Breakdown on the Mat

I have felt and experienced a lot of things on the mat. I have had euphoric classes that felt like I was flying. I have been dizzy, nauseous, and had rolling black clouds pass before me. Classes have felt like that have lasted five minutes and others have felt as long as five hours. But yesterday was the first day I about had a mental breakdown on my mat and started to sob.

I honestly have no idea why or where it all came from. My thought is that this yoga just yanks everything out of us and that’s what needed to be yanked out of me that day – for whatever reason.

I was not in the best mood when I got to the studio. Again, no specific reason as to why. I was just crabby. I assumed I would start feeling better when class started, but I didn’t. My mood just got worse. Oh, I had a string of things that had annoyed me during the day, but they were all little petty things. Nothing major. Yet every single one of them kept visiting me during class.

At some point the coke cravings kicked in. Now, I am still working on getting rid of my soda habit. I’m moving slow, but I’ve cut my intake in half. I’ve learned to ride out my cravings. They usually go away pretty quickly. But not this one. This one stayed and screwed with my head.

I had already had my one allotted soda for the day. I have it earlier in the day so I don’t have withdrawal symptoms at 4:30pm yoga classes. It’s been a good system up until this point. All I know is that stupid craving got in my system and pointed out I had drunk all the coke I had allowed myself for the day. When I said I wasn’t going to be feeding it (look at how distracted I was on my mat! I’m having discussions with myself!), it responded with a headache.

Oh…..caffeine headaches are the worst.

It was at that point – during a savassanah – that I almost started sobbing. It would have felt good to. Sobbing for no real reason other than a bunch of stupid stuff got on my nerves and now I want a coke would have felt good. I almost let it go, but then I didn’t. I don’t know why. I really don’t think I have an issue with crying in class. As long as I wasn’t wailing, who would really know anyways? I had set myself up in a corner in the back.

Anyways, I made it through class, and I did have a coke. And my headache went away after I had about half of it. And yes I am over my coke limit for the week not, but I decided not to care. You know why? Because I have made so much progress. One tiny side step isn’t going to stop me here. I’m not going to be hard on myself.

As far as my class goes, it was interesting for sure. I had all kinds of things going on in my head yesterday that were not of any real importance, and yet they dominated my mind and about broke me down. That’s not a bad thing either. It was an experience I probably needed to help me learn how to focus better both on and off the mat.

Now, let’s see what today’s class brings. It’s #31 in the streak!


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. bitchingaboutbikram
    Jan 05, 2013 @ 22:51:09

    I can’t believe you’ve never cried in class! With as many as you go to, I would have thought it inevitable. I cry in there all the time. I’ve sobbed more than a few. Workin’ all that crap out!


  2. leighahall
    Jan 06, 2013 @ 12:20:29

    Nope. Never cried before. The strange thing was the crying seemed to come from nowhere! Is that how it happens for you?


  3. loribruner
    Jan 06, 2013 @ 18:35:38

    Hi Leigh!

    Okay, I’m going to rock out my yoga-dorkness here: I have a thought about your emotional day on your mat. In Ashtanga yoga, we talk a lot about the chakra system. This is a major simplification here, but your hip space is considered your space of emotion; from this point-of-view, we store all our emotions throughout our lifetime in our hips. Hip-opening asanas, such as the ones you’re practicing at home a ton lately, release stored-up emotions. We don’t have any control of where, or when, or how your emotions are released, and everyone releases these deeply-rooted emotions differently. It’s totally common in Ashtanga to have people crying on their mats, laughing hysterically, or other intense emotional releases. I’ve cried, laughed so hard that I thought I was high, and came home in a huge fit of rage over nothing. Yoga is wild! 🙂

    PS: Don’t beat yourself up over the coke thing for one second!!! It took me 8 MONTHS quit my Dr. Pepper habit. The length of time is not important here. I did it!!!! And that’s what counts.


  4. leighahall
    Jan 06, 2013 @ 18:48:44

    Thanks Lori! What you said makes so much sense. I had a bit of a coke set back recently. I was getting headaches that I thought were caffeine related, but they are most likely stemming from a potassium deficiency. Guess what coke zero (my drug of choice) has a decent amount of? Potassium! So when I cut back on the coke I didn’t know this, and I didn’t replace the potassium from another source. Working it out….


  5. LeighAHall (@LeighAHall)
    Sep 27, 2014 @ 19:31:52

    Breakdown on the Mat #bikramyoga #yogaholicsmag


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