Hot Yoga Session 20: On Knowing Your Limits & Letting Go

This post is part of my January 2012 30 Days of Hot Yoga series. This month I’m taking on a personal challenge to complete 30 sessions of hot yoga at Baptiste Studios in 30 days in celebration of my 30th birthday. Wish me luck!

One of the things I’m finding in this practice is how much your body can do. Less than three weeks into this practice I’m starting to practice the beginning to headstands, patiently waiting for my abdominal strength to catch up. I’m also gliding up into wheel like I’ve been doing it my entire life.

Which is becoming a problem.

While my shoulders, back, and thighs feel absolutely comfortable as I rise into a triumphant back bend four times at the end of each class, my wrists are feeling increased pain. And that pain is staying with me.

Which is a problem.

The pain bites at my wrists in downward dog. And it’s beginning to affect how I write and type. In fact, as I write this, I can feel stiffness in my wrists and fingers. My body is like – nooo please stop doing wheel!

So, as much as I hate to say it – that’s enough. No more wheel for Julie.

And I’m okay with it. As one of my instructors likes to remind us regularly – every body is different. Some people can regularly pull themselves into wheel. Some can plant their feet flat on the ground during downward dog. And some long time practitioners never get there. In other words, you could do yoga every day for decades, and you may never get those heels on the ground and your wrists may never adjust to wheel.

It’s just the way your body is.

In the same way that some people are made to run or made to swim or made to rock climb – you are made to get to a certain place in yoga and then – that’s it. No more motion.

There is something incredibly comforting in knowing that it’s outside of your control. In knowing that it’s not about working more or harder or pushing or sacrificing. That, in fact, your body is just not meant to do that.

I feel SO much better. I feel good about letting that goal go. And I think it’s because I’ve been working at it and I genuinely tried and it is genuinely not right for me.

So now it’s your turn. What are you working and working and working at? What are you willing to let go of? Find peace with your choice. Enjoy knowing that it’s what is right for you.