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An hour of yoga is as good as an hour of sleep

Posted Jul 30 2009 12:01am
Had a couple of really hectic days at work that involved starting before nine on a Monday morning and ending at midnight only to begin again at nine the next morning. I managed to make it to yoga on Monday but (owing to the drunken midnight bedtime) not to run on Tuesday. So when my alarm went off this morning, I was half-inclined to stay in bed. But I’d already packed everything up, so I convinced myself that an hour of yoga would be as restful as an hour of sleeping.
And guess what? I was right. Not only do I not feel like I need to go back to sleep now (as I surely would have felt if I had just rolled over this morning), I’m un-tired and un-guilty feeling!
After my complaint about spinal flexibility the other day, I’ve been paying a lot more attention to my back, and discovering that actually things do seem to be improving. Where I’m kind of used to twisting and trying to get my back to crack when it hurts, now I’m actually finding that the twisting does what it’s supposed to and things are actually sliding into place with that ever-so-satisfying crack. And also, my back is hurting a lot less than it used to. It’s been good to make myself focus on the things that are actually improving, because there are a few folks in my class who are insanely far ahead of me (things like putting one leg behind their head then standing up, then putting their hands on the floor and lifting the standing leg and swinging between their arms before shooting their legs back into plank) and while I shouldn’t be competitive about it, and actually don’t generally find Mysore that competitive, it’s nice to think about the ways that I’ve already improved my body.
Also want to give a shout-out to Runner Insight, a blind runner who is fundraising for Guide Dogs for the blind, and who stopped by here the other day to remind me of the value of a positive attitude. So, um, thanks. And have a great run at the Missoula Marathon.
Monday when I was doing purvattanasana, Philippa came over and helped me lift my hips enough to (almost) get my toes back on the floor. What a difference that made in the stretch across the chest and shoulders! So today I focused on trying to get that same stretch on my own. I also was happy that I was able to jump through to seated twice, and got pretty close two more times. That whole ‘hold the breath, focus on getting your hips up rather than your feet through’ thing actually works, who knew that a teacher could give you advice that would help?
So in summary, yoga can replace sleep and a positive attitude is a good thing. I’m an annoying-cheery person today, aren’t I?
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