How was your practice today? Did everything go smoothly or did you keep losing balance? Did you feel a tension somewhere in your body where it wasn’t yesterday? Every one of us has experienced this one day or another and felt frustrated with the fact that „we didn’t have that problem yesterday“ and „usually we can DO that asana“….Don’t panic , there is a reason for days like these.
We live in a pretty stressful world where everything around us affects our bodies in ways we are not even aware of. Work, food, relationships, traffic… It all takes a toll on both, our physical and mental state. Yoga, on the other hand, is your relationship with yourself and that’s why your practice is a place where all the consequences come to life. It’s hard to stay in balance in Natarajasana if the only thing on your mind is that fight you had with your partner last night or a stressful meeting with your boss this morning. “What is wrong with me today?” pops into your head causing you to stop thinking about the ‘the day you had’ but also creates a little cloud of negativity above you affecting your practice even more. “I had no problem doing this yesterday” pops next – well, try to think about what your day was like yesterday? Maybe you had an amazing lunch with your friends or received a praising e-mail. Your levels of serotonin (the happiness hormone) were high, your body was in a more relaxed state and, therefore, so was your mind. That’s why your practice was better and you could achieve more.
All of us experience good and bad days. They are a normal part of our lives but nowadays the lines between the two are getting more and more blurred. Sometimes we aren’t even aware of WHAT exactly caused our stress levels to go up, but all it takes is a rude gesture from a driver next to you on the traffic light to completely ruin your day. The trick is to not to let the bad days (or simply – part of the days) cause even more negative consequences than they already have by stressing about the signals your body is giving you. They are there for a reason – listen to them and try to figure out their meaning. Maybe they’re telling you to try to be less stubborn in arguments, eat a different diet or that you’re stuck in a routine that’s bad for you. Yoga is, as I’ve mentioned already, your relationship with yourself. Talk to yourself, listen to yourself, spend time with yourself. Leave all the baggage of the day before and the day so far outside your mat and get on it with a clear intention of nourishing and taking care of your body. Sure, we do not work on off/on buttons and some days it will be easier and some days it won’t, but as Sri Patthabi Jois said, “practice, practice, practice and all is coming.”
Karla Tafra is a yoga teacher from Croatia, now living in Malaga, Spain. She first encountered yoga due to having back problems over ten years ago, and has continued practicing ever since. Her love towards yoga pushed her to become a teacher, so she finished her RYT200 at Gaia Yoga School in Croatia. Find Karla on Instagram here.