Thursday, June 13, 2013

The 'perfect yogini' trap

I have a confession to make, lately I have found my self in the 'perfect yogini' trap.  I think this problem stems from too much exposure to yoga 'rules'.  There are a lot of rules out there about when is appropriate to practice, and I with my slightly strange 2nd shift-ish work schedule, have been trying to adhere to:
  • Practice in the morning is best, evening second best but not starting practice past 6:30 pm.
  • Practice on an empty stomach.
  • Don't practice during your period.
  • Don't practice on moon days.
  • Don't practice on Saturdays.
  • Skip supper, go to bed early, to rise early and practice.
I have followed all of those 'don't practice' rules and always plan to practice at the appropriate times, but it just ends up being a rushed surya A and short savasana.  It seems that I have forgotten the number one rule:
and the number 2 rule:
I have grown so attached to 'the rules' that I was half-assing my actual practice!  

Inspirations led me to this understanding:
  • Halley- a friend of mine who has committed to exercising daily, even if that means heading to the gym at 11 pm on a full stomach.
  • Christina from prescribing yoga- she rolls out her mat in the on-call room at midnight.
  • TM, my patient- a beginner yogi in her 50s, she goes to yoga class 2-5x/wk every week since the week before Thanksgiving 2012, it is making EVERYTHING so much better.

After hearing from them, I resolved to ignore the rules, starting TODAY!  I remember back in graduate school I practiced 5-6 days a week at all hours of the day, period or not, and I didn't even know what a moon day was.  I had been known to occasionally roll out my yoga mat in our office a little after lunch.  That was a stressful time of my life and I got through it healthy and happy.  Now that my practice is weak I am weaker and less happy.

Today, I slept through my early alarm yet again and didn't have time to practice, again.  But today, instead of a hasty sun salutation in my pjs, I opted to skip out on morning practice.  I left work early(!), only to get stuck in rush hour that I forgot existed and got home way past 6:30pm.  What did I do?  Changed into a yoga outfit and rolled out the mat.  And do you know what, I felt better about myself and the whole world around me.  I am going back to the days before I even knew about the 'rules' and just knew that practice makes everything in life better, so make it a priority to practice more!

I am sure that these rules work well for many people, they just don't work for me right now.  Sure, I'll likely skip inverting during my period, wait a little before practicing after a big meal, and perhaps even rest on moon days...but the cardinal rule of yoga is to PRACTICE and that is the only rule that I need to adhere to.

No comments:

Post a Comment