I didn’t want to go to yoga yesterday.
I love yoga.
I really do.
And yet, I didn’t want to go.
I know it’s good for me. I always feel better afterwards. I pride myself on being a yogi.
I like to do it at least three times a week. Four, if I can.
Sometimes I do that. Sometimes even more.
Lately, it’s been hard to fit it in with my extra busy work schedule and both my daughters’ full volleyball schedules.
For this season, I have committed to at least once a week.
This has been an achievable goal, until last week when I missed it.
I reserved my spot, but when the time came to go, I told myself my time would be better spent doing more work. I decided to catch up on emails and home administration while sitting on the couch. I talked myself out of yoga. I told myself this was me giving myself a break. This was my way to find the time to accomplish other things. I gave myself more hustle instead of the real break I needed. Looking back, this wasn’t the best choice for me. It set me back in a few ways.
This week, I blocked my calendar and reserved my spot for class. I had the best of intentions to “get back on track”. I was woken before my alarm went off. I wasn’t tired, but I did not want to get out of bed. I tossed and turned. I stayed in bed, as long as I could. This was not due to tiredness. I was wide awake with my eyes closed shut. I just didn’t want to get up and face the world. I didn’t want to go to yoga. Avoiding my favorite thing to do. Again.
I wondered, is this depression? Burnout? I don’t know what it is.
I know that I don’t want to get up. I don’t want to go to yoga today. Today was the only day this week that is possible for me to attend. The calendar is blocked, my spot is reserved, I have nothing more important to do. And yet, and yet…
I imagined the reward of the hot tub, the steam room, and the sauna after class.
I still didn’t want to go.
I told myself I could skip yoga and take the dog for a walk instead.
I should take advantage of the fall weather. I shouldn’t waste time inside.
It would be healthier to not go to yoga and to go outside instead.
I should catch up on work again.
I have a huge project due last week and I haven’t even started. This should take priority.
Or the most enticing option, I could just lay there until my afternoon calls started.
I am not feeling my best. Maybe I’ve got a bug. I need rest even though I am not tired.
Sounds super depressing but that’s the funk I was in.
I couldn’t figure out a reason for it. Mercury in retrograde just ended. That excuse was gone.
I forced myself to get up and go.
Dragging all the way.
As always, I tell myself to get to my mat and I don’t have to do anything more.
Usually this has me holding poses longer than I thought, silently competing with the yogi next to me, and pushing myself to be the best yogi I can be. Getting a thrill from nailing the challenging poses I have been clumsily working on for months. I love it.
Somehow the yoga warm up is so slow and satisfying that by the time the music starts pumping and the heat is cranked, I am also operating at maximum capacity. It feels so good. Sometimes, I cry tears of pride in myself and my body for its abilities, and my perseverance.
I was hopeful it would be one of those days.
I was annoyed.
I moved through the poses, but I did not challenge myself to my greatest ability.
I did the bare minimum.
I kept moving.
My body was stiff from having had a week off.
I wanted the peace and joy that comes at the end, in shavasana pose.
I was still annoyed.
I felt a tightness in my hip. It felt like something releasing.
That felt good.
I can still do the splits, something I am proud of, and a great party trick for a middle age gal like me. I had an opportunity to show this off at the end. I liked that for a minute. It connected me to my high school Pom Pom girl self. Great memories, and a youthful spirit that still lives inside of me. A reminder that I am who I have always been. All the prior versions of me continued in the form I have now.
I went through my spa circuit: hot tub, steam room, sauna, cold shower.
It didn’t bring the bliss it usually brings.
My bad mood continued.
I let myself be how I am.
I no longer tell myself to change my feelings.
When I am annoyed, I often have good reason to be annoyed.
Sometimes I don't have a language for it.
Sometimes the body talks to me by holding tension in my hips.
Yoga helps me notice it.
Yoga helps me pay attention to me.
I find ways to take care of myself while being annoyed, instead of trying to change the fact that I am annoyed.
While paying attention to myself, I realized I have been eating poorly lately.
This might be contributing to my mood.
All the delicious Trader Joe’s pumpkin spice cookies, danishes, breads, and muffins have gotten to me. I had fast food the night before and didn’t sleep well because of it.
While eating I was ignoring the fact that I had just had a bag of popcorn at the volleyball game and wasn’t really hungry. I just didn’t want to make dinner. I didn’t want to micromanage dish duty. I over ate when I wasn’t hungry and surprise, it left me feeling sick.
Yoga didn’t fix me completely.
I did feel accomplished after having done it. I was able to pay a little more attention to myself. I came home and drank my green juice instead of letting it go bad in the fridge.
I have signed up for yoga again tomorrow. It doesn’t exactly fit into my schedule but I am going to make it work. I am going to prioritize it. And I am going to start walking the dog outside more too. I have also sat down to write this morning. My favorite thing, but usually the first thing to go in times of stress or overwhelm.
This is how I take care of myself when I am depressed, burnt out, and annoyed. By the end of the day yesterday I actually tackled that big work project I had been avoiding for a week. It started by looking at it, the hardest part. Turns out, I was able to complete it in half the time I expected.
Yoga is a practice. Even as an experienced yogi I go through periods of resistance. I don’t do a headstand or put my body into a pretzel shape every time I go. Sometimes I just get to my mat and do a very mediocre flow with myself. Sometimes I feel myself levitating with God at the end and sometimes I feel like I can’t get out of the room fast enough.
What yoga does every single time I go is bring me back to myself. It gives me a pause to check in on my breath. It gives me another opportunity to deepen my relationship with myself. It allows me to meet myself exactly where I am at. It reminds me that I don’t have to be different than I am. I am able to love myself in this body, at this weight, at this age, in this mood.
The annoyed person in me honors the annoyed person in you. Namaste.