Coming off of a high fatigue moment last week this week I was finding strength both on my yoga mat and in the gym. On my mat my strength is not coming all from my body but actually some coming from my mind. I’m able to really let go and focus on being right where I need to be so that I can really deepen my yoga practice. For instance typically we find ourselves in Triangle and I’m breathing so deep, counting my breaths because I know after 5 breaths I’m coming out of the posture. Recently I have been able to relax and let my mind go so that I’m not tensing in the posture and wanting to come out so quickly. However, in my Yin yoga practice I can’t say that I am able to relax just yet. That practice is so deep and so much focus is needed to just stay calm while your body keeps saying over and over that this is not comfortable. It never hurts but it is not comfortable. The deeper the posture the more uncomfortable it gets.
The other day we practiced 1 armed, and 1 legged downward facing dogs into planks. It sounds incredible hard so when our instructor first started us towards that movement my brain actually went off and said, “what, is she crazy?” However, once you just concentrate on your breathing and you start in downward facing dog position, then lift one leg, and then lift the same arm as the leg that is raced. Your balance feels funny and you may even fall out so we she warns us ahead of time. Once you stabilize and have your arm and leg lifted you just stretch out into plank, hold for a breath and move back into down dog and repeat. She had us do 5 on one side and switch to 5 on the other side. I must admit that after accomplishing that I really did feel strong. My wrists may not have been very happy so I need to work on having strong palms and flat fingers when performing this exercise but I will get it very soon.
Another strength I noticed this week was my ability to meditate successful for a few minutes while on my mat at class. Granted we are taken through a guided meditation and the instructor did a great job of bringing us back when needed. I also tried 5 min of guided meditation at home and I honestly cannot find the same silence. I realize it takes practice and more importantly a commitment to practice so I need to find that commitment but right now I’m enjoying the silence and calm on my mat for even 5 minutes or so after class. Actually I don’t even know how long she guides us but I guess if I was counting down the minutes I wouldn’t be meditating. She joked and told me to try meditating during my golf outings. I use a tempo swing of 1, 2, 3 for my back swing with a fast 4 on my forward swing. She said I can use that as a type of mantra for meditating while I’m outside in the fresh air. I tried it at the driving range but the sweet curses that leave my lips after my horrible result threw my meditation all off kilter. More to practice I guess.
On Saturday last week I was faced with my high fatigue, on Sunday I had a golf lesson and my golf pro basically told me I needed to toughen up. On Monday I had a personal training session and I told my trainer do not take it easy on me that I need to toughen up. He looked at me and said we are going to have a heart to heart and in the conversation reminded me of everything I have accomplished and the heavy lifting I’m doing, and don’t forget the box jumps that had me terrified at the beginning that I now do with grace. These are all things of new found strength, but he also said I never take it easy on you and today is no different.
He loaded up a bar and I was lifting 85lbs. After my reps and sets the sweat was dripping off my arms, legs and face but I was lifting. He then put me through a serious of strikes, kicks, ball thrusts and a vigorous work out to remind me that I have strength and I’m finding new strength all the time. Life is an ever evolving sequence of good days and bad days so everything I can accomplish on my good days I do and I forgive my bad days. This practice has also come with time because my good days out weigh my bad significantly. Prior, I would have several bad days in a row and find myself in slumps, or frustrated but really what am I frustrated with? My body is doing great things and when it can’t it just means I have to wait for when it can and start again. We all start somewhere and we all start over sometimes.