Fri afternoon: 1hr teaching; Sat: 1.5 hr assist; personal day off; Sun: 25 mins; Mon: 30 mins
So I'm about 99.9% sure that my lowered mood over the past few days is due to my swiftly approaching period. I actually hate admitting that, because I don't think that people should allow the act of menstruating to dictate what they can and cannot achieve. But over the past couple of years, I've noticed that I have a significant increase in number of episodes of agitation and sadness in the days approaching my period; my hormone levels are increasing or I've become more sensitive to them. While I don't like these effects, I know that they are natural and normal and that they are part of my body's response to being fertile. And I'm grateful for that and for the fact that I can recognize the emotional responses that I am experiencing.
All weekend I've been self-medicating, mostly with exercise, though I've also sprinkled in friends and treats. However, out of the numerous things I did and tried, only one had a significant impact: upside-down-ness.
Teaching Friday afternoon was one of the highlights of the weekend. Three young women attended the class I was covering. One was pregnant (probably 5-6 months), and I was pretty anxious about making the class a positive experience for her as well as the two other participants. I racked my brain to change the class plan over and over and add more options so that the woman who was pregnant could better participate. I noticed throughout the class that the other two women were both relatively inexperienced with yoga (though they both said they practiced regularly) and relatively unwilling to try things they hadn't tried before (as they stared and smiled as I suggested trying different options). Near the end of class, I decided to try to challenge them a little and suggested that while the woman who was pregnant took her legs up the wall, that I teach the two of them to do headstands. They were both hesitant (and made sure to tell me that they couldn't do them), but I took them through the steps and had both of them up in headstands within a few minutes. Neither of them verbally said anything about going into the headstands, but I could tell by their body language and energy that they were thrilled with their attempts. Once the class had ended, I was left with a little anxiety about what else I could have done to facilitate full class involvement at certain points. But I was also beyond ecstatic at the success of the headstanders. I left the studio smiling and couldn't stop. I told Billy all about the class as soon as I met up with him for dinner afterward.
The other highlight of my weekend was the numerous handstands I attempted and the few I succeeded at holding for a few or several breaths. Of course the wall was there, but since I've only been able to get my hips over my head for a little over a week, holding handstands against a wall is still super exciting! I worked on handstands Saturday with Martine, Sunday, and then today. My wrists actually began hurting this morning after all the time I had been spending with my weight on them, so I finally rested on the floor and massaged my wrists and hands.
So every time I got excited or was able to feel better this weekend, it was due to inversions. Shifting my perspective literally cured my premenstrual mood swings over and over. Good to know.