I haven’t taken a yoga class in ten days. I’m going to take one tomorrow morning before work, and it can’t come soon enough.
My yoga journey started thirteen months ago, and within those thirteen months I’ve definitely noticed patterns. One of the biggest patters I’ve noticed is how terrible I start to feel on the rare occasions when I go a week or longer without taking a yoga class.
So I’m going to use this blog and write out a list of just how unbalanced and icky I start to feel when I’ve gone a week without breathing through my thighs, bending, and twisting.
When I go a week or longer without taking a yoga class:
- I start to lose the huge sense of gratefulness and thankfulness that yoga teaches and gives to me. I’m not saying that I become completely ungrateful, but the level of gratitude and overall thankfulness that I have for my life, my friends, my car, etc, starts to diminish. Because of this, the mundanity of life starts to become more apparent. The reality of things like constantly paying bills and working for forty to fifty years starts to cave in more.
- I start to feel more sluggish, more sleepy, and my digestion slows down. Yoga wakes me up, it wakes my mind up. I feel the most rested, energetic, and high-spirited on the weeks that I take two or more yoga classes. Yoga improves my sleep, and the constant twisting and rinsing of the digestive muscles allows for optimal digestion. My practice gives me a sense of euphoria and accomplishment, giving me the feeling of a “natural high”, and chasing away both fatigue and sleepiness from my mind and body.
- I start to become less honest with myself. My yoga practice gives me myself. I can’t hide from myself in certain yoga poses. My practice inspires me to be honest with myself, and to recognize the negative feelings, thoughts, and emotions tucked away into the crevices of my mind. When I go a week or longer without taking a yoga class I’ve noticed that I’m less likely to admit to myself when I’m feeling negative, undesirable emotions such as fear, jealousy, frustration, and bitterness. I lie to myself, I make excuses to and for myself. I feel less genuine, less authentic, and this shows up everywhere, such as in my work, in my thoughts, and in my reactions to things and people.
- I don’t feel as calm, cool, and collected. I become frustrated more easily. I’m more likely to get into tiffs or arguments. I second guess myself more, and I start to become more aware of others judgements of me. I sometimes feel less connected to the people around me. I become more impatient with ordinary things, such as traffic and long lines. I stay upset about things longer, and I’m not able to “let go” and move on from a frustrating situation or annoyance as quickly.
- I don’t feel as plugged into the Earth, as present, and as grounded. I start lose the ache of ab muscle or the feeling of tight hamstrings and quads being stretched out through asana. I’m less aware of the breath in my lungs, and the aches and cues that my body gives me to signal when it’s in want or need of something. I type on my phone more and listen to the conversation around me less. I lose the amazing anatomically corrected-ness feeling that yoga gives me, of my tailbone being tucked and my shoulders sitting perfectly on top of my hips. I’m more likely to withdraw and to not reach out to people. I start to think about myself and my problems more, and less of (the problems of) the world around me.
All of this being said, when my alarm goes off at 7:00 tomorrow morning I’m making a straight beeline for the shower. I’m ready to unroll my mat. I’m ready to spread my toes and plug my hands into the Earth.
I shudder to think about where my life would be if I hadn’t found yoga thirteen months ago. I know that both my life and I would be in a very different place right now.