I was invited my one of my new friends, Olivia, to attend a yoga class where a series of 26 poses are performed in a relatively small room that is heated to 104 degrees with 40% humidity.
I figured that this would be just like the other relaxing Yoga classes I've taken, just with a warmer room and I would sweat a bit more.. sounded like a neat concept, "I'm in!"
Let. Me. Tell. You...
I think that might have been one of the best workouts I have ever done. It was also probably one of the hardest. I was dripping sweat after only about 5 minutes (of a 90 minute class). I thought I had plenty of water that day. (two 24oz water bottles is pretty good, right?) No. I had to sit down for probably 1/3 of the class because of how intense the workout was combined with the heat.
For some background, I am an extremely determined "workout student". The reason I enjoy taking classes so much is because I hate to disappoint or fall behind, so I'm extremely motivated to give the class everything I have and do exactly as the instructor says. It usually ends up giving me the best workout results. This time, I had to know when to stop pushing myself.
While I was lying in my child's pose (looks exactly like it sounds, fetal position on the floor just doesn't sound as cool), everybody else continued on in the standing cardio poses and I had a few minutes to think through my present situation. It was so hard for me to accept this 'defeat' and to submit to my body's cry for a break, I really wanted to keep going. Initially I felt weak for stopping but honestly, had I not taken that break, I would've been passed out on the floor which would have definitely been more embarassing!
As weird as this may seem, I learned more than one lesson yesterday:
1. The Lord sometimes walks us through difficult situations.
He calls us in certain seasons to push ourselves, work hard, test our limits, stretch emotionally and spiritually, but on the other side of it all, we walk away new. God brings us through the refining process to teach us, to rid us of personality/character impurities, and bring us to a place of enjoying life to the full - but the refining process can be very difficult!
2. We have to know when to sit out.
The pace and pressures of this culture often tap into our feelings for the need to constantly and consistently achieve, move, develop, grow, or obtain. Without knowing it, we can easily fall into the cycle and find ourselves lost in the commotion - despite our best intentions. Sometimes we have to know when we've reached our limit and we need to be okay with taking a break. We say "yes" to many good things, we get involved, we push and rush, and sometimes we just have to know when OUR limit has been reached - and be okay with it.
Comparison is the theif of joy..
live at your own pace,
live where the Lord has called you,
and live to know your Maker.