Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Unbearable Blahness of Being

Feeling very "blah" right now. Why? Not sure. Here are a few possible reasons:

(1) Sunday is my rest day from the practice. I have noticed that I experience somewhat lower levels of energy on days when I don't practice.

Unlike most ashtangis I know, who rest on Saturdays, my "rest day" is on Sunday. I use quotation marks, because I still do a couple of suryas on Sunday morning, just to get my muscles and joints limber. (Do I have an unhealthy addiction to the practice? Uh oh...) Why do I rest on Sunday rather than on the traditionally designated Saturday? No particular reason, really. It's just what I have been doing since my pre-Ashtanga days, so it kind of carried over when I started Ashtanga. Maybe this will change after I make it to Mysore :-)

This makes me curious. Is there a difference whether one takes the rest day on Saturday or Sunday? I remember hearing Tim Miller say something at a workshop about not doing practice on Saturday because Saturday is named after the planet Saturn, and is the day of the devil (I can't remember if this is exactly what he said; it's been a couple of years since that workshop, and I'm not terribly good at taking notes). Does anybody out there know of any good reason to prefer Saturday over Sunday as the rest day from practice? I'll love to hear what you have to say.

(2) Tomorrow is the first day of school. I should be more excited about this, but I'm not. I find myself just mechanically going over the motions of preparing for tomorrow's class. There are also a few students who have arranged to see me tomorrow morning about issues related to registration. Somehow, I can't get myself excited about any of this.

(3) I may suffer from SAD. I ran into a colleague the other day, and he suggested that I should start taking vitamin D. (Is he saying I look depressed? Hmm...) Anyway, maybe I should do this if this feeling of "blahness" doesn't go away by, say, after tomorrow morning's practice.

(4) The terrible shooting that happened in Arizona. My prayers go out to all those affected. May there be no more violence and hatred among all living beings, whatever our respective creeds, religious or political affiliations. Nuff said.

As you can see, this is a very neither-here-nor-there post. But I figured it is better to say something than not. May the Force be with you.  


  1. Aw.. may the Force be with you too. Have you tried a SAD lamp? After some strong recommendations, I've been using one, and I'm convinced it works.

    Regarding the rest days... it makes sense to do 2s on Sunday, then some people would do 3s on Monday, I do my 2nd + 3s poses. That would be a lot to jump into cold on Monday if the rest day was Sunday. I think the further we get in the progression of the series, the more sense the weekly pattern makes.

    I feel blah now too. Hope you feel better tomorrow.

  2. Thanks for the suggestion, Susan. I haven't tried a SAD lamp, but I've heard good things about it, and I might invest in one if this blahness comes back persists. I'm actually feeling better right now, but I don't know if this might have more to do with the fact that I had a really big veggie burger and sweet potato fries not too long ago than with anything else :-)

    What you say about the weekly pattern seems to make sense. I have to think about this some more.

  3. I'm sure lots of things will change after you make it to Mysore! Hope it works out for you! Actually I'm sure it'll work out for you if you keep setting the intention. It's just a matter of sooner vs. later :)

  4. Thanks Yyogini :-) I'll definitely continue to set this strong intention.

  5. I've asked a couple authorized teachers about rest days and they've all said that it doesn't matter which day is your rest day, but I'm curious about what others experience has been like??

    What Susan said about the weekly pattern of practice makes sense. It does feel good to me to do primary on the last day of my practice week and I could imagine that it would feel like a bit much to start the practice week out with third...although it will probably be a good long while yet before I have to think about third! :)

    Since I do mostly home practice, I move the rest day around to accomodate my schedule for the semester. I've taken my rest day on Fridays, Mondays, Saturdays, and am currently taking it on Wednesdays. I just match to the weekly pattern up accordingly.

  6. I take the rest day all over the place when necessary... like now (on holiday) or if I miss a week day by mistake. But when I stick to the program, I think I feel the logic in my body.

    I set the Mysore intention too, Nobel, funny enough about the same time you did but without having read your post yet. I used the exact same wording, on facebook :)

  7. Christine, my feeling is also that the actual day of the rest day probably does not matter, so long as one keeps the rest day on a certain day for at least a fair amount of time. I think that, whatever day one designates as the rest day, the next day will be the first day of the week, by this logic. Unless of course, Tim Miller is right that there is some special astrological significance to Saturday.

    Susan, I am glad you set the Mysore intention too. May our intentions come to fruition swiftly.

  8. my answer is not researched. i can't remember why the rest day is saturday traditionally, but i bet it has more to do with Indian Brahmin customs than with anything else - like they day they do pujas and so forth. in religious practices of traditions around the world, some observe the sabath, some observe Sunday. i bet it's something like that- that Saturdays were reserved for long drawn out services that left no time for asana practice.