And on the 35th Day She Rested

I took an intentional day off of yoga today. It would have been my 35th day in a row. I took the day off for a number of reasons: I stayed out very late last night, all of my yoga clothes and towels need to be washed, I’m making a trip out to Dallas later today, I had some stuff swirling around in me that needed to be written.

But also, I had been told ten days earlier by the owner of the yoga studio that I should take a day off, that it’s okay.

Waking up this morning and realizing that I could go to yoga, but that it might be better for my psyche and the general flow of the day to take the day off, was something of a big moment for me.

When I started this 60-day challenge, taking a day off wasn’t an option. I was going to go every single day for sixty days and that’s it. Which is a truly noble goal, and maybe some day I will do just that.

But in the mean time, what’s important about this particular day off isn’t that I failed in my goal of doing 60 consecutive days. It isn’t that I gave into the weakness that didn’t want me to go to yoga today. It’s that I listened to the signs that said, “Maybe today is a day of rest.”

I’m still doing good things for my body today, I have a massage on the schedule and my neck and shoulders are really craving some attention from someone who knows what they’re doing (rather than me desperately trying to focus my attention on them in the room when there’s four hundred other things to think about in there). This day off is not a failure, it’s a break. Simple as that. It doesn’t change the fact that I have done 34 days of yoga in a row. It doesn’t diminish tomorrow’s class at all. It doesn’t diminish my commitment to the challenge, or the yoga, in any way.

And even more important than all that, I UNDERSTAND all that. I’m very good at coming across a hiccup in a plan and taking that as proof of my ultimate failure, thinking I cannot go on from this point because I’ve messed up so badly, but the truth is, sometimes taking a break can be exactly what you need in the moment.

It’s wonderful to have the delicious challenge yet calming consistency of yoga to use as a metaphor for my greater, for lack of a better term, “shortcomings”. It’s extra wonderful that everything about the practice, even something as simple as graciously taking a day off, can translate into every other aspect of life.

I am loving this process and everything I’m learning from it. The importance of rest and time off is something I’ve been slowly coming to terms with for a while now. Sometimes, taking a day to slug around and do nothing is more than just okay, it’s necessary. Don’t be afraid of it.

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