I get questions all the time like, “Why do I feel so sleepy after yoga?” or “Why did yoga give me such a bad headache?”
And I’m going to nip that in the bud right now. Sorry not sorry, this post is going to be a lot of tough love from the boss.
I have to break this to you. Yoga did not give you a headache. Yoga did not make you feel sleepy. Yoga did not make you feel sick. All the yoga did was reveal to you what is really going on in your body. Yoga gives you the truth (oh, but the truth is so hard!!).
For so long, we’ve ignored and completely blocked out the signals that our bodies give us. Like when we eat something which we may not know we are mildly allergic to or sensitive to, and our joints get inflamed the next day. So we take a Tylenol. Or when we’re crashing mid-afternoon and decide to have another espresso shot, when in reality, what we really need is to sleep more and take a long, hard look at our eating habits.
But Bikram Yoga doesn’t give you what you want (think lounging on a hammock sipping Mai Tais by the ocean). Bikram Yoga is designed to give you what you need (think hydration, eating healthier, a big wake up call to the state of your physical health).
When you start the detox process from practicing yoga consistently, you will become more in tune with what your body needs. You might get a headache after class, but instead of blaming the yoga, do the work to uncover what your body is telling you. Perhaps a large glass of water with salt and minerals is what your body is in need of. Or a big plate of salad with healthy oils and dark leafy greens.
When you can really tune in to what your body is saying, your health becomes a huge upward spiral. A while back I started getting acid reflux. It took me a few weeks, but I was able to pinpoint that it was a result of my coffee intake. When I tapered my coffee intake way down, my acid reflux went away. I was also able to get better sleep so that I didn’t need so much coffee! And the less coffee I drank, and the more sleep I got, the more energy I had for other things that made me happy.
I would urge you to begin looking at your yoga classes this way. Not as a scapegoat so you don’t have to take accountability for the choices you make regarding your health. But as a way to truly connect to your body so you can start to evolve your practice and fine tune your life.
Next time something feels off or you have a really hard class, take a deeper look at the things you’re putting into your body, or not putting in. How much you’re sleeping. How you deal with stress. And see if you can’t create some big changes for yourself.