I almost cheated today, day 12 of my 40-day yoga challenge. I stared longingly at the Moscow mule cocktail I wanted to order, imagining what the delightful blend of bourbon, ginger and lime juice would taste like. But then I realized how big a difference there would be between cheating and failing.
The cheat would have been premeditated. I knew the sequence of events that would follow. I’d get a little tipsy off my one drink since I so rarely have one. My short-lived laughter would fade into exhaustion. And my yoga practice would fall into the absolute minimum category. It’d be a quick restorative legs-up-wall pose or maybe a downward dog.
Both options would technically be acceptable for the challenge. There’s no time requirement for my daily practice even though the overachiever in me has been addicted to fitting in as many power yoga classes as possible. But I knew I could do better than the minimum. I knew that for me today the minimum was not only a cop out, it wasn’t what I needed.
When I passed on the drink, my thoughts immediately turned to the gym. I could still get my cardio in with a late-evening session. My husband was headed there. Why not join him? With so much yoga, I hadn’t gotten a lot of outside cardio done either.
But that was a cop out too. It was the same as the drink. I would push myself into complete exhaustion, pretend it was a good reason for a super abbreviated yoga practice and given the frantic pace of the week leave little energy for tomorrow.
So I did what I find most difficult to do. I opted out of the gym. I ventured into my home office and selected my most challenging practice – something slow and restorative. And when I stepped off my mat feeling better than I have all day, I wondered why I had fought so hard against what I needed most.