Sunday, January 23, 2011

The punisher

Workout: 75-minute Restorative Yoga class

Hands down, my Sunday yoga class is the toughest. It’s the class where I’ve been introduced to poses such as crow and headstand. It’s the class where you go through sun salutation A … and sun salutation B … and sun salutation C. My arms quiver in chaturangas in this class, my legs burn in warrior.

The Sunday class also is, on a regular basis, the most crowded of the sessions I go to. This morning, it was the most full that it has been – in fact I was worried that we weren’t all going to fit in the studio space.

And as I caught a glimpse of all the participants in triangle pose, I wondered what we were all doing there. Were we fond of this particular instructor? Is this the only session we could fit in this weekend? Did we just need to get out of the house?

Or, or did we like the punishment, so to say? Do we like the pain?

On the surface, we all would say that we would rather pay for something that felt good than something that felt bad. Yet, we are exhilarated to register for races, stare at a training plan, feel sweat pour down our faces. The agony that comes with just a mile left (or a few miles left, depending on the day).

For me, my favorite workouts are/were the ones where I wanted to die. Tempo runs in the 90-degree heat, 12-mile long runs, Jackie Warner strength sessions. I liked them because in their difficulty there was a great reward. Progress. Accomplishment. The sense of empowerment. I'll admit the bragging rights are nice, too.

How about you? Do you like the pain?


Something to think about …

At the end of class, the instructor read off some affirmations, and there was one that sung to me.

Don’t punish yourself for things that you have done. You have suffered enough. Free yourself.

1 comment:

  1. I think it's the sense of accomplishment that makes me do things. The 5 mile run today was tough.. it was cold and I had to walk briefly one time... when I was finished, I felt like had completed something for the day.