I just had to take a break late last week. After doing my own practice and teaching four classes on Wednesday, I was so deeply exhausted. I opted out of Ashtanga and opted in for three loads of laundry.
That was a good decision - among other reasons, I was out of socks. :-D Also, I woke up on Friday feeling absolutely wretched: headache, body aches, bone-deep-exhaustion. Clearly, I was sapped out from two days of teaching. I don't teach on Friday right now, so I had the day to recover. I slept until noon, got up briefly to eat and walk the dog, then went back to bed.
On Saturday, I was feeling better. Today, I spent an hour on the mat with Sharath's soothing voice leading me. I practised up to Navasana and did closing. I'm still feeling some cramping in my lower back/sacrum during my practice. This is a brand new problem and I'm not sure what to make of it. Some instinct led to me do one Urdhva Dhanurasana and it felt really good, so I think I'll keep that in my practice from now on.
I really appreciated C's comment on my last post regarding recovering from illness and how it affects yoga practice. I first returned to my practice with a deep determination to continue where I had left off, or to at least do the full Primary Series. *shakes head* This is clearly impossible for me right now. I've been humbled by my newly-weak body.
But during my practice today, I really noticed my breathing with great clarity. If I'm honest, I will admit that back in June, I wasn't practising with a strong Ujjayi breath; it was a bit flakey and inconsistent. Since I can't go as deeply into poses now and I'm struggling with new tensions in my body, my practice is all about the breath!
And I do need to cut my self some slack right now, particularly since I'm still a full-time yoga teacher. My class schedule (which is mercifully light at the moment) has been very challenging for me. By months end, I'll be teaching a full schedule and I need to be ready for that. Patience, hard work, rest and recovery will be key.