Every once in a while, I have a yoga class in which I’m thinking the whole time, “I feel fabulous!” My “om” vibrates thrillingly with everyone else’s. The stretches feel deliciously elastic. Muscle-firming feels genuinely strengthening. I can stand on one leg forever in Tree. The inward-rotation-this and outward-rotation-that are second nature. I can actually feel the white light rising up my spinal column. For an hour and a half I am 100% present and ecstatic.
But those are the days when I probably didn’t need yoga anyway. It’s days like yesterday—when raising my arms above my head made them ache, when good pain felt like bad pain, when I hated every minute of every pose and couldn’t wait for the whole thing to be over—that yoga is most crucial.
Because the thing is, even with a class like yesterday’s, when I felt bad going in and bad throughout, I walk out feeling better: physically relaxed, emotionally calmer, and often with renewed courage to face the world.