A bit of wisdom for you on this gloomy wintry evening:
It’s true. And to be honest, I’m probably saying that more for my own sake than yours. Not that I’m selfish, just that I have a really hard time with certain things: 1) starting something and not finishing; 2) not doing something to a point that could be considered overboard or, in some cases, extreme. So what’s really going on here is that I’m trying to give myself permission to feel that it’s fine that I started, but didn’t feel like finishing, my 60-minute Yoga for Strength podcast from Yoga Download.
I’m not sure what went wrong with yoga tonight. I didn’t go running this morning because I knew the weather was supposed to be crummy (and I was right) and because I’d already run Saturday, Sunday, and Monday so today seemed like as good a rest day as any. As a result, I figured I’d do some yoga when I got home from work, and I even started to really relish the idea as the day went by. I’m not in the best mood today even though I don’t have any particular reason not to be, and by the time I got home I just felt super crabby and super bad about myself. I guess ye olde negative body image thoughts are creeping up on me, what can I say (except that I also blame the weather, and commuting on the subway, which just doesn’t leave anyone in a good mood)? At any rate, at this point I was still feeling like a good yoga practice would be the cure for what ailed me. So I geared up, rolled out my mat, and got started. Not thirty seconds in, my nose started dripping like a faucet. I paused the practice a couple times to blow it, but it just would not stop. This kind of pushed me to sneaky-hate-spiral-levels of anger about the water fixture that had somehow taken over my face. And really, I just wasn’t able to get into the practice. I really did try. But it wasn’t happening.
I pushed through about 25 minutes before throwing in the towel, and then I immediately felt bad about myself. And that brings us to now, where I admit that I go after to things with more of a focus on quantity than quality. And ultimately, that’s not the point.
On the positive end of things, this running plan I’ve started following has helped me to realize that you don’t have to go big or go home. Not every run has to be eight miles long! Instead, it can be three miles, and it can help you move forward in a way that’s healthy so that eventually you are more fit and not totally burned out (um, could my failure to grasp this before today be part of the reason why my running can be so severely inconsistent?). Similarly, you don’t have to do 60 or more minutes of yoga every time you hit the mat. 10 minutes is fine. No yoga is fine, too.
As I am more than capable of demonstrating, it’s really easy to get caught up in extremism, thinking that the more you do, whether it’s in general or just of one thing in particular, the better you’ll be. But maybe it’s time to take a step back and experiment with the other side of things. Try to do a little bit less, and see where that gets me. Choose 30 minutes of yoga when I feel like doing it so that, if anything, I end up wanting more and excited about the next practice rather than ragged, tired, and cranky.
What do you think, dear readers? Do you feel you accomplish more when you let yourself do less?