Joseph’s Tip #9: Mix it Up!

Tip #9 is great advice in general:

Do one other optional physical activity a week so as not to burn out while training for the championships.

This tip pretty much speaks for itself, but let’s break it down a bit.

First, one other physical activity – whatever you want – is going to help mentally. We all need a mental break from training. My preference is to take a long walk. When the temperature is above 70, I am very good at this. In fact, I often pepper short walks in throughout my day. In the summer, I will often take class in the morning and do a walk in the evening. It helps me relax and unwind. I know that’s what the yoga is supposed to do, and it does, but walking does it in a different way. I just have to walk. I don’t worry about tripping or falling down or how long I walked. I just walk. No pressure.

Second, another physical activity will get you different muscles or using the same muscles but in a new way. That’s going to make your practice stronger.

Physical activity aside, the general point about burning out is very important. I started training last June for a regional championship that was held the first weekend in November. By October (maybe September) I was getting burned out. I was mentally exhausted. My body was starting to break down, and I only took class and trained five days a week from September until the competition (work stuff, you know how that goes).

When the competition was over I immediately got sick. And I mean immediately – I started going downhill at dinner that night. I felt relatively good about three days later, but I did no training for the month of November and only went to class. It was worth it. I needed a break. All of me needed a break. The whole thing was super intense.

So, while I do agree with Joseph’s 9th tip, I also think we have to be mindful of how far we are pushing ourselves. I’m paying attention to when my body asks for mini-breaks and plan to work those in at some point. It hasn’t come up yet. I’m still doing fine although on Thursday I honored my body’s request for a two-hour nap after class and training. It was AWESOME. I felt so much better.

Anyways, this tip has me thinking about ways to alleviate burn out. What do you do? What have been your experiences with burn out while training or just practicing in general?

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