Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I’m exhausted. How exhausted?

Well, this morning, I woke with the alarm at 5 a.m., then got up to do my light therapy and some writing for a half-hour. Next, I started to make the bed in preparation for my practice. I dropped on my tummy for a moment while pulling the bottom sheet off the futon. And I woke up three hours later, dazed and confused. I was *still* tired.

I got up, took a hot bath and sat down to meditate, but I was still sleepy and also stressed out over some financial stuff (SO typical for this time of year. After months of a very slow teaching schedule, by October I’m usually searching the sofa cushions for toonies in order to make rent). I decided to go to the bank and run some errands to wake up myself up a bit.

It was 10:30 before I actually stepped on the mat and I was STILL tired. To my surprise, I didn’t have a bad practice. I wasn’t sure I would even get through Primary, but I did. Then I wasn’t certain I would do any Intermediate. I did Laghu three times and it was my best Laghu ever!

I decided to cross the backbending bridge when I came to it. When I did, I just shrugged and did my best. And my backbends were terrific! Urdhva Dhanurasana didn’t feel frantic, I had three fantastic dropbacks, and I stood up from the futon on every single try, smooth and evenly. I think I was too tired to fuss; I just wanted to do it and be finished.

Yet, the entire time I was practising, I felt tired. It was a bit like an out-of-body experience: I was watching my body do stuff that I was pretty sure I didn’t have the energy for (jumpingback, jumpingthrough, jumpingback, jumpingthrough...I feel exhausted just writing that!)

The exhaustion hasn’t faded. I wrote the first four paragraphs of this blog entry and I was so sleepy I had to lay down - and immediately fell asleep for an hour.

It makes sense that I would be a little bit worn out. Yesterday, I taught three led classes (two Hatha, one Astanga). But it’s only the beginning of the week! I still have four more days of this. I’m teaching three classes again today and I’ll be teaching *four* classes on Wednesday and Thursday!

Clearly, I need to think this through. Until the end of June next year, I’ll be teaching 3-4 led classes a day, five days a week, plus one or two classes (or more) on the weekend. As I was soaking in the tub and feeling overwhelmed, it occurred to me that I’ve never done this schedule before with the level of practice I’m currently doing.

This is the heaviest teaching schedule I’ve ever had and the hardest practice I’ve ever done. Yes, I know, I know - it can and will get harder. But for now, it’s difficult and I’m trying to figure out how to sustain this given my workload.

I pushed the rewind button on my blog and did a little bit of reading.

October 2009: That was the year I was doing a varied practice with more Vinyasa and Hatha style in addition to Astanga. During the first weeks of the October, I slowed my home practice waaaaay down, opting for shorter durations and easier sequences.

October 2008: I was recovering from a major illness and hospitalization, and I hadn’t quite worked up to my full Primary yet. There was a lot of half-Primary and Swenson ‘short forms’ that month. Quite honestly, I don’t know how I got through that. I had just come off of bed rest and I was so weak!! I couldn’t do Chaturanga!!

October 2007: No comparison. I was teaching half the class load I am now and my practice was shorter (I wasn’t practising all of the Primary Series most days).

I’m not going to get a split anytime soon and I’m not going to make any progress with these Intermediate poses (or my backbending) if I’m not practising.

I’m not sure what to do. In a couple weeks, D&J will be in town for workshops and I can talk to them. I just have to tough it out until then.


Christine said...


I was in a similar situation when I was doing the looooong practice. :) I work full time and teach 4-7 yoga classes a week. My teacher suggested I practice the first half of primary on one day (through Navasana) plus my intermediate poses. On the next day, I would start my primary practice with Navasana, go through the end of primary and do the intermediate poses. I'd do the full primary + intermediate poses on my 1 or 2 "lightest schedule days". It felt a little wierd at first on the days I went from standing postures to navasana, but I got used to it. I would never have had the energy to really work the intermediate postures otherwise.

Good Luck!! The long practice is tough! :)

susananda said...

Maybe your body will just adapt to it. That is one heavy teaching schedule though, exhausts me just reading it. Oh and by the way, I do the accidentally falling asleep when I'm supposed to be tidying up or writing emails ALL THE TIME! I manage, but the housework and correspondence, blogging etc do suffer. Yoga practice and earning a living are more important. And so is getting out occasionally! (though I slept through a fair few picnics and brunches this summer.)

Sorry I don't have any advice. I think you'll adapt though. Go gently, give yourself time to get used to the new routine, and don't beat yourself up if you miss a practice or don't get the bed made :)

(0v0) said...

Hmmm... Wouldn't an equally plausible explanation be in the short term... the sleepless night last week?

You could plan to tough it out... or plan to soar now that you're in your zone both professionally and on the mat.... :-)

Claudia said...

Wow, you are working very hard! I would be tired too... and intermediate is quite demanding!

I just placed a whole post that I got through your inspiration from when you visited Darby, I linked to you and the post that made it all happening, it was the tip on the UD on lifting up the balls of the feet and pressing with the heels, it has been SO useful for me, thank you so much!!!

Kaivalya said...

Thanks for the comments! More than anything else, it helped me to know that I'm not alone.

For the short term, 'more sleep' seems to be the answer. I need 9 hours every night. Seems like a lot to me, but...okay! :-)

Also, per Susan's suggestion: basically not 'sweating the small stuff'. I really DO need to make the bed, otherwise I can't practice, but I've slacked off in other areas, like washing the dishes, answering comments on my blog...lol

Right now, I figure if I'm practising and getting to my classes on time, then it's all good.

I'm glad the advice from the Darbys was useful for your practice. Your backbends are really coming along. I predict dropbacks VERY soon!!! :-)