Yoga challenge, somewhere in the middle

Today is day 37 of my 60 day yoga challenge. I already logged 30 classes in 30 days, so I can collect the first level of reward for the challenge–a free facial or massage at the spa next door. If I make it to 60, I get both, plus a free month of unlimited yoga.

Although I intermittently still feel awesome and am seeing a lot of progress in my practice and changes in my body, I would also say this middle part of the challenge is officially a slog. The kind of slog where you’re wearing good rubber boots and at first you’re doing ok, but then you sink in a little too deep and the muddy water goes over your boot, and you have to struggle to pull foot and boot out and continue slogging through the mud while your boots are slowly filling with mud until you finally just take the boots off and continue slogging barefoot. It’s like that.

It’s not easy getting all of those yoga classes in. It’s a drag arranging my day around it, day after day after day. I’m grateful that my schedule is very flexible right now, and that my studio offers many classes, including four 8 PM classes per week. Thank goodness for those 8 PM classes. I would have never made it this far. Usually the monkeys that sabotage my plans all day long are drunk and passed out by 8 PM and I can sneak a late class in.

Physically, I feel like I go through cycles of about 7 to 10 days. To start with, I feel “normal,” and am having a “normal” class and am doing my “normal” poses and doing my best, giving 100% in each one, with some variation for “fuck you” moments and bathroom emergencies. That lasts 2-3 days.

The next phase is totally wiped out. At this point, I’m trying to do my “normal” poses, but am randomly run over by trucks and have pianos dropped on my head. I spend a lot of time sitting or lying on my mat. Sometimes I get up and feebly attempt to rejoin the group. Sometimes I just lie there. On better “wiped out” days, I might still get at least one set of each pose in. On worse days, it’s 45 minutes or more of savasana. This is another 2-3 days.

After “wiped out,” something changes and I become superhuman. I unexpectedly have a great class and start doing new things in my postures. I am more flexible, stronger, and feeling like a rock star. These are the days I see change and progress, and it’s pretty cool. After a couple days, this new level becomes my new “normal,” and the cycle begins again.

Independently, I may feel exhausted or energized after yoga or throughout the next day. No correlation with how I feel in yoga. Likewise, I might go to yoga feeling like crap, with an actual stomach ache or headache, and have an amazing class. OR, I might go in feeling like a superhero and have one of those “run over by a truck” classes. It’s all quite fascinating.

I no longer notice the heat and almost never feel “too hot” in a class. I sweat profusely, and sometimes get dizzy, but nothing like that ever translates to “I’m too hot” in my head. It just doesn’t.

Emotionally, I’ve been cranky about the yoga, even as I’ve continued to show up or classes. Although it is a bit tiresome to go every day, it’s not really as if I’ve been missing out on life or not getting things done. Rather, I think it’s just a bit of old emotion working its way out through the process. I feel like I’m coming out of it, but for a while, people would tell me how great it was that I was doing all this yoga and how inspiring, and I would have to bite back a “fuck you!” kind of response and try to be all gracious. What’s up with that? I don’t know.

Fortunately, this is where a sunk cost fallacy can be helpful, because as cranky as I have felt about going to class, I’m even crankier about giving up more than halfway through. Fuck that! Grumble grumble grumble.