I am looking forward to getting back into my more intensive physical routines. I know, however, even if the frequency reduces, that I will still keep yoga as a part of my routine, just as it has been for over a year now, because even on the most dire and difficult of days, yoga is the one thing that I can rely on to successfully attend to my needs - no matter what they are.