At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I'm injured. Injuries travel in packs, and it seems I still have to fight off the stragglers, arguably the most dangerous of the group. When I am not feeling my best, or more specifically when I am feeling lousy, I don't want to practice at all. Practice for me involves facing the demons, digging inside and really taking stock of how bad things are, of how off my body feels. That is obviously not fun. So I have a tendency to: Just. Not. Go. There.
But the thing is that when I don't practice yoga, or when I shun physical practice more generally, I feel terrible. There is nothing remarkable about this; anyone who has a physical practice knows what it feels like to go without. I become depressed, I am irritable, my body feels in shambles, I feel disconnected from myself, I am less generous o those around me, etc. Even knowing this, I still have a hard time facing limitations in my practice and I run by just not practicing at all.
This happens to me in the kitchen as well. Samin and I pride ourselves on making meals special, on gathering just the right ingredients, preparing them lovingly, setting the right mood, gathering the right people. And sometimes when I can't do this, I would rather order crappy takeout, rush to eat it, and forget it happened, as if somehow by not putting in the effort it won't count. Obviously it does though, and more than likely I'll be unhappy about it later. In these situations, I try to remember that just making an effort is good enough. A salad cobbled together out of the crisper drawer, broth heated with a poached egg
, a piece of toast with delicious jam or avocado or a nice cheese, a bowl of pasta with olive oil, butter and parmesan. These are incredibly simple gestures; they can feel so minimal that they sometimes feel like defeat. I just couldn't do anything more tonight. And that is OK. I know I will feel better than if I had just done nothing at all. I'll try to remember this when, on the mat, there is simply very little I can do.