As a self-professed yoga mat monkey, I’m diligent about my practice. Yoga keeps me sane, flexible, focused, and fit. Even so, I still have those days when I’d rather hop on the couch than my mat, and swap my sun salutations for a sundae with sprinkles. So what do I do when these urges arise? I give in, of course. I give myself permission to be imperfect, to unscrew the chocolate sauce and skip the sweat sessions. It took a long time for me to get to a place where this kind of detour didn’t send me packing for a guilt trip. Over the years, I realize that it’s actually more than okay to take a break from my healthy habits — it’s necessary.
Taking a Break Gives Me a New Beginning
You know that feeling that comes with new love — the electricity, butterflies in your belly, and magic moments that seem to mimic scenes from a soap opera? We need that to keep us engaged. Couples who know how to cultivate passion are able to navigate the rough roads in relationships. They stay on course despite the ups and downs.They know about quality time, and giving space too. They understand that breathing room is not optional it’s crucial, because no one is cute and cuddly at all times. My breath isn’t fresh in the morning, so please get out of my face. And if we run out of cream for the coffee, you have two good options: head to the store or head to a Starbucks.
So we learn to make concessions for our loved ones, why not for ourselves? Why not accept that if we work out seven days a week we will probably burn out. Or maybe six days is too much. Or five.Don’t try to emulate someone else’s routine. Or life. I don’t give a damn if super-fit Suzy puts her running shoes on before dawn. I’ll be drooling on my pillow. No doubt. I try to remember that this relationship I have with my body needs nurturing, too. Being fit is just one aspect of my health. Being kind to myself is paramount. That means I don’t force myself to move when I deserve a break. I don’t criticize my shape, or scorn the stretch marks on my skin.
So what about your goals? Your plans to drop 10 before your birthday? If you’ve got some objective in mind, don’t worry about losing momentum. Toss out a rigid routine and know that the journey from here to there does not have to be grueling. Slow and steady wins the race because speedy runs out of steam. Your life will change with new habits, so don’t hijack your health for a quick fix.
And that’s how skipping workouts helps me stay fit. When I step away from my mat and allow myself to wander, I get to a place where I miss all the swooping and bending, twisting and flexing. I return with intensity, fervor, and zeal.
I am Madame Yoga.