Last week I attended a Gentle class at The Yoga Room that was way too hard for me. Seriously. And it actually had nothing to do with the class or the teacher. She taught a beautiful and appropriate practice. It was me. I hadn’t attended a class in a couple of weeks, I was under stress, I hadn’t even made time for my person practice. I knew my body was tight, but I didn’t realize how tight until the class began.
It was excruciating, like nails on a chalkboard. My body resisted every pose. I thought back to my recent reflections on whether it’s ok to not listen to the teacher in a group class and how I had resolved that I should respect both the teacher and myself.
But this particular class was so challenging for me that it went beyond my previous reasoning. Even the modifications that the teacher suggested (and that I myself teach) were not making the class accessible to me. Every pose was uncomfortable.
So what did I do? I went even more slowly. I took breaks. I breathed. I held poses that felt good and skipped the ones that didn’t.
And then after the class was done I realized how grateful I was for this class that was way too hard. It provided the time and space for some important lessons. On the surface: what to do when the yoga class you attend is way too hard. But on a deeper level: what do do when life circumstances are way too hard.
And really, the response is the same. Go slowly. Take breaks. Breathe. Be easy with yourself. Let go of what you think you’re “supposed” to do and be ok with doing what is right for you.
Treat yourself with love this week, sweet yogi.