Is it okay to take the day off from yoga when you’re feeling tired, exhausted, or drained?
I can’t answer that for you. Only you know truly how you feel. Of course, the world won’t end if you do skip it, but I can’t promise you won’t create a minor setback either.
Before you make the decision to skip practice and binge watch Netflix instead – I challenge you to evaluate if you really can’t practice.
Are you really feeling as drained as you think? Or, are you lying to yourself? Do you think if you don’t practice you’ll wake up feeling more refreshed, and then your actions will be justified?
Here’s the thing. The whole 6 day a week thing has its reasons. Yes, it’s tradition, but I don’t like to just leave it at that.
Every tradition has its history and reason, so here are a few reasons we commit to 6 days a week:
1. It creates discipline.
2. It strengthens follow through and consistency.
3. You’re keeping your commitment, which builds confidence and trust in yourself. (If you can be stronger than your thoughts, you can do anything you put your mind to!)
These are important qualities to cultivate in our lives, and most people suck at these. Me included. Just keeping it real.
Think about how you are at work? Do you do a lot of work, and then say – “I did so much, I think I’ll put off this small simple task until tomorrow?” Then, by the end of the week you have a ton of small tasks you put off, and you feel completely overwhelmed? So, you leave work and say, “Tomorrow…. I’ll get to it then.”
If you’re trying to talk yourself out of practice, then you probably try to talk yourself out of a lot of things.
I’m no different. I’ve talked myself out of practice many times in the past. Today, I was feeling exhausted, and I could’ve easily just laid down on my pillow and went into dreamland.
Something about today was different though. I didn’t fight with myself. I did procrastinate, but I didn’t question at all whether I was going to practice. It was just a matter of doing it.
So, if you’re feeling weak, procrastinating, and about to give up. Wait.
I have a few suggestions that will get you to the mat no matter what:
1. Less is not laziness:
It’s hard to justify doing a lighter or shorter practice. That’s the reason most people skip. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Just show up. Do what you can.
Tonight, I had a really rough time making it to the mat, but I decided to do it anyway. Did I work super hard? No. My Navasana was kind of sad, and I didn’t do dropbacks.
But actually, I did work super hard because the work for me was getting to the mat.
And you know what? This happened – and this only happens sometimes.
I’m telling you this because if you can go in with no expectations – this is proof that small steps of effort towards your goal leads to big change and progress where you least expect it.
2. Listen To Music, Podcast, or Audiobook:
Whenever I have a hard time making it to the mat, I always have something prepared to listen to. I know that’s not tradition, but if it motivates you and keeps you focused – I say do it.
When I started practice tonight, I did about 4 Surya Namaskara and wanted to go into Savasana. This would have been totally fine, but I decided to put on the 4 hour work week by Tim Ferris. I was so inspired that I got through my whole practice.
Yes, it’s true – you’re only supposed to listen to your breath and observe your mind, but during my practice, I came up with this whole blog post. I felt more refreshed. I slept amazing. AND sticking to my commitments strengthened my confidence.
If you ask me – I just did some amazing yoga when I was about to talk myself out of it!
Tim Ferris says, “Different is better if it’s more effective or more fun.” In this case – the audiobook was definitely more effective!
3. Just sit and breathe:
You know what? just roll out the mat and meditate. Get into childs pose. Choose one posture and go with it. Bridge? Forward Fold? Baddha Konasana? Get on the mat, follow your heart, and breathe.
So, here’s the thing. If i decided to just rest, would I have felt refreshed the next day and ready to practice? Maybe, but probably not. I probably would have felt tight and mad at myself.
Either way, I don’t want to find out!
Tell in the comments below your best method for making it to the mat when you just don’t wanna do it!!
To Open Hearts & Happy Hips!