Last night, I finished my day with a challenging but detoxifying vinyasa class. I expected to sleep well and to be able to get up for an early class this morning. I was mistaken. Class went well and I felt good, but I couldn’t fall asleep. I stayed up, cleaning and showering, and then finally falling asleep around three in the morning (despite having gone to bed around ten). I woke up this morning still exhausted and did not go to the only classes being offered today: early morning ones. I felt – and still feel – guilty and stressed.
I’m disappointed with myself. I wish that I had followed through on my own personal commitment and dragged my bones out of bed and gone to class, even though I was very tired. I think it would have given me a boost of energy rather than further exhausting me. I went into this self-imposed challenge determined not to miss any classes, even if it meant having to get up early to do morning classes. I’ve already broken that promise to myself, and I am disappointed in myself.
I told myself I wouldn’t have any expectations for how I would progress physically through the challenge, but I did have an expectation that I wouldn’t miss classes, especially for reasons like tiredness because it just comes off as laziness.
I can’t say that I won’t miss another day of yoga because I might – due to work commitments, possible illness, or tiredness – and I can’t say I won’t beat myself up over it because I will. It’s just who I am. I’m a worrier and I’m hard on myself, especially for things that other people easily let slide or forgive themselves for. Even the most well-practiced and dedicated yogis miss classes from time to time. I understand that I will certainly pay the price with regards to my back pain biting me today, but the happier reverse side of that is that I can report that the yoga I have done so far has really helped with the chronic pain in my back. I noticed a difference right away and that made me really happy.
I’m disappointed to end 2013 in this way, especially since I consider this year the most transformative and defining year of my life in terms of my maturity, independence, career path, and personal health. The only real resolution I made for myself was to stay committed to the yoga practice. I think I can forgive myself for this, but I know that it can’t become a habit, particularly since I want to experience the health benefits of a continuous and committed yoga practice.
I can’t believe I have only just discovered vinyasa yoga. If I had started practicing this form of yoga when I first started my rehabilitation, I would definitely be at least six years into a solid practice by now, the way I am with my pilates practice. When I started my therapy, I went to the gym and the pool. It was difficult for me to stay committed – even when I worked with personal trainers – because I didn’t enjoy the gym work. I committed more fully to both exercise and the possibility of overcoming my disability when I started practicing pilates in the summer of 2008 because I finally found something I enjoyed and in which I felt I could actually progress and get real results. I feel the same is true of this yoga. I wish I had found this yoga sooner, but I am very happy that I found it at all. Though I am frustrated with myself for ending 2013 like this, I feel that I can both commit to consistency in 2014 and forgive myself when life happens and I miss classes. I realize now that it’s a big part of why I do private one on one pilates classes: I am charged if I miss them, so it keeps me accountable. Being in a group setting and missing a class only makes me accountable to myself, so it makes it easier to miss them because of the lack of consequences. The only thing I can do is to treat the practice in the same accountable way that I do my pilates classes, as part of my commitment to my own well being and health.