Posted by: kerryalina | 19 March 2012

Challenge Class 31: Saboteur

I almost didn’t write about today’s class.  It was hard and hot and horrible and depressing.  I started out feeling strong – I did the deepest backbend I’ve ever achieved in Half Moon and it felt amazing – but by Balancing Stick I was struggling to hold back tears and by Tree Pose, black roses were blooming in my vision as I lay flat on my back.

I didn’t do a single asana during floor series.  Not.  One.  I lifted my leg for Wind Removing Pose, but my arms were too heavy to hold up.  I tried to do a sit up and the room spun around me.  So I lay there for the full series, a breath away from panic.  My fingers beating a tattoo on the floor because I was too overwrought to stay still.  Attempting to stifle my sobs so they didn’t disturb those practicing around me.  My heart racing in my chest as I desperately tried to breathe.

And the whole time, fighting the voice in my head.  The one that whispers “Of COURSE you can’t do this.  Look at you.  You’re pathetic.  Weak and uncoordinated and unfit and undisciplined.  Surely you didn’t think YOU would be capable of this?  You’ve never done ANYTHING athletic.  Why would you even try?”


I wish I could end this post with the story of my discovery of self-worth.  Tell you all how I slew the internal saboteur and triumphed over its evil voice.  How I rose to the challenge and proved myself.

I can’t.

I didn’t.

What I did do was this: I tried my best to remember just how much I’ve achieved already.  I stayed in the room.

And then I came home and cried.

Maybe that’s enough of a triumph for today.



  1. You stayed. In. The room. Sometimes staying in the room and crying is the only option left. The beauty of this practice is that everyone’s been there. I’ve seen strong peeps with amazing practices on the floor by the time Eagle comes around and they *stay there*. This one was all mental for you, and personally, I think those are the most beneficial classes. My class on Saturday (which I’ve yet to write about) was exactly the same way. I’m positive that I sat out 50% (at least) and what I did do was half-assed because my brain was taking over and my fight-or-flight was PUNCHING ME IN THE FACE.

    Body stronger, Brain stronger. Not always during the same class.

    You’re doing great!

    • “…my brain was taking over and my fight-or-flight was PUNCHING ME IN THE FACE.” <<< THIS. YES. BEST EVER.

  2. Today I thought I was actually going to leave the room. I was dizzy, thirsty, tired, and feeling very weak. I visualized myself gathering my mat and my towel and water and just walking out.

    But I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t leave the room. So I stayed the whole class, every once and a while trying to do a pose or two.

    My teacher told me today that he saw I was struggling and the most important part is I was there and I wanted to do it.

    I think that’s what you need to take from the day – you were there and you wanted to finish it. :)

    • Oh dear god, I SO did NOT want to finish it. But I did anyway. That’s even harder, right? So… yay? *sigh*

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