Over the weekend my head and my heart had a battle of wills. All over a yoga pose. Of course, they've had many a conversation about other contentious issues, but I'll stick with yoga for now.
For the past few practices, I've decided doing a supported shoulderstand was a brilliant idea. That involves sticking a block right under my sacrum and lifting my legs straight into the air. It's not as rigorous as a shoulderstand, and I still get the benefits of the pose.
When I taught a class on Saturday afternoon, I saw a friend hang out in a supported bridge near the end of class for what seemed like hours. She looked incredibly blissful, and I tucked that image away, promising my inner yogini I'd give her the same treat later on that day, tacking it on right after my supported shoulderstand. Perfect, two poses for the price of one prop.
Later that day, at the end of a lovely class, I did indeed reach for the block and place it underneath me. Ah, delicious. Time for supported bridge. And that's when I got the inner flash from my heart and body that it was not a good idea to do so, that I should avoid that particular curve in my body at that particular moment in time. But my brain was so attached to the idea of doing it in precisely the way I saw earlier and had planned for all day. But no, my body said, stay away! But yes, my brain said, I'm doing it, I don't care what you say, stupid body. Fine, my body said, do it your way. But don't come crying to me in the morning.
So I did it, and no, nothing catastrophic happened. I didn't break my spine or pop a lung or anything, but sure enough, using that block in bridge made me feel, well, crappy. I stayed up for a few breaths and then relented and came down. Fortunately, my body did not do the whole, "I told you so" routine.
I learned, yet again, to check in with your body before you do something new to it, or even something that you do every day to it. There is no hard and fast rule that what you did yesterday is still going to be okay today or tomorrow.
It makes me pause for thought. How many other decisions do we dive headlong into, barging in from our mind and overriding our heart?
Jennifer Mulson is the managing editor of Marmapoints. She also teaches yoga at CorePower Yoga in Colorado Springs.