Primary Friday: Sweat Box Extravaganza
So it wasn't the light practice I'd been hoping for. It was, however, an opportunity to very carefully consider pacing in the practice. This keeps coming up here lately, maybe because the weather is turning warm, but I have to be very careful doing my practice in hot rooms. My body doesn't seem to have an efficient cooling mechanism in place. I sweat and I sweat and I sweat until I have not a single salt left in my body. My skin turns beet-red, I get woozy, and eventually an oppressive headache descends that doesn't go away for the rest of the day, no matter what I do. This happens to me regardless of my level of fitness. It doesn't manifest as fatigue, it feels more like internal pressure, and it can be avoided if I simply slow down, but.... that's hard to do. It's my practice. What's the point if I can't practice to my best ability?
I have been to doctors about this. Specialists, even. This was back in the days when I had access to health care. I used to run, and this total system failure would not generally happen during training but it did happen at some point during EVERY. SINGLE. RACE. They told me to drink Gatorade instead of water and eat well during the days leading up to my races. I tried that. It made no difference. When that didn't work, they tried to give me antidepressants -- the good ol' American cure-all. HA! No thanks, doc. So I've been left to deal with it on my own by simply not putting myself in situations in which this catastrophe is likely to arise. However, as we all know, sometimes we can't control the conditions of our surroundings. We can only control the way we conduct ourselves. Which brings me to pacing in the practice...
How important is it to stay with the count? How much of a "bad lady" would I be if I took an extra breath or two in Down Dog between postures on hot days to let my system settle before jumping back into the fray? I know that only I can really answer these questions for myself. Is staying with the count so important that I should knowingly drive my body into disfunction? No. It isn't. But it's frustrating because I have the strength, I have the focus, and I have the determination. I just don't have the ability to maintain homeostasis.
During my practice yesterday -- drowning in sweat, the pressure on my brain increasing to a level of warning -- it occurred to me that I can probably never go to Mysore to study at KPJAYI. It's really hot there, right? I'd be miserable! I'd have to hobble through my practice, my internal flame pathetically extinguished by the external abundance of heat. Oh well... just another quiet dream thoroughly crushed by circumstance. I'll survive.