Saturday, October 20, 2007

Day 97

I'm back. It was a difficult Ladies Holiday. It lasted longer than usual and I felt worse than usual.

I continue to be amazed at the dramatic changes that take place in my body throughout my monthly cycle. I certainly noticed this when I was doing a regular Hatha Yoga practice and even before I did any yoga at all. But Ashtanga is unique in that it's a series of consistent postures. When you do the same thing day after day after day, you have a basis for comparison and any variation stands out in sharp relief.

In the week leading to LH, I often notice a not-so-subtle tightening of my hips. As a result, my knees are more sensitive and I tend to shy way from the half-lotus poses. My hamstrings are tighter than usual and I seem to have less mobility in my pelvis in general. Everything feels odd and out of whack. My SI joint and my lower back are always a bit cranky and sore and I'm prone to spasms. My feet hurt.

On a mental level, I'm cranky, lethargic and self-critical. The lethargy sets in a week before and I start sleeping more. But the biggest change is my overall mental state: I am SO distracted, unable to focus on anything, whether it's yoga, meditation or the book I'm currently reading. I become more self-absorbed and just a tad anti-social.

When I first started this little Ashtanga experiment, I practised right through my menstrual cycle - sans the inversions, of course. I've gradually come to appreciate the value of having a holiday. Or, to be more blunt, I'm delighted to have a vacation from practice for three days because I can paaar-tay! (read: sleep in).

Today's practice was sluggish and awkward. I'm not yet able to do the inversions, so I did my 'slacker short form' which takes about an hour. I felt really weak and clumsy, like I was borrowing a body that belonged to someone else. I hope I get mine back soon. Day off tomorrow, back on Monday.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

These things tend to happen to us as we age. I noticed changes like that when I was 36 or 37. Those introverted times are for your benefit. It gives you a chance to reflect, hope and dream for your future.