Day 3: Learning from Discomfort

The sorenessI had when I woke up yesterday was not present when I woke up today. However, I was starving. I am not normally a big breakfast eater, but today and yesterday I have been.

I entered Day 3 knowing I was still not at 100%. However, today I vowed to not let my fear of feeling lousy get the best of me.  Yes, I was still coughing and blowing my nose (less than yesterday). Yes, I still had moments when I felt pretty rough. Today I worked at pushing through those moments. I did sit down a couple of times, but I only did so when I felt very dizzy. If I just felt bad I did the posture and acknowledged the discomfort.

Going upside down has been very uncomfortable the last two days.  Today, in separate leg head to knee pose I went down and thought, “Ugh. I feel like crap.” And then I said, “Ok. Here I am in the posture feeling like crap. I will just feel like crap I guess until it is over.” And that’s it. That’s all that happened. Nothing exciting to report.

In tree pose, I did the first side and felt bad. Then I did the second side and felt worse. I MADE myself hold the second half of tree. I decided to see what would happen if I held tree while feeling bad (not dizzy – just bad). The result? I just felt bad, but nothing bad happened to me.

Obviously when practicing while sick – or recovering from being sick – we all have to pay attention to our bodies. I’m not trying to tell anyone to just barrel through. But I have learned that if I feel bad, and there were times when I felt physically awful more so than is normal for a Bikram practice, my mind will use that as a reason to stop and take a break. My mind will say, “Oh. You are not well. Just take a break. You know you need it. ” I am fine with the breaks I took over the last three days. I learned more about myself. I started to question and examine my breaks. I didn’t make it all or nothing. Today, I decided that if I was truly dizzy then I could take a break. Otherwise – no break. I found a way to challenge myself that I was comfortable with.

When you sit out a posture- and we all do this at some point- my advice is to question why. Sometimes it’s a no-brainer. For example, I’ve practiced twice with migraines. When my head was pounding I didn’t do the posture. There’s really no need to question that. But barring obvious reasons, I think it’s important to use any “break” we give ourselves as an opportunity to question why we chose to take it. You don’t have to think about it in the hot room. You can think about it once you leave and have some space to look back at the situation. If we engage with the moments we are out of the postures, as well as the moments we are in them, we can really learn more about our practices and ourselves.

Looking forward to day 4!



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. loribruner
    May 06, 2012 @ 12:55:56

    Yeah, Leigh! 🙂 You totally get at that fine line between listening to your body (which in my experience, my body doesn’t lie) or giving into your brain playing tricks on you (my brain, on the other hand, has some trust issues…). One of my favorite teachers said this to me on Thursday and it applies here: “You learn a lot about yourself when you’re broken (physically injured/sick, emotionally, etc.)” Loved it! Hope you’re feeling better SOON!!!


    • leighahall
      May 06, 2012 @ 16:05:38

      Thanks Lori. I agree. I think some of my best classes have been when I have been injured. I have to pay more attention to my body as I go in and out of the poses.


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