For better or worse, throughout my life I have been able to recover quickly from every injury, illness, or other physical challenge life has thrown my way. From marathons to multi-day yoga summits to childbirth and everything in between, I have been blessed to bounce back with minimal disruption to my routine. And I assumed the recent removal of my wisdom teeth would be no different.
In a way it was: the day after the procedure I stopped taking medication and transitioned from liquids to soft foods with no adverse effect. By the end of the week, I was feeling 100 percent, and began mapping out a few runs and yoga classes for the weekend and week ahead. The morning after receiving the "all clear" from my doctor, I hit the road. I hadn't even found my stride when my jaw started throbbing. I stopped immediately, and after walking a few blocks, the pain subsided. When I tried again to pick up the pace, I made it less than one block before the pain stopped me. Resigned to the reality that there would be no running that morning, I took a long, slow walk and returned home disappointed.
The same pattern repeated itself when I tried a few down dogs the following day. Immediately my mind began racing: No running? No yoga? What on earth am I going to do? The answer was clear: rest. So I did.
For two entire weeks, I gave myself permission to sit still - to go about my days and repurpose the time I would have spent on the road or in the studio reading, writing, and resting. I didn't explode, and the earth didn't stop turning on its axis. When I was finally able to resume regular activity, there was no loss of endurance or speed or strength. If anything, I found a renewed enthusiasm for and enjoyment of movements I so often take for granted.
Next time your body (or mind) asks you to take a break, honor the request. Give yourself the opportunity to discover a fresh appreciation for the rhythms of your life.