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Listening to your body.

May 25, 2010

In my yoga classes, my instructors have always reminded us to listen to our bodies.  They remind us to not push our bodies too far or too much or too often.  While I have always had a firm grasp on not physically overdoing things, I have a hard time actually listening to my body to figure out when it’s appropriate for me to push myself a bit harder or when I should just stay in a modified position of a pose, or even to skip a pose altogether.  And it’s not that my ego gets in my way or that I feel like I have to compete with other students (though there was a time when a hottie was going to the same class I was and I did feel like I *had* to keep up with him).  And it’s certainly not that I feel like less of a yogi when I use props.  I have found that so many poses are SO much easier when I use a block.  And even though I say “easier” the poses are still not easy, but the props help me stay focused on the pose, rather than going past my edge to the place where I am just waiting impatiently for my instructor to say we are done with the pose…….anyways,  I digress.  So, even though I am totally comfortable working at my own level with props, I often find that I have a hard time listening to what my body is telling me.  Why?  Because my mind gets in the way!  My mind tells me “I’ve done this pose without a block before, so there is no reason to use one today” or “I hate the full version of this pose, so I will just do the simplest variation” even though my body is really telling me that today I need that block or that today is the day to try the more complex version of a pose.

Now to today.  Today is Tuesday. My yoga day nearly every week (well, one of them!). I change my schedule in order to accommodate my yoga practice on Tuesdays.  Tuesdays are perfect yoga days because my studio has a class from 3:30 to 5 p.m.  so I get my yoga in before the evening commute or dinner or any of those other things that complicate matters for me. I love Tuesday yoga!  And today it just didn’t happen.  I had the day off and just like nearly every other Tuesday for the past several months, I had every intention of attending class.  Then about 2 hours before class starts, I started feeling a little unwell.  Try as I might, I could not muster up even the thought that I could do any pose in comfort.  Even the thought of child’s pose turned knots in my stomach.  Then my mind complicated things even more.  I haven’t been to class since last Thursday, which is quite a stretch for me right now.  I really wanted to go to class.  Besides the fact that I haven’t been in nearly a week, I pay a monthly fee no matter how often I go to class, so my mind was telling me that I am not getting my money’s worth if I don’t go to class today.  Not letting my discontent stop me from getting my money’s worth, I resolved to try a few poses at home just to see if I would be able to make it through my 90 minute class.  And though I did get into downward facing dog and I was OK, my body was still clearly telling me that today was not a good yoga day.  But.  It’s. A. TUESDAY!  I fought with myself a bit, regressing to a childlike state thinking “I have to go to class today. It’s a TUESDAY today! TUESDAY may as well be YOGADAY in my world! Get WITH it body!” Alas, my body did not get with it and I surrendered to the fact that today will be better spent sitting on the couch watching HGTV.

Though I have a hard time surrendering and listening to my body, it’s good to know that today I was able to do both.  It doesn’t mean that I will always be able to do either of those things. But today I was.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. May 25, 2010 6:09 PM

    Body knows best. Good for you.

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