This relationship has been going so fabulously. You feel really strong. Your mental clarity is off the charts, and everyone keeps commenting on this radiant glow of yours. But what if I told you it may be time for a break – maybe, ditch the yoga mat for the next week?
At times the stress of getting to the mat may not be worth the stress at all. It may even completely negate the practice. We have all been there. We are rushing to make a yoga class. Moving our schedule around so we can get our Ujjayi breath on. And lets face it. This whole “rushing to relax” thing is going out of style. Part of practicing yoga is doing what is best for YOU. If you are putting yourself at risk of a fender bender or missing out on the opportunity to actually sit down while you eat, then ditch the class and practice slowing down.
Now that you are slowing your roll, you can focus more on recovery time. Every good athlete knows the importance of this. In weight training, there is “leg day”. The following day or two should then be focused on another body part, or can even be space for complete rest. This gives ample time to restore the muscle and connective tissue. If you are all about that #yogaeverydamnday, great! Just be sure to give your body time to heal. Stay hydrated and take days to rest.
There are so many aspects to yoga that can create a balanced practice. If you just can’t quit, consider focusing more on pranayama or meditation on your days off from asana. Major shifts can happen in only five minutes of deep breathing and focused thought. Then you’ll still have time for dinner with your friends.
And yet another reason you will enjoy this little break – Your non-yogi friends may like you just a little bit more during this week. They won’t be confused by the Sanskrit words coming out of your mouth or bored by your musings over the latest inversion you are trying to nail. In fact, you may even start to remember you had other interests before you started yoga, and that life does exist beyond on the mat. I can’t believe I just said that.
Time away brings clarity. It can take stepping away from something to see the bigger picture. If you allow yourself time to step back from your practice, you can begin to have more appreciation for how much it has grown and to truly see where you are today. Otherwise, you may not be able to notice some of the subtleties that can occur with such dedicated practice.
Best of all, that first practice is back is almost as good as make-up sex. Time away always give us more appreciation for what is already there, and coming back with a fresh new perspective creates growth. So go for it. Take break from asana. Get messy, shift your focus, and try something new. Cheat and explore with pranayama and meditation. Be your own number one and show asana that there is more to the practice than just being physical. Show asana that sometimes – slowing down is what’s best for you.