Back After a Break – First Ouch, Next Ugh, Then A Happy Sigh

I was lucky enough to take a long and lovely two week spring break vacation with my family. It was heaven — no school, no work, no writing (although I like writing), but also NO YOGA! For someone who practices 4-5 times a week, no yoga for two weeks is a big deal. I missed it, but I was so busy with other activities that the time passed quickly and I made no real effort to maintain my flexibility or practice at all. A full stop break. And by the way, there was a lot of great food on this trip.

So when I walked into my studio on Monday, I was a little bit nervous. How would my body react to the hiatus? Would I fall right back into it or would I be stiff? What about my stamina? Should I resume my normal practice schedule or build up to a daily practice? And what about all that extra food and drink I enjoyed on vacation? I had my work cut out for me.

My first class back I took it easy — set up in the last row and just focused on breathing and stretching. I felt pretty good actually, except in my upper body, which felt very tight. Also my left knee hurt. Later that day I felt very sore in my quads and hamstrings, however, so I guess my lower body hadn’t gotten off as easy as I had thought. Ouch.

Day 2, I woke up very sore. Ugh. I didn’t feel like going to class, but I made myself go. I pushed through all the postures despite my soreness. I felt great after class though. My energy level was high and my mood was good.

The third day I was excited to go to class. I felt energized mentally, but my muscles would not cooperate. I alternated between strong postures and utter exhaustion. I kept on going, but by the end of class I was spent. More Ugh.

Day 4, I didn’t think much about it. I just went to class. I felt good. My tightness had begun to dissipate. My energy level remained high, and my body was losing its extra vacation bloat. I was sore, but it was manageable. The yoga was doing its job. Finally, a happy sigh.

Readers, how do you resume your yoga practice after a break?

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2 thoughts on “Back After a Break – First Ouch, Next Ugh, Then A Happy Sigh

  1. Now that there’s a Bikram studio in my home town when I go back to Pennsylvania for a family vacation, it’s been a long time (2.5 years) since I’ve had any more than a 5 day break. I do what you did, just jump right back in as soon as possible because I’m jonesing for it and can’t wait!

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