There’s been a marked drop-off in class attendance the past few days. I think people are starting to hit the yoga wall. It’s hard keeping up a daily practice. I know. I really do. There have been days this month that, if I weren’t the teacher, I would have slept in, or kept the afternoon work momentum going without breaking to go to class.
In my interview with Jes yesterday, I knew what she was talking about when she said,
“I know of the benefits and rewards that yoga brings me, yet I will sacrifice my practice for other commitments. Unfortunately, that is still something I am trying to change today.”
Isn’t it ironic that the thing that will save you is the first thing you throw overboard when you’re drowning?
Here’s my theory for why we do that.
In a way, we’re afraid to feel good. If we find our way out of the quagmire of stress and unhappiness, who will we be? How will we have to act? Who will we be able to relate to? Who will understand this new us?
Everyone “gets it” about stress and frustration and anger and irritation. When we are these things, we fit in perfectly. But if we start to change, to mellow out, to take things as they come, to sweeten our relationships, to drop our defenses once in awhile, we risk becoming something else, somebody else, someone our friends and spouses and kids don’t know anymore–even if this new us is a much better version.
So instead of going to yoga, or meditating, or going for a run, or doing something that will feed our souls, we stay and do a bit more work, or go out to the bar and have a drink, or believe that we’d be happier if we got one more load of wash done.
I think the answer is to keep remembering that we always, always, always have a choice.
We choose to troll on Facebook for hours, or obsessively check email, or play video games or otherwise numb-out. But what if, every so often, in the midst of our self-sabotaging behaviors we just stopped and admitted what we are doing:
I am choosing to play on Facebook right now.
I am avoiding my practice because I am afraid of changing.
If we called ourselves on our shit more often, we would go a long way towards finally getting to know who we are, and how we really roll.
5 thoughts on “Day 23: Hitting the Wall”
Kath, thank you for putting this out there. You’ve pretty much summed up my last 23 days in a nutshell, er, blog post. I am doing yoga every day and it is changing me. I am changing. No one here really knows what to do with me (except perhaps for my friend, Srutih, who’s a yoga teacher and lived on an ashram in upstate NY for a year), least of all my husband and kids. I am setting boundaries, I am calling people on their shit, and more importantly, I am calling myself on my own shit, taking responsibility for all the ways I’ve closed myself off over the years. But now all these hip openers and back bends are opening up my heart, and I just can’t bear to close it now. I know I am on to something good, but it is scary as heck, like sledding down Sondi’s big hill blindfolded. At this point, I have no choice. I have to keep going.
WOW. HOW TRUE.
I have hit the wall too, but instead of stopping and walking away, I’ve just set up a little picnic next to the wall. Ya know, spread out a sweet country quilt, a basket of fruit, a good book … and I’ve taken a little nap.
For the 4th straight day (Day 20, 21, 22, 23), I’ve moved vvvvvery ssssllllowly with my work-out. An oh so gentle 20 minutes. But, that is fine too. It is still progress. It’s what my body & mind apparently need right now. At least I’ve “shown up” and marked the 23rd straight day. As Kath & Jes have said … it’s so so true that just showing up at the mat (or the sweet country quilt) is the hard part. As soon as you’re there, something beautiful unfolds … and reveals itself.
I sarted to feel the same way, must be the time of year or something, I decided to get out the Yoga cards with Rodney Yee and give myself something different. Mixing up my practice helps me continue to focus. Put myself in 4 wheel drive and bust on through!
Last week and this coming week especially, yoga has turned into a reward and a break from studying. Finals are next week and so I use it in between studying to get away from the desk and relax and clear my mind. So I have a different wall this week and yoga is now just a speed bump.
Day 23 was a lot of leg and hip stretches. A lot, a lot. I did every pose I could think of involving them. Then I did a long downward dog and three suns to get the blood moving, then it was back to work.