Tuesday, August 21, 2012

You Can... Should You?

It’s a regular phrase of mine during class.  The words so easily roll off the tongue.  Yet here I am faced with the depth of that simple sentence.  Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. 

Yep, that’s it.  Seems easy and applicable to the yoga practice.  For example, if you’re physically under the weather you could do a strong yoga practice; however, it may be best to dial it back and explore the softer edge.  Taking it a little bit farther, you could touch your toes in a forward bend but in some cases you shouldn't in order to maintain the length & space in the spine.  Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. 

So when faced with the challenges my right hand presented as it healed from my cyst removal and second coming.  (I named them Billy & Bobby.)  I have explored that phrase in my own yoga practice on the mat and even more off.  Billy’s departure leaving me in a cast for a week and a very bruised hand for a month.  I could have taught all of my classes, cooked dinner every night, or responded to every email but I didn't… I shouldn’t.  I needed to rest.

When Bobby popped up, my nervous system remained in a highly active state resulting in more pain.  In an effort to work with my body, I removed all Downward Facing Dog and Plank poses.  I cried at the decision.  I most certainly could do the poses; however, I shouldn’t.  So I didn’t.  In addition to meditation, acupuncture, massage therapy, reduction in time commitments and other stress relieving activities, I was able to bring my pain level down and increase my quality of life.  Time commitments… that was tough.  Just because I could go here or do this didn’t mean I should.  With support, I didn’t.

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.  Eight words that have given me pause for the last year.  I’m not perfect and I did not do it every time.  I make mistakes and keep trying.  That’s why it’s a practice.  What are you facing in your life that even though you can, you shouldn’t?  What support can you enlist to put this phrase into practice?