“One’s action ought to come out of an achieved stillness: not to be mere rushing on.”
With the current training schedule Fridays are rest days, and Saturday is cross training. Right now, I’m choosing yoga as cross training to re-establish my practice. Yang/Yin is my regular Saturday class. Rest days and Yang/Yin are an active examples of how I’m striving to live my life.
A rest day can be a day of doing nothing. Though, it could also be active rest like stretching, taking a walk, getting a massage, swimming. These activities are done casually with my heart rate slightly elevated. It’s a day to listen to my body. Yesterday, I opted for nothing. I was exhausted. Wanting to sleep in the middle of a conversation at work type of exhausted. The last 2 to 3 hours at work dragged on like they knew I was watching the clock. In the past, I may have tried to push through the exhaustion reprimanding myself for not being tougher. You’ve heard it. “Push through the pain.” “Be mentally tough.” “Unless you puke, faint, or die, keep going.” “Nobody ever drowned in their own sweat.” Well, I actually still love that one. Quick story: while I was training for the Malibu triathlon, a combination of salty ocean water and my breakfast had me throwing up, maybe a 1/4 of mi into the swim. I tried to keep going, but couldn’t stop vomiting. Finally, my swim partner said enough. If he hadn’t, I probably would have kept trying, and become weak and dehydrated. I relayed the story to my coach saying I’m glad it didn’t happen on race day. Her reply was, “Would you have let it stop you?” She’s right. On race day, I’d have kept going. The beginning of training, as in any new endeavor, is the time to learn my body, and what it needs. Especially in the quiet moments of Rest Day. Yesterday, it needed sleep.
Lovely, Saturday! Yang/Yin is a gift. The first part of class, Yang, is challenging flow. The second half, Yin, is slower with the poses held for 3 – 5 mins. I get to practice how to find my breath in the challenging movement of flow, and still my mind in the long poses. This one class affords me the opportunity to feel the strength of body while remembering to move with my breath, and experience quieting the mind and body while focusing inward on what is needed. All in the span of 75 mins. It’s tough. There are times when I have to go to Child’s Pose during Yang, or take extra breaths between poses. I fall out of poses, and have to rebuild. In Yin, I get uncomfortable. Worry about how long I’m able to hold a pose. I get fidgety, and work on breathing and bring my mind back to the moment. I find it frustrating, challenging, confusing, invigorating…I love it!!
These Rest Days will help me take on the next day’s training and build a stronger foundation.
On a personal note: It’s taken me over a year to understand that transformation and growth happen in stillness. I was so good at being busy. Thinking that a full to-do list meant accomplishment. My to-do list or full schedule didn’t allow for building, adaptation or integration. I started a practice called Soul Saturday and Serenity Sunday. For at least an hour each of those days, I carve out that time to be exclusively mine doing something that refreshes and rejuvenates me. That’s how I found the Yang/Yin class. Soul Saturday and Serenity Sunday are the two of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Tomorrow: 4 mi run.