Take A Break From Yoga, And Try This Instead
Recently, I have been feeling some resistance to taking yoga classes.
I have been taking classes regularly for almost a year.
This is the most consistent I have been in a while, and I am quite proud of that.
It’s a great accomplishment for me to have remained dedicated to returning to my mat and practicing, no matter what.
And I have been fortunate to have teachers whose classes I enjoy.
Yet, here I am, and I find myself wanting a break from yoga.
I feel the need for some change, and perhaps I need some time and space to explore that change.
I have been asking myself why I want this change, considering that yoga truly is a blessing — a light — in my life.
However, I think taking a break is part of yoga, part of what yoga teaches us.
SEE ALSO: How to Listen to Your Heart – For Real
Listen to Your Body
Yoga teaches us to listen to our bodies.
If my body is asking for a break, then I ought to honor that request and trust that my body knows what it wants and is able to communicate that.
Yoga teaches us that change is constant, something to expect at all times.
Anything that appears changeless is merely an illusion. Life is full of cycles.
Nature is full of ebbs and flows, and our bodies are no different. Our bodies are part of nature and all the cycles contained in the world around us.
We have just begun a new season. Summer is upon us, and for those of us who reside in the central valley of California, the heat can be quite intense.
It’s natural for our bodies to seek out the shade, to seek out some time off, a chance to slow down and cool off a little.
This need to cool off might be especially important for those of us who take hot yoga classes — I have been taking Bikram hot yoga classes (along with yin yoga classes) since late August of last year.
However, any intense workouts can be heating to the body, and while this might be what works for some people, it need not be what works for others.
I am a firm believer in listening to my body and honoring what works for me.
And so I think I am going to take a break from my hot yoga classes, at least for the summer.
And I may take a complete break from all yoga classes, if that is what my body asks of me.
Don’t Halt all Exercise
This does not mean I will stop exercising. Not at all. I am eager to explore lots of other ways to stay healthy and fit, without feeling that my body is overheated.
I have already started my explorations and found something that makes me feel great.
An evening walk!
It cools down around 8 pm, and the sun sets and vanishes around 9 pm, so I walk between 8 and 9 pm.
I have found this one hour of walking at sunset to be so satisfying, much more than what I’ve been feeling after my yoga class.
Benefits of Walking
Walking is a great way to strengthen the body, enhance mood and balance, and improve circulation, as well as support weight loss.
Walking is one of the best ways to combat an overly sedentary lifestyle.
It’s also a great way to calm and focus the mind and even meditate. It’s instantly uplifting!
I find myself looking forward to my daily walk, especially because it gives me a chance to be outside, to admire the beautiful oak trees in my neighborhood and spend time in nature, thanks to a big nature reserve and park near my home.
I may soon include an early morning walk, when it’s very cool and quiet outside and the air is less filled with pollution from all the city traffic.
I love the ability to get centered on my walks, and I notice how my body and mind get lighter as I walk.
This is the way I want to feel after a workout. This is precisely what my body wants.
I need to listen to that message from my body, which is a message of joy and not one of resistance.
As the summer progresses, I may also explore some swimming, but for now, my walks fill me up.
And I don’t miss yoga so much. I’ll be back to yoga soon enough, certainly.
But for now, I am a happy walking yogi.
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