Hey, It's Okay To Take A Break From Yoga

Ashley McElyea
Hey, It's Okay To Take A Break From Yoga

Sitting here in my yoga pants, drinking coffee, and scrolling through my Facebook feed, I can’t help but feel like I owe everyone an explanation for where I’ve been.

Where are your yoga pictures? When are you taking my class? I haven’t seen you in a while, are you still doing yoga?

These are just a few of the questions I have been getting for the past month, and all I want to do is hang my head in shame that I can’t come up with a really good reason.

I would love to say that I'm doing something productive, but...

I would love to say that I have a manuscript that I’m busting through (I’ve been trying to write a novel for three years). I would love to say that I am working diligently on my new blog (I’ve been trying to set up a fancy site for months).

I would love to say I’m getting a “real” job and making a lot of money (This will never happen. I think I like being broke). I would love to say I’m out on the town and being super social (It’s like pulling teeth to get me to dress up and go out).

I would love to say that I’m doing something productive. But the truth is, I’m burnt out.

Wait a minute. You’re burnt out from yoga?

Yoga is supposed to energize your mind, body, and soul. Yoga is supposed to make you Zen. Yoga is supposed to help you find your inner calm. You can’t be burnt out from yoga.

Oh, but my dear, I am.

At first, I was so angry with myself. I started out so strong in my practice it even got to a point I was taking two classes a day, four times a week. Sometimes six days a week. People looked to me for inspiration. How could I stop doing yoga?

So I kept trying to force it and it made me hurt. I started forcing poses, straining muscles, sobbing in Savasana because I couldn’t do it anymore.

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day and she helped me realize that yoga burnout is okay. It doesn’t make me a bad yogi. It doesn’t mean that I don’t love yoga. It doesn’t mean that I’m giving up and that I’m done trying to improve my life. And I realized, she’s completely right.

It is completely okay.

Because sometimes yoga makes you cry.

Yoga makes you break yourself on the inside so you can see all the ugly pieces and find their beauty.~Ashley McElyea

There are days it can make you feel a mess, because sometimes yoga makes you tired. Doing yoga makes you so much more aware of everything around you and it can be a lot to handle. There are days you need to step away and rest.

What’s not okay is pushing your body to its full limits…and pushing even more. I forced my practice and it hurt. Perhaps two classes a day, six days a week was too much.

Sometimes yoga makes you stop.

Doing yoga makes you listen to your body and sometimes you have to stop. There are days that you have to say “not today.” For those of you have never felt that way, that’s absolutely fine.

You might not ever feel that way. Not everyone experiences yoga the same way. That’s what makes it so beautiful.

But for those of you who know what I’m talking about, I’m telling you, it’s okay to take a break from yoga. It’s okay to take time doing something else that feeds your soul, something that fills your heart.

The great thing about yoga: it will always be there when you want to come back.