It's summer here in NC. Due to that nasty heat and other recent developments, running hasn't been in my exercise vocabulary as of late. Enter my yoga mat. I've spent a lot of hours on my yoga mat the last few months and I feel like I've gained so much physically and also mentally.
My yoga instructor talks a lot about our inner selves and how it relates to the world we create for ourselves. She makes me keenly aware of this inner self and inner dialog that is constantly happening within me whether I acknowledge it our not. How self critical am I during my yoga practice? During work? While I'm with friends or family? How often do I validate the good things I do? How often do I just acknowledge that the dialog is there?
I feel like my inner dialog is pretty loud while I'm on my yoga mat. I'm constantly thinking about how long my lines should be, or how strong I'd like to be or how much that certain pose hurts or is stretching a muscle I didn't even know I had. This negative inner dialog then drifts from what I could be doing better on the mat to what I think I should be doing in relation to others or during my day. It's negative and completely detrimental to success and progress. I love taking that off the mat with me and realize that every day I am subconsciously talking to myself ... constantly validating or criticizing and then I need to be more aware of how I "treat" myself. Hopefully that makes sense.
On a running note, I feel like while that inner dialog wasn't as loud for me on runs, it was definitely still there. Hearing it in on my yoga mat helps me realize that it's on the pavement too. Am I going fast enough? It's only mile 3, why does this feel so uncomfortable? It's so hot - I can't take another step. Or, wow, I feel amazing. I could go forever. Mile 5 feels great. See what I mean?
My new challenge is to recognize my inner dialog and then to let go of it ... to realize that for that moment I am there, participating to fullest capability for that day, that hour, that minute ... and that it is simply good enough. It's a challenge, but I'm ready to work harder at it and to become more whole because of it.