I had a horrible ashtanga practice this morning. I could blame it on my back being tight or on being pressed for time but the real issue was what was going on in my head. That said, I’m not really sure what was going on with me but I was in tears before I even made it through standing series. By the time I was on the floor the only thing I wanted to do was get off my mat as quickly as possible. I thought about leaving but then I considered how many times I’ve challenged my own students to stay with their practice even when it doesn’t feel easy or especially good.
So instead of fleeing from what was drawing up uncomfortable emotions, I finished. I will admit that I rushed through some poses and skipped a few that I just didn’t have the heart to do but I made it to savasana…and then immediately rolled up my mat and left as quickly as possible fighting back tears. A couple of hours later I had to teach a class. The thing with teaching is that you have to do it even when you don’t feel like it. The thing about teaching yoga is that you don’t have to pretend that it’s the best day ever because if it’s not, and you do pretend, the experience you give your students feels anything but authentic and heartfelt.
Forced, fake happy is uncomfortable and people don’t connect with that. Instead I told my students about my crappy ashtanga practice and reminded them that you don’t always have to come to your mat at 100%. Some days you may be at 10% and wondering how you’re going to make it to the next pose. But breath by breath, pose by pose the practice happens and growth occurs. You learn that it’s okay to feel things and you know that you’re not the only one in the room that is feeling something. Energy and emotional states are different every day. Learn how strong you are from the difficult practices that challenge you physically and emotionally.
Apple cinnamon oatmeal after practice helped.
A soy latte after teaching really helped.
Lots to do today. Getting to it.