What do you do when you have a ‘bad yoga day’?
You head to class with the best intentions, have a delicious protein smoothie an hour before, and once you get on the mat you are uncoordinated and floppy… How do you react?
Well, today I didn’t react in the best way. I focused on how my poses were going wrong. I over-thought about why my balance wasn’t with me today, and I started to let it fester in my mind. Not a good idea mid-yoga class.
Not a good idea in general.
This doesn’t happen to me too often in yoga, this is usually the time I take away from berating myself. But every 2-3 months or so, I have the kind of class where I let my mind get the best of me and go down a negative road in the class. My inner voice starts telling me I’m not good enough to do this class, I’m too clumsy, I can’t do the poses as well as everyone else there… Etc etc. Even while this conversation is going on in my mind, I know it’s a bad idea. I know I need to stop it and just go with the flow of the class.
But it’s not always that easy, is it?
I already know that our bodies respond differently and can feel different each and every day. So sometimes, just like bad running days, I can have ‘bad yoga days’. And that’s ok. We’re not at optimal performance every single day, even if we want to be. Sometimes that little bit of sleep we missed can affect us. Maybe something else going on in our lives is tying up our mind. And maybe, just maybe, the time change throws us off a little bit. (Anyone else feeling a little sluggish?!)
Presently, I think I have a lot on my mind and I wasn’t fully letting it go for the yoga class today. Other thoughts were creeping up in my mind when I was supposed to be focusing on the flow and the enjoyment of the poses. And I have to realize that it’s going to happen sometimes and that it’s not the worst thing in the world. I also have to work on letting it go when these things creep up in my mind. I’m usually pretty good, but I find verbal and visual queues can be helpful.
Maybe the teacher sensed my tenseness, maybe she could read my face when I was struggling in balance poses, but she gave the right verbal queues when I needed to hear them. She told us to breathe and say in our minds “let go”, which after a few breaths really started to work. My mind went to that mantra and the negative thoughts started to fall off me to the floor. I dropped them for the rest of the class and even still feel pretty good as I’m writing this a few hours later. Amazing how those two little words can adjust your thought pattern and bring about peace in your mind. That’s powerful.
In the end, I probably shouldn’t say it was a ‘bad yoga day’, but it was an experience. It was part of the journey. And it served as an awesome reminder that when the mind is going places that don’t serve us, switch up the thoughts, say a mantra and move the mind into a more peaceful place. This doesn’t just apply to yoga classes either, do this anytime… At work, on the bus, in a long checkout line. Whenever you feel like your mind is wandering into a dark place, work on your own little mantra and bring it out into the light. We can do this! ॐ
Have you ever had a ‘bad yoga day’? How did you turn it around?