double down

It’s funny how sometimes you need a little distance from yoga, so you can return to it and remember it’s importance.

That was this morning for me. I made myself do a back-to-back double, my first since January and my first double since leaving training five weeks ago. I won’t say it was easy–class so rarely ever is–but as always it was absolutely worth it.

My first class found me battling several days’ accumulated stiffness and some nausea. All my fault, I admit. I hadn’t practiced since Wednesday, thanks to a combination of conflicting work schedule/yoga schedule times and also a dose of laziness.

By the second-second set of half moon (Class 2, Set 2), I was wondering what I got myself into and whether I could still walk out of the room. I know, dear readers, that you have had this exact thought at some point in your practice…. or even at many, many points.

But I didn’t leave. That English bulldog determination set in (and ok, being totally honest, also a good dose of fear of the shame of leaving a class). I stayed, and focused on each posture one at a time. I didn’t back off, but I also didn’t try to kill myself in each posture– I just made my breath my focus. And oh my, that made all the difference. I felt so good throughout the floor set, where less than two hours earlier I had felt totally demoralized.

I love that yoga never fails to teach me the lessons I most need to remember. Today, it was that:
(1) Avoiding practice will not solve anything. Practicing, on the other hand, will solve almost everything.**
(2) Nothing in the world matters nearly as much as the quality of your breath, because how well you breathe determines how well you live.

** And actually, this one’s why you haven’t heard tell of my musings from last week yet. I went to yoga, and–you guessed it–didn’t really need a quiet day anymore. The concerns are still there, they haven’t gone anywhere, but they’re not quite as loud and pressing. Meditation, FTW!