Knowing When To Dial It Back
“I think sometimes the best training is to rest.” ~ Cristiano Ronaldo
Not going to sugar coat, the past week has been tough. Not only have I been dealing with the mother of all injuries, I have been warring with myself.
Do you ever do that? Do you ever feel like different parts of your personality or soul are at war? Ah la the devil and the angel?
I very definitely have a devil; my Type A over achiever self refuses to understand that rest is best and that I am NOT being a baby or a wimp or pretty much any negative word I can come up with.
Then the angel. The part that had multiple years and classes of A and P and knows I won’t get better unless I rest. That I will keep relapsing until I do enough nerve and spinal damage that I lose all mobility in my left side.
Coming to terms and appeasing these two sides has been difficult and trying all week.
Especially when there is another voice inside my head. The I can’t be sendentary and watch netflix my whole life voice. The one that I have tried for years to shut down and silence. The one that worries about getting fat (yup I said the F word) if I don’t go for that run or if I don’t take that hot class. The side that shudders to look in the mirror and it has only been a week!
That is when I want to slap myself upside my head and call myself a hypocrite.
I tell my students all the time to take care of themselves. To relax, they don’t need to be perfect.
Yet I am a big fat fraud because My devil shuts the angel down. “Just do it” not in a Hyper Yippee Nike way. No. It is that evil cackle urging me to do handstands and ten mile runs as much as it tells me to eat that chocolate cake. (and I hate chocolate!)
It is all balance I know. I preach it all the friggin time. But this week hasn’t felt like balance. It has felt like an unending binge of laying my lazy ass down and doing nothing.
But that is a reminder that I am human. We all are. We all have good days, weeks and months. And then we all have bad days, weeks, and months.
On Wednesday in need of something, I had yet to identify in that moment, I dragged my derriere to class. I didn’t even know if I would be able to do anything, except cry in savasana.
As one mentor told me years ago, “The hardest part is showing up to the mat.”
Which is true, though my hardest part at the moment is knowing when NOT to listen to the devil and dial it back.
Yet dial it back, I did. I didn’t do one single flipping inversion. NONE.
It wasn’t something I conciously did or didn’t do, until I laid down in savannas a few minutes early as else everyone decided to do plow or headstand.
It was then the instructor said “If you are at a cross roads show up, just show up.”
As I breathed in and out I realized that I did, albiet it was modified. I didn’t try to be a hero. I didn’t try to be “the savior” ah la Emma Swan (extra cyber ice cream if you caught that) I iust did it. I listened to my body. While others were doing bird of paradise, or arm balances, I stayed in my squat and worked on trying to get my range of motion back….which was friggin pitiful let me tell you!
Was it the most tricksy turvy badass practice I have ever had?
H to the E to the LL no!
But it WAS what I needed in that moment. For once my mind and body were connected. I didn’t have regrets that I had pushed myself to far (Because yes we ALL do it) or didn’t do enough. I was content and my body was content and THAT is what yoga is. The mind- body connection.
The reminder that we are all human. That we all have off days and on days. Neither is good nor bad. What is bad is when the thoughts, the judging of what we should or shouldn’t be doing, gets in the way of actually listening.
Of hearing WHAT our bodies are saying which sometimes means dial it back. Slow down. Rest. We don’t want to hear it. But then we don’t always want to listen when someone a doctor, a spouse, or friend has to give a us a dose of reality. Our bodies do it too. We just have to be receptive.