I appreciate all of your comments and I’ll respond to them as soon as I can (probably on Friday when I have some breathing room in my schedule). It’s good to know that I’m not alone, struggling through this and I’m not completely crazy.
I decided at minimum, I should make sleep a priroity. Last night, I set the alarm with the goal of getting 9 hours of sleep (rather than getting up at a consistent time as I normally do). It definitely made a difference. I wasn’t exhausted in the morning and I made it through the day without napping.
A friend asked me if I was still riding my bicycle. I am, and that’s a good point! I ride upwards of 30 kilometres a day. In October, I usually buy a subway pass and start using public transit instead. This will give me time to rest and remove some physical exertion from my daily round.
I also remembered something my friend ELP said regarding breathing and Astanga. She once practised with a friend while chatting at the same time and was exhausted after. She observed that the practice depletes energy if the breath is shallow or incorrect. During these first few weeks of classes, I ‘demo’ in my classes much more than usual, usually doing so while talking my students through the vinyasas. I wonder if this is depleting my energy levels?
My practice today was good. These days, my Primary series is always very consistent. Where I notice the most variation is in my Intermediate poses and backbends. I was surprised to find that my backbends were not as comfortable as yesterday! It took forever for me to start my dropbacks and standing up was difficult again. Apparently, ‘falling down exhausted’ is good for backbending!
Laghu is getting better every day. I now lower my head down to a block (10 centimetres), hold for five breaths and come up. I repeat this three times. I know it’s benefitting me because my quads HURT! ;-)