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The Value of a Bad Workout

I know, I know, I’ve written a lot lately about yoga. I promise this week’s official, regularly-scheduled post, to come in a few days, will not mention it one bit.

 

But for now, a little post that I felt compelled to write after tonight’s hot yoga class.

 

I don’t go in much for over-dramatizing discomfort during exercise. Running, for example: a run into a steady headwind builds character. A run where you discreetly take advantage of accommodating shrubbery is an adventure. A run where you have to wait for a bloody nose to clot is a little annoying, but easily brushed off. Same goes for face-planting on a trail.

 

It takes a lot for me to say “That run was bad.”

 

Tonight’s yoga class was bad.  Maybe I set myself up for it — I went on a long run yesterday morning, I didn’t sleep well last night, and today was a long, aggravating day at work. I thought about not going and just taking an all-out rest day from exercise. But then I told myself, “Yoga was made for days like these! All that centering and breathing and sweating will totally get my head right.”

 

Ha. Ha. Ha.

 

I was doing okay…until I wasn’t. We were in the middle of a series of standing positions when I had to sit down. And stay there.  I tried to stand and coax myself into following along with the class several times, but always, after a couple [hopeful! optimistic!] moments…back down.

 

I know yoga is all about finding peace with yourself. Baloney. I felt like crap. I felt like a wuss compared to the rest of the class, and I caught myself quietly snuffling a couple times (I assumed the “peaceful warrior pose,” a.k.a “trying to hide in plain sight” for a good while), which made me feel even worse. By the time the end of class rolled around and the instructor was talking about positive affirmations, which I usually eat right up, I was telling myself “Almost…done.”

 

After doing a semi-controlled stagger out of the studio, I found my friends Courtney and Emily, who had also been in class, sitting on the ground against the wall. I crumpled down beside them in tears. Whether they stemmed from unhappiness or relief, I have no idea. It turns out that none of us had had much fun. We all just sat for a little while, drinking water, griping and joking and trying to find positives as we recovered in the (thank God) cooler evening air.  It’s been a long time since I’ve just sat against a wall with friends, doing nothing in particular, but making each other feel better. It was nice.  Maybe that was the lesson to be learned here.

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One thought on “The Value of a Bad Workout

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