Back in the Saddle

We are our own worst enemies when it comes to improving ourselves. We’re the ones that won’t make time for things, won’t extend the effort, and tell ourselves we’re not capable. 

I think of horses in those situations where I find myself struggling to overcome a mental block that’s preventing me from doing something. I picture a horse going over a jump (it’s a beautiful sight if you ever have the chance to see it). This huge animal leaves the ground completely, full of grace, and soars over the obstacle in front of it, landing and continuing to run.

I went over two months without doing yoga (or any other type of work outs) and it was a huge struggle to go again. I thought about yoga pretty much every day, often more than once a day. I would beat myself up mentally about not going, even A. started pushing me, but I still wouldn’t go. I’d always commit to a later date, right now wasn’t the right time, later would be. 

I missed it every day. I missed feeling proud of what I’d accomplished in class, the relief that came from letting go mentally, and not having a sore back, . Yoga makes me feel happier, lighter, and healthier. So why couldn’t I make myself go?

Today I’m proud to say I finally went to class and faced my demons head on. I’ve had a few bad classes where I didn’t feel good and/or they didn’t go well and I felt disappointed in myself and relieved they were over. Having gone so long without going made me afraid I’d have another bad class. I was afraid to face the flexibility and strength I’d lost from not keeping in practice and I was afraid of spending class feeling disappointed in myself. Yoga is like running in the sense that you spend the activity very much aware of your mental state and physical state. You can’t escape or hide from it.

I went to class, I told my instructor (who was excited to see me back) about my hiatus and trepidation about returning and she was supportive. This helped a lot, I didn’t enter the practice feeling guilty which really made a difference. I didn’t set any goals other than to feel good and I’m happy to say I did. I kept up, only missing two poses because my hamstrings are super tight again, and I felt good. I didn’t get upset at myself, I didn’t feel disappointed, and I got to leave feeling proud of myself.

I also wanted to share something that helped me make it through class and push myself to not give up. I started reading this blog when I worked on Nike Women and was looking for a female fitness blogger to use for an event. We ended up choosing Ashley and ever since then I’ve read her blog and felt inspired. She’s very much a regular girl (although her achievements are ridiculously amazing) and she’s not intimidating.  She recently posted a blog about her experience being told “you only have once chance” while on a run. I told myself that a few times during the practice today and it helped me hold poses longer than I thought I could and not give up. You can always come back tomorrow, but it’ll be a different class and a different day. Today you only have once chance.

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