I haven’t done yoga in weeks. Months actually. I suppose from an onlookers point of view, that must seem out of character for me. Here’s why I took a break from yoga.
This summer has been difficult for me. As they say, life got in the way, and as a result of a conveyor belt of setbacks and disappointments, I stopped going to my regular yoga classes.
Truth be told, this hiatus was a long time coming. My frustration with yoga started building long before this summer. I wanted so badly for yoga to be that thing that solved all my problems and finally made me feel good in my mind and body. But as much as I fought and wanted to feel it, I just didn’t. My mind wasn’t quieter, I didn’t love my body more, I didn’t feel less stressed, or more happy. I grew frustrated with it and ended up feeling like a failure for not getting it right.
I know. Yoga isn’t about right or wrong or being the best, but my perfectionist personality turned yoga into yet another reason not to feel good enough. I was constantly struggling to fit yoga into my already too busy schedule, and battling the feelings of inadequacy over not practicing enough.
“I have to learn that it’s okay to not be the best at everything I set out to do. And in this particular case, it’s okay to not be a yoga girl.”
I’m an overachiever who’s persistently concerned with what other people expect of me. I do what I should rather than what I want. These soaring demands I put on myself are what makes yoga so difficult for me. The influx of yoga girls on social media definitely hasn’t made those demands and expectations any less pressing.
I have to learn that it’s okay to not be the best at everything I set out to do. And in this particular case, it’s okay to not be a yoga girl.
This doesn’t mean I’ll never do yoga again. In fact, I’m going to a yoga festival in two weeks (which was booked long before the summer, when I was still practicing regularly). I’m curious to find out if my hiatus has changed my view of yoga and I think the only way of finding out is to step back into class. I’m a mix of terrified and excited about the festival. As always when I’m about to dive back into something I haven’t done for a while, I’m nervous I’ve completely lost my ability to do it. But I won’t let my fears get the best of my curiosity!