I threaten to quit yoga every day. My plan is to put all this exercise equipment on Craigslist, buy a Rascal Scooter, and ride around Walmart eating a donut. “Today is the day” I will say to Briel who snapped this Zoom image of me using a foam roller on my “bad leg”. (I don't really have a "good leg".)
Yet, I keep going. I keep going because yoga has been so beneficial to me. Beneficial from a physical perspective, and more importantly, beneficial from a mental perspective.
Yoga is a mixture of strength and ease. Sthira and Sukha in Sanskrit. It’s facing challenge and then going a bit more. It’s down regulating, and breathing, and letting it all go. Discomfort versus comfort. In between is … life.
I am still going to eat that donut though.
In some ways I may not be the best person to remind you to take care of your body. My own body has, in horse parlance, been “Ridden hard and put away wet”. It has suffered from multiple broken bones, destroyed ligaments, repeated hernia surgeries, exposure to too much noise, too much sun, etc. I even did significant damage to my teeth when younger with too much drinking; breath mints are full of sugar.
Yes, the man with metal plates holding his face, arm, and leg together is here to tell you that, unless you work your body, it will slowly deteriorate. The same goes for your mind, intellectual stimulation is key.
Exercising body (and mind) requires a willingness to push your edges. You need to reach a point where you are comfortable, and then, with great caution, push past that a tiny bit. That might cause you to reach the “I feel that moment”. Stop there. Stop before discomfort. Most certainly stop before pain. Never pain. We do not want any “ouches” immediately, or a day later. We do not want to push any one edge too much, or too repetitively, that may cause injury too. This is where advisors come in.
Advisors might be a trainer, a doctor, a spouse, or friend, or all the above. A good trainer might suggest that you have no real need to get into XYZ Instagram ready pose. A good doctor might remind you to be grateful for the health condition you are in. A good spouse or friend might point out that you have become just a bit obsessive. Your advisors are your safety valve. They keep you from doing something dumb. And if you do insist on doing something dumb (like me), they can help pick you back up.
Push edges! Have advisors! Stay safe!