Last night I had the worst yoga session of my life. It started off fine as I worked through some sun salutations, stretched my hips in frog pose, and practiced some warrior variations. When I moved into more of my balancing poses my practice went downhill from there. Even as I was practicing my king pigeon I could feel something was... off.
I fell out of my king pigeon. I fell out of my tree pose. I fell out of my dancer's pose. I fell out of my warrior III. It was extremely disheartening, especially when I've been so excited lately for the progress I've made.
I flipped over into savasana and tried to figure out where I went wrong. I realized it was a couple of things:
1) My mind was not focused. Even in savasana my mind was running as I stressed about my lack of balance. A clear mind makes for a better practice. I had had a long day at school, had just finished writing a couple of online quizzes for one of my classes, and was already thinking about what I had to tackle next on my list of assignments.
2) It's called a practice for a reason. I'm going to have bad days, it's inevitable. However, if I can push through I'll find that I have days where my practice will go better than I ever could have hoped. One bad day does not mean that you give up. It means that you take a break, roll up your mat, have a cup of tea, and reflect.
3) Trust your mat. Trust yourself. There's nothing wrong with trying again but don't let yourself get frustrated. Know your limitations, use your instincts. I listened to my body and was careful of my movements, but I also put trust in my faithful mat and knew how much support it would give me in return.
4) Support yourself. There's nothing wrong with holding onto a wall or the arm of your couch. My boyfriend even offered to lend me his arm so I could complete some of my poses. By doing this you are not failing or taking an easier road. I see it as being humble by admitting that you need help.
In short, this is the advice I have: Having a bad practice? Don't get down on yourself.
You can do it. You are improving. You are a bad-ass yogi and next time those poses will be yours.