Just one week left of the challenge I set for myself (and anyone else who happens to be following along). Today, I was tired. Tomorrow is a full moon, so a day off, followed by Saturday (the regular Ashtanga day of rest). Two whole days off. That’s right. I say Namasté to that. Woo!
So, today was my last day of practice for a while. But instead of really forcing myself to work hard in my challenge pose, urdhva dhanurasana (wheel), I decided just to observe and feel around inside the pose, exactly the way I had it today. Did I say I was tired? Holy cats, was I tired. And here’s the lesson: some days we just don’t got it.
Right? What can I do if I’m exhausted today? I certainly won’t be at the peak of my ‘performance.’ But it’s not about performance. It’s life. It’s experience. I have to let go of the expectation that every day I’ll top the day before. Sometimes I regress. Sometimes I jump forward light years, only to drop back the next day. We have to unattach from the expectation that we will be more awesome today than yesterday. It just doesn’t happen like that. When we seek to recreate an experience we’ve already had (that we probably had accidentally, i.e. organically), then we manifest misery.
I’ve spent the past five days in San Diego, at the generosity of a dear friend. So, maybe (just maybe) you might think that I took a little vacation from my challenge? Not a chance. In fact, it seemed like a really good opportunity to shake things up–do my practice in a new room, at a new time, with new challenges (such as over-caffeinated exhaustion, perhaps?).
So, yesterday I talked about strength (legs, specifically, but there was some mental strength in there, too). And then I took a boatload of photos to accompany the blog. This morning? Let’s just say that utkatasana (chair pose) was a bit more like perching on a really high bar stool pose. Yep. There wasn’t much strength going on today…
Today’s lesson? Rest. I did my practice, but that’s it. I did my practice. And I don’t need to do more than that.
Let yourself off the hook when you need to.
Sometimes savasana (corpse pose) is the most important pose of your practice.
Is leg strength the secret to a deeper backbend?
Middle of the challenge stagnation hit today. I could feel it at the very beginning of my practice: do I really have to pay attention to where my body is in these postures? Can’t I just cast my mind loose and, well, practice?
Sure. I could totally do that. No one is holding me to the challenge but myself. But then, no one can improve my practice but myself either.
Damn you, rock and hard place!