I thought the purpose of doing yoga in the evening was to relax my mind and body and prepare for sleep. Winding down in this way may help me rest better and feel fresher the next morning. I was correct, but I also underestimated how much more broadly I’d be affected by an evening practice.
I prefer to exercise and practice yoga in the morning. Training in the evening tends to leave me fatigued and I have to fight the desire to stay seated on the couch. My discipline is what gets me to the gym and onto the yoga mat for those evening sessions. When I do this for too many consecutive days, I begin to break down and lose the capability to maintain my focus. Sometimes during one of these yoga practices, my muscles are tired and it’s more difficult to hold a pose. My patience wanes very quickly and I become frustrated which leads to trying to force poses rather than allow them to develop. I also notice that I engage in negative self-talk and begin to feel anxious because I’m straining to get into the poses. Sometimes I’ll catch myself while I focus on my breath and notice the excess tension in my body. The practice becomes a competition rather than a session of connection with myself. Constant tension, anxiousness, and a chaotic mind lead to fatigue much more rapidly than a calm mind and body.
Practicing yoga when fatigued is beneficial for race preparation.
In every race that I’ve pushed myself hard, I have moments of both mental and physical fatigue. It is during those moments that I become the most susceptible to quitting or letting go of my goals. Or worse, believing that I am not capable of achieving my goals. Learning to practice and remain connected while fatigued is one way I am developing skills to remain calm and connected to a focused mind.