This week it’s the Chinese New Year and the yoga studio is closed. It’s the most red holiday week of the year in China and the streets are pretty much empty. It feels strange to see Shanghai so empty. Luckily the community yoga classes are on all week so have been going to those. We’ve had great weather too, up towards 18 degrees celsius in the afternoons, just great! A breeze of spring after a long winter (that’s not over yet).
Just waking up, doing yoga, listening to the birds and enjoying the sunshine. I’ve got this feeling of calm, enjoying life and all friends coming to yoga seem so happy and relaxed. There are many people who have been coming every day, which is great. People who normally come once or maybe twice per week. My teacher lent me this great Ashtanga book by David Swenson and I’m trying to keep up with the Ashtanga practice at home.
Yesterday, I did a short form practice of 45 minutes in the morning before the regular class which was ok. I felt tired afterward but ok. Today, I did the full 90 minutes and then another 75 minutes of Flow which was way too much. I didn’t enjoy the class that much since I was so sore and in pain. My wrist hurt (still from last week), my shoulder, back, hips, and knees. I can imagine that it’s necessary to go through some kind of pain in the transition phase of the body as it changes. This, however is too much and I start to realise my own limitations.
I guess it’s good to push yourself but it’s also important to know when to hold back. I don’t have to do 150% all the time in class and things will fall into place at its own time. I also realise something else, this is where the patience come it. Whenever I try to push something, or when I have “decided” that I want to be able to do something, it just doesn’t work. On the contrary, I do worse. So in my mind, I’m trying to let go. I practice but with no expectations, whatever happens, happens, and I need to learn how to trust the process and let things fall into place when they are ready.
Again we might think it’s the physical things that change the most in yoga. But it’s what’s happening with your mind that’s actually more powerful and stronger. How we react to challenges, ourselves and a particular situation. So my initial plan of doing first full Ashtanga and then the practice is not going to work. I’ll see how I feel tomorrow, maybe I don’t go at all, or I go to the regular practice. It’s really not fun practicing with pain and fear of pushing too hard into a ligament.
I want to be able to go “all in” with energy and do my best. I did this much amount of yoga for most days last week. But the difference was that I had one class early in the morning and then the second one late at night so I had time to rest during the day. Maybe that’s what I have to do. For the moment, I’m just focusing on getting less sore so I can start the studio classes again on Sunday.
Finally, I had a discussion with some yogi friends after the class. We were saying how nice it is to spend the days like this. Wake up, do yoga, maybe have lunch or tea with a friend and just enjoying life. That would be the ultimate lifestyle!