Last week ate me alive.
It seriously did. Work, work, and more work… that was all I did. Oh, and I ate too… but there was absolutely, positively ZERO trips to the gym. My restorative yoga workshop on Saturday was the last workout that I had until Monday of this week.
Having been completely wiped out from a full week, I didn’t even THINK about working out over the weekend. It may have crossed my mind once or twice, but there was no internal voice telling me that I needed to do it. My internal voice moreso bellowed that I needed to stay exactly where I was… with my butt planted on my couch.
What I didn’t realize until Monday was how much I had been missing it. Not just because of all of those beautiful endorphins, but also because working out is my main form of stress relief. When I don’t work out… well, I guess bad things happen.
A little over a week ago, I had an issue happen with my jaw. It just sort of popped, and it’s been hurting ever since. NOT GOOD. Well, when I get stressed… I also tend to be a teeth grinder. Sore Jaw + Teeth Grinding in the Night = EVEN WORSE. I’m even waking up in the night in pain… so crazy.
After 10 days of dull pain and wincing during meals, I decided to go to the dentist. PS… SUCH a nice new dentist at my place. I can’t stand doctors for the most part, but this guy rocked! My new favorite dentist pretty much told me that 4 of my main muscles that support my jaw were completely fatigued and swollen, causing me the pain… and through our conversation, we quickly linked the pain back to STRESS.
He offered me a prescription for muscle relaxers, and I left the office knowing that something had to give. I REALLY can’t live in pain. And, for my weight loss goals and my sanity, I HAVE to make it to the gym regularly.
I popped over to Walgreens to fill my script and then immediately headed to my yoga studio for class.
The class was listed as a “Gentle Yoga” class which was PERFECT. More than anything… I needed to BREATHE tonight.
While I love the physical aspects associated with yoga, that’s not really why I practice. I practice yoga for how it allows me to transport from the day’s challenges, the week’s events, and gets me out of my head for about 60 minutes. This class was one of the best I’ve been to in a long time for doing just that.
Especially considering I looked like this when I walked in…
My body was fatigued, my neck was sore (from the jaw issues described above), and my mind was racing… it had to stop.
The instructor led us through a series of gentle poses and helped us to pace our breathing for the practice. She amped it up with some extra core work and some beautiful stretches I’d never done before. It was a delightful class…
And just when I thought I liked the class, I fell in love with it.
Karen decided to lead us in a meditation. The meditation she chose was one geared to open our Throat Chakra, which owns communication. Karen encouraged us to us a mudra as part of the practice, and it looked a little something like this.
A mudra is a gesture or position, usually of the hands, that locks and guides energy flow and reflexes to the brain. For this specific mudra: Your thumbs and pinky fingers are touching, your ring fingers are bent (not touching) and your index and pointer fingers are making peace signs.
I assumed the pose, but never expected the magic that came out of this meditation.
Breathing in and out, Karen encouraged us to envision light and gratitude flowing into our bodies and to expel that which did not serve us. Desperately seeking this peace, I completely bought into this practice… and felt its impact. After about 5 minutes in this position seated cross legged, I was physically warm… and sitting taller and smiling. All the result of focusing upon my breath and letting in light and expelling darkness. Uh-mazing…
We wrapped up the class with a few more poses and a final savasana, and I felt like a million bucks. Did my jaw still hurt, yes (and it does as I write this), but I felt like I found the antidote to what’s been ailing me… and it’s been there all along.
Working out for me is not only a way to burn calories, but my method to maintain my peace and focus on what’s most important in my life. I must make time for it moving forward.
Do you ever meditate?