When you Want to Quit

Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

I recently began the Community Yoga class that is a step up from the previous class and to be honest, I kind of want to quit.

My brain and muscles have been taxed to their limit. It seems impossible to track all the minute movements of my muscles while maintaining a constant breathing pattern. I honestly don’t see how I will ever be able to tell when I am compensating for a tired muscle by using another. Was I doing anything correct?

I wish I could say that I am looking forward to my next session, but I’m not. I’ve hit a wall, and I have a decision to make.

My relationship with quitting

My automatic response is that I should push through these feelings of inadequacy. Everyone says how good yoga is for you. This class is my chance to learn from a teacher and get first hand feedback. I have only had two sessions of this particular type of yoga. I should give it time.

This automatic response is from the tenacious part of my being. In many ways, tenacity has served me well. It has helped me continue with activities even when they got hard and by doing so I have maintained wonderful parts of my life. But in other ways, this tenacity has resulted in me hanging onto activities that were at their best, not serving me, and at their worst, causing harm.

I am a people pleaser, so for many years I did activities because I felt like it what was expected. The activity made people like me and see me in a certain way. For so long I didn’t know what I actually enjoyed doing. I was living a life based on the real or perceived expectations of others.

Over the last few years my goal has been to find activities that I truly do enjoy and let go of activities I do not. However, I don’t want to quit anything with too much haste. I am striving to find a balance between tenacity and honesty with myself about what is actually helping me achieve greater wellness and joy.

Questions to ask yourself when you want to quit

  1. What exactly sparked this feeling of wanting to quit?
  2. Why did I begin this activity to begin with?
    • Do I still see this activity as being able to help me reach this goal?
  3. Is this activity damaging my mental or physical health?
  4. What are the completely fleshed out positives and negatives of this activity?
    • Do the cons outweigh the pros?
    • Are the pros worth dealing with the cons?
  5. Are there reasonable steps that can be taken to improve my participation in the activity that will not exhaust all of my energy/resources?
  6. Am I willing to give a bit more or my time to work on improving the difficulties?
  7. Would I be continuing this activity because I want to or because I feel like I should?

Should I quit Community Yoga?

As I go through the questions above, it is clear to me that it is not time to quit yet. What sparked this feeling of wanting to quit is that I feel inadequate on the yoga mat. I want to be skilled at yoga right away. I know this is not how yoga works. I need to give myself time to learn. I need to be patient and feel pride for the progress I have made, no matter how small.

While I take the time and energy to work on the poses, I am still strengthening my mind and body even if I can not do a pose perfectly. I can also take time to explore these feelings of inadequacy more completely. Doing yoga brings up the feelings, but they are not the source. The more I understand the feelings the less they will get in the way of my yoga practice.

I began a yoga practice because I wanted to; because I felt in my body that I needed something more than the exercises I had been doing. My body and mind needed to be opened up and challenged in new ways. While it is difficult, yoga is doing this for me.

After a few more sessions, I will bring myself back to the questions above and reevaluate. I will strive to keep myself open to letting go if I need to.

Wishing you strength and wisdom as you encounter bumps in the road on your journey to wellness and joy 🙂

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