Recently I took a 10-day hiatus from my practice. On one hand, the reason for doing so was a very practical one – I was out of town on business. However, there was a studio in my area, and I could have practiced. It would have meant attending mostly 6:30 pm classes, but I could have gone. I decided though before I left that I was going to forgo class for those days.
Well, usually I take a vacation each year were there is no Bikram studio or simply no time to get to one. But I also think that taking a week or even two off a year (all at once) can be a good thing. I find it gives me a nice mental break. I’m not sure if the physical break is good or not, but the mental one seems to be good.
My back had also started to bother me again just before I left town. This was highly annoying. I had gone nearly two months without any back issues. I was still scaling back in my practice (no kicking out in SH2K; no rabbit; no sit-ups…etc…) so I knew I wasn’t pushing myself there in a way that should have hurt me. I thought taking a break might be a good thing.
So how long do you think my break actually lasted?
Surprisingly, it lasted the entire 10 days. I *almost* went to class around Day Seven (and yes, I had brought some yoga clothes and my hydroflask with me just in case). One evening, I was out with some people in my group and someone said she did yoga. I mentioned I also did yoga, and the next thing I knew I had three people who had never, ever done Bikram yoga before saying they wanted to go to yoga.
How do you say no to that, right? You don’t. When people want to go to yoga you arrange a trip to yoga. I suggested we go to a 6:30 pm class on a day when I knew the instructor. The person teaching will occasionally teach classes at my studio, and I assured everyone she was very, very nice. I instructed everyone about drinking water, eating right, etc…you know what you would normally tell a new person. I stressed that it wouldn’t be about doing the postures so much as it was about being present in the room.
So we were all set to go until the day before. On this day, I was asked by one of the organizers at the event I was at if I would take our guest speaker out for dinner on the day I was supposed to take everyone to yoga. Of course I had to say yes. I wanted to say yes. I felt bummed about the yoga, but I wasn’t in town to do yoga. I was in town for business, and I decided that my priorities had to shift to focus on my work while I was here. Besides, I liked the speaker we had coming in and wanted to take him out (I used the opportunity to go to an entirely vegan restaurant and it was awesome).
This meant I had to back out of yoga which meant no one in my group was now going to go to yoga. But hey, I took them all along to dinner so it wasn’t a total loss.
Unfortunately, we had planned our trip to yoga near the end of our travel, and our schedule didn’t allow for us to reschedule it. It was an opportunity lost.
By the end of my 10 days, I was looking forward to getting back in the studio, but I also found I had enjoyed my little stint away. Everyday I made time for a walk – usually lasting about 75 minutes. I found a nice trail near my hotel and enjoyed listening to the birds, seeing rabbits, and even a snake! My back got better, but I think it was from a trip to the spa and not the lack of yoga that did it.
I’m headed back from my 10-day hiatus, and looking forward to hitting the studio on Day 11. I’m curious to see what my practice will be like after being gone this long. It’s always different, and never what I might expect.