Wednesday, May 8: a month in Rishikesh, India, is almost over!
The intensity of my ashtanga yoga practice with Kamal Singh has been on a crescendo for 3 weeks, with a taste of new postures – such as yoganidrasana – and ‘special’ adjustments that have given to it a different touch every day.
And than, end of last week, things occurred shifting me from a light and energetic state to one of feeling extremely tired and weak: I had a tight daily schedule outside the yoga shala for 3 days in a row!
Two yoga photo shootings in a row, going out with newly made friends, a visit outside Rishikesh to enjoy the energy of Vashista’s caves (where the sage is supposed to have spent a few years doing tapasya and meditating). And not only…
Every day now the weather is hotter and hotter, and, when lucky, there is a breeze as warm as the air coming out of a phon put on the max heat!
And finally, to add to it all, my stomach seems unable to take any food any longer, apart from fruits and their juices. Useless to say this time I’ve been unable to cook my own food as I do both on my trips to India as well as when I’m at home. Staying in an ashram has advantages and disadvantages… as almost everything in life 🙂
So, 6 Mysore practices in a row (Kamal almost never leads a class and when he does it, he does it only partially and you never know when he does) last week and all the rest going on just absorbed all my energies.
It has taken 3 days of complete rest apart from practice (I did it anyway just because I’m stubborn and this is my last week of practice here in Rishikesh) to get this morning to a state where my car is not running on a red petrol signal again and, finally, this morning I could enjoy again the yoga practice!
What are the lessons I learned from that? How to avoid the risks of overdoing?
1: Overall, whenever you are on an intensive yoga practice, have a light rest of the day;
2: Whenever you get to practice in a new place (especially if miles away from home), the very first days your practice is pumped by enthusiasm; after a while you have to face the new reality, the new food, the new weather and the body just needs to get adjusted to it! Don’t strain yourself;
3: If needed, don’t be afraid to take a day off for some extra relax.
If you do all that, strength and energy won’t get strained, and notwithstanding a few times you can feel on a low side, that won’t last long: a good night sleep and it will be over!