On Giving Up Expectations

After two weeks of this nasty cold, I finally returned to yoga today. I’m still not 100%, but I’m feeling good enough to start moving again. Ironically, the first passage the teacher read was about how illness changes our expectations about what we value and appreciate.

Being sick always somehow frees me up to let go of expectations, which ends up making me stronger. I told myself going into yoga today that it was okay if I had to take it easy and to take breaks whenever I needed to. The result was that I didn’t end up taking any breaks.

I felt strong throughout the class and even did every vinyasa and got up into full wheel, whereas I usually opt for the less intense bridge pose. The whole class felt effortless, which was a nice change from the last two weeks where even getting dinner made felt hard. And even if I had wanted to take a break, I would have been perfectly fine with it and I probably would have left the class feeling just as strong.

Running and lifting will probably require more ease in time and last night I was trying to figure out how I felt about it. On one hand, it’s always kind of annoying to go through a fitness setback. But instead of feeling annoyed, I find that I’m feeling energized to push myself – even if it’s only pushing myself to the level where I was before. Instead of being dejected that I’m not there right now, I’m excited that I get to re-experience the journey of getting there. This whole “enjoying the journey and not the destination” feeling is a new one for me, particularly around fitness. My parents have been telling me for years that the secret to happiness is letting go of expectations. It appears they may be right.

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I HAVE been annoyed that I haven’t been able to take advantage of the beautiful weather we’ve been having having to go for runs or long walks or anything. But this weekend, I managed to get outside a handful of times to enjoy the farmers’ market (strawberry season is starting!), coffee and donuts in a lovely outdoor courtyard, and a walk up to the top of Dolores Park to enjoy the view of the city and the city dwellers. I also got to see some friends and do some homework and get some cat snuggles in, so all in all, it was pretty awesome.

This combination of enjoying the process and paying closer attention to the little moments has me feeling pretty centered. Tomorrow it’s back to running, so I’ll be sure to report how that goes (I have a feeling it might throw off that centered feeling just a bit!)

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