I finally got back to yoga this weekend. It’s been two weeks off with Easter break and a transition between sessions of classes. Holy Om! was I glad to be back.
My ass has been really sore this last week. I think it’s from racing a half marathon a few weeks ago and continuing with my same mileage the week after and just feeling cooked. I did my usual stretching and strength training, but maybe not enough. And, I realized, I also did no yoga. You don’t know how good something is for you until you don’t do it.
I went to my chiropractor last week because I could barely sit down. He poked and prodded and stretched and sweated and said it was probably my sciatic nerve. I took 4 days off running but went to yoga.
The teacher talked about how for the first 10 years she practiced yoga she was always trying to “do” something. She wanted her yoga to be active and she wanted results. She suggested to us that once we got into the pose, to just let our bodies be as they are, however they look and however inflexible they are. She suggested we just let go and surrender.
I am pretty flexible naturally, so I expect more from myself when it comes to yoga. I’m not pushing myself into painful contortions, but I do want to be able to push myself to make changes. But when I say that, I don’t really know what it means: I want things to be forceful and I want things to be definite. I want the chiropractor to crack my back and things to feel better all over.
I got into my next pose and tried to relax. I was breathing, I relaxed my jaw, my neck, my tailbone, and my shoulders. But for the life of me I could not let go. I knew I was hanging on and trying to make things be a certain way. I could feel my teeth aching with my effort.
Letting go is not easy. It was hard for me to take 4 days off running. I was glad for the break, but panicking thinking I wasn’t running and working on getting faster. “No pain, no gain,” right? But it was more painful to run and I could see no gains. So, in the arms of misery and on my Coach’s advice, I could let go and give those runs a pass.
It is hard to not have expectations, or judgments, or wants. It is hard to not try to make things be a certain way, even if we know that it’s not what is best for us. It is hard to stay in the Present moment and be with it.
Finally, at the end of yoga we were in corpse pose (lying down) and I felt myself surrender. Doing yoga with intention means we even lie down with purpose.
I felt grounded and connected and relaxed. My body was comfortable and I could envelope this state. I did not have to “do”. My teeth did not ache. For that moment, I knew how to lie down and let things be.